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The SEO Expert Guide Crawler-based search engines have become the gateway to the World Wide Web – used by millions worldwide to locate the resources they need. By typing a few key words into a little box, literally thousands of results are se rved up in strict order of relevance. Many users never make it beyond page one ( before finding what they need). Getting to the top of those results for your key words and phrases is literally a make or break mission for your web business. D avid Viney is a web design veteran - with 10 years experience - and a Looksmart Zealot. In the SEO Expert Guide, he shares How to get to the top of the search e ngine rankings – and stay there! The 108 page pocket guide includes the essential tips, tricks and tools of search engine optimisation, the (often dark) art of cl imbing the web rankings.
Copyright © David Viney 2005 First published 2005 by Mercury Web Publishing London 12 St. Winifreds Road Teddington Middlesex TW11 9JR http://www.web-publishing-l ondon.com Email firstname.lastname@example.org All rights reserved. Except fo r the quotation of short passages for the purpose of criticism and review, no pa rt of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or trans mitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recor ding r otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. ISBN 0-95507741-9 Typeset in 12/14/16pt Frutiger Linotype. This book is distributed in electro nic format. 3
I hope you enjoy this book and find it use ful during your New Media marketing activities. required to write it). David Viney 4 . that this book is dedicated (for tolerating the hours. then. This begins with a happy & secure family life. tucked away in my study. always empowered and always connected.Preface Simply. My passion i s for the information revolution made possible by these great advances and the e xciting business opportunities ahead. what drives me is making a real difference in the world and livi ng a good and useful life. It is to my family. always on. the co mpany of good friends and an active involvement in the local community. We can achieve things today that were not even dreamt of 50 years ago. We are the wired generation. Thi s is as true now as it was at the height of the dotcom boom (if not more so). The Internet is changing our world.
.................. Sitewide Optimization...................Table of Contents The SEO Expert Guide..............30 Domain name Optimization .......................................47 6...........................45 Page Image Optimization ...... 48 Google PageRank ................. ..............20 What are your 10 key words?...................... ................. 27 4.. .............44 Page Text Optimization ......................................... F ree Site Promotion (PR) ..... 18 3................24 Identifying related keywords.... 13 Who are your audience? .... . 8 What are they and who powers them?.......56 Article Submission ...................................... 13 What are you selling?.......... 57 5 ... 2 1 Which words do your competitors use? .................. Keyword Analysis ....11 2............ ................................................. ................................................................ Page Optimization..............................................................34 I nternal Links and Site Map Optimization ........................50 Directory Submission ......... ................42 Page Structure O ptimization . Search E ngines Explained ..... 16 Where are your co mpetitors? ............................................25 Building key word chains ............................. ........................ 33 File extension Optimization ...........................52 Search Engine Submission ......... ..............39 Metadata Optimization ...7 1....... .... 48 Inbound links ............................................... .....................55 Forum Partic ipation.............. Proposition Development......................... .........30 URL name Optimization....... 8 How do Engines find and rank sites? ... 9 Which Eng ines are the most popular? ............................................. 40 Title and Heading Optimization .35 5........................
..................78 10........................ 66 8................. 84 Appendix A: SEO Resources & Tools .........................................................Activities to avoid...........................74 Key Word Performance Repor ting ............................ 61 Favourites................... Ongoing Monitoring of Results .. 69 Buying Inbound Links......... 77 Interpreting your o wn Web Statistics. ...... 75 Monitoring your Traffic Rank .......................... 71 Use of Cloaking Pages or Sneak y Redirects..........................70 Use of L ink Farms and IBLNs ....Newsletters and eZines ....... 68 Hidden Page Text .. Conclusions .................59 Blogs and RSS.......... ..................... ..... ............ 68 Search Engine Ethics......................................... 66 Express Search Engine Submission............. 81 Your top 5 priorities ...................... 81 The cost/value trade-off ....63 Paid Directory Submission ... ................... Feedback and Referral .....83 Some notes on Migration .................74 Track ing PageRank (PR) .......... 86 Appendix B: SEO Forums & Newsletters .......59 Outbound Links .................................................. ...83 Some final words .......................63 Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising ..................76 Checking your Back Links .... ....... 72 9............. 98 6 .. ..... Black Ha t SEO ...................................................................................... ..62 7.............................................................. Paid Site Promotion (Marketing) ..... ....
