How a Duplicate Content Penalty Can Hurt Your Online Business

What really is Search Engine Optimization?

What really is Search Engine Optimization? (Photo credit: Go Local Search)

How a Duplicate Content Penalty Can Hurt Your Online Business

Creating good, unique content for your blog or website can be
intensive and time consuming, and you are the person who should reap
the full rewards of your efforts. There is, however, a growing trend in
internet marketing referred to as ‘splogging’ (a combination of spam and
blogging) that can sometimes inadvertently punish honest webmasters,
even if they create unique content from scratch.

Splogging is a practice that the search engines look down upon, and
it consists of creating a free blog and using automated software
programs to “scrape” together content from various sources. These
automated programs are web robots that scour the internet looking for
information and articles related to a certain topic, and they will copy
various pieces of content from different sources to create a new page.

This scaped content is put into the blog and surrounded with ads, and
the owner will then use spam or other dishonest promotional practices
to try and drive traffic to his blog. None of the content on this blog
or “splog” is original, it is simply articles from different websites
that are copied and posted.

When it comes to the merchants of information

such as Google and Yahoo, they are constantly monitoring the status of the internet and working to improve their search engine algorithms so that they can deliver relevant and useful information to people. One of the latest
developments in search algorithms has been the addition of a “duplicate
content filter” which will penalize the ranking of certain webpages if
they contain information that is identical to some other webpage.

The search engines

look down on this type of behavior because their goal is to provide people with information that is relevant to their
search, and they do not want these people going to a page that is poorly
designed, stuffed with ads, and filled with unoriginal and useless
content. So in order to combat this, the search engines implemented a
filter that will block all webpages containing the same content except
for one of them.

Even if you are the most honest and genuine webmaster around and the
thought of doing something like this would make it hard for you to sleep
at night, there is still a chance that you and your online business
could be penalized by the duplicate content filter. The way this would
happen is that a web robot or content scaper will happen across your
webpage and copy its content before it is indexed by the search engines,
and then when your content (which may be original and have been
painstakingly and laboriously crafted) is posted on the “splog” it will
get indexed before your own page does.

Then when the search engines finally discover your page,

they will
already have a saved copy of a separate page that already contains this
exact content and will penalize the rankings of your webpage instead of
the unoriginal blog which should be penalized.

Another way that your business could be negatively affected by the
dupicate content penalty is if you look to submitting articles as a
method to garner traffic and publicity. Many webmasters will choose to
create articles for their website or blog and then submit those articles
to different article directories.

While this practice in and of itself

is not a bad idea, one of the consequences to submitting the same articles that you put on your own
website is that the search engines might index the version on the
article directory first before indexing the version on your website, and
they will slam you with the penalty instead of the directory. This is
especially likely if you submit your articles to big, popular content
directories such as Ezinearticles and ArticlesBase.

The way to avoid this is to write your articles and publish them on
your own website, and then wait about a week or so before you submit
them to article directories. Ideally you would want to wait until you
can find your article in Google so that you know that it is indexed and
that it counts as the original version (meaning all other versions will
be penalized).

SEO Mistakes To Avoid

The world of SEO can be fraught with danger if you do not
have a clear idea of what you are doing. There are certain tactics to
avoid as they will most likely harm your rankings rather than improve
them. Here is a short list of SEO methods and mistakes that should be
avoided at all costs.

Many sites use a splash page as an entry point to a website, this is
predominantly a page that has a beautiful picture and graphics but only
has the text ‘enter here’. This is an SEO disaster, while the image may
be aesthetically pleasing; it holds no currency with search engines.
Most search engine spiders are looking for text, when they reach your
splash page and find only two words, unsurprisingly they are not
impressed. Your homepage is the most important page in your site and as
such should be the most visible to search engines.

Some developers are keen to include text and pictures as images on
web pages. Once again this is a mistake that should be avoided. While it
may produce a stunning visual effect, it will be invisible to search
engine spiders, creating no benefits for SEO. It is text in the proper
sense that is a worthy inclusion, while creating a page that fuses text
and pictures together may be visually appealing, it will not improve
your rankings, subsequently your SEO efforts will be wasted.

