The best thing I’ve ever read regarding Search Engine Optimization, from Derek Powazek. First, the con men:
And so, like the goat sacrificers and snake oil salesmen before them, a new breed of con man was born, the Search Engine Optimizer. These scammers claim that they can dance the magic dance that will please the Google Gods and make eyeballs rain down upon you.
Do. Not. Trust. Them.
The One True Way to build web site traffic?
Make something great. Tell people about it. Do it again.
That’s it. Make something you believe in. Make it beautiful, confident, and real. Sweat every detail. If it’s not getting traffic, maybe it wasn’t good enough. Try again.
Then tell people about it. Start with your friends. Send them a personal note – not an automated blast from a spam cannon. Post it to your Twitter feed, email list, personal blog. (Don’t have those things? Start them.) Tell people who give a [censored] – not strangers. Tell them why it matters to you. Find the places where your community congregates online and participate. Connect with them like a person, not a corporation. Engage. Be real.
Then do it again. And again. You’ll build a reputation for doing good work, meaning what you say, and building trust.
It’ll take time. A lot of time. But it works. And it’s the only thing that does.