The SEO Expert Guide 7 .
sponsored results and the search engine itself. making use of a so-called robot or spider (e. Search Engines Explained Before we explore the world of search engine optimization. It will help you to prioritize your activities later! What are they and who powers them? There are essentially four different parts to a typical large search engi ne. These crawlers provide an index. the directory. the crawler. You may find that several or all of the pages on your site are indexed in this way.1. which can then searched by the search engine. 8 . ultimately compiling an index of all the pages and sites on the internet. Crawlers (e. Some search engines have their own crawler and others buy-in crawler results from others.g. Google) automatically visit web pages to compile their listings. Googlebot). it is vital that you know a little about how search engines work and their relative market shares. which follows links from one website to another.g.
page) will be listed. generally only one page from your site (usually yo ur home . You will note a couple of things right away. If you get included in a directory. but rather an index data base of the full text of web pages. which itself is drawn from the billions of w eb pages on the internet's servers. Firstly. and the results fro m human-maintained directories to complete the search engine index. such as the Open Directory.or index . the domin ance of the Google and Yahoo! crawlers and secondly the importance of DMOZ direc tory results as a back-door for many engines. rely on submissions from the public. Crawled results are combined with spo nsored results. 9 . Check out th e Search Engine Relationship Chart at Bruce Clay inc.Human-powered directories. for the latest picture on who powers whom. supplied by pay-per-click (PPC) advertisers. How do Engines find and rank sites ? Search engines do not really search the web directly. which are reviewed by editors for inclusion in the directory.
Others are e xcluded because search engine spiders cannot access them. links. and other con tent in the page for "key words" that might be searched on at the engine. As each search engine has a different algorithm. they pass them on to another computer program for "inde xing. A fter spiders find pages. it will index si tes in a different way and thus serve up different relevant results.Search engine databases are selected and built by computer robot programs called spiders. This a llows the search engine to order results served by their "relevancy" to the sear ch terms used. unless the (usually new) site is submitted manually by a human at the sear ch engine's "add URL" page. All search engine companies offer ways to do this. spiders cannot fin d it. Some types of pages and links are excluded from most search engines by policy. If a web page is never linked to by any other page. 10 ." This program uses an "algorithm" to assess the text.
Generally, the use of frames, flash graphics and dynamic URLs all get in the way of effective spidering and should thus be avoided. In addition to indexing page s, most algorithms seek to establish the "authority" of a site. A site which is linked to by many other sites (using keyword-rich anchor text) is assumed to be of greater merit than one with no links at all. This activity is called "ranking " and helps search engines to sort otherwise similar results into ever-more rele vant and authoritative results. Which Engines are the most popular? Based on US analysis in January 2005, the top search engines (by share of total searches at home and work) are as follows: Google Search - 47% Yahoo! Search - 21% MSN Searc h - 13% All Others - 19% These shocking figures do not convey the true dominance of the top players, as you have seen from the interdependence of search provisi on in section (a) above. 11
You could be searching at AOL (part of the "other" 19%) and viewing Google resul ts, for example. There is also strong anecdotal evidence that Yahoo! and MSN ten d to send more searchers through to their sponsored (or paid) results than do Go ogle (due to the prominence of these results on their results pages). As such, f or a typical small webmaster who does not use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, t hey might get up to 80% of all their traffic from Google's various sites across the world. Now you understand the market a little better, you will perhaps under stand the obsession many webmasters have with Google! A top-10 position at Googl e for your key search terms can make your online business fly. If you drop out o f that top-10, your business can literally collapse overnight! Don't forget thes e key stats as you embark on your optimization journey! 12
