It is always wonderful to hear good news. Hearing good news makes us feel good about ourselves, the people around, our dog... heck the world is a better place when we have good news.

Good news might make us feel good about ourselves and the world but there is something deliciously appealing about bad news, especially if it is about someone other then ourselves.

Bad news makes good news copy. Celebrities know that. I once watched an interview with a well known, highly controversial, singer/songwriter, and performer. The newspapers are always full of articles and stories about his exploits (he and I share the same home state so I think the papers I read have probably double what papers in the rest of the country print). The interviewer asked this singer about one of his recent escapades. The singer kind of chuckled and shyly admitted that while the episode had happened it had been blown out of proportion. When the interviewer asked why the singer did nothing to correct the allegations the singer bluntly replied...money. Each time someone accused him of doing something awful kids started to rush to the stores to buy his CD's, partly because his name was being splashed all over the airwaves and was fresh in their minds when the perused the music department, but also partly because their parents were trying to ban his music from the house. When he was on his best behavior he didn't get any media attention and his record sales plummeted. So, since the singer is anything but stupid and he has a deep appreciation for the things money can buy, he goes a little bit out of his way to perpetuate his bad boy image.

Bloggers are another group of people who understand how swiftly controversy spreads. They know that if they write about something that is controversial there will be a flood of readers reading their bogs and leaving feed back. Before you know it a dialogue has started, sometimes it isn't a peaceful dialogue but it's a dialogue just the same.

The same thing can be true about websites and search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the art and science of making a web site appealing to search engines. Search engines determine the attractiveness of a website by sending out web crawlers that look for algorithms placed throughout the website. The more algorithms a website has the higher it gets ranked during a search.

A second thing several search engines look for is something called link analysis. Web crawlers look for how many links lead back to the website. The more links leading back to a website the higher that website will rank.

Controversy is a way to get a lot of links to your website fast. For example a breeder of Ball-headed pythons went to an exotic pet show to purchase some more snakes for his store. While he was at the show the police stormed the pet show, using excessive force to remove several of the exhibitors. You snapped several graphic pictures of the event, photos you later post on your website where you sell the snakes you breed. Others see the controversial photos posted on your site, they tell their friends and customers. To simplify things the owner of the second pet store posts a link on his site that attaches directly to yours. As more and more people hear about your photos, more and more links to your site are created. The next thing you know you are ranked on the very first page of the search engines hits.

In addition tot the boost in your ranking you have also sold nearly all of your saleable snakes. Controversy really does sell.

 

When it comes to business some people like to get their hands dirty and iron out every little detail of every little deal and transaction. Others like to handle the parts of the business that they know and are comfortable with, leaving the bits and pieces they are unsure about to people who know what they are doing.

Before you start looking for a search engine optimization company sit down and consider your situation. What goals do you have for your website? What are your priorities? How much can you afford to spend, remember that you pay for quality, the lowest price isn't always the best deal.

When it is time to submit your web-based business to a search engine their are search engine optimization companies who, for a fee, will be happy to optimize the websites for the business owners who do not feel comfortable doing it themselves.

Search engine optimization is the art and science of making a website attractive to search engines. If you don't know where to find a reputable search engine optimization company try looking in search engine optimization forums, references or articles on reputable websites, ask friends for recommendations, ask other webmasters if they used anyone to optimize their sites and if they did ask which company they used and if the experience was pleasant.

The first thing you have to watch out for when you're selecting a company to handle your search engine optimization is scams. The first thing to do is avoid any search engine optimization companies that are listed in the black hat directory. Black hat search engine optimization is not really optimizing but really just spamdexing, most search engines penalize websites that are caught spamdexing. Also avoid any company who guarantees a ranking before they even look at your site. Make sure the company you are considering is actually going to do something besides add doorway pages and meta tags.

What is spamdexing?

Spamdexing is using methods that manipulate the relevancy or prominence of resources indexed by a search engine, usually in a manner that is inconsistent with the purpose of the indexing system. A lot of times spamdexing is done by stuffing a website full of keywords, web crawlers (the programs search engines use to rank websites) read the web sites they read lots of the same keyword and assume that the sight is content rich. Based on the web crawler's findings the website is given a high rank. Allot of the time the keywords are stuck at the bottom of the document where the internet user can't see them. Keyword stuffing is considered content spam.

The other common type of spamdexing is link spam. Link spam is spamdexing that takes advantage of link ranking algorithms causing search engines to give the guilty website a higher ranking. Link farms, hidden links, Sybil attack, wiki spam, spam blogs (also referred to as splogs), page hijacking, buying expired domains, and referrer log spamming are forms of link spam.