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SEO sucks

I can't belive how stupid SEO is.

My web site sells a software product which in my opinion is quite good. A web site of a competitor sells a similar software product which has less than 20% of my features, isn't polished at all, and is quite buggy.

Yet, my site is number 15 in Google for the main search keyword, and the competitor's web site is number 1.

This, in spite of the thing that I have a 50 pages product manual online (which he hasn't), etc.

I did some basic SEO a few months ago by tweaking title tags, increasing keyword density, making sure that every page links to other pages in my site, adding META tags, etc. I also bought some Google AdWords which do work well, but I know from experience that the traffic they bring in is a lot less than the traffic a true #1, #2 or #3 position brings.

I have studied the matter, and the only reason my competitor is #1 seems to be the fact that he has done a lot of link exchanges, and so now a lot of sites link to his site.

So.. I'm doing link exchange to. I go to a lot of sites, and write to webmasters, ask them for links, reply e-mails, etc.

This activity is extremely BORING and stupid.

Is there any alternative to this? I mean, are there other ways which will bring me a high ranking in Google?

I'm not looking for an imoral way for doing this (like, for example, create 1000000 doorway pages approach).

George
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Well, you could try buying a search term or two from Google. I hear that works quite well.

-Mark

Mark Bessey
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

WTF is "SEO"?

dumbass
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I guessed he meant "Search Engine Optimization". That's a fancy term for trying to trick search engine users into stumbling across your site when they're looking for something else - particularly, a competitor's product.

-Mark

Mark Bessey
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Further proof that a crap product with good marketing will do better than a good product with crap marketing.

The notable exception to the crap product with good marketing was of course MS Bob. What mind-altering stuff were they smoking when they thought of it?!

TheGeezer
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I don't know how I lucked out, but our site is #1-#3 for almost all our META/keywords phrases, over some very big corporate competition.

It looks like our META keywords that are top-ranked also happen to be repeated in the site somewhere, as part of regular ("real") text and not just a spew of keywords. And the phrases that aren't top-ranked, are not found anywhere on our site except the META tag.

We're hardly linked by anyone at all, so I'd guess that's a lesser factor.

Joseph Schmo Webmaster
Tuesday, July 13, 2004


1. SEO=Search Engine Optimization
2. Yes, he tried buying "words from google". That's what Google Adwords are (OP mentioned that above)


I feel your pain.  Yahoo ranked us lower for OUR OWN PRODUCT NAME than it did our competitor!

I use Google Ad words to research which keywords will bring in traffic and high conversions.

Have you tried  WebPositionGold?  $150. Software program that tracks your position on search engines, suggests modifications, etc.  I was fairly good last time I looked 4 years ago or so.

I haven't bought it (we never needed it before, but I'd like to work on that more with our site). But I will be in the near future, when I get time. (Damn those customers. I which they'd stop calling with credit card numbers so I could do some marketing .)

Mr. Analogy
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

George

Don't know if this'll help ~ I read some interesting stuff here a couple of weeks ago.

http://www.highrankings.com/  see Advisor Articles menu.

May all be crap too :)

PNII

Perpetual Newbie II
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Lemme rephrase that. *I* was impressed you *may* find it "just so much fluff". Yea, that sounds better.
PNII

Perpetual Newbie II
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Also check out http://www.webpronews.com/, it's excellent.

However, SEO still remains a mind-numbing bore. :-(

George
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I vowed that if I ever had a web site and wanted to get better Google rankings, I would look into what this guy is saying: http://www.monash.com/spidap.html

The site's called The Spider's Apprentice and gives an overview of how search engines work. During the majority of the season of the show The Apprentice, this site came up #1 in Google (now it's dropped to #2).  Considering the competition, that's pretty impressive.

Yet another anon
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

1. www.webmasterworld.

2. get into DMOZ

3. pimp your site. a lot. but not here, it won't help, the redirect here prevents it.

4. make sure you site - internally - is search engine friendly. lots of good well-labelled links, not too much javascript or flash.