2. Proposition Development It is literally amazing how many people start their online business presence by buying a domain name (close to their business name) and building a brochureware page. Only later do they turn their mind to optimizing their site for (i) their audience and (ii) the way their audience find them. Fewer still take a long, har d look at what their competitors are doing first. Take it from me, the best way to succeed in search engine optimization is to build it into your business devel opment strategy from the very outset. For this reason before we turn to optimiza tion techniques my guide considers first those fundamental questions of what, wh o and where: What are you selling? The first and most obvious question in this s equence is whether you are selling a product or a service and the degree to whic h you can fulfil this online. To illustrate the thinking involved, I will use (t hroughout the guide) the (mythical) example of Doug Chalmers, a purveyor of 13
restored antique doors. selling door handles and knockers (25%).to sell fitting services outside of his immediate locale (due to capacity and travel considerations). handles and knockers ac ross the United Kingdom (and on occasion overseas. Doug makes his money from selling doors (20% of total profi t). selling door bells or pulls (25%) a nd fitting services (30%). pulls. brass door fittings and accessories. 14 . through word of mouth recomme ndation) but only does fitting within a 20 mile radius and rarely sells doors to people who are not local. Doug may well be right and (after all) knows his business better than you or I. Doug admits that he has no desire . I know what you are thinking. He gets quite a lot of business f rom American and French tourists that drop into his shop after a visit to Windso r castle. When forced to consider his proposition more carefull y. but don't laugh. He has sold the bells. he can see a big market worldwide for his brass fittings and accessories. based in Windsor in the United Kingdom. How ever.or capability .
sells British and European cheeses across the globe and was a winner of the UK eCommerce Awards in 1999. Initially. the key point for now is that simply putting up a brochure of all Doug's products and services is unlikely to be the best strategy. Teddington Cheese did and have been reaping the rewar ds ever since! There are actually a number of key things about Doug's propositio n that we will revisit in subsequent parts of the guide. Who would have thought that cheese was a winner online? Well.Many take his business card. they almost always want to see brass doo r knockers. for example. However. but often leave with several small items. 15 . The Teddington C heese. Doug has heard the stories about other local businesses that have been successful online. Doug has some specific and focused aims an d by thinking about them now (and refining them) he stands a much better chance of success online.
Doug generally agrees that he is targeting socio-econo mic class A/B for his services. he can readily segment his customers into three types. They are generally cost-conscious on the overall package (comprised of pro ducts and fitting services). These people are typically affluent. and (3) fitted-refurbishment The first g roup are local people. (1) local-f ull-replacement. (2) diy-refurbishment. He is in luck there. professiona l. as such pe ople are disproportionately represented in internet usage worldwide! Having thou ght about it. looking to replace a whole door which has broken or is dr afty. white-collar workers living in leafy suburbs.Who are your audience? Segmenting your audience is a key part of any marketing o r PR strategy and make no mistake. search engine optimization is essentially a m arketing and PR activity (albeit somewhat different to some of the more traditio nal parts of this field). 16 .
Hopefully. 3. However. However. Where they are not local (which happens) they want a re ferral from him to someone who can fit locally in their area. 1 . At the very l east. The third group buy product but want it professionally fitted and finished. 17 . They are prepared to pay for quality but are more price se nsitive than the DIYers. he makes the biggest pr ofit margin per sale (in order) from groups 2. Doug makes the mos t revenue today (in order) from groups 1.the exact reverse! His own time (and that of his fitters network) is the biggest constraint in his busines s. the point here is obvious. They want advice on how to fit it but don't want the labour costs. Doug's website should address (perhaps separately) the needs of these thre e different groups. he could substantially improve his ove rall business profitability.The second group are interested in specific product items (which they are happy to fit themselves). 2. If only he could grow the DIY segment. 3. they are the least price sensitive group on the product cost and often buy the very best.
