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  1. #1
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    Top Search Engine Listing

    Each search engine has it own set of rules when it come to
    indexing pages.

    Through the years have i read and try to apply various
    methods in order to gain top rankings for my web pages.

    However did i learn to optimize my pages for a particular
    search engine.

    Somewhere along the line did i learn to have a keywords
    density of 5%.

    This seems to work for Google. Since i manage to get
    no 1 spot for the keywords "cool seniors" and a no 5 spot for
    "How to write a best seller" as of the time of this writing.

    How long i would be able to maintain those positions would
    be hard to tell.

    Regular page updating seems to have a influence to maintain
    or better a page listing.

    Anyhow when it come to optimize your pages for search engine
    listing these tips could serve as a nice guide.

    Also did i learn that one should sprinkle a phrase throughout
    the page content and meta tags, consisting out of a set of two
    or three words.

    The page content should consist out of 200 to 300 words.
    However the seniors page is quite short, make me think
    about the ratio of keywords to page content.

    Also to have your own domain seem to be more favorable than
    sub domains. However did i got a nice listing with one
    of my sub domain sites. Get me to think that the theme of
    a web site to be the no 1 contender.

    Another thing i learned is not to repeat any keywords more
    than twice in the keywords meta tag line. Keywords written in
    all caps seem to be quite popular as well as used in the
    title and description tag lines.

    The number of keywords seems to be in the order of ten.
    No more than six to eight words should be used in the title
    and about twenty or so words for the description.
    Keywords added to the graphics alt command seems to be
    acceptable.

    It is recommended to stay away from any tricks
    i.e. hidden text, miniature graphics, etc.
    Be nice to the bots and they will be nice to your pages.

    As a test on one of my pages did i put the meta tags at the
    end of the HTML file. The aim was for the spider bots to read
    the content first. Seem to have worked, got listed.

    Another HTML command to be highly regarded by the bots is to
    use the h1, h2 etc. for headings and sub headings.

    Important to have clean HTML. Thus put your
    HTML files through a HTML validator.

    A nice free report about search engine similarities can
    be get from sevensearch@sendfree.com

    Here is a few places to learn more about search engines.

    http://www.searchenginewatch.com

    http://www.academywebspecialists.com

    http://www.fantomaster.com

    http://www.rankwrite.com

    In short set up pages with very good content as well as
    having cross linked pages. Link popularity play a large
    roll in search engine ranking.

    Herman Dreyer
    Email: mailto:dreyerh@mailusers.wise.co.za
    http://www.herman-dreyer.com
    Herman Dreyer
    Email: mailto:dreyerh@mailusers.wise.co.za
    http://www.herman-dreyer.com

  2. #2
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    Well Said!

    Very well said!

    It is always nice to share in others experiences... Interesting idea you had there by placing your meta tags at the end of your HTML file. Has anyone else ever tried that one? I would love to hear others success stories with the idea.

    Since there have already been some great resources listed here for learning more about search engine optimization, I thought I would list a few tools that I have found to be extremely useful for SEO to gain top search engine listings.

    http://www.internetseer.com/home/index.xtp Monitor the up-time of your server (spiders, editors and visitors don't like down time.)

    http://www.goodkeywords.com/ Great for keyword research.

    http://www.keywordcount.com/ Check the keyword density of your pages.

    http://www.bradsoft.com/topstyle/ CSS Browser Compatibility tool -- CSS is great for many reasons, including making it easier for a spider to crawl easily formatted HTML but it is not compatible with all engines.

    http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html Perfect for checking broken links.

    http://www.carlislegraphics.com/word_count.html Easy to use word and charactor counter.

    Just a few of my favorites -- hope they help someone else as much as they have helped me!

  3. #3
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Most of what you said is misleading.

    For instance with Google no combination of keywords can get you a high ranking. Google uses keywords to figure out where to list your site, and link popularity to figure out how to list your site.

    Secondly meta keywords are only used by Inktomi, all other search engines have stopped using them.

    Size of page does not matter. Update frequency also does not matter.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
    My Blog|My Webmaster Forums

  4. #4
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    Some other things that were said are also misleading or out of date.
    The 5% keyword figure may have true once, but SE's have gotten a lot smarter since then - they not only check density, but proximity, and proximity to related words. They apply more weight to some parts of the page than to others.

