They are the 3 magic letters on everyone’s lips – “SEO” – or search engine optimisation. I spoke to a very nice chap the other day who was fitting the carpets in our hallway right here in sunny Bournemouth. We were talking about his website, or lack of one, and how it could help get his business in front of more customers.
Now, while he didn’t know what “SEO” meant or how it could help his business in Bournemouth when we first started talking, it only took a moment for him to learn that search engine optimisation is the process of getting a website noticed in the search engines. There has been a big turnaround in the last few years – this chap actually asked me about his website – nowadays I’m not so shocked, but a few years back in this part of the world, you couldn’t have given free websites away with a case of beer to most skilled tradesmen & women! They just would not have been interested. Now, most people in the area have an idea at least of what a website is, what a search engine is, and have at least heard of search engine optimisation and/or online marketing.
And of course, anyone out there with the time, and the inclination, can now find a wealth of resources out there to help distil the years of seo-juice into concentrated seo-fuel! Google Webmaster tools are provided by the guys over at the big G to try to clarify what to do, and what not to do when optimising your website. Some good pointers here, and a great place to start if you’ve done a little web design and online marketing.
Also the guys over at SEOmoz have been pumping out some sweet SEO resources for a long time now. This blog is updated regularly with articles and resources covering a wide range of search engine optimization topics. They also run the odd seminar too if you like to get your geeky-butt out once in a while to meet ‘real people’!
Another place it seems daft not to check out from time to time is Matt Cutts’ seo blog – this is for many people the human face of google – while other employees at google do publish (for example see Greg Grothaus video or presentation on the implications for duplicate content related to seo) the guy that people are most familiar with is Monsiuer Cutts. He’s been running outreach from Google for donkeys years now, and there is a ton of information over there on his blog. While he won’t tell you how to a top search engine position in Google tomorrow, he will tell you the ‘stoopid-stuff’ to avoid, the best practices that Google and other search engines like to see, and how to avoid getting kicked out of Google for bad seo.