SEO - Site Engine Optimisation

I've just published one of our websites, and like many, was disappointed to see it show up on Page 8 of a Google search result. We don't have a fortune to spend on paying an SEO company, so what can we do to help drive traffic to the website of our fledgling business?

Well thanks for all the info peeps, but mow I am more confused than ever! Don't think I am very good at this!

Hi all. As an experiment, I set up a website with Yola, and received this from them today:

Five Ways to Make Google Penguin Love You

Google has been making big changes to search—changes that affect the way it assesses your Yola website. Starting with Google Panda and now with Google Penguin, it has been ranking search results based not only on how well web pages answer a user query, but also on site quality. This means that former mainstays of search engine optimization (SEO), like placing enough of the right keywords in the right places, are becoming less important. In fact, Penguin is making it ever easier to over optimize your website…right out of the top search rankings.

To read the full article, here's the link:

Continuing on from the post I originally made on the Gite Owners group, but is more appropriate here now, I am trying to get my head around link title attributes. As Jason says the goal posts are constantly changing and I'm not sure if I should be worried about the fact that a number of links on my website do not have title attributes. From what I can glean it it's not going to be worth the effort of adding the titles but I would appreciate feedback from anyone who is more knowledgeable on the subject!

Thanks for clarifying that Shelia - I would hate to think that that I am missing a trick when looking for my ranking position in the search results - and well done to you for getting your website moved up the search rankings! :-)


I have just read through the posts below. I think with google constantly changing the goal posts sometimes it is hard to keep up. Saying that I use wordpress as a back end to power all my websites, this allows me to install plugins that manage SEO. I have had a great success rate with this and for people that are not so sure when it comes to SEO wordpress plugins make it easy. No need to read the technical details of SEO.

I have a site for online game players, linked directly into facebook. We are placing 3 to 4 posts a week on the site this increases our search engine placing. Last year the site ended up in 98th place worldwide for blog of the day. The site also appeared on the first page of google in the top spot.

The reason this worked is we did SEO on every post made. Wordpress templates can be made to look like professional websites yet are far easier to mangage. Post on a regular basis and do SEO on every post made and job done :)

Hi Maria. As we offer painting holidays in the South of France, I typed in the words "painting holidays France". I also tried "painting courses France". The more specific you are, the more you will skew the results. It should also be tried in another browser that hasn't been used to search for those terms. Since doing a bit of tweaking, including renaming some of the pictures, eg., "painting-holidays-south-france.jpeg, I am getting better results.

And yes, I did go through all the pages until I found us sitting on page 8. Following said tweaking, we showed up on Page 2 using identical search terms.

Sheila, out of interest, when you say that your page showed up on Page 8 of a Google search how did you find your entry - do you literally scan each page on your search until you find it? That's what I do but I was wondering if there was any other way to do it?



Goodly stuff Finn, thank you

This is a reply by Finn to a question raised in the Gite Owners Group, which I thought made interesting reading.

Reply by Finn Skovgaard 19 hours ago

Of course Google will find it whatever the domain, so long as it is linked from somewhere. What could make a difference is if someone makes an advanced search and specifies (s)he only wants results from a certain geographical region. But it's not the domain that determines this. The geographical placement of the server could play in, but it's not the only criteria. If I search on my own name and limit region to France, Google finds one of my sites (about France) but not the others. If I search again but in the US, it finds two other sites (out of which one is about France). The server is in the US. If I repeat these two searches but tell it I want pages written in French, the result is the same, except that it doesn't show me the site that's only in English when searching in the US. For the rest, it gives me the French versions of the pages. I use the same domain for different language versions, and I haven't bothered about a .fr domain for the French versions.

Conclusion: it doesn't matter for SEO whether you use .com , .fr or something else. But it could make a small difference if someone types in your domain without being certain if it's .fr , .com or whatever, so they get to the right place in both cases.

You may be able to find more information on - a site that does away with myths about SEO.

As Catherine Wales said, clients quite obviously expect that one can reply in any language the site is available in. It doesn't help to attract hordes of Russian visitors to a site written in Russian if you're incapable of understanding what they write and reply in Russian. You'll get more hits but not more sales.

