search engine optimization

The key to having your web site found on the Internet is often good search engine placement - being recommended by a trusted search engine as one of the most relevant pages on the entire Internet for whatever your customer is looking for.

Google is king of search

For the time being at least, Google is the undisputed king of search. For many of our clients, as much as 90% of all search engine hits to their web sites come from Google hits. While there are still hundreds if not thousands of small search engines, none offer the power of Google.

Improving search placement is complex

Google - and other search engines - survive by offering their visitors relevant, useful information. Consequently, it's only reasonable that they strongly work against any kind of activity that gives a false sense of a pages content, value or relevance, since this undermines the usefulness of their search facility.

It ultimately also affects Google's bottom line - which is now very serious dollars - so you should forget from the outset any "tricks" or short-cuts to improving Google rank as these will almost certainly only result in very short term gains, and will probably have the long term consequence of being banned or blacklisted by Google - possibly forever more.

That said, we do believe that there is an ethical way to improve search engine positioning. On the whole, it comes down to understanding how search engines work and creating your web pages in such a way that they provide useful information to both human visitors and "spiders" and "robots" (search engine tools) visiting your site.

Because of the high commercial value of a top ranking in Google, it's human nature that people can and do attempt to exploit ways to get to the top. This forces Google et al into a kind of ongoing evolution whereby they try to keep a step ahead of people trying to artificially affect page ratings while still providing a useful search mechanism for the millions of people that now rely on the search every day.

How do search engines work

There's some fairly fundamental keys that we still see missed by numerous people, even professional web designers. One of the most important first steps is to make sure your web site is readable by a computer. Essentially this means don't hide your important information in images, flash animations or other places that computers can't figure out. If Google can't tell what your page is about, it won't list you in any appropriate search results.

Having sensible "markup" of your page content should be a fundamental principle of your web site design, and is certainly a key area we focus on when we undertake web design for clients.

In addition, correct use of markup makes your page readable in many types of browsers such as very old browsers, unusual screen displays, text-only browsers such as lynx, and accessibility browsers like text-to-speech readers for the visually impaired.

Beyond all that, figuring out what search engines are doing at any particular time with respect to the ranking algorithms is a major exercise. Some web sites such as SearchEngineWatch make a business out of trying to answer these questions.

The bottom line is that the forced evolution of the search alogorithms means that results and methods are changing all the time. If you have a great page rank this month, it may well be changed next month unless you actively keep track of its progress and respond appropriately: new web pages will appear, your content may age, competitors may copy your good points to improve their own rankings and so on.

sublime//ip SEO service

sublime//ip's Search Engine Optimization (SEO) service provides you with regular feedback on what you need to do to improve your page ranking.

Essentially, you specify the keywords you feel are most important to your business (such as "london florist" or "cheap business travel"), your existing web site address, and then leave the rest up to us.

The cost of our SEO service is AUD$195 per month including GST for Australian residents, and the service is available on a month-by-month basis with no long term contracts. However, for the reasons above to get best value from the service you should expect to make use of it on an ongoing or regular basis, otherwise changes in the search engine algorithms may mean you will lose ground over time.

Once you are signed up for SEO will provide you with a monthly report detailing our suggested modifications to your site to improve its position for your chosen keywords. For example, this may involve changes to the arrangement of text, the frequency of particular keywords, the title of your web pages and so on.

You, or your web designer, will then need to implement these changes on your web site in a timely fashion in order to see results. Or alternatively our web design team can assist with these sorts of ongoing maintenance issues if required.