    For example, check this out:

    Go to Google, do a search on "solar electric" (with quotes). Look at the source for the top site. The site that comes up first every time (SELF), and has for a long time, violates almost every rule you mention.

  5. #5
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    Oh No!! I was just about to call it a night until I came back to this post. Please don't take offense, I just didn't want hdreyer to feel offended for sharing a story and didn't want others to become confused by contradictory statements when essentially everyone could be right. The best approach to take in any optimization situation is to do extensive research on individual engines over an extended amount of time by researching each engine individually and by researching reliable sources. Don't forget to research top ranking sites that are comparable to your own theme and keywords.

    "Most of what you said is misleading."

    I must say that I don't agree that anything that hdreyer said was misleading. One persons experience was noted. It was not stated that this experience would work for everyone. The way that I took it was that this is what worked for him/her and they were simply sharing the experience.

    "For instance with Google no combination of keywords can get you a high ranking. Google uses keywords to figure out where to list your site, and link popularity to figure out how to list your site."

    I am not quite sure what this comment was refering to. Keyword placement? This comment? -- "Also did i learn that one should sprinkle a phrase throughout
    the page content and meta tags, consisting out of a set of two or three words."

    I have found the placement of keywords to be extremely important -- especially in Google. Sprinkling 2-3 keyword phrases throughout my page as phrases and seperate words, has given me great rankings in Google.

    "Secondly meta keywords are only used by Inktomi, all other search engines have stopped using them."

    AltaVista still considers meta tags for relevancy and Inktomi supplies results to MSN, LookSmart, AOL, iWon, Kanoodle and Overture -- Personally I would be sure to optimize meta tags for AltaVista and Inktomi.

    "Size of page does not matter."

    Technically, the size of a page does not matter in terms of an "absolute" page length. However, certain engines like different page lengths for specific area's of their indexes. Normally, the average page length tends to be around 450 words. High ranking pages can be anywhere from 200 words to 1000+ words.
    Inktomi seems to favor shorter pages. Google and AltaVista seem to favor pages under 700 words. Each engine will vary in terms of many things that they are looking for when ranking pages.

    "Update frequency also does not matter."

    Google loves frequently updated pages. AltaVista likes older pages. However, neither is ALWAYS the case.

    Go to Google, do a search on "solar electric" (with quotes). Look at the source for the top site. The site that comes up first every time (SELF), and has for a long time, violates almost every rule you mention.

    It is important to keep in mind that this site is using a completely different keyword and has a completely different theme and does follow some of the important rules. The keyword only has 291 competing pages which would make it a lot easier to rank well compared to trying to rank it in the #1 spot for a keyword phrase with 20,000+ competing sites.

    Ranking well in search engines is not a matter of following one specific set of "rules". Again, research and experience will get you to the top. Everyone's experiences will differ to some degree or another and it is not unusual that a search engine may "seem" to break a common knowledge rule occasionally. Many factors come into play.. we can only learn from research, our own experiences and share in the experiences of others.

    Good rankings to all and to all a good night!

  6. #6
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Dawn you've got some misconceptions:

    "For instance with Google no combination of keywords can get you a high ranking. Google uses keywords to figure out where to list your site, and link popularity to figure out how to list your site."

    I am not quite sure what this comment was refering to. Keyword placement? This comment? -- "Also did i learn that one should sprinkle a phrase throughout
    the page content and meta tags, consisting out of a set of two or three words."
    It was referring to the fact that Google uses PageRank (links from other sites) and targetted PageRank (links from other ontopic sites, or otherwise keyword related links) to determine how high to rank your site. Google uses keywords on your page itself to determin where (under which keywords) to rank that page.

    You can read about PageRank and how Google works here:

    http://www-db.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html


    AltaVista still considers meta tags for relevancy and Inktomi supplies results to MSN, LookSmart, AOL, iWon, Kanoodle and Overture -- Personally I would be sure to optimize meta tags for AltaVista and Inktomi.
    AltaVista does not use meta tags. If they did this search would return some pages:

    http://www.altavista.com/sites/searc...m&sc=on&nbq=10

    Thats a link searching my site for the term "eliterature" a term that only appears in my meta tags. See its very easy to prove that a search engine does not use meta tags.

