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					Some SEO are scam artists. SEO are specialized techniques used to optimize your web site, to be
Search engine friendly and increase your chances of placing well in searches. There are a large
number of companies that adopt a fast and unethical approach to SEO known as Black Hat SEO.
The best results from SEO are rarely achieved overnight. Website owners who unknowingly
utilize black hat techniques of SEO are more vulnerable to changes in search engine algorithms
and faced being banned.

White hat and black hat SEO are two opposing views of how to do search engine optimization.
The benefits of SEO are almost unlimited.

SEO tools for Google, MSN and Yahoo are numerous. SEO tools for press release optimization
were also launched by PRWeb at the end of June called SEO Wizard. Search engine optimization
is not easy, but with the right SEO tools, your website promotion task just got a lot easier. Let's
talk unique web page content and SEO content strategy. Finding a good SEO content writer is
easier than you think. What is good SEO Content? RSS feeds are an invaluable tool in the SEO
content toolbox. To strengthen the theme of your web site, you need keyword rich SEO content.
Write specific targeted SEO content for the independent pages. Unique SEO content remains
king. However there are some strict rules enforced on SEO content. With effective SEO content
on your website, half of your search engine rank optimization work is done.

Search Engine Optimization is a crucial part in a websites success. The objective of Search
Engine Optimization (SEO) is to achieve high natural search engine placement for relevant
keywords or keyword phrases. Your white hat Search engine optimization (SEO) campaign will
provide you with a long term increase in targeted traffic and qualified visitors to your Web Site.
My site has some tips on how to perform search engine optimization (also know as SEO) on your
website. There's a lot of hype out there about search engine optimization (SEO) services. Both,
PPC and SEO are important. SEO are specialized techniques used to optimize your web site, to
be Search engine friendly and increase your chances of placing well in searches. There are a
large number of companies that adopt a fast and unethical approach to SEO known as Black Hat
SEO. Programmers with an understanding of SEO are in high demand. Many of the techniques
that can be used for SEO are banned by the various search engines. The benefits of SEO are
almost unlimited. Black hat SEO is techniques used to trick or manipulate search engines for
higher rankings.

I frequent many SEO and Web Marketing forums on a daily basis and every so often there is a
debate about the SEO industry and ethics. After being involved in a number of these debates, it
has become really obvious that the main problems are the facts that no two SEO companies are
alike and there is no unified methodology. It's very hard to make statements about the industry as
a whole because it's debatable what exactly 'SEO' is. Mix in the fact that most SEO companies
keep their methodology and campaign strategies secret and we have a situation where every
company is totally different with very different results.

Fact 1 : There is no unified SEO methodology. SEO is actually defined by wikipedia as a process
of improving traffic from SERPs to a site. Of course, HOW they do that is the real question and
causes the debates.
Fact 2 : The effectiveness of an SEO campaign depends on the site structure, site content,
keywords, methodology used, and how popular the site is. A site cannot just rank for any random
keyword. SEO is also not voodoo. It is logic, problem solving, and Web marketing mixed
together. If your site provides no value to users, it probably won't rank.

Fact 3 : Some 'SEOs' do search engine optimization and some do search engine manipulation. Of
course, it is all marketed as SEO. Unethical optimization provides results at any cost and is
always short term (usually ends in a banned domain name). Ethical optimization opens up the
site to the search engines and provides long term benefits.

Fact 4 : Most SEO companies get paid whether or not your site gets any rankings. Unfortunately,
this is the case with the industry. Most SEO companies implement A, B, and C and move on to
the next client. Hopefully, the site ranks. If it doesn't, they always have more clients.

Fact 5 : Most SEO companies use both ethical and unethical inbound linking strategies.To
maximize profits, it is very common for SEO companies to buy bulk links from India, links on
spam/scraper web sites, or sell large directory submission packages. It is also common for SEO
companies to place huge amounts of the contract into inbound linking to make up for the poor
quality of the site optimization.

