By Brad Pierce, President Restaurant Equipment World
It never ceases to amaze me how much “bad advice” there is out there when it comes out to suggestions about how to improve a web site’s search engine optimization (SEO). Here are three common site development strategies to avoid:
1. Generate Hidden Text: Here’s what has been widely considered a brilliant idea – Developers work to fill their web pages with lots of ‘hidden’ keywords to improve a site’s ranking. They do this by coloring all text the same hue as the background of their web pages. That way, search engines “see” the text, but visitors to the site never know it’s there. That was a quick way to rocket a restaurant’s or foodservice department’s web site to the top position of search engines… back in 2000. Unfortunately, many people still errantly advocate using this development technique. Major search engines have gotten much smarter and now see tricks like this as spamming and will downgrade a site’s ranking rather than upgrade it.
2. Stuff “Meta Tags” With Keywords: Here’s the reality – meta tags are dead. They’re no longer recognized by search engine ranking algorithms, due to spamming techniques that made meta tags too easy to exploit. As a result, inserting meta-keyword tags will no longer help to improve a site’s ranking. However if foodservice operators do choose to use meta tags, don’t stuff them with keywords. Instead, keep the list of keywords to a minimal size and never, ever repeat keywords or phrases multiple times or you’re likely to be labeled as a spammer.
3. Guarantee To Position Sites As #1 On Google, Yahoo Or Bing: Many restaurants and foodservices have been pitched by companies selling search engine optimization services “guaranteed’ to place their web sites in “the #1 position.” If you ever hear this promise again, run! Sure, there are reliable ways to get a site into a number one position, but the results of those techniques are very short lasting and almost always will get a site banned from the search engine for violating their business practice terms. These bans can run anywhere from six months to forever, depending on how sneaky the tricks were the optimization company used to get a site into that coveted #1 position. Overall, It’s simply not worth it. Operators will be much better served by going with a reputable search engine optimization company that doesn’t “guarantee” pie-in-the-sky results.
Now that I’ve shared several common SEO mistakes to avoid, I’ll leave you with the magic key to improving the ranking of your site: Develop strong content. Yes, it really is that simply. Content is king. Build it and they will come (and your site will rank high up in search engines rankings, too!)
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