I actively monitor the SERPs on Google.mu for a lot of keywords and I can tell you that people in Mauritius do not invest in SEO at all. Many websites which occupy the top positions rank purely because of lack of competition. I can confidently say that search engine optimisation in Mauritius is non-existant except for a few people who are in the website creation business (I can count them on my hand btw). It is to be noted that an awful lot of businesses do not have a website in this day and age and they couldn’t care any less. You will sometimes be amazed by those who have an online presence because their websites are just not worth the effort. Take for example a popular furniture and electrical giant like Courts which have a single page website with an image flyer that links to their Facebook page. Customers want to see what products you have and what the prices are, not being forced to visit your fan page to see e-catalogues of your products. What, are you still in the 1990s era?
There’s this driving school which has a website (maybe the only one in this business actually) and although it has some useful webpages with great information, the title of all its webpages is just the name of the driving school itself. Anyone in the search engine optimisation business can tell you the title tag is the single most important bit you need to optimise. However this site ranks for a lot of associated keywords because Google is inferring its quality from the url of the webpage and the content it has as a substitution for not having enough relevant websites to display. What I’m trying to say is due to the lack of info on this subject in the Mauritian context, the website is ranking despite being unoptimised – same as the one eye man is king in the valley of the blind.
We also have some individuals who think they know a lot of SEO and use black hat techniques to accomplish their goals. For example, there was this web design firm which managed to get a number 1 listing for a 2 keyword phrase I’m currently tracking but it was short lived because all the external backlinks came from blog comments on sites where there’s no moderation, which has led to the domains being listed as spam. Now you wouldn’t want to associate yourself with bad domains because you’d be considered a spammer too and that will definitely hurt your rankings. Anyway if you’re after rankings that last (or at least factors which have a strong impact on your rankings), you need to go white hat and invest more into branding.
Doing business online is still very new in Mauritius and now is the time to crush your competitors and set yourself apart and gain that trust which will benefit you so much more in the future. And if you’re planning to do SEO, then do it right through ethical ways or don’t do it at all.