Posted Monday, October 4, 2004
As a website owner, getting your site listed and placing well in the search engines can turn into a full time job. Search engine optimization is the process of altering your site so it appears in the top listings of the major search engines. You can hire someone to do it for you and pay out thousands, or you can be "web savvy" and learn how to do it yourself.
True search engine optimization does not involve tricks or search engine spam, but techniques that help websites become more search engine friendly and therefore rank better.
So how does a novice learn what search engines find important, let alone which search engines to optimize for? The answers to these questions and much more can be found online in discussion forums. Discussion forums are a valuable resource and a fertile learning ground for anyone with the motivation to learn. Hang out a while and read the posts and you'll soon absorb so much new information that you may become an expert yourself.
So where do you find these forums? If you want to learn from the best, you've got to know where the best hang out. I'm going to save you the research time by introducing you to the "cream of the crop."
1) HighRankings Forum: (http://HighRankings.com/forum/)
This discussion board, run by the acclaimed search engine expert Jill Whalen, is priceless. The forum is broken down into categories ranging from optimization tips and techniques to link building and copywriting techniques. You'll need to choose a user name and password and confirm your new account by email before using the board. Jill really knows her stuff, and I highly recommend her free newsletter as well.
2) Best Practices S.E. Forum: (http://IhelpYouServices.com/forums/)
You'll find this forum to be a very busy place. Nice variety of topics broken down by individual search engines so you can pick the exact engine you want to study. You'll also find information on pay per click search engines, link popularity and much more. Again, you'll need to register before using the board.
3) SiteOwners/ Webmasters Forums (http://SiteOwnersForums.com)
Not specifically a search engine board. Topics are for website owners, but if you look closely you'll see a category titled "search engine optimization," with a lot of activity. You'll find a range of topics and general questions on how to achieve a better ranking. As with the others, you'll need to register first before posting.
4) Search Engine Marketing Forums: (http://SearchEngineForums.com)
Offered by JimWorld.com, this forum is a great example of everything an informative board should be. You'll find a real sense of community here. Topics are broken down by categories like "search engine optimization," organic and pay per click search engines, Net marketing strategies and more. At the time of my visit, there were over 5,000 topics posted in the optimization category alone. JimWorld offers many excellent resources like free website templates, tutorials, helpful tools and again, a great ezine.
5) Cre8asite Forums: (http://www.cre8asiteforums.com)
Covering topics like usability, web design and search engine optimization. You'll need to drill down to find the category you need. Some of the categories had well over 4,000 posts when I visited, so there are a lot of goodies to be found here.
Who said there's no such thing as "a free lunch?" Search engine forums are literally a goldmine of information, and they won't cost you a dime. By spending some quality time in these forums, you'll find your knowledge base increasing daily until you become one of the "experts" yourself. When that happens, you can start posting responses and helping other newbies yourself.
Forums are a community of people, so if you benefit from them it's always a good idea to give something back by reaching out to other participants. Remember, everything you need to improve your search engine rankings is out there; it's your job to go and get it. See you at the "top."
About the Author
Merle (just Merle, thank you) is an experienced Internet Marketer/Promoter Consultant. She knows what it takes for business websites to be successful. She has been online for over five years and has three websites to her credit: MC Promotions (http://www.MCPromotions.com) - Merle's World (http://www.MerlesWorld.com) and Ezine Ad Auction (http://www.EzineAdAuction.com)
Merle lives in a suburb right outside of Cleveland, Ohio with her two dogs, Teddy Bear and Dakota, and her fiancée. Her hobbies include reading (especially anything Net-related), writing and publishing her three ezines, MC Promotions Press, Merle's Mission and Ezine Ad Auction Authority. All 3 publications have a combined subscriber base of well over 11,000. Feel free to contact her with any questions.