I don't think it is fair to characterize the industry as a whole without figuring out what is wrong
with it and how SEO companies can overcome it. So how exactly do we determine what is good
and bad about the industry? I have now been involved with the Web for over 10 years and,
specifically, with the SEO industry for almost 4 years and I've seen the inner workings of major
SEO companies and worked with clients who had been burned by their previous SEO
campaigns. Combined with numerous Web postings and forum debates talking about the same
basic problems, I've compiled a list of the most common issues.

Problem 1: Responsibility for Results

It's no secret that the vast majority of SEO companies take no responsibility for results. It is a
fact that no SEO company can guarantee results (and if they do, they are lying to you). It is also a
fact that the client is taking a risk by spending money with an SEO company that basically says
'We'll do what we can'. SEO companies simply guarantee they'll do the work to 'optimize' the
site, but without full disclosure of their methodology, what exactly is the client paying for? No
other industry sells a product with no guarantees and no specific list of work that will be
completed. Of course, SEO work is basically the sales of information and keeping the specifics
of a methodology is important, but the combination of secrecy and no responsibility for results
really makes SEO campaigns risky. So, how can an SEO company reduce the risk for the client
and provide the best grade of service?

Answer 1: Incentive Based Pricing

The only real way to reduce the financial risk of the client is to share the risk. Through incentive-
based pricing, the SEO company can charge a certain percentage of the total contract (say 70%)
to cover their intellectual property and time while placing the rest of the contract price
(remaining 30%) in incentives for success. Of course, incentives and their percentage of the
contract would be totally relative depending on the campaign. This first step into sharing in the
risk provides both reassurance to the client that the company believes in its methodology and
places some of the financial burden of the campaign on the SEO company. At the moment,
however, very few SEO companies are willing to share in the risk and charge the same price
whether the client gets top rankings or no rankings at all (or possibly even lower rankings).

Problem 2: Unethical Optimization

Unfortunately, unethical (or blackhat) optimization is still very prominent on the Web. It's also
unfortunate that 'SEO' has been mistakenly confused with 'Blackhat SEO'. This is still the biggest
problem for SEO companies. Saying that all SEO companies deal in blackhat optimization is like
saying everyone who emails is a spammer. Blackhat optimization is not optimization at all...it is
search engine manipulation. Because there is so much money tied to top rankings, there will
always be a market for unethical SEO and search engine spam. Until companies realize what is
ethical and unethical and stop supporting those blackhat SEO companies, they will continue to
thrive. This makes the industry as a whole look bad and does not reflect the ethics of good SEO
companies. Blackhat provides fast, short term results, but is never a good option in the long run.

Answer 2: Ethical Optimization

There is no quick and easy solution to blackhat optimization's stain on the SEO industry. I would
suggest that all marketing departments research optimization techniques and educate themselves
on what techniques are unethical. No SEO company is going to say they do unethical
optimization. It's also not a good idea to immediately trust a company or product based simply
on their rankings. Unethical optimization DOES provide rankings...just not for the long run.

It would also be helpful if the major search engines would be more open and accessible to SEO
companies. Currently, the major search engines and SEO companies do not deal with each other
and have formed a sort of love-hate relationship. Because of this, many ethical SEOs have
slowly moved into dark territory. Ethical optimization seeks to make sites more easily accessible
to the engines and help to improve the engine's search results. The problem is that the search
engines mainly clump all SEO companies together the same way as uninformed users do: search
engine manipulation. This is just not the case. Search engines do not want to reveal what they
consider unethical because it would basically be providing a list of holes in their algorithms that
blackhat SEOs would be able to manipulate further, but a defined list of 'what not to do' would
provide a definitive list for businesses looking for an SEO company.

Basic Rules of Ethical Optimization

Any campaign that does not abide by the following rules is dealing in unethical optimization
techniques and should be avoided.

1.) What the user sees and what the search engine sees should be exactly the same. Do not hide
anything.
2.) Your keywords (and the resulting optimization) should exactly reflect the content of the
page.Keywords should always reflect what your site is about.

3.) Do not build out pages exclusively for search engines. The site should always cater to both
audiences (users and search engines). Catering to only users is why optimization is necessary.
Catering only to search engines is optimization gone too far into blackhat.

