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Search engine optimisation for estate agents, accountants, law firms, retailers and other commercial businesses is not without its potential risks, a new research study has revealed.

McAfee, an Internet security company, has pinpointed search terms that can lure web users on to advertising and malware sites used by cyber crooks and hackers.With an innocent click of the mouse, unsuspecting Internet users can easily download malicious files that are designed to infect computers and steal personal and financial data. Spyware, spam, phishing, adware and viruses could all be uploaded to machines 'under attack' from criminals.

One of the most reputable search marketing guides has just been published in the UK and features expert SEO consultancy advice from BORN Thinking. Leading digital marketing group, Econsultancy, sought contributions from consultants at BORN to the latest 'SEO Best Practice Guide' that brings together search engine optimisation specialists from across the world.

Investment in search engine optimisation (SEO) for retailers is the key recommendation to store operators across the UK from a leading business research group.

Analysts from Gartner, a global information technology research and advisory firm, warn retail companies that they are throwing money down the drain if they fail to focus on attracting new visitors and would-be customers to their websites.

A respected annual SEO consultancy report just published reveals about 55 per cent of companies are planning to invest more business budget into natural search engine optimisation this coming year.

A little less than half of firms also plan to increase their pay-per-click (PPC) budgets. Both natural and paid search are seen as important areas where companies can achieve return on investment that is measurable during the current credit crunch-led financial downturn.

SEO for banks, financial services - and dentists

SEO for banks, insurance companies and accountants, as well as search engine optimisation for other financial and professional services firms, can significantly boost revenue. Even cosmetic dentistry has benefited from skillful application of SEO techniques. One dentist has reported revenue growth of about £700,000.