I read on an SEO site that a new site usually spends 8 months in the sandbox before it begins to start gaining ground in the serps for competitive keywords, if that is the case then how does one know if his/her site is optimized for the search engines?
My site is about 2 weeks old and I already have a top 10 spot in google for a keyword phrase, although its not a very competitive one.
This SEO stuff is interesting but confusing at the same time.
Your site does not have to spend time in the sandbox if Google does not think it deserves to. It is not a given for all new sites to enter the ‘sandbox’.
SEO forum chatter and blogs used to place huge ephasis on META tags. Now you’ll see many sites doing just fine without meta tags. However anything that is a bad practice across the board, is still relevant to your META tags (do not spam).
But I’d say do what you are doing, develop your own theories and strategies based off of your own work and experiments. Read around, but don’t read too much you’ll get a different answer everytime you look.
Some search engines put more emphasis on links in and out, some on page content, others more on meta tags, but its usually a balance between all of them that makes the algorythm.
I think Meta tags should always be used, simply because it’s how pages and content are classified and looked up in an intranet (sorta like a librairy index card, it includes more or less the same details as a meta tag.). Plus, it can be what tips the scale in your favor, versus another site that does SEM but doesn’t focus on clean metas.
As Joe says, you have to forge your own experience. This is an aspect of marketing that is both an art and a science. My own experience has always been clean html (w3c.org compliant), compressed js, organised metas, organised and well written content, site map and a good network of links is the key to success for web sites.
But gambling is such a cutthroat one…
That’s my old school $0.02.
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