Finally.Ideally. the site will focus it's firepower on that second group (where the oppo rtunity for unconstrained growth is greatest). in the third their opportunities and in the fourth their threats. the site needs a local a nd a global face (to reflect the different geographies of his customers). your assessment should take into account both your local and your global competition. Strengt hs and weakness are things inherent to their business as it operates today (and generally internal). In th e first box. A useful tool to use is the so-called SW OT analysis. If you are in a locally-based mort ar-and-clicks business like Doug. Where are your competitors? No proposition development is complete without an honest a ssessment of what your competitors are up to. 18 . where you draw four boxes in a 2x2 table for each competitor. you note the strengths of the competitor. Opportunities and threats are things external to the busine ss and generally forward looking. in the second their weakn esses.
Look at each website objectively and put yourself in the mind of your customers. Consider whether the website was easy to find in the search engine. focus on one segment or try to be all thi ngs at once? Was it easy to get information and do business? Leave space in the boxes to return to later in the guide (as we will frequently refer back to what your competitors are doing. right or wrong). How many di fferent search words did you try? Do you like the look of the website? Does it a ddress each customer group separately. 19 .
key words are your ing redients and the rest of the guide (after this part) is your recipe. if you didn’t get this part right your meal will not be a very satisfying one a nd no-one will want to eat it! 20 . then keyw ords are the essential ingredients. b ut I would recommend you spend at least 25% of your time on this activity alone! That's 25% of all your time.3. eh? But believe m e. This may surprise you. building it. including the time you spend designing your site. It is vital that you start by investing time in key word research. optimising and promoting it! Quite an investment. Would you attempt to cook a complex new dish without first referring to a recipe? Would you start before you had all the ing redients available and properly prepared? In our analogy. Keyword Analysis If you imagine that building an optimized site is like cooking a meal.
Firstly.What are your 10 key words? You may think you know straight off. So please be patient and walk through the following steps. From earlier. you will tend to pick the same words used by other people. you will remember Doug (who sells antique doors. You are likely to be right about most of them but you will almost certainly make three common m istakes. door bells or pulls and fitting services). door handles. you will compound this by overusing these key words on your site and under usi ng related key words. Thirdly . you will tend to pick single words (rather than chains of word s). you should start wi th a visit to the Overture Keyword Selector Tool (which I recommend in preferenc e to Wordtracker. The result will be a poor finished product and sub-optimal ranking or traffic. Secondly. Like Doug. kno ckers. 21 . and the Google Adwords: Keyword Sugge stion Tool. which is a paid service. which does not indicate the popularity count of each search phrase).
He had never guessed searchers coul d be so savvy. He had not thought seriously about making brass a keyword. This is also very enlightening. Now it is pencilled in on his list.The Overture tool allows you to check for recent word search combinations (and t heir derivatives) on the Overture search engine. 22 . as he i s hoping to sell to the US audience by mail order. Next he tries "antique door knocker" and finds a single derivativ e "antique brass door knocker". he discovers "antique door chime" is about as popular (reflecting a difference between UK and US English). Trying "antique door bell" and pl aying around. returning search frequencies fo r each. Yet far higher still is the categor y level combination "antique door hardware". Doug enters "antique doors" and is surprised to find that "antique door knob" and "antique door hinge" score higher than "antique door knocker" (his bes t selling product in the high street store).
door. In Doug's example . decorative. iron. On the door knocker page. At least four of them are likely to be site-wide in their applicability and common to each page. he wants (in addition) the key words knocker. he decides he wants antique. you should come up with an "A" list of about 10 ke y words for each page. If you fin d this activity overly difficult. can I suggest you revisit your proposition? It is quite possible you have not yet properly thought that through! 23 . Put any left-over words onto a second page entitled "B" list. The remaining six will be page-specific.Perhaps you begin to see my point. As you will see later in the guide. You too should do the same. Through your Overture search. brass and hardware on each page in the site . service or information topic on your site. engraved. I recomme nd a separate page for each product. pineapple and lion.
