- PageRank Sculpting
- nofollow links
- "Fixing" the Meta keywords tag
- Submitting URLs to search engines
- XML sitemaps
- H1 tags
- Rewriting URLs to add keywords
You or I might disagree about the contents of Whalen's list, claiming that some of these techniques actually have value and perhaps adding others that we believe are a bigger waste of time. And these factors may well work together to create effects they might now show on their own.
But most everyone believes that SEO is a bit of a black art. While it is certainly possible to change a site's search engine rankings, exactly what changes have what effects is notoriously difficult to nail down. Even the experts don't agree. And that opens the door to both deceitful charlatans and incompetent nincompoops.
So what's a small or midsize business supposed to do about making the most of its Web presence?
If you're doing it yourself, don't worry so much about gaming the system. Just make sure your site is actually about what you want it to rank high on, and then following the general best practices as best you can understand them. Sure, you'll probably waste some effort, but you'll hit the basics.
If you're hiring someone to do it for you, beware of consultants who talk mumbo-jumbo and promise the moon. And don't pay too much upfront, look for results first.
Either way, be prepared for twists and turns and unexpected results. SEO is like that.
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