You mean Meta Keywords are not enough?

by Tom Davis

Search Marketing Explained

Most of us think we know how search engines work. We do not. Long ago we saw an over simplified explanation and then we build a website around that misguided bit of information. Then we hear the term "Search Engine Optimization" and think that we have found the remedy to our anemic website. If only it were that simple.

I have read a lot of books on search engine optimization. Well, maybe 5 or 6 — but that is quite an accomplishment considering most of them so dry and abstract that I wonder if they were written for actual people. But one book stands out so completely that I bought and read the second edition when it came out two years after I read the first. Marketing in the Age of Google by Vanessa Fox is an outstanding explanation of what Google is at its core and how it has changed marketing. Anyone in charge of a website's business performance needs to read this book. It is not a "how to" book even though it has some details on planning and implementing a search strategy for you website. Reading the book is not about "do it yourself" SEO, although, if you are willing, it is a good beginning for that. Most importantly, the book will clear up some of the mystery of surrounding Google search and very likely will blow away some of what your think is fact.

Learn why search marketing is not a trick or simple technique.

Search engine optimization is one of the most misunderstood concepts. Over the years there have been many tricks devised to manipulate search ranking. These are often well publicized. None of the "tricks" have survived. In fact, many of the tricksters have had their site banished from search engine indexes until they removed their offensive manipulations. The interesting thing is, like most mythology, the stories still circulate.

The long term winners are the websites that have been managed with a deeper sense of what they offer their audience. Using SEO "best practices" is just part of the structure used to deliver their message. That is what this book manages to explain better than any other.

Some of the best parts of the book are when the author gives you a view into how a search engine thinks. When you see the point of view of the seach engine — and the questions it is asking itself — you begin to see where your original concepts about search can be so wrong.

Learn about the hard, creative work of understanding.

Getting ahead in search marketing requires many people to reverse their thinking at levels they have never considered. This book is particularly good at helping you understand that. You begin to understand how context and focus work together to make your pages more likely to be returned in relevant searches. You learn why the mantra on using as few words as possible is working against you.  Most of all you learn a little about how to think like a search engine. If you do not... you are doomed to be ignored by them. Your website will remain a place for people to find you address and phone number.