The importance of tags has been debated furiously recently, while
some SEO specialists may argue that they are not important, this is
certainly not the case. Search engines still place great importance upon
the tags as a way to categorise and list the content on a web page. If
you leave a tag out completely or only put in mediocre information, you
are missing out on a prime SEO opportunity, as a result, you should
always put effort into the writing of your tags. The same can be said
for the description tag as this once again give relevance to a web page
and makes it more ‘readable’ for search engines.

While you may recognise the importance of tags in your SEO efforts,
some may in fact be making a great SEO mistake in writing them. There
are still a number of operators and developers out there that will write
the same tags and descriptions for all of their pages. Creating unique
tags is a golden SEO rule that will improve your rankings. Some
developers even like to put their own branding into their tags.
Naturally it is understandable that company directors will want their
company name as the first tag, this is a common mistake. More important
is to place a highly searched key term as your first tag to ensure your
site’s visibility is secured.

The best way to improve your rankings is to produce quality and
informative content on your web site. There are many who neglect this
when undergoing SEO focussing on the off page elements instead. By
creating quality, unique content you are ensuring that your site is
worth reading, for both human users and search engine spiders. If you
can become an authority in terms of the information on your site, high
rankings will follow in time.

One of the worst mistakes is to attempt to hoodwink the search
engines, this is often referred to as ‘black hat’ SEO. Methods such as
creating hidden text, also known as ‘cloaking’ should definitely be
avoided as these methods will harm your rankings in the long term. They
may even lead to your site being kicked out of the search engine
listings, leaving you with no traffic at all.

While these mistakes are common in the world of SEO, this article has
only scratched the surface of what can be a minefield. This is the
reason why SEO specialists should be employed to carry out your
optimisation as uneducated attempts may result in worse rankings than
before, and even de-listing from search engines.

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The Five Basic Principles of Online Marketing

Wordle Cloud of the Internet Marketing Blog - ...

Word Cloud of the Internet Marketing Blog – 08/15/08 (Photo credit: DavidErickson)

The Five Basic Principles of Online Marketing

Ask the experts about the most vital parts of online marketing, and you’ll invariably come up with a list of five major responses. These five critical online marketing principles are:

1. Dead-ends

2. Giving and selling

3. Trust

4. Push and pull

5. Niche marketing

The dead-end principle means that your web marketing effort can’t just exist. It must give prospective customers a reason to look around and take action. Otherwise, it’s the same as having them see your ad, then turn around and go elsewhere – your ad was a dead-end to them, they didn’t get anything out of it. No matter how informative your website is, with gorgeous graphics and a winning layout, if it does not encourage your visitors to take certain actions, then it is just taking up web space and isn’t actually filling a purpose. Therefore, when you’re designing your web marketing strategy, before even building your site, you’ll need to ask yourself how you’ll obtain your visitors. You’ll then need to choose which activities will get you to these results, and which of them can be done in-house, as others are outsourced.

The giving and selling principle refers to the fact that when people shop online, they expect to receive something a little extra. Therefore, one fantastic method for attracting customers to your website is to give something to them for free, and then attempt to sell them something else. The strategy typically goes as follows: the first step is to attract people to your site using a good amount of free information. The second step is to inform these prospective customers about your products and services. The free stuff doesn’t need to be something tangible. Even the information has value, and then once they’re hooked, they’re ready to learn about what you have to sell them.

Trust is an extremely important principle for web marketing. In fact, many experts believe that it is the most important of all the other principles for selling your products and services. Without this trust, people simply won’t buy from you and you won’t have a business. Trust is built in a number of ways. This can include selling well known and respected name brands, by clearly displaying your privacy, shipping, and return policies, by joining well known and respected organizations, and by offering guarantees that you’ll stand by. A customer-friendly system based on quality and transparency allows you to build your credibility and will earn the trust of your prospective customers, leading to more sales of your products and services.

The push and pull principle works by pulling people into your website using attractive content, and then pushing your information to them on a regular basis using email. This can be done in a number of ways; most commonly, this has to do with opt-in programs such as newsletters and updates about sales and other promotions. Since websites are relatively passive, it is extremely useful to add an active element to your marketing campaign that will remind your prospective customers of your existence, and entice them to act on what you have to offer.

