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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    Hi,

    Which is the best engine to optimize for my index/home page?

    Michael Campbell in his book Nothing But Net suggests Inktomi, AltaVista or Excite.

    What do you folk do?

    Best

    Robin Harford

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Forget it. The way search engines are changing these days
    it will be waste of time. Submit your site and take your chance.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Yup I agree.....

    Although i always seem to get good results with Altavista using low keywords, then you look the next day and you are just outta the engine

    It'll only take an engine update or something to throw you off course..

    IMO its best to do your meta tags and submitting then monitor the results... Then when you can see whats working adjust for the other pages....

    Once you start to do well in one you will find that the others come good too... (Most of the time)

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  4. #4

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    Optimise your index page for a generic Ink, Google set up and make sure you are listed in the directories ODP, Yahoo and Looksmart. Sub pages should be varied so you have a few for each engine. Diversity is the key, don't aim for a specific keyword density, rather for a spead of densities so that if an algo changes you still have a page which comes close.
    Simon Conroy,
    PPC Bid Management and ROI Tracking Solutions
    www.BidBuddy.co.uk www.ROIstats.co.uk

  5. #5
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    Thanks folks!

    best

    Rob

  6. #6
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    Err, actually, to take the points in order:
    RobHarford: It is possible to optimise in such a way that you can please the majority of engines, without any monkey business.
    VW: It isn't a waste of time, one of my sites is #1 on 7 out of the top ten engines, and has been for nine months (obviously taking into account that I mean on 'pages' for directories such as Yahoo, MSN, etc.) and it made no difference to #1 on Yahoo whether they took Ink. or Google results. The only non top-ten is #11 on altavista.com and even then the company name is listed in the 'related searches' box.
    Cloughie: Do you mean uk.altavista.com? It seems very likely (but I am only 95% certain) that AV UK has two servers with two databases. So, yes, one minute you're up, the next you're down. Panic-inducing, but IMO still worth it. Also, just FYI, meta-tags are becoming less important every day, some top level optimisers don't use them at all. I still do though, as I'm not about to start mucking around with what I know works. Even though I'm fairly sure I could lose a lot of keyword tags from my sites and still rank pretty well, I won't take that risk.
    Simon c: Spot on. Ink, Google. Directories are proven traffic getters.

  7. #7
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    Just put your site up there, and don't try to optimize it that much for any particular search engine. Just add an appropriate number of keywords and a description and the people that want to find you will find you. If everyone does this the search engines will start working the way they were supposed to work.
    --
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  8. #8
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    Polymath:

    Mind sharing a little of your search engine secrets with us ?
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast sadhu's Avatar
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    I recommend you optimize your index page according to the normal standards. (EG. good keyword density, Title tag is ultraimportant, first 25 words on page should be relevent to the content of the site and of course keyword laden, try get lots of links to your site).

    If you want to optimize for particular engines i would suggest you do this for your doorway pages.

    sadhu
    http://www.dvwt.net
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  10. #10
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    fweikeong:
    Sorry, just got back from hols (two weeks in Maui, and the first tan this English troglodyte keyboard-tapper has seen in over a year) so I didn't see your question, i.e. I wasn't avoiding it. No don't mind sharing at all, most of what I know can be picked up for free at other forums like this one.
    Get a good URL. Put hyphens between words in your URL, this lets the spiders see the words as separate.
    I strongly discourage going for one-word keywords. They tend not to be specific enough, so the traffic is not very targetted. One-worders that are worth going for are seriously competitive, and you really have to be on top of things full-time to maintain them. Go at least for two-worders, they will give you better (targetted) traffic.
    Don't go for more than two keyphrases a page. You will just dilute your efforts.
    Tags are little more than gentle hints these days, put your two keyphrases in the tags, that's it per page.
    If it's not on your page, either in the body or the no-frames, you aren't going to rank for it. Full stop.
    Put your main keyphrase in your title bar first of all, the first two words.
    Same for your description, first thing is the keyphrase but follow up with the two words separated in the following description text.
    You need 200 wds at least (IMO) of text on each page, and I have a keyword density of around 5-7%, of that the two words appear next to each other about 2-3% of the time. This is only looking at the words in your body, not description, title etc. Some people take all the text into account, which is fine, just so long as you always check it the same way. Just body is the way I've always done it.
    Get your keywords as high up in the body as you can.
    Put the keywords in your H1 and H2 headlines.
    Name images this way: "keyword.gif" or .jpg or whatever, and so on like "keyword_keyword.jpg" "keyword1.jpg" etc. etc.
    Put your keywords in mouse-overs as well
    If your site is about e.g. foreign language lessons, optimise the first page for foreign language lessons, the next for french language lessons, the next for spanish language lessons etc,. In this way, each page will be found for the specific language but your site is establishing the theme of language as well, giving you a good chance of ranking well just for 'language'.
    Each page should be optimised for something slightly different.
    Name each page properly eg. 'www.foreign-language-lessons/french-language-lessons.html'.
    Make your links have the keywords in them. Have these links on every page e.g.:

    <a href="http://www.foreign-language-lessons.com/french-language-lessons.html">French language lessons/a>

    Fancy animated graphics get in the way and do nothing, frames make it very difficult for most spiders to navigate your site. Use the noframes where you have to.
    Most spiders cannot get into databases either, they're not helpful as far as positioning is concerned.


    For starters though, I would recommend only implementing about 2/3ds of these methods. Often that's enough to get top ten, also you don't want to trip spam filters so take it easy on the keywords at first. The advantage of taking it easy at first is that if anyone does pass you, you have more up your sleeve to go ahead again and you haven't just thrown everything in your locker away. I've actually had a site get a raft of three-word phrases at #1 on uk.altavista.com just by judicious use of the title bar, and some got top tens on google. (sadhu: A1, you're darn tootin', title tags are ultra-important). In fact, I just checked for the first time in months and they're still in the top ten on uk.altavista.com, not in Google anymore though.
    Anyway, that should be enough to go on with.
    I would welcome any comments from anyone who has anything to add or query.
    Remember this is to please every engine, targetting individual engines requires a different approach, and is a painstaking process, requiring great care to avoid duplicate content migrating round the engines and getting your site dropped like a dodgy defender.
    Good luck everyone.


    <Edited by Polymath on 01-23-2001 at 08:16 AM>


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