Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for absolute beginners

If you are anything like me, you have gotten fed up with your job and your boss. You have seen how people can make money from being on the Internet. You have decided to quit your job, create an Internet company. Start developing a web site or a bunch of web sites for clients. For a month you are engrossed in your new found freedom, and you are excited at the prospect of great success.

You have just uploaded your sites to your ISP, made a few tweaks and improvements, you sit back and admire your work. You stand next to the telephone waiting in anticipation for the calls to come rolling in to enquire about your services. Alas, after an hour, no calls. Two hours go by. This is feeling like the time when your girlfriend dumped you and you were convinced that she would phone back begging to return. But, no, after three hours your legs are starting to shake, you are thirsty and hungry. …. Its 1:37 am, and still no phone call. Surely the USA is awake by now and they all should be calling you. No such luck. You half-heartedly drag yourself to bed, bitterly disappointed.

This goes on for days and even weeks. You wonder to your self what on earth is going on. Then you have a bright idea. Google. Use Google you dumb twit. So you fire up your PC. It hasn’t been on because you have been manning the telephone lines. You take five minute to type the search phrase into the Google search bar, because you’re so excited that your fingers can’t type correctly and you have to continually correct your typing. Eventually you click the search button. A page bursts onto your browser, your eye is drawn to the adds, but you are not there. No problem, you didn’t expect that as you never paid for any adds. You begin to scroll down eagerly waiting for the link to your site to pop out and hit you straight between the eyes. No, its not on the first page, not to worry, you have clicked the Google next button before, so you know where it is. You go to the second page. Scrolling down, you move slightly faster, its not there. Third page, NO. Fourth page, cant find it. You start to sweat. What is Google up to. Don’t they know where your site is. You have posted it onto the Internet. Google is suppose to search the Internet and find your site.

It is 5pm. You have mouse cramp, your elbows hurt, your eyes are red and bloodshot, burning like they are filled with pool acid. You have dislocated your shoulder. You soldier on. You have clicked on page 1042. You have scanned over 1 000 000 page links in Google. Your biggest nightmare has just arrived, you have still got over 16 000 000 links to scan. Where oh where is your site.

After two weeks of agonising searching you still have not found your site. You think to yourself. “No wonder nobody called me”. They could not find your site. What dawns on you is the terrifying thought that Google does not know about your site. You are sitting in the abyss of the Internet. The black hole of the World Wide Web. The ultimate game of Hide-‘n-go-seek. You’re hidden and NO ONE can find you. Hidden out here No one can hear you scream. But then, you remember. Google is your friend. Fire up that old PC, open the browser, go to the Google page. Type in “Why can’t I find my web site”.

Bam!!! Google knocks you right off your seat. You stand up, still groggy from the fall, staring at the screen. As the fog disappears and the screen begins to come into focus, a whole bunch of terms and phrases start dancing and singing before your eyes. Terms like: SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, SEM, Search Engine Marketing, Keywords, Meta Tag, Titles. What is this you ask? I did not know about this.

You do some more research. Then all of a sudden you are blinded by a big bright flash of light. What has happened? WWIII. A nuclear explosion? You rub your eyes, peer outside the window only to see that life still goes on. You soon realise that the light just came on in your head. The intensity burned away all the cobwebs, and you can see clearly now. You need to optimise your site so that the search engine can see it and rank it in order for it to appear on the top of the searches. But how do we do this. Ah, there is an add in Google for a company that does just that.

You hesitantly phone the number for the experts. After the very pleasant secretary redirects your call to the sales person. After your short discussion, you slowly fall backwards as the light starts to dim. You can’t breathe, you're going blind. Your hearing starts to fade. As you hit the floor with your head, you are knocked out for a few seconds. As you come too, you realise that you fainted. But what caused it. Oh yes you remember. It was the price those guys wanted to charge you to optimise your site. They must be mad.

You ask yourself. Can I do this. Is it that difficult. You eventually fall asleep exhausted, hungry (because you have no money to buy food). You start to dream of a brighter tomorrow on the Internet. Dream of search engines and keywords, of Google and yahoo. Over and over again you shout out “I have a dream”. In your ridiculous dream, you even come up with a joke:

“Knock Knock. Who’s there. Yah. Yah who? No Google.”

Your alarm clock wakes you up from your slumber. You sit bolt upright in bed. Today is the beginning of a bright new dawn. Today we do SEO and SEM. You fire up the old PC. Bring up your site. You stare blankly at the screen. With one question going through your mind.

Where do I start???????.

You then have a vision. You see a blog. A blog about Search Engine Optimisation for Beginners. It will be up tomorrow. You can’t wait.

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