5. i saw that spider's apprentice link every time i tried to find NBC's page for the apprentice. this guy must be good. just skimming his articles a lot of it is fairly wel known, but we all probably skip a few of them.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

It seems to me to be pretty stupid to try and build a business on the basis of being top of the search list, of course its a nice bonus when it happens but if you want a real long term future then spend some money marketing your products. If in the next google dance your competitor drops twenty places and they have been totally reliant on their search position they are going to be pretty sick or even belly up.

Tony Edgecombe
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Can you post the url of you and your competitors sites for us? We may be able to tell why they have a higher ranking.

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

If you are going to use a software program for SEO, don't go with WebPositionGold - it has severe problems with Google and can actually get your site banned.

Personally I use Web CEO 5 (http://www.webceo.com) for SEO and visitor behavior analysis. I used their free version for some time (really cool!) and then upgraded to a $19 version which allows me to track visitors and ROI of my ad campaigns.

Unfortuntely, it doesn't give me some really hot features, for example, my site vs. competition analysis, so I will have to shell out $200 something for the full version sooner or later.

Also, I am an avid reader of WebProWorld/WebProNews and recommend it to everyone.

George Lamber
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

""Search Engine Optimization". That's a fancy term for trying to trick search engine users into stumbling across your site when they're looking for something else"

At least he got the title of this post right -- SEO sucks.

The whole concept of SEO is based on the idea that the Internet exists for the sole purpose of selling your crap product.  However. many people searching the Internet are looking for information, not looking to buy something.

Pleas take your SEO and go away.

Rammalamma Dingdong
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

It should in fact be called "search engine pessimization", because what it does is to make everyone's searches less effective (from their perspective: finding useful information) in order to achieve your selfish goals (get your pages shown to everyone who's searching for anything remotely related).

Perhaps "search engine exploitation" or "search engine sabotage" would do; "pessimization" is a rather ugly word.

Gareth McCaughan
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Affiliates, affiliates, affiliates!  You want to sell things, and there are people who sell things that want products.  Get an (at least 2-level deep) affiliate program going, where the seller takes x% or $x from each sale/link/etc to your site. As long as you don't ask questions about how they get their traffic (and believe me, you don't want to know), you will eventually be selling your product like no tomorrow.

sir_flexalot
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Mark,

"... not too much javascript ... " , off the cuff do you know if there's a difference between embedded or linked script? Wonder why this affects it? I recall having read this some-where, I'll have to see if I can find it again.

Perpetual Newbie II
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I agree with George Lamber - Web CEO 5 is great, the web site analytics are mind-blowing - you will have to accept a learning curve though.

burnham wood
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Hey OP- I agree hunting for links sucks. My solution was to outsource it via a rentacoder.com (or other similar sources) - you can get others to do it for you fairly cheaply (and effectively) while you spend your time more productively. I found this route to be a better value dollar for dollar than paid advertising- though I think a complete strategy requires all of the above.

BTW Ramalama- if you think that banning SEO would somehow allow searches to finally always produce meaningful informative results, think again.

First- realize that the "free" information sites are trying to make money, and use the same SEO tricks as the guys selling things- they just have a different business model for getting paid.

And second, more often than not the best information on a subject comes from people who also happen to sell the subject or related items- and without SEO they will get buried by affiliate sellers who don't offer any info at all.

SEO'r
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Newbie, I don't *know* that there's a difference, but on the chance that search engines prefer text links to javascript ones, I'd go for regular the text ones.

Besides, do you really think the search engine is capable of fully parsing all the javascript to determine which links are meant to be displayed how? It *barely* does a good enough job at parsing the HTML. A prime examples being using tables for layout. If you have a column for navigation, a column for the main body text, and a column for miscelaneous information, the <H1>Title</H1> of the page will be below ALL the left nav stuff in the actual code, and will probably be read that way by the Search Engine.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, July 15, 2004

Actually Google does a good job of parsing JavaScript. I don't know how about Yahoo and others, but Google definitely does it. OK -  I admit I don't really know if they are good at it, but the fact remains that they do it.

George Lamber
Thursday, July 15, 2004

Thank you very much for Web CEO 5 (http://www.webceo.com) - super tool!!!

J.Kost
Friday, July 16, 2004

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