object(JRegistry)#245 (1) { ["data":protected]=> object(stdClass)#249 (78) { ["article_layout"]=> string(9) "_:default" ["show_title"]=> string(1) "1" ["link_titles"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_intro"]=> string(1) "1" ["info_block_position"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_category"]=> string(1) "0" ["link_category"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_parent_category"]=> string(1) "0" ["link_parent_category"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_author"]=> string(1) "0" ["link_author"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_create_date"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_modify_date"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_publish_date"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_item_navigation"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_vote"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_readmore"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_readmore_title"]=> string(1) "1" ["readmore_limit"]=> string(3) "100" ["show_icons"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_print_icon"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_email_icon"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_hits"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_noauth"]=> string(1) "0" ["urls_position"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_publishing_options"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_article_options"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_urls_images_frontend"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_urls_images_backend"]=> string(1) "1" ["targeta"]=> int(0) ["targetb"]=> int(0) ["targetc"]=> int(0) ["float_intro"]=> string(4) "left" ["float_fulltext"]=> string(4) "left" ["category_layout"]=> string(9) "_:default" ["show_category_title"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_description"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_description_image"]=> string(1) "1" ["maxLevel"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_empty_categories"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_no_articles"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_subcat_desc"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_cat_num_articles"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_base_description"]=> string(1) "1" ["maxLevelcat"]=> string(2) "-1" ["show_empty_categories_cat"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_subcat_desc_cat"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_cat_num_articles_cat"]=> string(1) "0" ["num_leading_articles"]=> string(1) "0" ["num_intro_articles"]=> string(1) "1" ["num_columns"]=> string(1) "1" ["num_links"]=> string(1) "5" ["multi_column_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_subcategory_content"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_pagination_limit"]=> string(1) "1" ["filter_field"]=> string(4) "hide" ["show_headings"]=> string(1) "1" ["list_show_date"]=> string(1) "0" ["date_format"]=> string(0) "" ["list_show_hits"]=> string(1) "1" ["list_show_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["orderby_pri"]=> string(5) "order" ["orderby_sec"]=> string(5) "rdate" ["order_date"]=> string(9) "published" ["show_pagination"]=> string(1) "2" ["show_pagination_results"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_feed_link"]=> string(1) "1" ["feed_summary"]=> string(1) "0" ["feed_show_readmore"]=> string(1) "0" ["layout_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["menu_text"]=> int(1) ["show_page_heading"]=> int(0) ["secure"]=> int(0) ["page_title"]=> string(25) "Responsible Web Marketing" ["page_description"]=> string(116) "Website Design, Development and Optimisation from Cumbria based Joomla, Wordpress and Magento Small Business experts" ["page_rights"]=> string(131) "All content is copyright Appropriate Solutions Web Development Ltd. No rights to reproduce or redistribute any content are granted." ["robots"]=> string(0) "" ["access-view"]=> bool(true) } }

The Devil, as always is in the detail

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they will do what they say (OK, maybe not the cure for baldness), but it's the ambiguity that concerns me. After all driving thousands of visitors to your site is not that hard. A few ads along the line of "Free Money" or "Live Sex" should do the trick. But are they the visitors you want? Will they buy your product (if you're a money launderer or pornographer, quite possibly)? will they come back? If not then they are simply taking up your server time, ramping up your bandwidth bills and quite possibly costing YOU money.

So if you need a few more of the right sort of visitor what do you do? Well first of all you need a simple home truth;

Google does not care about Website Owners

Shocking isn't it? After all the hard work you put into your site, there is no sign of any appreciation. In fact due to what is called the Google Sandbox effect, Google may even penalise your site for being new.

The reason is simple, Google, and most other major Search Engines, knows it must satisfy the needs of those who seek content rather than those who provide content. Ultimately Google must provide its users with the most relevant, most appropriate, best quality content as easily and efficiently as possible. By doing so they increase the chances of the visitor returning and using their services again and so importantly encountering some of their contextual advertising, as it is this contextual advertising (the text ads you see down the right hand of the search results) that provides Google and the the other Search Engines with the majority of their revenue. If they do not satisfy their visitors enquiries, then these visitors will go elsewhere and the value of the advertising space their services carry will diminish.

So what does this mean to web site owners who want to position well with Google? Well first it means many of the so called 'Black Hat' Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques will ultimately be self defeating. these techniques centre around fooling Search Engines into believing your site to be of higher search value than it actually is. Previously these practices were quite blunt in their approach, but have become more subtle and can include practices such as:

Keyword Stuffing - adding a high density of your chosen keywords into the page content almost to the point of making the page unreadable.

Content Farming - generating high quantities of low quality content, this practice was targeted by a specific change to the Google Algorithm recently called the Panda Update

Link Spam - creating links often in the comments sections of Blogs or in Forum posts that point back to a website using the keywords of choice, or alternatively exchanging links with websites of little contextual interest to your visitors. These are now being targeted by Google who is encouraging website owners to report low quality links for investigation.

However it is the Search Engines job to deliver good relevant search results, so they will root out sites using such techniques and 'punish' them with either exclusion or by downgrading their ranking. This results in a SEO Arms Race with the Black Hat SEO companies trying to outwit the Search Engines and the Search Engines trying to catch the Black Hat SEO techniques.

A more sustainable, realistic approach to SEO is based on appropriate keywords within content of genuine worth.

In other words find the keywords that are right for you, then place them well within original, interesting content that others will want to link to. Finally let others know about your content so they can link to it. It's that simple. Unfortunately it does involve both hard work writing the content as well as insight into the topic the content is about. However if like many of our clients you are already knowledgeable in your area, this approach allows you to take advantage of your hard won insight.

Google may not care about you as a site owner, but it is interested in your content and wants to efficiently provide access to it. So give it what it wants, content. Fresh, interesting, relevant, quirky quite possibly, but lots of it. Let the Search Engines discern a theme to your content. If your in the widget business, then get appropriate widget centric words into your content, your headings, your titles, your links. When people link to your pages make sure they use your widgety words in the links. Be as consistent as possible, and eventually the Search Engines will get the message.

Search Engines are simple souls, it doesn't take much to get inside their minds. So just give them what they want, and they'll respond in kind. If you think your own insider knowledge is not getting the appreciation it deserves, why not contact Appropriate Solutions to see if we can help you make the most of it.

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