I would be careful with machine translations (i.e. don't use them). The result is so poor that any native can see that it's a machine translation. Try to take a French text somewhere in the web and let Google translate it to English. Would you buy from a site that presented such a quality of English? The time to correct it will be almost the same as the time translating it from scratch.

Put a little flag on each page to get the same page in a different language, and don't be so lazy as to let that flag point only to the home page in the other language. So many sites have done this lazy thing. The result is that it's sometimes impossible to find the same page again in the language you want, because you have to figure out where in the site structure the page is, and you don't even know if the webmaster has bothered translating that particular page. If you found the first page via Google or a direct link, you don't have a clue where in the structure it is.

The way the French produce English versions of their sites is to produce a complete French site, then throw a few English pages at those who want it in English. It's useless. In my view, it's all or nothing, except if particular pages have no interest at all for certain visitors. Produce a complete mirror of the English site that follows the same navigation.

I would not use a different domain unless there was a good reason not to use the same domain. If you introduce a new domain, it takes much longer to gain any sort of reputation on Google than if you add it to the existing site. That's another good reason not to bother about a .fr site. You could translate any keywords used in file names for SEO reasons, as Google highlights keywords found not only in the text but also the file name.

This is not the full and absolute truth but some practical suggestions based on experience. Be careful about SEO myths. There are so many of them around, even amongst SEO companies.

Reply by Finn Skovgaard 1 minute ago

Hi Sheila, just copy it (with attribution) or link to it as you prefer.

You could include links to Google's webmaster guidelines:

Google also says in one of the articles that it's best to stick to one site instead of scattering contents over two or more sites.

Yes, David, and isn't that the biggest problem? How can you possibly guess what search terms any one individual might use? For example, we are offering painting holidays in South of France. Therefore, I made sure that painting holidays is in my text, as well as painting courses, art holidays, art classes. If I now enter "painting holidays" in Google, I am on Page 2 of search results.

Hello David, I can't work out if you are referring to this groups' SEO thread or this spoof post of mine?


Either way you are right in what you say.


I think one thing missing in this thread is - what exactly is your business? What is it people are likely to be looking for when you want them to go to your business? All the stuff about meta tags, key words etc is true - but they have to reflect what your business is if that's what you want people to find when they search - and simple is good - in French and English

I had been meaning, for some time, to pitch in here, to both learn and exchange information.

But I got a little distracted. I shall begin by saying that I am no specialist and bow to superior knowledge of my peers both here and in the real world. However I have discovered, I believe, a few tricks of the trade regarding 'dumbed down' web visibility skills. Whether the following is cheating or canny marketing is for you to decide, but the Spoof Post Brand before Product was an experiment in 'non' coded SEO technique. The thread is still in the leader board and received nigh on 1800 page views. So with respect to Sheila and the other learned contributors, if you can bear with the lengthy and disjoined thread, you may find a couple of 'sure' fire methods herein.

see you in cyberspace.

@Helen I agree with your sentiments regard 'URL' naming, description, not paying for an SEO service etc. But I would not discount M-tags or at least KEY words, the search engines are not going to disclose what the web-bots 'instructions' are. I am benefitting from astounding visibility right now just by re-naming Photos, as you say in a phrase echoed in the text. ie Ron-is-fat-because-he-eats-big-macs-sfn-seo.jpeg

You are actually doing really well if you are on page 8 after just publishing your site. It can take ages to get taken up by Google. SEO is not worth paying for either. Better off with a relevant site name and accurate description of your site. Meta tags apparently are little use as the SEO spiders look for first sentence of a web site to suit it to the search words. Also one should not use Flash player on the opening page. Oh home page should be called Main or Home not Welcome.

Lastly links to and from other pages can speed up your SEO, for some reason.

Thanks, I thought it was a bit odd

@ Louise - Complete tosh - Google are not interested in what software is used to make sites, they are only interested in the quality of the content and the "relevance" of the site.

Google's interest is in serving relevant searches so that people click on adverts on their pages - this is their reason for being, no other reason.

Make a website open and honest - avoid using ANY tricks or ideas which ANYONE tells you will help your placement. However, do make sure that you describe clearly and concisely what you are offering , where and why.

That is all they want - plus they would like you to buy Adwords of course :)

A website designer told me the other day that Google and other search engines don't like sites designed by software such as Wordpress, - is this true?