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Do you Search Engine Optimize your website?

I started like many with an idea implemented in a small shareware app. A small website to sell it followed, and started to bring is some small cache.

Dreaming of quitting my dayjob I started implementing more and more features. But the revenue stream stayed the (small) same. I'm an engineer, however I'm not afraid of marketing. So I started learning about promoting online, which also implies getting your website to rank high on Google for the relevant keywords.

And, man! It's unbelievable what's out there!!! A plethora of crocks, spammers and other bottom feeders all calling themselves Search Engine Optimizers (SEOs). But the scary things is that they are making money. High ranking sites on popular queries have crap products, but are getting thousands of visitors a day and making LOTS of money.

Now I decided to learn the trade and work on my ranks. I am doing it all myself, by hand, only using AWR (awsome little app, http://www.advancedwebranking.com works on PC, Mac and Linux) to automatically check my website positions in various engines.

So I was wondering what other small ISVs are doing in this regards. Do you care at all? Do you employ to those SEOs? Do you do it yourself? Any success stories?

Lenny
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

"A plethora of crocks, spammers and other bottom feeders all calling themselves Search Engine Optimizers (SEOs)."

Yes, it is unbelievable the scum that is in this game. Some even go so far as to post anonymous infomercials on JoS.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Ugh, I am not advertizing anything...
I am not affiliated with the URL. Damn, I see your point. Too bad I can't edit the post to remove it. Joel?

Lenny
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

>>A small website to sell it followed, and started to bring is some small cache.<<

I think Lenny really is a programmer.  Only a programmer would make the typo above. ;-)

Tim Lara
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

I think that, in the coming years, the people who try to jimmy the system will fall off, and what will be more important will be finding the best price for search listing advertisement and finding the best search phrases to advertise on.


Wednesday, January 07, 2004

My web site is #1 ranked by Google for certain obscure-but-occasionally-used search terms.
I'm not going to explain how, other than to say it was completley unintentional.

But really, have you considered buying an ad on Google and a few other places? I've never done it myself but apparently they are quite effective.

mb
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Yes, I thought of that. I am not sure how effective they are though. I am one of those people that completely ignores any ads when doing a search and just goes for the "main" results as I think they are more relevant.

But maybe I should give ads a try. Especially since I really like Google's model of "pay per click" not per view...

Lenny
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Google's model *was* pay-per-view.  Guess where they got pay-per-click from.


Wednesday, January 07, 2004

I second the suggestion to try Pay-Per-Click. Google is probably the best place to start, but there are other PPC search engines.

It'll only cost you about $25 or so to get started. You should be able to get enough traffic from that small amount of money to judge for yourself whether it results in increased sales.

You also can do fancy stuff like direct people to different pages from ads on different search terms to see which one is the most profitable.

If you're selling products, you might also consider setting up your own affiliate program (like Fog Creek have done). Then you'll have lots of other people running around selling your products for you. Some of them will spend a lot of effort on SEO or PPC ads, boosting your sales. Meanwhile, you can get back to just making more products and not worry about all this promotion stuff.

Darren Collins
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

I do have an affiliate program. But the problem is that I have very few affiliates (they first have to find me somhow in order to sign up) and they have sold exactly zero copies so far...

Lenny
Thursday, January 08, 2004

http://searchenginewatch.com has a lot of tips on search engine optimization and news about search engines.  In particular they break down which sites which use engine (there aren't that many original indexers out there).

anon
Thursday, January 08, 2004

I do it by hand as well, and have gotten all of my sites a top-10 Google ranking.

HeyCoolAid!
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Lenny, Leave some contact info.

I'm #1 on Google for the terms I choose to optimize for.

Makes a difference, but it's not easy.

R. O.
Friday, January 09, 2004

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