Adult Webmastering Basics: Part 16: SEO

Domenic R. Merenda
Surfers looking for adult content will employ a number of methods to find the material they seek. Some may look on P2P networks. Others, in the newsgroups. A large number of individuals, however, will seek out the search engine as their first source when looking for an adult site.

Hey wait! You run adult sites, right? Are you listed in the search engines yet? No? Then what are you waiting for? You are listed? Then it's time to improve your rankings. Either way, this installment on SEO will point you in the right direction. Don't mistake it for a guide to SEO, because nothing could be further from the truth. The XBiz archives already contain many quality articles on SEO, and Google is a great source of information as well. This article will simply give you a broad overview of the two options at your disposal (hiring an expert or doing it yourself) and provide guidance in the search for the right combination of promotion, expenditure, and caution.

Despite having launched years ago with little concentration on SEO, many of the sites within the Edge Productions network maintain prominent listings on Google and other engines. In fact, for some keywords, we enjoy complete dominance in the first few pages of listings. This is largely due to having many sites within a category pointing at each other (inter-linked in SEO speak) through quality keywords. Without needing to build such an expansive network, you can employ some simple strategies to keep yourself ahead of your more lethargic competitors.

Bringing In The Pros
If you're looking for the most bang for your buck, the least worry, and the lowest investment of time, the answer is easy: hire an expert. Many sites offer SEO for "low, low prices!" or brag about "tricking the system." Instead of exploring these possibilities, you would be wise to instead consult your fellow webmasters. Many of those who have been around the block will have dealt with a number of SEO providers, and can recommend a good source. Keep in mind that hiring the right man or woman for the job can also mean staying off of the search engine blacklists. Rumor has it (and some concrete evidence locks it in) that Google and other search engines will muck with the rankings of suspected cheaters in an effort to maintain quality listings. If a provider advertises activities that seem to cross into a gray area, keep your distance. Your site ranking will thank you for it later.

Bundling your sites together as a package to save money can be a tempting wager. Unless they are all of the same category, however, you may be inviting laziness on the part of the SEO company. Not every category should be promoted in the same fashion, and each site is unique in its needs. Make sure your provider isn't offering a decreasing level of service to accompany the lower price of the package.

Do It Yourself SEO
Heading out on your own in the SEO game may be a financial necessity, or it may simply satisfy your curiosity. Whatever the reason, you would be well advised to study the landscape as thoroughly as possible before implementing any one scheme over another. As with hiring an expert, avoiding "cheats" can keep your sites in good traffic supply for years rather than days.

If you plan on developing your own SEO strategy, consider concentrating on the larger search engines before getting into the minutiae of the smaller services. Google, Yahoo, and MSN will bring more traffic to your sites than hundreds of smaller engines combined. Make sure you nail down the biggest traffic sources before getting distracted.

Live By The Sword, Pay By The Click
Next week, we'll take a trek through the wild world of Pay Per Click advertising. From bidding on clicks to buying in bulk, PPC can bring you targeted visitors. It can also rain down a whole lot of expense with few results. Our guide will explain the differences. Stay Tuned!