Re: How to promote a Web site? (Long)

Subject: Re: How to promote a Web site? (Long)
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 19:50:00 -0800

lyndsey -dot- amott -at- docsymmetry -dot- com wrote:

I am not sure how well I can answer your question because I believe that it is just a hunch among network marketers that commercial sites are penalized by the search engines.

As I understand the situation, part of the problem is that search engine optimizers are in an ongoing battle with the search engines. SEOs are always coming up with tricks to make a site more prominent in the search engine results. When the tricks become obvious or widespread, then the search engines change how sites are ranked so that the tricks can't distort the rankings. This is one reason that SEOs are often reluctant to talk about the details of what they do: if they know a trick that works, the knowledge gives them an advantage over competitors.

You could liken the battle to the one between spammers and anti-spammers, or between crackers and security experts. Needless to say, SEOs would say that they are nothing like spammers or crackers, and are only providing a legitimate service. However, from the point of view of the search engines and those who use them, the skewing that results when the SEOs are successful are almost as great a problem. Obvious skewing lessens the credibility of a search engine, which is why search engines work hard to keep ahead of SEOs. And users, of course, would rather not have their searches distorted by commercial considerations.

Personally, I'm dubious about the whole battle. SEOs might be useful to those with a relatively inexpensive product that has a large, technically literate audience. However, I doubt that expensive goods and services or ones with a small target market are seriously effected by search engine positioning. In either of these cases, consumers are more likely to rely on research, word-of-mouth, past experience, and/or brand loyalty to make decisions. And in the case of non-technically literate markets, of course, search engine position is probably next to irrelevant.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177


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Re: How to promote a Web site? (Long): From: lyndsey . amott

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