Top 5 SEO Misconceptions

Top 5 SEO Misconceptions

With any cutting edge or continually changing industry, there’s always going to be a gap between what the professionals and the clients know. When that industry’s in constant flux, the knowledge gap can suddenly become a yawning chasm of misunderstandings and misconceptions. Therefore, it’ll probably come as no surprise to a great number of people that sometimes people just don’t get SEO. It’s this lack of understanding that lets people call us “Snake Oil” salesmen, and to disparage the hard work that we do. But before we tackle these misconceptions, we need to identify them.

1) Meta Keywords are the Holy Grail. Any of you with even a basic understanding of SEO are about to type something along the lines of “1995 called – they want their search algorithms back.” The sad fact of the matter is that some clients have still told us that their last SEO company just filled their meta tags full of spam and pocketed the fee. The more people that understand the much-maligned meta keywords tag, the less opportunity there’ll be for unscrupulous and uninformed types to take them for a ride.

2) SEO companies have access to a Search Engine Hotline. “Can’t you just call Google and get them to index my site today?” As ludicrous as this question seems, it actually makes some sense. Do any other complimentary industries have the same lack of direct communication that Search Engines and SEOs have? Explaining that we can’t call Yahoo head office is an important part of managing client expectations – especially when it comes to the next misconception.

3) Results are instant. We’ve optimised the content, sourced some quality links and made sure the site’s as accessible as possible – “so why haven’t my listings changed? It’s been a week!” In a world of instant communication, instant gratification and instant coffee, it’s hard to explain to a client that the Search Engines might not even index the site for up to a month. Making sure everyone knows the timescales involved in SEO is key to avoiding disappointment.

4) Being a market leader automatically entitles you to the top spot. “I’m a 5* hotel, they’re a pokey b&b – so why are they top and I’m on page three?” Explaining that your word of mouth reputation isn’t automatically linked to your online reputation is crucial to helping newcomers to SEO understand how the process works. By showing them that time, effort and patience can get the underdog to top spot, you’re showing them the power of SEO and managing their expectations.

5) There’s a magic “Top of the SERPs” code. The number of people that think they can hit the top of the SERPs without making changes to their website is staggering. It’s enticing to believe that there’s some magic button that can be pushed so they can reap rewards with minimal effort, but it’s important to let them know that there’s no cheat code. Even though it is tempting to tell them that if they put into the code, their competition will be Doomed.

As SEO professionals, it’s our job to educate and inform our clients about how what we do works. If we’re open and transparent about our efforts, and tackle these misunderstandings head on, then the industry as a whole can benefit. Can’t it?

Online shoppers could save your business!

The latest figures show that UK retailers will be hit the hardest in the run up to Christmas. Christmas sales volumes have fallen for the seventh month in a row in October. Customers are tightening their belts and it is predicted that this knock on affect is going to get worse in the coming months.

There is one saving grace however. It is forecast that UK online shoppers will spend £13.16 billion in the final quarter of 2008. This is a 15% increase on the same period a year ago. Retailers and suppliers are under extreme pressure to keep their prices competitive. Researchers have suggested that the majority of online shopping will take place outside traditional shopping hours, either before 9am or after 6pm.

It was said that “British shoppers will beat the crunch with Internet prices this Christmas, spending more than a billion pounds each week in the run-up”

Google launch Knol – the Wikipedia Killer

Here it is! “KNOL” Yet another move by the Dark Lords of the internet’ Google. This obvious move is an attempt to move deeper into the world of online research as they attempt to knock Wikipedia off their perch.

Read the official blog from Google.

Forget the Daleks! Googles coming!!


According to this year’s Superbrand survey, Google have overtaken Microsoft as the UK’s most popular brand.

This is just another sign that super giants Google are starting their campaign to take over the world with a battle strategy that would make Edmond Blackadder proud as he swiftly beat Baldric with an oddly shaped turnip while announcing that his mother was coming for tea and realising that Baldric had the numeracy skills of a Sopwith Camel.

At least Microsoft will take some consolation from the fact that they came in 2nd and comfortably thwarting Apple who came in at a dismal 11th place.A few months ago, the online giant also beat Microsoft to the top of the Business Superbrands list which looks at the brands making the most impact in the business sector.

With my last blog in mind it’s now clear that people at home and in business are starting to move away from the traditional and safe options of the other brands and starting to put a good amount of value on the Google product for offline and online business solutions.

Stephen Cheliotis, chief executive of the Centre for Brand Analysis and chairman of the Superbrands Council said, “A few months ago, the online giant also beat Microsoft to the top of the Business Superbrands list which looks at the brands making the most impact in the business sector. With high profile clashes ahead, such as the dealings with Viacom, Google may have a difficult time ahead in maintaining people’s affections”

Forget the Daleks, Googles coming!!