Niche marketing has become a vital part of the web marketing industry. It is a recognized fact that to be successful, especially with an online business, you need to know your niche, and market directly to them. With a small business, finding the niche must be filled in order to give them enough leverage against the competition. A niche allows a business, no matter how large or small, to focus on a certain corner of the marketplace, limiting the competition, and focusing on the precise type of person who is most likely to become a customer. The key to niche marketing is to begin with a business plan to identify and define your focus and purpose, and then build your website and marketing strategy based upon the vision you’ve outlined. This encourages consistency and accuracy throughout your web marketing efforts.

All of these principles are very important to creating a successful marketing strategy online. By making sure that these principles are all fulfilled, you can be certain that you’ll increase your number of new visitors, and – perhaps more importantly – encourage past and current customers to return.
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Hidden Ways to Get into Google

Image representing Google Blog Search as depic...

Image via CrunchBase

Hidden Ways to Get into Google

Everyone is concerned about their Google rankings. An algorithm change or an update can leave many a webmaster in tears.

However, I often like to sneak in through the back door. So today I’m going to reveal to you some of my Google secrets. After you look closely, you will find that there is much more to Google than meets the eye and I want you to take advantage of every resource. So, let’s look behind the scenes into Google’s lab.

Google Base

Google Base was launched in November of 2005. Google base describes itself as “a place where you can add all types of information that we’ll host and make searchable online”. Now, if that isn’t a webmaster’s dream, I don’t know what is.

Your item could be almost anything: your products, research papers, articles, or press releases. You can describe all of your items so that you can zone in on your targeted visitor. In addition, your items may also get included in the main Google search index, Froogle, and Google Local.

Anyone with a Google account can use this service, so why not give it a try. Google base is the perfect way to get an additional audience for your content.
To find out more about Google Base, visit  http://base.google.com/base/about.html

Google Local

Getting your products into Google local can put your items in front of some serious buyers. People often go to Google Local looking for a specific item or service in a particular geographic area. So, if you own a small business, Google Local is the perfect opportunity to increase your reach without spending lots of advertising dollars.

Froogle

Froogle offers searchers a directory of products by category, a searchable index of online products, and the ability to narrow searches by price range. By putting your products into Froogle, you can get some very targeted, qualified traffic to your website.

So, how do you get into Froogle? Well, Google has already been actively searching the web for online product catalogs. For many online merchants, there’s a good chance that Froogle already has some of your products listed.

However, one of the best ways to get into the Froogle directory is by providing them with a data feed that lists your products, descriptions, pricing, and URLs. This allows you to fully optimize your listings.

To get the most out of Froogle, you’ll want to make your product description clear and enticing. Create titles that not only have targeted keywords, but also encourage the visitor to click-through to your site.

Once they are at your site, it is important to upsell and cross-sell. Otherwise you will be throwing potential profits down the drain. Make the most out of every Froogle referral.

When someone does decide to make a purchase from you, be sure to capture their name and email address. This way you can develop a relationship with them and offer them related products in the future.

Now, onto a facet of Google that you certainly won’t want to miss out on.

Google Blog Search

This is one of the best ways to get some additional listings in Google. If you have a website, why not start a blog. By starting a blog, you can be indexed on a number of blog searches, including Google Blog search. This area of marketing is largely untapped, so it is the perfect time to get your particular niche grounded in these specialty search engines.

To get your blog listed you simply need to ping an updating service such as weblogs.com. It’s as simple as that. If you are using WordPress, you can set it up to where your blog pings the major services every time you make a post.

You can have multiple listings in the Google Blog Search because they list specific posts as well as entire blogs.

Google Video

Google Video allows you to have your very own tv show on one of the largest search engines on the internet. This is a form of multimedia that is certainly gaining popularity online. Right now it is in a growth stage and it’s one of the perfect times to get in and be one of the first one’s in your particular market. Videos are also a great selling point if you have a product that can be demonstrated. With Google video, you can now have your very own infomercial indexed in the search engines. Of course, you’ll want to provide some great content too. To check out this new technology, go to http://video.google.com

Google News

Want to get your article and even your picture into Google News? Well, it’s really not that hard. The first step is to go to http://www.americanchronicle.com, Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click on the link that says “submit work”. From there you can sign up to be a contributor.

