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Chooing An Seo - What To Ask
By Chris Phillips
Choosing an can be a painful experience, especially if you no little about search engine optimisation yourself. So how do you find an effective, trustworthy SEO? Here are a few questions you might like to ask:

How often will you resubmit my web site to the relevant search engines?

Itís no longer a requirement to resubmit a web site to the major search engines. In fact the truth is that excessive resubmission could be seen as spamming.

Search engine prefer to find a web site by following links. If a web site is quality resource on its topic then it will naturally acquire inbound links. Search engines will find these links without the need to prompt them.

So if an advises that they will be regularly resubmitting your web site to the search engines, steer clear.

Can you guarantee me first position on Google?

No one, absolutely no one, can guarantee that they can place a web site in first place on Google. The Google search engine has a democratic model and the only way to be placed in the number-one slot is to be considered by Google as the most relevant source for a particular source.

You cannot pay Google to appear in the number one slot. It is possible to estimate how much effort it will require to earn the first position podium but this can only ever be an estimate.

Avoid anyone who claims they can get you the number one slot on Google, paid for or otherwise.

Exactly what services will I get if pay you a monthly retainer?

An honest should happily tell you exactly what you will get for your money on a month by month basis. Reluctance to tell you this should raise warning flags. Those that donít appear transparent may well be using illegal techniques that could get your site de-listed.

Can you provide me with references and a proven track record of success using your strategies?

Any worth their salt should have a readily available portfolio containing a proven track record of quality results in competitive markets.

Be prepared to accept that they may be not be able to disclose all details due to client confidentiality, especially if some of the work they have performed has been as an independent contractor.

However references should be sought and any who cannot provide you with references should be given a wide berth.

How long will it take for my site to appear on the first page of Google?

While an estimate can be given, be very wary of anyone who claims they can guarantee a timescale for positioning of your web site. An who specialises in your industry will be best placed to advise, but this can only ever be an educated guess.

How often will you optimise my META tags?

The meta description and keyword

tags are no longer used by the major search engines for ranking a web site. The only remaining value is in the meta description tag, and this is not related to search engine optimisation.

The description tag, if worded correctly, will be used as the snippet in the search engine results pages (SERPís). If a call to action is present then this can increase click through rate (CTR), driving more traffic to your site, but this is in no way related to a sites ranking position.

This is the only value found in meta tags and any telling you otherwise is either trying to scam you, or is extremely behind the times in their understanding of how search engines currently operate.

Iíve heard about doorway pages and how they can bring more traffic. Are you able to do this for me?

Doorway pages are used by unethical SEOís to drive more traffic to a site. Targeted keywords are placed on the page with the intention of making the page appear more relevant to the search engine. Sometimes the page uses a hidden redirect to take the user to the actual page.

This is a form of spamming and any honest will tell you that the results rarely work. They should also tell you that use of such tactics can result in de-listing from the search engines.

Avoid anyone who tells you otherwise.

What is the difference between a 301 and a 302 redirect. Can 302 redirects be problematic, and why?

In short a 302 redirect means that a page has temporarily moved, whilst a 301 means that the page has moved permanently. Not using the appropriate redirect can cause loss of PageRank and rankings.

Any who is not aware of the intricacies of redirecting and the possible impact should be avoided.

What is a canonical domain and what issues can it present?

An example of a canonical domain is one where the same page can be reached via multiple URLís. A common instance is where the root domain is accessible via the non-www and the www version of the domain name. The problem is that the search engine will see the two URLís as individual pages and can award a cross domain penalty for duplicate content.

If they canít pronounce ďCanonicalĒ steer well clear!


Asking any of the above questions should help you in your quest for finding an effective and ethical company or professional. The best way to choose an is to get them to do a small piece of work for you first. Pay them regardless and reiterate until you find someone you are happy with.

Chris Phillips recommends you visit, an effective, ethical freelance in Norwich.

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