Published in Web Development on Thursday, June 10th, 2004
Search engine optimization, done right, is all about marketing your widget.
John Gruber's article, Writing for Google, is a good example of the point I would like to make here. In the article, John mentions the following:
What I’m talking about is writing one article in such a way that makes it the most likely that people who are searching for the information contained therein will be able to find it.
Therein, ladies and gents, lies the golden nugget, and what lies at the heart of good marketing and therefore good SEO: know your market.
In order for John to do what he outlines, he needs to know and understand the market for his article.
Solid, long-term SEO means building an accessible website based on a deep understanding of your market and your user base. In the scope of marketing on the internet, the website is the interface between the (your) company and its market. To that end, it needs to be usable, it needs to provide what the users want and of course it needs to be found (all great reasons for pimping valid, semantic code).
Providing fresh, relevant, informative, accessible content in a manner that a user can find it is done first and formost by knowing your market.
Besides a few other little tricks they used to counter some Google filters, the competition was basically reduced to a backlink contest, because the marketing aspect of optimizing wasn't really available. The user or market in this case began and ended with the search engine.
So once again it comes down to users; as John wrote, write
for people using search engines, not the search engines themselves; and to do that, get to know your market and the people in it.
I started freelancing by diving in head first and getting on with it. Many years and a lot of experience later I was still able to take away some gems from this book, and there are plenty I wish I had thought of beforehand. If you are new to freelancing and have a lot of questions (or maybe don't know what questions to ask!) do yourself a favor and at least check out the sample chapters.
Like the other books listed here, this provides a great reference for the PHP developer looking to have the right answers from the right people at their fingertips. I tend to pull this off the shelf when I need to delve into new territory and usually find a workable solution to keep development moving. This only needs to happen once and you recoup the price of the book in time saved from having to develop the solution or find the right pattern for getting the job done..