4.) Do not participate in manipulative inbound linking schemes like link farms, bulk links,
triangle linking, or any other unethical manipulation of your Google PageRank or link authority.
Inbound links should be relevant to the content of your site and you should always know who is
linking to you and where your links come from.

Problem 3: Assembly Line / Software SEO

With the growth of the SEO industry has also come the automation of SEO. The absolute first
thing any prospective SEO client should know is that all effective SEO campaigns are custom.
There is no checklist of items that will work exactly the same on every site. If the SEO company
claims there is, then they are not doing full optimization and the campaign is minimal. A good
optimization campaign optimizes the site architecture, text content, and code of the site.
Assembly line SEO does not take into consideration the unique needs/design of the site and may
even deal in blackhat optimization. SEO software especially should be looked at closely. There
are really only two things SEO software could do that would work for any site: doorway pages
(showing engines one thing and users a different thing; which is unethical) or a system of pages
build exclusively for search engines (often called info or information pages and linked in an out
of the way part of the page). Doorway pages are 100% unethical and info pages are deep in the
gray area. Neither of those two methods address the architecture of the site, proper keyword
analysis, or effective text content. The following links are examples of automated SEO software
freely available on the Web. All links contain 'nofollow' to prevent the sites from getting inbound
link credit from our site. These sites are NOT recommended by TreeHouse SEM.

http://doorwaypagemaker.com/ - Doorway page system; UNETHICAL

http://www.doorway-wizard.com/ - Doorway page system; UNETHICAL

Answer 3: Custom Campaign and Assessment

'SEO Software' may be cheap and affordable, but you get what you pay for. Any campaign that is
going to slap on additional pages are simply sell you links is NOT an effective SEO campaign.
Any SEO effort that simply has you add a few 'optimized' pages to your site is not going to be
optimal. If you wanted to convert a street car into a race car, you don't simply add racing strips to
it. Don't think that dumping a few pages on your site targeted to some random keywords is the
same as a real SEO campaign.

If your SEO company will not sit down and talk about the layout, architecture, and aim of your
site, then it is not providing a top-end service. Remember that the vast majority of 'SEO software'
either is for building doorway/landing pages or simply providing you with data about your site
(data that is already free to everyone on the Web). Good SEO campaigns take into account both
the user and the search engines...not one or the other. An SEO company should have a
commanding understanding of user experience and search engine optimization and use these in
combination to create a campaign that will provide the best ROI. The end goal should always be
leads/sales. Bringing in piles of non-targeted traffic often leads to extremely high turn over rates
and very low lead conversion.

Conclusion

Do your research. Find out what you want from an optimization campaign and then ask the right
questions. Make sure that the sales representative you talk to knows what they are selling. If they
do not, they are definitely not the person to get information from. A lot of SEO companies use
hard sale tactics and the reps are less than knowledgeable about what they are selling. Ask the
following questions and see what they have to say.

1.) How do you assess keywords? If an SEO company simply optimizes for whatever keywords
are sent to them by the client, the SEO campaign starts off on very shaky ground. Keyword
analysis should be performed that takes into account the number of searches in all the major
search engines and the relative competition for those terms. The site should also be compared to
the keywords to see if they support each other.

2.) Do you plan on building out pages specifically to house keywords? Landing pages and
doorway pages are not effective long term SEO options. SEO companies like them because they
do not have to touch the rest of the site and it's very easy to simply add band aids instead of
performing surgery.

3.) Will my SEO campaign also help improve the user experience of the site? Proper architecture
and usability goes hand in hand with SEO and helps increase ROI. You should want to bring in
new traffic and convert it.

4.) Does my revenue model affect my keyword selection and the optimization as a whole? Any
SEO company that does not optimize based on the target audience is NOT providing the most
effective campaign. An ecommerce site marketing to comparative shoppers will want to optimize
heavily for product names and model numbers. An online magazine wanting to bring in recurring
traffic will want to optimize for article topics and specific themes. Local companies will want to
optimize for geo-targeted keywords.

5.) I want to optimize my site, but do not want to change any of the existing content or
layout...how would you go about this? Any SEO company that says they will simply add on
landing pages or hide text is selling blackhat. This goes back to the earlier analogy. You are
really saying that you have a car that you want to modify to be very fast, but do not want to
modify the engine and the mechanic simply adds racking stripes and charges you full price.