    You can see here that Inktomi does still use meta tags:

    http://hotbot.lycos.com/?query=&cobr...&SUBMIT=SEARCH

    However lets face the facts about Inktomi.

    Inktomi is only going to serve primary results on AOL for a few more weeks. It only serves secondary results on MSN. It only servers secondary results to LookSmart and Overture, both of which don't get many actual direct searches. The bottom line is Inktomi isn't very popular and meta tags will not help you on any one search engine, and they definitely did not help this guy on Google (which is the only engine he mentioned).

    "Size of page does not matter."

    Technically, the size of a page does not matter in terms of an "absolute" page length. However, certain engines like different page lengths for specific area's of their indexes. Normally, the average page length tends to be around 450 words. High ranking pages can be anywhere from 200 words to 1000+ words.
    Inktomi seems to favor shorter pages. Google and AltaVista seem to favor pages under 700 words. Each engine will vary in terms of many things that they are looking for when ranking pages.
    No they don't, no it doesn't. The only way size matters is that some engines (this is also true less and less as bandwidth and disk space becomes cheaper) will stop reading your page after xx characters. There is no magic length, having 400 characters instead of 500 characters does not matter.

    Google loves frequently updated pages. AltaVista likes older pages. However, neither is ALWAYS the case.
    Again not true. Google does make some exceptions for special sites like CNN where it will list breaking news stories above normal results, but those are the exception, not the rule, and are selected manually. The only benefit Google gives a frequently updated page is a more frequent spider schedule allowing your site to be listed under the appropriate keywords for your current content. It does not reevaluate PageRank more frequently however (the calculations are too complicated) and will only reevalute your rank when it does it's deep crawl.

    As google updates you may see a recently crawled page shoot up temporarily, but that is only temporary as they shuffle their indexes around.

    If an old page is ranked high it is not due to it's age, it is due to the fact that old pages tend to have more incoming links. Think logically. Is the fact that kids who have more appliances at home do better in school related at all to appliances? Or is it because wealthier parents tend to have more education and thus either pass on "smart genes" or raise their kids like they were raised or whatever you want to call it.

    I can point to the west every evening and say "Sun I command you to set." It doesn't mean that I'm actually making it set.
    Last edited by aspen; Jun 12, 2002 at 13:16.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
    My Blog|My Webmaster Forums

  7. #7
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    Aspen...

    Thank you for sharing your views and ideas, it's always great to hear different things other people have learned and firmly believe -- Just one great thing about forums!

    As for me having misconceptions, I will agree to disagree but do appreciate your views as I'm sure many others do as well.

    We all learn from one another and that is what is important

    Btw.. nice to meet you all -- I have been involved in search engine marketing for quite some time and have checked out this forum a few times but just yesterday, I finally decided to join -- Seems like community full of sharing and learning!

  8. #8
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    Dawn,

    I am thinking of getting into the SE business myself. I am currently an IT Contractor who wants to switch careers. Any tips where i can learn the trade?

    Also, is there much business about? If I do it I will be going freelance. I'm in the UK so I won't be much competiton to you.

  9. #9
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    hey Chris, I agree 100%. I read your article on "cloaking". It looks like you read Alan Perkin's white paper on it?

    Again, I agreed 100% with your views on it.

    hey. Could I steal a few smilies from here for my forums? LOL. just kiddin.

  10. #10
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I don't even know who Alan Perkin is.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
    My Blog|My Webmaster Forums

  11. #11
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    Oh, I know. Just that you have the same views on it as do I.
    http://www.ebrandmanagement.com/whitepapers/spam1.htm

  12. #12
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    I grudgingly have to agree with Chris as well - as much as i hate to admit it

    I've been meaning to ask you for a while now and as im bored what with the name aspen? -- anythink to do with the IBM ad (may have only shown in the UK) "Where's the web developers?" -- "snowboarding in aspen!"

  13. #13
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    no. Just a name I like. Used it as a handle since 94 or so. I plan to name my first born son "Aspen" as well. I just think its a cool name.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
    My Blog|My Webmaster Forums


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