If accepted as a contributor, you will then be able to submit articles along with a picture. Many of their articles are syndicated on Google News and will be available to the millions of searchers who go to Google News each and every day.

If you are looking to get your press release into Google News, all you have to do is submit your press release to prleap. As you can see, there’s certainly no need to pay money to get into Google News.

Now that you know about the many faces of Google, you will be able to use many of these hidden tactics to your advantage. You see, there are so many people who just don’t put in the extra effort required get exceptional results.

This puts you at a great advantage over atleast 70% of webmasters online today.
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SEO for Beginners, Part 2: Spiders are People, too

SEO for Beginners, Part 2: Spiders are People, too

OK, arachnids are not people, and search engine spiders are not really people, either. But what I’m driving at is that search engine spiders “think” like people. How do I know this? Because human beings wrote them. Any software that does analysis of any kind does so with the intelligence and analytical rules programmed into it by its human developers.

How Humans Comprehend

Imagine that I handed you an article to read that I had printed out. It’s about 20 pages long, but I didn’t tell you anything about it. Worse, you’re going to have to pass a test on the content. Get out your highlighter!

The best reading instructors teach their students to get the context before seriously studying a text like a chapter of a history book or an article. This is because educational research has shown that knowing the general scope of a selection helps human readers comprehend and retain more of the subject matter. By the way, this example is real, not contrived: I used to be a high school teacher and I took a good deal of post-graduate coursework in what is known as “content area reading”.

The easiest way to get the general context is to find the title. The next step is to look at section headings. The combination of the two frames the range or scope of the document or chapter. You can also pick up some hints from picture and diagram captions.

Once you know what the document is about, you can begin to dig into the actual text. As you read, you can often discern important or significant points by repetition. That is, content that is paraphrased and rephrased is often very important: The author obviously thought it worth the effort to rephrase the explanation a couple times (or more). [This paragraph contains a clever example, if I don’t say so myself: Did you see it?]

How Search Engine Spiders Comprehend

Not too surprisingly, search engine spiders take the exact same approach as humans.

Like human readers, spiders start to get a clue by looking at titles and section headings. On a web page the spiders all look for your title tag, so it certainly pays to create a title for your web page. Furthermore, it pays even more if that title contains keywords.

An Aside: What are “keywords”, anyway?

Most search engines ignore the keyword metatag in the HTML of your web pages, so why do web marketers constantly talk about keywords? The reason is that even if you do not use the keyword metatag on your page, you should select several keywords that describe the content of your page, and then make sure those keywords are sprinkled throughout the page multiple times and in a natural-sounding manner.

The places to use keywords include the title (in the h1 HTML tag), heading text (e.g. in h2 tags), alt and title tags for images, and in body text.

These keywords give the search engine spiders a stronger sense of what your page is really about.

Here’s an important observation: Ultimately, our goal is not to “trick” the search engine, but rather to help it see clearly what our content is about. Google and the other engines are getting very adept at figuring out artificial keyword sprinkling. Never string keywords or keyword phrases many times in succession. Google, in particular, sees this is a keyword spamming and will exact painful revenge.

There is also speculation that if your keyword-to-content ratio is unnaturally high, the search engines also discount that. I believe that to be quite likely, but “unnaturally high” is a closely guarded secret. The bottom line for me is that if the body text sounds funny because of all the keywords, you’ve moved into the danger zone. I’ll recommend to you the same thing I did to my Advanced Composition students years ago: Read your page aloud. If it sounds odd in any way, rewrite the odd part.

The search engine spider looks for your section heading in-surprise-the HTML heading tags, especially the h1 tag. You should use these tags on your pages, and make sure they contain keywords.

One often overlooked place to insert keywords is in the alt and title tags of images. Although not quite analogous to a caption that a human reader would examine, the spiders nevertheless figure that these tags probably give a hint as to what the image is about (and in normal circumstances, they do). The image, in turn, gives another clue as to what the page is about.

Once the spider provides a pretty good idea what your page is about, the search engine’s next job is to figure out whether your site has high quality content.

More Software and Human Similarities

If somebody claims to be an authority on a subject, it is usually prudent to check out the claim-especially if we’re going to be hiring them or our money is otherwise involved. We humans generally do this by checking references.

