Website design and optimization for high search engine rankings. High performance web design and optimization by a professional graphics company specializing in Google placement.

To go to the start of this interview with Europe's leading website optimizer please click here:

Q. What is the difference between website optimization as opposed search engine optimization?

A. Nothing, they are the same thing. Search engine optimization is actually a term for optimizing a website for the search engines. It's an American term, which is a little misleading, but what else would you expect from a country whose President thinks that Latin Americans speak Latin. Website or search engine optimizers cannot alter or interfere with the algorithms of the search engines. Their job is to optimize a website so that it performs in a manner that the search engines will appreciate. We don't optimize the search engines; we don't do anything to the search engines at all.

Q. When is the best time to optimize a website?

A. Personally for me, it's about 5 O'clock in the morning when I can concentrate without having any interruptions. However, seriously, ian optimizer should be included at the very beginning of a design project, even before the designers start. It is less time consuming for an optimizer to lay out the optimization requirements at the beginning than to go through an existing website correcting the mistakes, rerouting links and rewriting the text. A good website designer will ask an optimizer to provide the skeletal framework of the site and build the website around the framework the optimizer provided. Very few do which is why so many websites are just a waste of money.

Q. Do you ever decline an optimization job because it is too competitive a task?

A. That hasn't happened yet but we do get companies who decline our services because of the cost of the optimization. You cannot expect to get your website into the rankings where millions of dollars are being made everyday and expect to get the work done for peanuts. We have gained top ten rankings on Google where there were 450+ million pages indexed. Those types of jobs are quite scary, especially when you know you may have weeks of work and might not get paid for months if it doesn't go strictly to plan. However, we are always excited by a challenge and we built our reputation on achieving the results that other website optimization companies have failed to achieve.

Q. What happens to the websites you have optimized when Google and the other search engines change their algorithms?

A. Normally nothing, they stay where they are, we have web pages that have been top of Google for eight years. If a website has been correctly optimize, the pages will be imbedded in the search engines. A web page is like a report that is sent up to the search engines, if it was highly relevant before, it still will be after the search engines change their procedures. It is only when an optimizer has tried to fool the search engines or used illegitimate procedures that websites drop in the rankings. Algorithms may change but they still have one major purpose and that is to return relevant pages for a given search term.

Q. Is website optimization only about gaining high ranking in the search engines?

A. No, but in theory anything that drives more traffic to a website will determine the final position where the search engines will rank it. Good linking strategies help more with generating traffic than the myth about link popularity. Exchanging links does not fool most of the major search engines into thinking you have an essential website. It is because of the extra traffic you can get through correctly set up links, that Google will rank a site in its top ten. However, most links are not set up in the right way, so employing companies to manage a link campaign is simply money wasted.

Q. What other optimization techniques do you use?

A. Without giving any secrets away I would be reluctant to say. Most of our optimization techniques are not actually visible to the untrained eye and many are not obvious to even the most experienced optimizers. We use a number of techniques that we have developed and know are unique to us. Other companies try and copy us, but without being able to see what we are doing, they are all flailing around in the dark. We have a greater understanding of what works and why and often, other optimizers are getting results but misinterpreting the reasons why, so when they try to repeat that success with another website, they don't understand why it doesn't work.

Q. Any other advice you can offer?

A. I don't give advice, there's no money in it. We get more traffic to websites that we optimize because we look at the Internet like one long high street. If you look at the retail trade, complimentary businesses tend to thrive when they are close together and businesses pay a premium to be near the big stores like Sears and Wal-Mart. When we optimize websites, we take the same approach so that our websites benefit from traffic from related businesses and high levels of passing trade.

Paul Herbert is CEO of the Where On Earth Group, Europe's largest internetwork and leading website optimization company.

Divadani Design and Scopula, the search engine optimization division of the company, work together to build high performance websites for the search engines.

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Website design and search engine optimization combined can turn a poor performing website into a high performance money earning business. Don't leave the design and optimization of your website in the hands of an amateur.