It's an attempt to get the best ranking on all search engines.
Nobody except Google knows the exact science of rankings, but
there are some known variables to getting good rankings.
... and content. It's really all about content.
Having other sites link to you is also important.
Now, about SEO "experts" ...
In my opinion, this topic of SEO "experts" is where things go bad ...
If someone can guarantee you a top 10 ranking on Google, notice their fine print.
They determine what the search terms are to get that ranking. So, it depends on
your company, and what they search for. If you sell jewelry, and you search for
"jewelry", your site will not be on top ... there are too many jewelry merchants.
So, the SEO experts will tell you that you have a top 10 ranking on Google, but the
search term is: shimmeringjewels ... which is the name of your company. Well, of
course you'll be on the top 10 ... Not many searched sites will have that keyword.
So, in that example, you've wasted your money. You can get top 10 ranking on
Google for nothing ... no cost.
It all depends on how specific the search keyword is.
If an SEO expert/consultant guarantees top 10 ranking on Google for your jewelry
company, and they have 20 jewelry clients, which of those 20 clients gets to be
on the top 10? Again, the SEO experts have you read their fine print. They
guarantee top 10 Google ranking using the search keyword they specify.
And finally, if you notice the very top results, and right-hand column of Google search results,
there are search results that look different. You can subscribe, or pay for rankings. Not with
an SEO expert, but with Google, Yahoo, or any search engine.
SEO is important, but SEO experts are not. SEO experts will argue that I'm not right about
this, but then again, this is how they make money ... by being "experts" (term used loosely).
Depends on what you mean by SEO. There is 'onsite' and 'offsite SEO'. Though msleim is dismissive of SEO experts, in his post he acknowledges that 'having other sites link to you'-i.e., backlinks, which is off-site SEO-is 'important.
This is where an SEO 'expert' earns his or her keep. However, I should start off by saying that anyone that 'guarantees' and top ranking...well, that's BS, because Lord Master Google giveth, but he can take away at any time.
I am in agreement with msleim that these so-called 'experts' should be dismissed. Some of them are just shady salesman, basically.
It is not that difficult, with the right tools, however, to figure out what it will take to get to the top of the SERPS, by analyzing the first page of Google's results. It involves analyzing the number of backlinks to those sites, the average PR of the top 10, and other factors. You use this info to estimate how many backlinks YOUR site would need to overtake them.
A good SEO analyst will help a business person to see what the best opportunities are in his or her business. For example, as msleaim points out, 'jewelry' is a very competitive term.
However, that doesn't mean a jewelry merchant can't get some traffic-and make some money-from other search terms. For example, if '10k diamond ring' was there for the taking, and you made $2,000 each time someone bought such a ring for you, and you can get 2 sales from that a month, is there a problem with being number 1 for that term, and not 'jewelry'? You answer the question.
SEO DOES work; it's just hard to find someone you can trust.
So we all agree SEO is important, and not a waste of time.
We agree there is "mystery" behind it .. how Google and others actually
do the calculations. Something we can never know, and the SEO experts
also will never know, despite their claims.
The questionable part is not the SEO, but the experts that claim
they can guarantee top rankings. I think that summarizes our discussion?
Somehow, the SEO businesses, that for some odd reason seem to be concentrated
mostly in the Middle East, remind me of the "PC virus cleaning software" experts
that will remove viruses that don't exist ... for a fee of course.
We'll see how long this thread lasts before I'm blasted by SEO experts.
The only SEO that isn't a waste of time is where the changes will also make the site more real visitor friendly. Anything you change just for the search engines that makes the site less useful to real people is a waste of time.
Yeah white hat seo is not a waste of time at all, as tempting as black hat seo is, their is a time and place for that and def not a long term way to go. I def cannot see how seo would be a waste of time, better rankings , more traffic, better chance of getting revenue from your site
SEO is never a waste of TIME. It only gives you something. If you have applied the ethical SEO practices then only it will be called a SEO otherwise its not SEO but something else. Selecting right keywords and working on it in the right direction can lead your website to the higher rankings in search engines resulting in more visitors and thus more conversions.
There is nothing QUICK in SEO not even you can achieve a higher ranking quickly for any relevant search term. So do not try any trick that you think can BOOST your ranking QUICKER than naturally or organically. It will only hurt your ranking or may lead to a search engine penalty.
If you know how to do SEO it's absolutely a great traffic generation method. I suggest you do SEO. Be ware of companies promising top 10 rankings. There could be good seo companies but I know none, in any case you need to learn SEO at least the basics even if you're going to hire a company.
What I did is learn all I can about SEO and did it myself on my website. Now I still do a good part of SEO myself but I outsource certain tasks. So I don't do it all myself. I outsource these: article writing and article submission.
For me I prefer to do the rest myself like keyword research etc, because I've learnt SEO and have always done most of the tasks myself.