The search engine spiders operate in fundamentally the same fashion. They assume that a site has high quality content on a given subject if other web sites have links pointing to it. In other words, the site is likely good if the references check out.

Google, in particular, has become very sophisticated in its link analysis. For example, if you trade links, the value of the link is diminished somewhat (nobody knows how much for sure). The reason is that if you really have content that I value and I think my site visitors need, I’ll link to you without a trade. An unreciprocated link is one of the surest signs of high quality material on the referenced web site.

The search engines have also gotten very careful about paid links. If your link shows up on a link “farm” (a page or site that only exists for the purpose of creating links to fool the search engines), you may find your site banned altogether. Remember the old butter commercial where the lady says, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” and then she conjures up a storm? Well, the same is true for the search engines. Get caught trying to fool the spider and she’ll bite you.

Forgive the mixed metaphors and just remember the point.

The search engines are also known to discount run-of-site links. Let’s say you have a link to your home page on every single page of your monstrously large web site. Even though it might add up to thousands of links, it will have almost zero credibility in terms of boosting your page ranking.

The moral to the story is this: Don’t use run-of-site links to boost your ranking. If it is crucial to your site navigation, fine. Just don’t do the work creating all those links and expect them to help your page rank at all.

There is one remaining question, namely “Do internal links help? That is, does a link from page “A” of my web site to page “B” boost page B’s page rank on Google or any other search engine?

According to my sources, the answer is yes, but only just a little. External links are given a lot more credibility. Unfortunately, external links are substantially more difficult to acquire.

Next time: The importance of links and how to get them.

Online Business for Starters

As a business owner, you plan to take your business into another level. You always dream of having several branches to reach more people, expansion is a bright idea but the cost may be too expensive. Now you can expand and share your service and product into a bigger market, why not take your business globally?

Having an online business allows you to reach your target audience easily, communicating is faster and there is a great possibility to catch more clients. This is a cheaper way of expanding your business, hassle free and no need to build a new office. Sounds easy but how will you start?

A business owner must know how to do internet marketing. If you are a busy person who doesn’t have time to take a short course regarding online business and internet marketing, you can simply take online coaching and training product which means you can learn in your own free time. It basically teaches how to leverage the internet marketing. It’s about making things easier and simpler, you do more and more with less and less. More profits, more income with less effort, less investment and less time. With this type of technique, a business owner can be rich in no time.Online Business for Starters by: Diana Laudenio

Once you have an online business, it is important that you keep in touch with your visitors and turn them into a client. Follow – ups is necessary, through emails you can tell them directly about your service, it’s advantages and why they need it. Who knows, they might be interested with what you offer or refer you to other people. Why emails? Because millions of people go online and check their emails everyday. For starters, this can be complicated, there are a lot of things that need to be done and sending emails everyday can be tiring. No worries because there are companies that help starters in managing their business.

Although some of them may be strict, not everyone can be accepted, they do this to protect their integrity. Applicants must be qualified or referred. Once accepted, they provide virtual office, complete with business tools, training and technical support. There are also business coaches who have a wide experience and vast knowledge when it comes to business. They will lead you to the road of success. This is specially designed to guide and help those who have an online business to become successful regardless of their education and background in business.

Online Business for Starters by: Diana Laudenio

9 Methods To Get Higher Website Conversion And Generate More MLM Leads

9 Methods To Get Higher Website Conversion And Generate More MLM Leads

by: Joe BarclayRealEstateInvestingMoney2

make money with your web site

Many people in the network marketing industry rely on working off the Internet in their local and warm market or following old school recruiting techniques like calling mlm phone leads.

Many are reluctant to use those techniques. Many have had disappointing results. Therefore, an increasing number of network marketers are looking for online ways to generate mlm leads.

The basic way to generate leads on the Internet is to put up a website or landing page, drive traffic to it, and get a percentage of visitors to opt in by filling out a form asking for their contact information. Increasing web site traffic is a major topic in itself an

d is covered in a separate article. The other key part of lead generation is raising the percentage of visitors who opt in when you get them to your site. This is called conversion.

These are the nine major strategies we teach our team members to get higher conversion at their website or landing page. Top results with conversion begin with proper website design. The sole purpose of the web site is to do just one thing and do it efficiently…get the maximum percentage of traffic to opt in.

