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Build a Successful Online Business Without Google
By Mark Daoust © Copyright.

Browse through any search engine forum, or simply do a search on
Google to look up search optimization for Google, and you will
find incredible amounts of information on the latest trends in
website ranking, webmaster tricks, and theories as to what the
future holds for Google. Website owners are simply obsessed with
Google, and many are spending too much time trying to appease
Google when they could be building a wildly successful website.

Successful Websites Do Not Have To Rank Well.

Investors constantly preach the benefit of diversifying a
portfolio to reduce the risk of investment fluctuations. The
same strategy needs to be taken with developing your website's
marketing strategy. Diversify the sources of your traffic.
Becoming over-reliant on any single type of traffic sets your
website up for failure if that type of traffic happens to fail
for some reason.

Unfortunately, many website owners simply do not know how to
generate traffic to their websites. These website owners would
do well to think about their website in more traditional
business terms. Traditional businesses do not have search
engines to bring people to their doorstep. Rather, the brick
and mortar businesses rely on word of mouth, good solid
promotion, good customer service, a good location, and quality
products.

Websites can incorporate these same techniques in developing
traffic. Article writing, press releases, participation in
forums, development of a mailing list, and developing a strong
public relations campaign are all solid promotion techniques.
Entering into partnerships with industry websites, doing joint
promotions such as co-registrations can help position you in a
location where your visitors can find you. Offering your visitors
the ability to recommend your site to a friend, adding community
interactivity to your website are all ways to help promote your
site effectively.

Stop Optimizing Your Website (That Means No Trading Links).

One of the worst things to happen to websites is the development
of search engine optimization. Although it is perfectly
acceptable (and expected) to do a cursory amount of SEO, many
website owners do too much to the detriment of their sites. The
purpose of your website is to offer information and possibly a
service to clients and visitors. Your SEO activities should
never define how you develop, structure, and word your website.

The most popular technique in search engine optimization
currently is link trading. Knowing that Google judges a page's
value by the number of inbound links, website owners learned
that they could set up entire links pages and exchange links
with hundreds of other website owners. You will know the
websites that do this. They will have a page named "links" or
"resources" that contains a myriad of links to other websites.
If you visit those other websites, they typically will have a
similar page.

The problem with exchanging links is two-fold. The first, and
more important one, is the fact that link exchanging does not
have as strong an effect as it once had. Google knows that
webmasters exchange links, and many webmasters are concerned
primarily about the quantity of links they have. Google also
knows that these links are primarily exchanged in an attempt to
increase page rank, something Google probably will try to not
recognize. Page rank was initially developed to incorporate the
number of natural inbound links a website had. So, to prevent
website owners from falsely increasing their page rank, Google
actively works on developing systems that determine links that
are a part of a link exchange and links that occur naturally.
The problem with link exchanges is this: website owners are
spending way too much time on an activity that has relatively
little impact when they could be spending their time writing
articles or other more reliable traffic generation techniques.

The second problem with exchanging links is the cosmetic effect
it has on your website. Visitors that come to your website do
not want to see a loosely collected arrangement of links to
sites that may or may not be similar to your topic. They came
to your website to see what you have to offer. If you want to
recommend a resource to your visitors, you can do so, but you
certainly would not do so in the form of a links page. The
cosmetic effect that links pages have on a website is to make
it look less professional.

SEO should never dictate how your site is arranged, worded, or
how you spend the majority of your time.

When You Get That Visitor.

Promoting your website is only half the battle in developing a
wildly successful website. The other half is to have a website
that will bring visitors back time and time again. Not only do
you want a website that visitors find worthy of revisiting, you
want a website that people talk about and refer to others.

There is a popular saying among internet marketers: "Content is
King". Well, this is sort-of true. But, it takes more than simply
having content on your site to bring visitors back to your site
time after time. It takes quality content.

People visit websites on a repeat basis for a few reasons.
First, they may believe that a particular website is the only
place they can get the content they are looking for. Secondly,
they may recognize that more than one website offers the same
content or information, but they prefer the format, look, and
design of one website over another.

When developing your website, make it your goal to not just
match the quality of your competition, but rather to far exceed
the quality of your competition. Be confident that your layout
and design is of a higher caliber than any competing websites.
And, most importantly, offer more unique, valuable, and helpful
information than any other website that could compete with you.

That's the Rub? Yep, that's the Rub.

Here is the amazing part... when you stop focusing on developing
your website for the search engines and start focusing on a
website that is the best of its kind, the search engines will
find you. By focusing all of your attention on developing a high
quality website that leaves an impression on visitors, and by
focusing on developing alternative sources of traffic, search
engines will take notice and give you the ranking you deserve.

Google and the other search engines have a very simple goal with
their search results: to provide the most relevant results to
those who perform a search. Some of the brightest minds are
working on developing formulas and algorithms that do just this.
Your job as a website owner is not to focus on trying to
demystify the secrets of members of Mensa-level search engine
developers. No, your job is to develop your website, to promote
it through the many channels available, and to maintain the high
level of quality content your site offers.

If you successfully build your website on a diversified set of
traffic sources, your website will be protected from the loss of
any single traffic source. Furthermore, if you build your online
business to capitalize on every visitor that you receive, the
traffic will always be there. If you happen to be picked up by
Google, or Yahoo!, or MSN Search, the results will simply be a
pleasant addition to your already abundant sources of traffic.

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Mark Daoust is the owner of http://www.site-reference.com.
This article originally appeared at:
http://www.site-reference.com/Marketing/5258/index.html
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