Search engine tricks

Web Site Optimization Tricks

As a web development and software development company that is actively involved in marketing on and off the web, I have often debated whether we should employ a web-marketing trick to gain business beyond our geographic area.

When potential clients perform web searches for website design and development or database and software programming in the Corpus Christi area, we will generally perform well. What is particularly difficult for me to swallow is when companies from other states appear above Thunder Data Systems in the rankings. How do they do this? To illustrate, first let me give you a sample link for one such company who "beat" us in the rankings. (Now, for reasons you can learn by following this link, I'm going to create the link to this website as an image. Please type what you see in a separate browser window.)

When you open the page, the first thing you'll see in bold print is the title which reads, "Corpus Christi Internet Marketing" and throughout the text of this document you'll read, "Corpus Christi this" and "Corpus Christi that". Well, folks, they ain't in Corpus. For all I know, they could be in Sri Lanka. So, why would they create a separate web page geared towards our market when pages can be expensive to add to a company's website? Well, first of all they didn't. Take a look again at that URL you copied into the browser. Notice the number, "164" at the end? Well, try this trick: change that number from "164" to "163". If you do, you'll see that the people in Saint Paul are reading the exact same page that was designed for our market except that every instance of Corpus Christi has been replaced with Saint Paul. If you change the number to "1", you're in Vancouver. I tested number "250" and ended up in Loughborough. Where the heck is Loughborough?

Basically, this company used a database to create many, many web pages of identical content with only the town or city to which they were marketing changed in each page's text. It is a relatively (versus creating entire websites) inexpensive way of creating lots and lots of pages with the intent of having a "local presence" when you may be half a world away.

If you are in the market for a particular product or service from a business located in your area, or you would just rather do business with someone you can look in the eye, take a peek at the URL and make sure the company is not employing this type of database. Just look for something along the lines of a "?city=Austin" or "?location=164". Take the test by replacing "Austin" with "San Antonio" or try a new number that is one digit off. If you prefer to do business with a person you can look in the eye, just keep on looking down the list of search results or try another search until you find your local business. And if you are looking for solid methods of climbing to the top of search engine rankings, call us. :)

By the way, where is Sri Lanka anyway?

Posted by:
Dawn Green
Project Manager








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