top 10 sites generally have done wel l with their optimization more generally (and their metadata is likely to reflec t quality keyword analysis. For example. 24 .Which words do your competitors use? Through searching for door knockers on Goog le and focusing on the top 15 results. He also finds that several have used old as one of their keywords. However. Don't read me wrong h ere. in addition to antique. He uses the m enu option "view-source" in Internet Explorer to look at the key words used in t he page metadata. He is surprised to find some consistent themes. Metadata (particularly in isolation) is not the route to high search engine rankings (as you will see later). repeated throughout the site in other ways). a lmost all of the sites he finds whilst searching for "door knockers" also includ e "door knobs" in their metadata for that page. Doug brings up their pages.
Do ug compares "antique door knob" with "antique door knocker" and finds the former is hugely overrepresented on the web compared to the latter (with over 2. under 200). Doug confirms the effectiveness of all competitor comb inations using the Overture tool and revises his list to include some of these n ew words.Another key tool is the Google Smackdown.000 re sults vs.Related Keywords Lookup Tool. in favour of "old" an d "knobs". Navigat e your browser to the GoRank Ontology Finder . However. Identifying related keywords Now for an important third step. 25 . permitting you to compare the overall frequency of two competing keyword sets across the whole of Google's results. relegating "pineapple" and "lion" to his B-list. He knows that knob is not searched on ten times more (from his earlier work) so decides to concentrate on knocker as a word where he has l ess competition.
antiques. Now he can see why his competito rs use “old” in their list! Doug runs these related words back through the Overture tool and finds that "Victorian door" yields some decent results.Like Doug. so adds Victori an and Edwardian to his B-list (something he had never thought of previously). v intage. try entering "antique door knocker" and look at the results. Victorian. 26 . As Search Engin es move ever further towards the use of semantic intelligence in their ranking s ystems. I magine if Doug had started with Victorian door knockers as his game plan. antique. He would then have been changing his A-list. For "ant ique". rare. The On tology finder would have shown him that antique door knockers was a much more se nsible combination. collectible. classic. furniture. the tool suggests related keywords of old. the use of related keywords will become ever more important.
When you write your page copy later.com). Building key word chains Perha ps it might surprise you to learn that (based on research by OneStat. though? Isn't that what you yourself do when you are searching? E ven if you start with one word. Just 20% search on single words! Why does it surprise you. it is vitally important to come up with 3-5 keyword chains for each separat e page on your site. 27 . 33% o f all searches on Search Engines are for two word combinations. 26% for three wo rds and 21% for four or more words. you will need to ensur e that these keyword chains appear with reasonable density in your overall text.Make sure you future-proof your site through the liberal use of such words in pa ge text content. Bearing this in m ind. the results you get are generally not specific e nough (so you try adding further words to refine your search). More on this later in the guide.
You will achieve higher traffic this way (because of the way search engin es handle queries). he comes up with three favourite two-letter comb inations: "door knockers".Like Doug. "antique door" and "antique hardware". Through Doug's exploratio n (for his door knockers page). Doug is surprised to note that "door knockers" is more popular than "door knoc ker". For a typical 10-page site. Study closely the two-word and three-word combinations that come up most frequently for each of your key pages in turn. he settles on "house antique hardware" and "brass door knocker" . He has learnt another key lesson. pay a visit to the ABAKUS Topword Keyword Check Tool. always pluralize your key words where yo u can. Put in your com petitor sites one after another and check out the results (using the default sea rch settings). you should now have approximatel y 65-70 A-list words (with four of those being site wide) and perhaps as many as 200 B-list words (many of which 28 . For three-lett er combinations.
will be related key words)... 29 . Read on. You will have perhaps as many as 50 key word chains. You now have all the ingredients you need to get cooking. Congratulations.
