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SE optimization, simple tutorial by Ben Gribbin

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SE optimization, simple tutorial by Ben Gribbin
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I have taken my time to collate a simple tutorial for beginners in Search Engine optimization. It will help you get on your feet in SEO, and help your site be search engine, and at very least, user friendly. I will use several authorities to back-up my point, so you can see for yourself.

To start Search Engine Optimization, I recommend we first learn a bit of history about it, and then we will move on to how to actually do it. You may or may not know that SEO Is short for Search Engine optimization, but it can also be represented SEM (search engine marketing) or SEP (Search Engine Promotion). There are generally 2 ways to attack SEO, either using white hat, or black hat techniques. White hat techniques are good ways, think of it as the goody in that western film who always wore a white hat. Black hat techniques are likened to that Evil Gold Digger, who always carried a black hat, and was wanted over the whole of the U.S. I suggest you use the White hat methods I outline in this article, as Black hat techniques can get you banned by Google, or even shot (no sorry, just banned.) For the Inquisitive who want to know more about Black Hat techniques (you're evil) you can read up on them at :

Ok now we have rid of the evil people, lets continue. What actually is SEO? Well it's a process of making your website more appealing to a search engine (such as Google or Ask) and to move it up higher for your specified keywords, and hopefully give you more customers or traffic.
You can see then for Business websites, SEO is very important, as it can mean more profits. For personal websites it can mean growth and traffic, which is always good (and wanted). So how does Google actually rank your site? Well, good question let me explain. To rank a site, you need to be in Google's web database, or in other words, in their results for your specified keyword/s. A new site is typically indexed (where the Google crawler, a program, visits the site and retrieves all readable content and follows most links) in around 1-6 months, depending on your website and factors surrounding it. Typical factors that affect the rate of index are:

- How often you update the site. Google crawls sites that are updated more often, so keep your site as up-to-date as possible.
- The content. It is vital you have content or features that people will/do find interesting and useful.
- Valuable links. Links are very important, as long as they are HIGH page rank. 1 link from a page rank 7 site will speed up the indexing of your site a lot. Reason been, higher PR websites are crawled more often, as they influence other websites PR. So Google will actually find your site quicker if you can get a link from a high PR websites, preferably one relevant to your site. For example, is a Bulgarian real estate company. They would benefit most from a link from lets say which is Bulgaria's official website, and has a high PR, both sites been about Bulgaria means they are of similar relevance.

One final thing we need to know about is PageRank (PR, developed by Google founder's Larry Page and Sergy Brin) is Google's main (but not only) way of determining ranking and relevance of websites. Basically most new sites will start as a PR 0. This means there PageRank is nil, zero, nothing e.t.c, and their position in Google's Search Results page will show this. Normally even searching for the site by its name will still only show it somewhere in the top 20. PR goes from 0-10, with only a few sites achieving PR 10 such as and Adobe. To get a PR you need links. Lots of them. And only quality ones. When looking for people to link to/ and from, don't waist your time with PR 0 sites. 

Let me explain.
You're website is likened to a would be president. They are running a campaign to get to be president (high up in Google, and lots of traffic) to get there they need the lots of votes from the country (Web). How do you get votes? Links. The more you have, the better your chances are of getting a good PageRank, and becoming president of your industry. PageRank 0 sites are people who are either unable to vote or don't vote, so what's the point in making them link to you? Well if you like to waste time go ahead. If you get votes from rich people, it's much better for your campaign. Rich people have High PageRanks, and that rubs off onto your site. So aim for High PR websites in your campaign and succeed. Don't worry if you have bazillion's of links to your site, and your PR is still 0. Google, are incredibly busy people, so it takes around 3 months for PageRank's to update.

Likewise, when these people vote for you, try to get them to vote with good Keywords. For example, Black Sea Properties will benefit more from a link, again from, but with the 'ALT' tag for images or actual words used in linking saying something like "Black Sea Properties" or "Bulgarian Properties for sale". That way Google can determine its relevance to your site, and can see why the site linked to you.

To continue I suggest you have a website indexed in Google. It helps anyway. So now what? Do you sit back, put your feet back, and rest on your laurels? Well, not really. Grab a Coffee, and keep reading...... You have a website built. Even if you don't you can still use this info. So now we need to physically optimize your page, making sure that once the users, and Google's Crawler, reach your site, they don't get barraged by unreadable text, bad code, or the dreaded broken link. Think of the Google Spider (the name for Google's Crawler, because Spiders crawl and make webs......) as an award winning Food Critique. You're a world-class chef. You're website is food. And the Spider loves to rip apart your site, and analyze everything. As critiques don't like food that is burnt, Google doesn't like sites that are badly cooked, so make sure whatever code you use it is valid and well structured. Like every critique loves Pizza, you need to feed Google good pizza. Only it's not Pepperoni or Marguerite, its CSS and XHTML. Google laps it up, as when coded well it offers excellent cross browser compatibility. That also works for your visitors, who all end up looking at the same page, regardless if they are using Mozilla Firefox or IE5-6-7. To validate your XHTML and CSS use and

