I recently had a self proclaimed SEO expert/consultant email to tell me that the HTML on my website was, in his words, ‘Crap’. That is very constructive, especially coming from somebody who professes to be qualified to charge for his SEO services. He had apparently checked out my source code and come to that conclusion. I got to thinking: the site couldn’t have been crap or an expert would not have got so worried as to check out what I was doing. I was obviously a threat, and if that is the case, then the title of this article must be very close to the mark. I responded by offering him my eBook on SEO in return for his expert services if he could inform me exactly where I was going wrong. Needless to say, I am still awaiting a reply. I am wondering how much he charges for teaching SEO when he fails to realise something as fundamental as that search engines are not too bothered about the formatting of the HTML as long it is understood. It is the text that crawlers are more interested in these days. As I pointed out, my HTML must have been understood since the home page my website at that time (a week ago as I write) was at #3 on Google and #1 on Yahoo for its main keyword against 850 million other results, and also at #4 on Google for another page for the same keyword and also at #2 for another keyword. Quite frankly, if that is what ‘crap’ HTML does for you then bring it on – I will to do worse HTML next time! That got me to thinking that if people pay guys like that for their advice, then perhaps they might be better doing their own search engine optimization. After all, it is not rocket science. Now, don’t get me wrong here, because there are many SEO experts out there that provide a great service and are also honest. Loads of people do not have the time to optimize their own sites, and these people are good at what they do – better then me. However, I know my websites, and I know what I am looking for from them. I therefore know more about the SEO needed with them that any expert would. That is why I get such good results. Not with all my websites, I should admit, and certainly not with the minisite that this article is intended to promote. Like any article, this is intended to promote a website that offers a product that teaches what I know about SEO by means of screenshots of my websites and the HTML used to get #1 positions against very stiff and professional opposition such as Wikipedia, Harvard University and ‘About’. However, that’s another story and not for this article. This article is about the cheapest or most affordable SEO. In my opinion that is DIY! That’s right, Do It Yourself! If you have the time. If not, then most of these other people advertising online can probably do a good job for you (apart from my email friend). The most affordable SEO is free – if you know what to do. Quite frankly, there is little to do these days. Google no longer pay attention to Meta tags, and Google are the biggest in my opinion. Google spiders crawl the text in your HTML, look for H1 tags and Title tags and check out your keywords to make sure there are not too many. Apart from that there’s not all that much to it, apart perhaps for alt image tags. Even keywords are not all that important – Google spiders are very literary these days. They have been to Spider College learning English, and can now tell what you are writing about without you having to tell them. Your keywords are now largely irrelevant. The spiders know – they ain’t stupid any more. They don’t need you to write these keywords over and over again to tell them – in fact, if you do then they get very annoyed at you treating them as though they were ignorant, and will in fact punish you for it. Get used to it you SEO guys: search engine optimization is still relevant, but not as important as it once was. These educated BA spiders know what you are talking about (or writing about) and the most affordable SEO marketing is free, assuming you can write and don’t try to teach these crawling guys with the long legs what they already know. And don’t try to fool me that your HTML has to be perfect – I know different.