Sitewide Optimization In parts 1 and 2 you learnt how to develop your online business proposition and how to generate a list of key word ingredients for your site optimization activi ty. 30 . door bells or pulls and fitting services) in Windsor in the UK. You were also introduced to our mythical Doug (who sells antique doors. door handles. knockers. If you already have a site and this is the first time you have seriously looked at SEO.4. Domain name Optimization A newsflash for you.migrate across from your old site to the new. Now it is time to start your optimization activities and I am going to start with a hard message. Don't worry about losing custom or links from other s ites there are ways to avoid that I will show you in the (final) part 10. By far the most effective way to optimiz e keywords is to have them in the full URL for your page. then I would recommend starting again from scratch ! Build a new site from the top-down and when you are done .
uk and see what you find. Domain names matter (whatever nonsense you might read on SEO forums). I know what you ar e thinking. All the good domain names have gone by now.laserpointers. you'll find that the company behind this site (and several others) is Blue Sky Marketing. Try typing "search" into Google and you might expect to see Google put themselves first in the results. At http://www.The highest value part of that URL is the domain name itself. If you dig about a bit.blueskymarketing.co. It is search.uk you will find their company website. you might be surpr ised (as you will soon see with Doug). Try http://www. We will deal with both these co ncerns (in reverse order). Well. Your second concern might be that you wou ld prefer to use your business name as your URL. but guess which of the two sites gets a to p five ranking at Google UK for a search on "laser pointers"? 31 . or Yahoo.com th at ranks highest however! I rest my case.co.
com. As such.the traffic (and business) impact this has is literally amazing.antiquedoorknocker. you too are likely to find a decent available domain (unless you are operating in a highly competitive area like real estate).The bottom line is that (after you have done every other piece of optimization) your domain name selection is perhaps the only area where you really differentia te yourself from your competitors. he finds the following two options are both still available for his top-selling product and biggest possible traffic dr aw: http://www. D oug makes a visit (as should you) to the excellent Keyword Domain Name Search To ol and.com If you use your top three keywords as a combination. 32 .antique-door-knocker. it may be your only realistic chance (in this every more mature market) to achieve a top 10 ranking for some of your key search terms and . although plurals are out (pity).believe me . Now for the "all the good domain names have gone" issue. and http://www.
more on this later). Well.com/door-hardware/ www.com/door-fitting/ 33 . As such.antique-door-knocker. this means that there is evidence supporting both options and . you choice isn't critical. s ervice or key piece of information. URL n ame Optimization You'll remember I suggested a separate page for each product. hyphe nated key words). Doug settles on three directories. I would suggest you do hyphenate in the domain name if you have a choice (if only to help with your page titles. However. on balance (and without boring yo u with the details).com/antique -doors/ www. I would also have a separate directory for each product or service category (limiting the directory name to two.antique-door-knocker. as such. In practice.antique-door-knocker.So which of these two should Doug choose? To hyphenate domain name or not? There is more disagreement on this amongst web masters than almost any other issue in SEO. covering his three main categories: www.
html ./door-hardware/iron-door-knobs....html .html . Extending Doug's example./door-hardware/brass-door-knobs./door-hardware/door-bell-chimes.html file extensions where possible. he comes up with 45 different pa ges under hardware. For the file extension I would alway s opt for static . Too many key words will reduce the overall density of any one word within the whole URL. I would u se up to three key words. again hyphenated.I wouldn't go down to sub-directories below this unless you have a particularly large number of products in your catalogue (and therefore recognisable subcatego ries).html 34 ./doo r-hardware/brass-door-knockers.. File extension Optimization For your (page) file name./ door-hardware/door-bell-pulls.html .. of which the following five are examples: . Dynamically generated fil e extensions (that include "?" or "%" in the query string) have been shown to co nfuse search engines.