Hopefully now you have a good base for us to start optimizing. What's next? Well, pretend you're an average Joe visitor to your site. Forgot you designed or updated that site. Look at it realistically. What does it look like? Is it jam-full of nasty pop-ups, ads or spam? Or like-wise is it packed with Flash, JavaScript and a boat load of images? If so, I suggest you reconsider. If you are reading this with a PR 0 site, Ads and pop-ups are useless as chances are there is only you looking at them. Even if you're not, irreverent ads are annoying pop-ups drive the few visitors you are getting. Instead, streamline adds to a mere few, and use PHP or similar to rotate them. For the ones you simply must keep, put them into a 'links' page. Are you using a splash or entry page? If so, make sure it has text on it, and is relevant, if you don't really need to use one, get rid of it.

Using Flash? That's fine in small amounts, but if you're site is wholly Flash, I suggest you re-think it, or offer a HTML version as an alternate.
Using JavaScript? As with flash, avoid large usage of it. So now you hopefully have a nice user-optimized site. Let me tell you, the more user-friendly, the better, Google loves it. Now though, we need to add some real flavour to your site, so Google will crawl it regularly. What do you need? Well, you guessed it, I'll tell you. 1st things first, let's make content. If you're site is a 1 page site, then I suggest you expand it to included new features and content. Content is always good. A great way of adding content is to write Articles that you allow users to use on their own site, providing they link back. Check all wording for spelling and grammar. Make sure you use a fair amount of Keywords in it. Each page should have at least 200 words. For example if I were to write content for Black Sea Properties, I may make an article on how to renovate your Bulgarian home cheaply. In that Article I would put my Keywords in bold, not too much though, just to make it natural, and to show Google we are putting emphasis on those words. Offer your article in html, Word and PDF formats to better suite your users. You can also put your Keywords in the Title tags of you're article, and in Alt tags for images. You will need to write useful content. Don't write about using socks to make a prototype mould, its something so obscure, I bet it gets one search a year, if any at all. Useful articles will work their way around the net. It's like word-of-mouth advertising, but on the internet. Not only will your users benefit from great and professional articles, you will get more traffic, more reciprocal links, and more PageRank.
Now you have Developed your Content through the highly original named- Content Development. Yes, we have fancy names for everything on the web: D. what's left to do? Well, not much really, great SEO isn't any big secret. It's not worth the 1000's you could spend on it. It's probably nothing more than you do to your site already. Remember, you want:

- Links
- Content
- Up-to date information
- User-friendly
- Articles
- Valid Code

- And more links So why spend money on something you already do? Personally, I prefer to let Google work at its own pace. There's no point feeding it genetically modified doorway pages, or Evil SEO methods. Just give it some natural and well made web pages, and Google will be happy as Larry (and Sergy).

So how do you get quality links?
It's through our friend, MR content. In other words you need something worth linking to. Of course, you can always pay sites to link to you. I would only do this if the site is very relevant to your own, and has high numbers of both visitors and traffic. Make sure it has a good PageRank. (Above 5 preferably). There are however many, many websites who will link to you for free. To find them, you have to be sneaky (nothing illegal, or anti-Google involved) but you will need to make a list of a few competitors who are aiming to beat. Pick competitors who.... Appear highly for your wanted search term. Make sure they have a high PageRank. If your site is in too small a niche, then you need a general term to compete with.
Let's say you are selling Golden socks. They are made of 200 carrot gold, and are lighter than air. Are you really going to find a competitor on 200ct Gold Socks? No, that term is searched (as of 18th of December 2006.) Less than 1 search a day. But the term socks, receives 12 visits a day from Google and Golden has at least 7. You could go even more generalised by going for clothing, but that is super generalised, so only do so as a last resort. You can use the free and super programme known as webCEO for keyword searches, and competitor searches. (Found at Finally, I would just like to give you a lst of more in dpeth (and very consise) SEO tutorials and tips. That's alkl from me now, as below you will find a large list of links. Bye, and I hope you enjoyed watching your site grow.

* Search Engine Optimization at Wikipedia (
* ABAKUS SEO turial (
* Measuring up's tutorial (
* SEOadministrator ( )
* Search Engine Marketing Guide ( )
* Words in a row's SEO tutorial ( )
* SEO basics ( ) * More SEO basics ( )

About the Author
The author has 5 years experience in web development, Adobe photoshop and SEO.
Webmaster of 100's of sites including and