Let’s be objective. Why have you spent your precious time and money putting up a website? Obviously so as to benefit from the sort of publicity the net has potential to provide you with. The main reason you have a website is so that others can see it and know about you or your business. If you aren’t being seen then the primary point of putting up a website is lost completely.

 Being advertised on a search engine is one of the most basic ways of inviting visitors into your site. But advertising yourself is not enough you also have to ensure that you have the right amount of visibility which will get you noticed; a high ranking therefore is an absolute must. Search engine optimization is that missing link between a good and a great business, it earns you customers, keeps your website well visited and makes your investment on the site a success.

While nobody dare deny the kind of benefits you are likely to reap from being ranked high on a search engine, a certain amount of decorum needs to be maintained even here. A number of unethical practices have recently become prevalent amongst those desperate to boost their rankings.

While on first glance these might seem completely harmless to you it is important that you recognize them for what they really are. The first step towards doing that is spotting what YOU might be doing wrong. Following is a list to help you through your discovery:

Inappropriate use of keywords

Sooner or later you are bound to find out that between you and the search engine, you are the one with the brain cells. But don’t go overboard with your discovery. Yes, you can fool the search engine with long strings of text into which you discreetly bury a gallon of keywords which have no relevance whatsoever with your site, but in the end you won’t be fooling the customers who will be finally using the links.

Let’s face it, if the user is searching for “fish” or “fishing” he/she is most likely to not click on a site with a text like “boating fishing exotic animals site seeing great locations cruising Kuala Lumpur”. The irony is that if someone is really searching for a subject related to your site’s material even then he/she is probably going to skip clicking on your link because the description betrays no clue as to what really the site is about.

Inappropriate use of Meta tags

First things first, if you are wondering what META tags are then they are the html code that your website designer has used to create your webpage. They are also used to inform search engines as to what the keywords on the site are. So as is obvious by now certain ways of tampering with your META tags, certain ‘tricks’, let’s call them, might help you fool the search engine in ways very similar to that described above.

However, your brainwave won’t get you too far unfortunately because stupid though it is, even a search engine knows not to go by appearance alone when it comes to websites, so instead of depending on the META tags alone it usually also checks up the content!

False content

As a user you have probably come across a dozen sites which seem to have long strings of text which have nothing to do with the site as a whole and probably make no sense individually either. These are what are called ‘False content’; they are put up on a site only to use a few keywords which might get detected by a search engine. Needless to say such content is a complete obstacle in a good read and even if the overall look and feel of your site is A1 every visitor will get put off by these.

While no one is taking away the fact that a good ranking is important it is probably also of some importance to gain it the right way. And tricking the visitor or disrupting their read is certainly not the way I would call right. Stick to making your website useful and make sure it has the right kind of ‘real’ content, once that is done no one will be able to stop you from getting a high ranking with the search engines.

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