Your page should be a clean layout, be fast loading, simple to read, and deliver the information the visitor is expecting to see.

Avoid links going to other pages. Avoid using flashing images and other distractions.

Like in all other advertising, you still must use compelling headlines and body copy. If you don’t capture their attention, you will not get them to opt in.

Make it simple and clear what they need to do. As an example, direct them to enter their first name and email address in the

website ideas

website ideas (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

box below.

Make it clear what the prospect will get for opting in. People are increasingly hesitant about giving out their personal information. Make it clear you have what they want.

Avoid asking for unnecessary information on the opt in form. The less information you request, the higher your conversion rate will usually be.

Offer a bonus to get more optins.

Maintain and display a clear No-spam policy.

Always test different versions of your website or landing page. Keep looking for what gets the highest results.

Increasing the percentage of visitors who do opt in may be more critical than driving more traffic to your website or landing page. Follow these tips to improve conversion on your website or landing page and you can generate more mlm leads.

About The Author
Joe Barclay is an expert at training others to quickly, easily create success online. Read this and other generate mlm leads articles he’s written. Learn to create a flood of leads and be a top earner in any business by subscribing to Joe’s free online MLM training.

9 Methods To Get Higher Website Conversion And Generate More MLM Leads.

Webhosting2

SERP(Search engine results pages)

Millions of users search for information on subjects every day around the globe using search engines such as ;

Google Yahoo and Bing.

This action results in the production of a list of websites, or serps, that search engines deem as being relevant to the search query.

Serps simply stands for ‘Search Engine Results Pages‘.

Typically, the user goes to websites that are listed highest in the serps. Because of this behaviour, seo consultants, webmasters and site owners work tirelessly to get their sites ranked high in the search results. However, top positioning in the serps isn’t something that comes about through chance; top-ranking is achieved only after a systematic improvement of various aspects of a website are put into effect.

This is what SEO is all about.

What is SEO?

The acronym SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization‘.

SEO is the process of improving a website – both its internal and external facets – for the purpose of increasing its visibility to search engines and of course, web users.

Examples of what the process may include are ;

keyword research – to find the most appropriate keywords for a website, addition of unique, and engaging content, link building, social media marketing, modification of a site’s HTML source code for maximum search engine visibility.

The purpose of SEO

The sole purpose of SEO is to increase a website’s visibility to the search engines. A site that is visible to search engines – also known as a search-engine friendly site – has better chances of appearing in the serps and achieving higher rankings.

Increased and prominent visibility in search engine results, brings in more traffic to the website. Increased traffic often translates into increased sales, goal conversions, sign ups and perhaps downloads.

Since its inception in 1989, internet usage has grown exponentially. In 1990, only 3 million people across the globe had access to the web. Nearly three quarters of these users were in the United States, fifteen percent were living in Western Europe, and the rest were based in Canada, Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Israel.

People living outside these countries had virtually no access to the internet. Ten years later, by the start of the year 2000, the number of people connected to the internet had expanded to 250 million globally, with users in Asia exceeding the number of users in both North America or Western Europe by the end of the year.

Presently, the number of internet users has ballooned to over 2 billion; fifty-seven percent of these users are in developing countries. With current global population estimated to be 6.97 billion, this means that nearly one person out of three is online.

The most popular online activities are search and email, especially among adult users. Ninety-two percent of adult internet users use search engines daily to search for information on the Web, be it research data, solutions to problems, or products to buy. Search is now a habit for most web surfers. As of today, it’s claimed that Google processes over 3 billion searches per day.

Meanwhile, the web continues to grow. As of the end of May 2011, there were close to 210 million domain names on the Web, 15.3 million more than the previous year, and each year sees the numbers rising.

Rising as well is the number of people engaging in online spending. Online shopping has spiked in recent years, threatening established traditional retailers who have failed to adapt to shifting consumer behavior brought about by the Web.

Thus, for anyone who wants to succeed in any type of online endeavor, it is of critical importance to be highly visible in search. Search is one of the best ways to reach a market or an audience. Being listed in the top results is crucial to online success. A site that ranks high in search engine results conveys a certain respectability and garners a bigger amount of traffic that often converts to greater online sales.

When it comes to building an online business, high visibility in search engine results is key. And therein lays the importance of search engine optimization