There is an old saying, “the world may think you’re a fool, it’s not until you open your mouth that you prove it”. Sometimes I think reporters should note that before they start espousing SEO concepts. Forbes recently published an article titled How To Build A Killer Small Business Web Site. Some of the concepts were fine; some were so terribly off the mark.
Take the following quote for example:
The key to SEO: selecting 50 to 100 key words most relevant to your products, services and target audience. The more those words appear on your Web pages (within reason), the higher up the stack your site will tend to appear
“The more those words appear on your web pages”. Hmm, by that logic, I should be able to fill my page with keywords and I will rise to the top? Oh, of course, I forgot the ‘within reason’. While the intent is not meant to be harmful, statements like those above can lead the unwary into a lot of trouble. The following quote from the end of the article sounds good too.
Simply ask your site host to attach meta tags–hidden programming code easily read by search engines–that include your top 20 keywords in order of importance to your business. The tags will drive traffic to your site when people search those keywords. Create a greeting that says something like “This site is under construction, but we will be up and running shortly.”
Google will ignore the meta keyword list, this statement doesn’t tell the full story, for example, the description tag.
There is no talk of keywords or any of the other areas of search engine optimization that need addressing. The article itself is not too bad when it comes to general advice for setting up a new web business. It just goes too far in the wrong direction and hardly ever goes in the right direction.
SEO is a complex business so if you’re not in it, it is almost impossible to write about it. I refer to my opening paragraph.