These guys at GOOGLE are great... but, a little off base for creating 'less cost' models and cost avoidance regarding Google Adwords/Pay-per-click.
I did great work as a GLOBAL ANALYST with CHEVRON... work that lead my thinking & techniques for GOOGLE SEARCH DOMINATION.
More to do with creating vast visibility rather than seo for your singular site.
Vast visibility that leads your prospective clients... wherever you want to lead them... including your website.
Google is engaged in an elaborate dance with firms determined to keep their websites high up in its rankings.
THE industrious spider “bots” that crawl around the web on behalf of Google, the world's biggest search engine, evoke both fear and reverence. Late last year the bots swept through the world's web servers to scrutinise some 8 billion web pages and determine their new rankings in Google's search results. As Google tweaks its mighty ranking algorithms, and applies them to the constantly changing pages of the web, different sites shuffle up and down wildly in its search rankings, repeatedly gaining and losing ground. This operation, which takes place two or three times a year, is known as a “Google Dance”.
Like hurricanes, Google Dances are given names, such as Bourbon, Gilligan and Florida, often by commentators at a website called webmasterworld.com. Jagger, the two-week dance that began late last October, moved through servers in three waves, eliciting chatter in internet forums. “Been kicked off the face of the index by jagger1,” reads a typical entry. “Will try not to panic til after jagger3.”
All search engines test and implement new algorithms constantly, though not in such a dramatic fashion. Because achieving a high search ranking is crucial to success for many online businesses, a huge industry has sprung up devoted to the pursuit of website visibility. In 2005 worldwide spending on such “search-engine optimisation” (SEO), grew 125%, to $1.25 billion, according to SEMPO, a Boston-based trade association. It predicts spending will grow by 150% this year.
The Google Dance can rattle companies, since precipitous—but often temporary—falls down the pecking order are common. But Paul Aelen of Checkit, a large SEO firm based in the Netherlands, admits that algorithm updates are “very exciting” for SEO experts, who can then test an array of tricks to figure out what works, and what doesn't.
SEO firms boost their clients' online rankings by tinkering with their websites to enhance the characteristics that search engines consider positive. This involves techniques such as simplifying complicated page addresses, rewriting copy to produce single-theme pages with accurate titles, adding extra keywords to the invisible page descriptions (or “metatags”) read by indexing software, and putting product information stored in databases directly on to fixed pages, so that search engines' bots can read it.
The quest to understand how search engines rank websites has become an obsession for some. Web forums devoted to the topic hum with debate, and many SEO experts comb through patent applications to find out what new algorithms are in the pipeline. That ruse, however, is becoming less effective. Matt Cutts, a senior engineer at Google who is assailed with algorithm questions at industry conferences, says his firm, like its competitors, carefully controls access to its secrets. “A lot of our best ideas don't get filed as patents because patents eventually become public,” he says.
The best SEO firms can do wonders for a site's ranking. Lee Odden, the president of TopRank Online Marketing, a firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, says one of his clients stopped paying out $50,000 a month on pay-per-click advertising; instead, Pacific Security Capital, an investment bank based in Beaverton, Oregon, now spends a tenth of that figure on SEO and claims the top spot for some 50 keywords on several search engines.
The most powerful determinant of a web page's importance is the number of incoming referral links, which is regarded as a gauge of the site's popularity. Site optimisers solicit links from directory sites, swap links with prominent sites, and fish for links from bloggers by sending them press releases. But the influence of links begets abuse. Unethical methods, known as “black-hat SEO”, include renting links from popular or long-established sites (their links carry more weight). Some unscrupulous SEO outfits even exploit loopholes in website-management tools to place hidden links on prestigious sites, such as those maintained by universities.
The “link farm” technique involves spamming the web with automatically generated bogus blogs, known as splogs, that link to a website to give it a boost. David Sifry, founder of Technorati, a blog search-engine based in San Francisco, estimates that 10,000 link-bearing splogs sporting content copied (or “scraped”) from legitimate sites are put online every day to fool the spider bots. “Cloaking” involves presenting content to indexing bots that is different from that which web surfers who visit the site will actually see. “Keyword stuffing” involves hiding popular search terms on a page—using, say, white text on a white background—to attract visitors.
Mahesh Murthy, the founder of Pinstorm, a company based in Mumbai that is one of India's biggest SEO firms, says that the Google Dance and other similar algorithm updates are constantly getting better at detecting and “shutting out” cheaters. This can mean relegation to the bottom of the rankings, or even removal altogether. Last month Google accused BMW, a carmaker, of using cloaking, and briefly removed its website from its index. But the financial stakes are so high that SEO firms will continue to look for new ways to boost their client's rankings. This is one dance, it seems, that will not be going out of fashion any time soon.
from the print edition | Technology Quarterly
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Pay Attention to Search Engine Rankings:
Top 3 Spots on Google Get 58% of Clicks
Here’s a reason to pay more attention to your search engine rankings – the top three spots on Google get 58% of clicks.
That chimes in with an earlier Chitika study, showing that the no 1 spot on Google gets 34.35% of traffic. Optify also says that being any further back than page two has no real business value for you at all.
Not surprisingly, as I work for a social media agency, I am a big believer in SEO + social working together. For example, Comscore has shown that 50% of ‘social media exposed’ surfers search for product terms every day compared to 33% of non-exposed surfers. In other words, SEO can help improve your rankings but social media can prompt them to try and find out more in the first place.
Then of course, the search engine giants themselves are constantly looking for ways to embrace so-called ‘social search.’
The San Francisco Chronicle has a good summary of how search engines are tapping into social. As (MIcrosoft) Bing’s Paul Yiu says in the piece, “search up until recently has been a lonely experience. We want to introduce people as an important part of search.”