This year’s top 10 Superbrands:

1. Google
2. Microsoft
3. Mercedes-Benz
4. BBC
5. British Airways
6. Royal Doulton
7. BMW
8. Bosch
9. Nike
10. Sony

Telegraph Media Group Drop Microsoft Office for Google Apps!

The Telegraph Media Group made an interesting move on Thursday 17th July 2008 by announcing that Google Apps will replace the excising Microsoft Office as the productivity suit for their 1400 employees. In my opinion this land mark move shows that Microsoft might have a battle on their hands in the future if they do not keep a serious eye on Google. Ok fine, it’s not like Microsoft are going to miss the 1400 business users but I do think this is the start of large business taking a chance and breaking away from the safe option.

When you look at it in the context of what it represents, The Telegraph Media Group completely rely on the software it uses to deliver their documents safely and efficiently and will not have taken this decision lightly.

Paul Cheesbrough, TMG chief information officer reported “We had the same reservations as many technologists about moving our software into the cloud. But increasingly so much of our business is on the Internet, in terms of the content we produce for our customers and the news feeds we use from the likes of Reuters. The deal is also a key part of our plan to move TMG towards a ‘cloud computing’ model.”

Companies that rely on the web to run their business will eventually reach the same conclusion as The Telegraph Media Group. When it comes to software Microsoft have by far the largest installed customer base but now the internet is becoming more and more important for business to deliver their messages across to the masses it makes total sense for Google to want a piece of the Microsoft Pie. Its gone beyond the office politics question and moved straight in category of good business sense.

I say go for it Google!

Yahoo V Google or David V Goliath?

Yahoo have launched their latest strategy to battle the search engine giants Google at their own game. The second largest internet search company, yahoo, opens up its index and search engine to any outside developers who want to incorporate Yahoo Search’s content functionality into search engines on their own sites.

BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) could create a multitude of smaller search engines that in aggregate could out perform their own targets and leave Google with a slightly less dominance in the search market. A rather ambitious idea that could generate them a goliath stream of revenue from offering the smaller search engines adds-on like the all important Search Adds. BOSS will also include Yahoo web news and image searches.

The possibilities are endless for companies to start up their own search engines in an attempt to take on the Google Empire. I don’t know about you but I find this a very exciting concept and in my experience if searching the internet and trying to come to terms how and why the search engine shows me the results it does, this could revolutionise the whole web user usability experience.

One page, one search, no restrictions.

Could we see a Firstfound search engine in the near future? Watch this space!
Article complements of Firstfound Seo Consultants

The Yahoo and Google deal is now under investigation

US anti-trust regulators have opened an investigation into Yahoo’s search advertising partnership with Google to examine if the $800m (£403m) a year deal restricts competition in the market.

Justice Department investigators behind the anti-trust probe will take evidence from Google, Yahoo and other large companies in the internet and media sectors, according to a report in today’s Washington Post.

Google controls 60% of the total number of internet searches made in the US, while Yahoo is the second ranked player accounting for 16.6%.

Last month Yahoo struck a 10-year deal to allow Google to put some search advertising next to its search listings.

When the deal was struck the two companies said they would give the authorities 100 days to decide whether to look into the deal before launching the search ad collaboration.

Read the rest of this Article at

Yahoo still say Google deal doesn’t rule out MSN buyout

In a move that’s sure to further speculation over whether merger talks between Yahoo and Microsoft are really over, Yahoo emphasized in a letter to shareholders Wednesday that its agreement to outsource some search advertising to Google does not preclude a sale of the company to Redmond. “Because the agreement can be terminated by either party upon a change of control, it would not preclude a transaction with Microsoft or any other potential acquirer in the future,” Yahoo said in the note, a copy of which has been filed with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

Yahoo earlier this month agreed to a deal under which some queries entered into its sites will return search ads pulled from Google’s network. Yahoo says it expects the deal will generate between $250 million and $450 million in additional revenue for the company in its first 12 months of implementation. The fact that Yahoo is emphasizing that the agreement does not rule out a Microsoft takeover will likely add to speculation that talks between the two companies are quietly ongoing.

The blog TechCrunch, which broke news of the Yahoo-Google search deal, earlier this week cited insiders at Microsoft and Yahoo in reporting that merger talks between the tech giants haven’t died. In its letter to shareholders, however, Yahoo also noted that Microsoft officials told the company on June 8 that they have no further interested in acquiring all of Yahoo. Yahoo also said in the letter that it rejected an alternative proposal from Microsoft, which would have seen Redmond acquire Yahoo’s search business for $1 billion, because it contained a number of onerous terms. Among other things, the deal would have given Microsoft veto rights over a future sale of Yahoo, the company reported. “The Google agreement is far better than Microsoft’s search-only hybrid proposal, that’s why we moved forward with it,” Yahoo said.

Some outsiders are continuing their push for a Microsoft-Yahoo marriage. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is seeking to oust Yahoo’s current board and replace it with a merger-friendly group. Icahn plans to present a slate of candidates comprising his rival board for election at Yahoo’s annual meeting next