Web Wisdom: Competing in a Shifting Web Landscape Part Two
September 7, 2011 by Amy Munice, ALM Communications
Filed under Web Marketing, Web Trends
In part one of this article we talked about the World Wide Web as an ever-changing entity, a concept that is crucial to understanding why you cannot reverse engineer any search engine. Many of us utilizing Web space today, do not grasp this basic concept and that is why you find so many attempting website optimization with yesterday’s laundry lists of DOs and DON’Ts. This is pandemic.
As an example, take a look at the page source of any dozen or so websites you find on the Web Start with your competitors. At the time of this writing, my sampling shows me again and again that more than half go to great pains to list “keyword metatags.” “What’s wrong with that?,” you ask, as an SEO advisor for one of ALM Communication’s global PR firm’s clients recently inquired.
To start, Google’s official spokesperson, Matt Cutts, tells you not to use keyword metatags. He did so in 2009, and those who watch Google closely will tell you that when such announcements are made, the changes have been extant for quite some time.
Secondly, what’s with the laundry lists of unrelated keyword metatags, and few of them having anything to do or being mentioned once in the body of the Web page? You find words like “sale,” “service” or “reliable.” These are telltale signs that there is lack in understanding. Did somebody really think that a person would go to his or her search bar and type in “service” to find their company’s offerings?
But the bigger problem is this: why tip your hand to your competition? Yes, it’s like a poker player insisting on sharing all the cards in his or her hand with everyone else at the poker table.
YOU ARE ALWAYS COMPETING ON THE WEB.
The good news, however, is that you are only competing with the Web pages that are using keywords identical to yours. Web pages that are optimized for different keyphrases are not your competitors and there is absolutely no reason to pay any mind to what their Web pages look like.
You are graded on a curve always. If you are lucky, your competitors will be crippled by out-of-date SEO techniques. Chances are, whether you realize it or not, you are lucky in this regard.