Thank you for reading TreeHouse SEM [http://www.treehousesem.com/] articles. If you would
like to know more about any of these topics, feel free to contact us.
About the Author: Steve comes from a rich Web background where he has worked on the design,
development, and marketing aspects of hundreds of Web sites. Formerly from Mississippi where
he attended Ole Miss, Steve moved to San Diego to pursue further challenges in the Web
marketing arena.

To compete in the rapidly growing marketplace of SEM, Treehouse immediately set itself apart
by placing Chief Technology Officer DeVries at the helm, who is one of the most coveted
experts in the industry today. DeVries was previously a lead technical consultant at a competing
local firm, achieving top rankings for major clients such as Entrepreneur, Vegas.com, Viacom,
Workopolis, and Ziff Davis Media. DeVries' experience has brought him much industry attention
and placed him in high demand as a speaker at industry events by those looking to pick his brain.

Fact 1 : There is no unified SEO methodology. Fact 2 : The effectiveness of an SEO campaign
depends on the site structure, site content, keywords, methodology used, and how popular the
site is. SEO is also not voodoo. Fact 3 : Some 'SEOs' do search engine optimization and some do
search engine manipulation. Of course, it is all marketed as SEO. Ethical optimization opens up
the site to the search engines and provides long term benefits.

Fact 4 : Most SEO companies get paid whether or not your site gets any rankings. Most SEO
companies implement A, B, and C and move on to the next client. Hopefully, the site ranks. Fact
5 : Most SEO companies use both ethical and unethical inbound linking strategies.To maximize
profits, it is very common for SEO companies to buy bulk links from India, links on
spam/scraper web sites, or sell large directory submission packages. It is also common for SEO
companies to place huge amounts of the contract into inbound linking to make up for the poor
quality of the site optimization.

I have now been involved with the Web for over 10 years and, specifically, with the SEO
industry for almost 4 years and I've seen the inner workings of major SEO companies and
worked with clients who had been burned by their previous SEO campaigns. It's no secret that
the vast majority of SEO companies take no responsibility for results. Problem 2: Unethical
Optimization

Saying that all SEO companies deal in blackhat optimization is like saying everyone who emails
is a spammer. Blackhat optimization is not optimization at all...it is search engine manipulation.
Until companies realize what is ethical and unethical and stop supporting those blackhat SEO
companies, they will continue to thrive. Answer 2: Ethical Optimization

There is no quick and easy solution to blackhat optimization's stain on the SEO industry. No
SEO company is going to say they do unethical optimization. It would also be helpful if the
major search engines would be more open and accessible to SEO companies. Ethical
optimization seeks to make sites more easily accessible to the engines and help to improve the
engine's search results. The problem is that the search engines mainly clump all SEO companies
together the same way as uninformed users do: search engine manipulation. 3.) Do not build out
pages exclusively for search engines. The site should always cater to both audiences (users and
search engines). Problem 3: Assembly Line / Software SEO
With the growth of the SEO industry has also come the automation of SEO. The absolute first
thing any prospective SEO client should know is that all effective SEO campaigns are custom. If
the SEO company claims there is, then they are not doing full optimization and the campaign is
minimal. A good optimization campaign optimizes the site architecture, text content, and code of
the site. SEO software especially should be looked at closely. The following links are examples
of automated SEO software freely available on the Web. All links contain 'nofollow' to prevent
the sites from getting inbound link credit from our site. http://doorwaypagemaker.com/ -
Doorway page system; UNETHICAL

http://www.doorway-wizard.com/ - Doorway page system; UNETHICAL

Any campaign that is going to slap on additional pages are simply sell you links is NOT an
effective SEO campaign. If an SEO company simply optimizes for whatever keywords are sent
to them by the client, the SEO campaign starts off on very shaky ground. Landing pages and
doorway pages are not effective long term SEO options. 3.) Will my SEO campaign also help
improve the user experience of the site? Local companies will want to optimize for geo-targeted
keywords.

Any SEO company that says they will simply add on landing pages or hide text is selling
blackhat.

				
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