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Why optimizing your pages for search doesn’t work

SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” so you can be excused for thinking that optimization is the most important thing for you to do. And it can be, but the problem is that you need to know what you are optimizing for. Too often, we optimize pages for the wrong thing, which doesn’t work all that well, as you might expect. If you want to understand the missing step that can cost you dearly, check out my latest post on Search Engine Guide, “Why optimizing your pages for search doesn’t work.”


Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in internet marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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  1. Avatar Alex

    Great article – probably the most fundamental point of SEO. A quick tip, when using the Google keyword tool you mentioned, select “exact match” rather than “broad match” to pin down the exact phrase, rather than phrases which are similar or contain those words.

  2. Avatar Mike Moran

    Yes, Alex, if you are trying to project the number of searchers using a keyword, exact match is the way to go. I want to emphasize that using the keyword tool to suggest other keywords is an equally important thing to do.

  3. Avatar social

    I think the key is building up page rank. The search engine is smart enough to hit your keywords. But you have to have the traffic first to get the page rank. It is what makes seo hard.

  4. Avatar Eiznn Smith

    Great article! Now I am aware of my SEO strategies. I have to hit my target traffic with my updated SEO strategies. Thanks for enlightenment!

  5. Avatar Mike Moran

    PageRank is certainly important, social, but you still need to design your content to be about the keywords that people are looking for. Lots of sites have high PageRank but don’t rank well for the keywords you care about–because they aren’t about those subjects. PageRank without focusing on keywords will get you ranked for something, but maybe not ranked for what you need to be ranked for to do some business.

  6. Avatar Klaus

    You are so right – So many companies working with SEO have got this wrong.

  7. Avatar woodworking plans

    yes,… i think The search engine is smart enough to hit your keywords.SEO the most important…

  8. Avatar woodworking plans

    i think SEO the most important,,because as it would increase traffic and page rank

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