The SEO Myth

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is such a talked-about subject, that one would think that it is very well understood. There are many methods that people claim to know about getting your site to the top of search engines. Unfortunately, there is only one (legitimate) way to do it. The others are all schemes and inaccuracies that can potentially cost you your place in Google‘s ranking system.

First Myth: Keywords and Meta Tags.

“Meta Tags, placed in the header of your site’s HTML, are meant to help web crawlers find, index, and rank your page’s worth amongst the competition.”

This may have been true some time back, however Google does not even read meta tags for indexing purposes. Money invested in little phrases that attempt to raise your site on Google’s ranking system will not result in any change.

Second Myth: Flash Sites can’t be indexed.

“Flash sites can’t have their text read by the web crawlers, and therefor can’t be indexed or go higher in Google’s ranking system.”

This is no longer true, and even if it were, it could be circumvented easily. The newest version of flash allows its compiled files to be indexed. If you have a website using an older version of flash however, you can place the text in a hidden div for webcrawlers to read. Some people believe this to be “Black-Hat” SEO, or frowned upon in order to boost one’s rank. This is only the case if your text is blatantly different from the content in your flash file. If they correspond, this is a perfectly acceptable means of making your site more accessible to webcrawlers and indexing.

Third Myth: Linking to sites.

“Linking to other sites will boost my site’s ranking

Linking to reputable sites may sound like a good idea, however it will not help you achieve a higher page ranking. Rather, it is important to get other sites to link to you.

Well, what does work?

Google has created a very effective system that is difficult to beat. The more sites that link to your content, the higher your rank will be. It’s almost like multilevel marketing. A site with 10 links to it is worth more linking to you than a site that has no links to it at all. Basically, Google’s philosophy is: If you have content that is good or worth reading, others will link to it.” This makes it hard to artificially boost your rank.

Many people promise to be able to boost your rank by paying sites to link to you, etc. This, however, is frowned upon by Google. Any site caught selling it’s reputation by linking to your site for money will lose points in Google’s ranking system, which will then affect your site as well. Additionally, creating fake websites to point to your site in order to boost it’s rank may work temporarily, but when you get caught Google will either ignore these false links, or will penalize your site’s ranking.

The bottom line:

Lets not kid ourselves… Google is king of the internet when it comes to searching. That is why it’s important to be aware of, and follow their rules. In order to make your website succeed, it is important to invest time and money into developing good content that is worth reading, sharing, and linking to rather than throwing money at companies that promise more sales by magically getting your site to the top of the list.

The iPad

I believe that the iPad is a misunderstood device. Those who love it love it, and aren’t necessarily sure why. Those who hate it hate it because it’s not what they want. This polarization is due, I believe, to the misunderstanding of what the iPad is, and what it is meant to accomplish.

When I first heard of the iPad, I was “underwhelmed.” I was disappointed that Apple would make a tablet device that did so little in terms of computing. I wanted a full Mac OS that would run all my programs like Illustrator and Photoshop. I wanted to use it as a way to draw with a pen like a Wacom Tablet. That, however, is not what the iPad is meant to do.

One of Apple’s strengths as a company is finding a product that is in the market, but not well defined or established, creating a product that is better to fill the needs, and releasing it with Apple’s expert showmanship. The iPod was by no means the first MP3 player, but Apple has successfully swept in and taken the entire MP3 player market. Even Zunes are referred to as iPod devices and not MP3 players! I believe that the iPad is Apple’s answer to the “netbook.” It is no secret that Steve hates netbooks. They have small screens, small keyboards, and limited capabilities. Yes, it runs a “full” operating system, but trying to do Photoshop on a 7 inch screen sounds like no fun at all. The iPad makes consuming information (which is what netbooks are mostly used for) such as reading, browsing, and watching a complete delight. The iPad is large enough to not feel cramped, and the onscreen keyboard can disappear, which means more space for the media you are viewing.

This is why consumers like the iPad. I think it’s a very nifty product, and fills a gap that netbooks just couldn’t. I however never felt the need for a small device to consume information on. I think my iPhone is fine for that, and anything more is what my MacBook is for. That’s not to say I would not own an iPad, but rather I would not go out of my way to own an iPad.

It’s the perfect device for consumers of information and media. Not the device for creative professionals. It fills a need in our market, and with Apple’s ability to dominate the market, we will finally see the death of netbooks.

I for one am waiting for a MacBook Touch…

© 2007-2015 Michael Caldwell