Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is Search Engine Optimization(SEO)?

Search Engine Optimization(SEO) refers to the process of optimizing a website by increasing its relevance and trustworthiness for the search engines. The goal is to rank high in search engine results for the targeted keywords of the business.


2. What is the difference between SEO and SEM?

SEM or Search Engine Marketing refers to online marketing methods that seek to promote a company, brand, product or service in search engine results. We offer 2 methods of Pay-per-Click (PPC) programs i.e. Google Adwords and Facebook Marketing.

SEM has several key advantages over other online marketing methods:

–          Reach
Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing receive a combined 1 billion searches a day. In Singapore, more than 220 million searches are conducted every month.


–          Relevance
SEM offers targeting by keywords and geographic location, hence, displaying webpages and PPC ads that are related to what the user is searching for.


–          ROI
As your web pages and ads are only shown for relevant searches, the conversion rate is higher since these visitors already have an interest in your products and services.


3. Is SEO for everyone?

Everyone should have their website optimized so that they can leverage on the huge traffic that the search engines receive. However, success rate will depends on the number of competition. Thus, a pay-per-click program like Google Adwords will be good to complement the SEO campaign.


4. Does SEO work for all search engines?

The 3 major search engines, Google, Yahoo and Bing (previously MSN), receive more than 90% of the 1 billion searches a day. Google has the most share about 60-70% of the global search market. Hitwise(SG) reported that Google’s share in the search volume for Singapore is 80.67% (6th Feb 2010). However, a website that ranks well in Google tends to rank well in other search engines as well.


5. What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO refers to the optimization done to the website. This is usual to improve the relevancy of the website. This includes changes to the content of the whole website that includes meta tags, internal link structure, etc.


6. Will repeating keywords on my website work?

This process of repeating keywords used to work in the old days but now it’s counted as keywords spamming.

While it used to work in the old days, today this method would be discounted as keyword spamming. The search engines are smart enough to understand the theme of a webpage through the use of LSI. For example, a page about Search Engine Optimization would most likely also contain keywords like SEO, search engine, organic search, search results, search engine marketing, sem, google, etc.



7. Can Google read dynamic webpages and flash animation?

Search engines may or may not recognize dynamic webpages, usually recognized by “?” symbols in the URL, e.g. forum and blog webpages. This can be re-written into static URLs. Now most of the Content Management System have in-built re-writing module that help you to create beautiful URLs. As for flash files, Google announced in June 2008 that they have partial ability to index them.


8. What is off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO is the optimization and marketing efforts that take place outside the website and usually refers to building inbound links for the purpose of increasing the website’s trustworthiness.


9. What is PageRank?

PageRank was developed by Google’s co-founder, Larry Page, to measure the importance of a particular webpage on a scale of 1 to 10. This is used for measuring websites to rank them in the different search results. In theory, given two similar webpages, the one with the higher one will rank higher in the search results.


10. Why does my website have a low PageRank and how do I increase it?

There are numerous factors that affect PageRank and the more important ones are the number and quality of the inbound links to your website. Typically, the following are the ranking structures:

PageRank 1 to 3 – relatively new websites

PageRank 4 to 5 – established websites

PageRank 6 to 7 – Big sites

PageRank 8 and above – Mega sites i.e. Yahoo, Google, Wikipedia, Ebay, Amazon


To increase your PageRank, typically you will need to increase the number of inbound links from other websites to your website, it will be better if the links are from higher PageRank sites.


11. Can I just buy links to my website?

Google is very much aware of the link buying activities and have even banned some of the links coming from certain sites as they are link marketplaces. They also devalue links from online directories. Thus, the art of evaluating the inbound links have also become more complex with many other factors such as theme of the linking website, surrounding content, link placement and link diversity, etc.


12. Are links in blog comments worth anything?

Some of the blogs like WordPress and Wikipedia have already incorporate a “nofollow” attribute to links in comments.


13. How do I check for inbound links to my website?

There are some online tools that can help you analyze inbound links such as Yahoo Site Explorer.


14. Is it necessary to submit my website URL to the search engines?

Yes, you can submit your website URL to search engines. But it will be better to get indexed is to obtain inbound links from established websites.


15. Can blogs be optimized?



16. What is Google Webmaster?

Webmaster has a collection of tools. But the most important feature is the ability to inform Google the geographic target of your website.


17. What is Black Hat SEO?

Black Hat SEO are optimization methods that deemed “unethical” by the search engines. In the short term, it may give temporary boost in rankings but ultimately long term you might be permanently removed.


18. How long does it take before SEO kicks in?

Results varies from a couple of weeks for established sites to 12 months or more for new websites to start showing.


19. Is SEO a one-time job?

Unfortunately, no. You can still maintain your website’s rankings for a while longer if your competitors are not putting in their marketing efforts.


20. Many Singapore SEO companies provide guarantees. What gives?

Logically, no one can provide ranking guarantees other than the search engines owners themselves. But if there’s no drastic algorithm changes or all your competitors using SEO overnight, SEO or SEM consultant can predict the probability of getting your website into the top 5 or first page for example.

Personally, we disagree with providing SEO guarantees and strongly feel that we should be compensated based on work done instead – this is like in a case of you would still pay a surgeon for an unsuccessful operation or paying the lawyer even if you lose your case. But the practice of money-back guarantee in Singapore is driven by market demands and competition and the downside of SEO companies is to take on certain projects that are deemed “risky and hard to rank”.

Note: the answers to the SEO FAQs above are based on my years of experience and personal views as an SEO Consultant.

21. What kind of SEO Techniques are used? Are they black hat or white hat?

All the SEO techniques and strategies that are implemented on our client’s websites are all white hat techniques as we don’t believe in doing anything illegal or getting anybody into trouble.

22. Why  Toolbox Engine SEM?

We have proprietary techniques that can get optimum SEO results within a very short time of anywhere between 2-5 months.