When a search engine robot visits your site, it expects to see the same con-
tent that any normal human visitor would see.
is a method of identifying
robots when they visit your site and showing them special, custom-made pages that are
different from what human visitors see. This thwarts the search engines in their attempt
to deliver the most accurate search results to their users. In the vast universe of website
technology, there are sometimes valid reasons for showing different content to different
entities. Tricking the search engines to give you higher ranks than you deserve is not
one of them.
Are you the kind of person who thinks, “If one aspirin works, why
not take two?” If so, you might be thinking that if one paragraph of keyword-rich
text will help your ranks, why not put it on every page in your site? Or worse, if one
website brings you sales, why not make a bunch of identical websites with different
names and get even more sales? The problem with this kind of thinking is that it
ignores the big headache it causes for searchers. If the search engines listed identical
content multiple times, it would destroy the diversity of their results, which would
destroy their usefulness to the searcher. So, if the search engines catch on to duplicate
content schemes, they’re likely to knock you down in the ranks.
Adding a keyword list to the visible text on your page is not exactly
scintillating copy. We’re not talking about overly optimized text, which may come off as
pointless and dry. We’re talking about repeating the same word or words over and over
again so that your page looks like an industry-specific grocery list. At best, sites that do
this cause eyestrain for their visitors. At worst, they’re risking penalties from the search
engines. There’s a place for your keywords list: It’s called your meta keywords tag!
When we mentioned invisible text previously in this chapter, we meant
specific elements that are included within specific parameters in your site’s code and rec-
ognized by the search engines to be legitimate. We did
mean making a ton of key-
words invisible by making them the same color as the background. The search engines
caught on to this one a long time ago, and they’re not likely to let you get away with it.
SEO Is Not Brain Surgery
So many people feel intimidated when approaching SEO. They think its ultratechnical
or it requires a huge budget. Many people think SEO requires some sort of degree or a
lot of insider knowledge. But SEO doesn’t take any of that.
The only thing that is really necessary for SEO is the willingness to learn. So
here is our most special gift to you, an SEO mantra that you can adopt as your own:
I wonder why that’s happening.
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