Taking a browse through certain webmaster forums you would be forgiven for thinking that SEO is the online equivalent of rocket science. Thousands of apparently intelligent people spend countless hours trying desperately to figure out how to get better Google rankings for their websites using just about any method imaginable.
Lets take a trip back in time 7 years to an era before most webmasters had even started to think about building websites. There were no blogs and the BBC website was one of the most popular destinations. I distinctly remember trying to access news.bbc.co.uk on September 11th 2001 knowing that it would have the most accurate and up to date information from New York.
The first thing somebody new to SEO should do is take a long look at sites that rank highly in Google to figure out what they are doing so lets look at the BBC website back in the year 2000.
As you can see from this page the news section of bbc.co.uk has had unique titles, short urls and unique meta descriptions for over 6 years now. Why is it taking so long for everybody else to catch up? It’s no coincidence that the BBC probably gets more traffic from Google.co.uk than any other site, they have had a perfectly optimised website since Google began.
Why are thousands of people, 7 years down the line, still figuring out that adding unique titles is a good idea? How can web designers be churning out websites with the same title on every page? Surely even somebody without any knowledge of SEO can see that copying the way the BBC structures pages would be a good roadmap for success.
Of course on site SEO is only a very small percentage of the equation for most sites, off site SEO is the hard bit and that really is rocket science.