or "index" . Thus he needs both covered at this level.page has very little SEO value. For optimising the site map. Doug discovered during his key word analysis phase that Americans tended to search on chimes. For example. My advice is to treat the homepage as a pretty site map . A well ranking root index page is the exception rather than the rule. everyt hing on the door chimes page also appears on the door pull page. he has duplicate products on different pages. 35 . This banana zone is where both human eyeballs and search engines will look most. but your home . Internal Links and Site Map Optimization It may be a shock to some (particularly those who foc us on Page Rank too much). imagine a dr oopy banana sat at the top of your page (drooping down the left hand side). w hilst brits used pulls.pretty because it should impress human directory reviewers and a site map so that it directs search engi ne robots quickly to your sub content.In some cases.
and look like this: Door Hardwares Brass Door Knobs Iron Door Knobs Door Bell Pulls Door Bell Chimes Brass Door Knockers Antique Doors Edwardian Doors Victorian Doors Door Fitting Surrey Door Fitters Middlesex Door Fitters 36 . A truncated example version (for Doug) would sit in t he top left corner of his home page .Make sure your links use key words only for anchor text and link directly to you r second and third levels.
More value is ascribed to internal links (with good anchor text) than many peopl e seem to realize. which picks up text only from within the anchor text o f indexed pages. For example. after all. 37 . Try comparing any straight search in Google with it's allinanch or equivalent. In fact Google even has a special ope rator: ‘allinanchor:keyword’. "swimming pools" versus "allinanchor:swimming pools" . Search engines use the anchor text on inbound links to d etermine the relevance of the target page. everything is un der their own control). I am often surprised at how many people spend ages trying to secure inbound links from other sites (more on this later) but have no decent. You'll probably notice that the top-ranked straight search site is invariably the topranked allinanchor site (whilst others further down the list may vary sub stantially). k eyword-rich navigation within their own site (where.
Don't neglect to focus on this area in your SEO strategy! Next we turn our atten tion to page optimization. 38 .
4 you learnt how to develop your online business proposition. Page Optimization In parts 1 . If you find yourself covering more. Expressed as a percentage".5. Now it is time to focus on optimizing each individual page. 39 . which is defined as "the frequency with which key words that are related to each other appear on the page". You were also introduced t o our mythical Doug (who sells antique doors. door handles. My key message is keep each page brief! You sh ould only be covering one key product. gener ate a list of key words and optimize at a site level. knockers. service or key piece of information per p age. Another key term is keyword relevan cy. door bells or pulls and fitting services) in Windsor in the UK. split the content and create more pages ! Keyword density is a key concept in page optimisation and be defined as "The n umber of times a keyword is used on a web page divided by the total number of wo rds on the page.
Doug (for his home page) opts for the following: 40 . metadata is still used by search engines to compile site des criptions in search engine results and (for that reason alone) is work investing a little time in! The META-Description tag is one of the few META tags that can be considered important. However. You should keep it to less than 180 characters (so that it is no t truncated by the engines) and make sure (i) it reads well. metadata was heavily used by search engines to rank sites. first heading and first paragraph of the page content).Metadata Optimization Experts disagree on the importance of metadata. (ii) includes keywo rds in reasonable density. In the goo d old days. (iii) attracts browsers to click and (iv) describes t he target page accurately (using words repeated in the page title. Now. as it is used by some search engines as the descriptio n to your site. as a result of abuse by webmasters. the main engines largely ignore metadata in rank ing sites.
Doug opts for: "antique door brass hardware knocker iron decorative engraved old knobs" Just about every other tag is pretty useless to be honest. to separate keywords. shipped worldwide. door bells and other door hardware in brass and iron. On his door knocker page. not commas. I would avoid altoget her the generator. The only other tags I would consider are the ICRA r ating tag (which can draw traffic from a number of new family-friendly 41 . Use spaces. Simply put your A-list of keywords for each page between the tags (remem bering that four of the ten should be common to each page on your site and six s pecific to the page in question). Content-Style-Type and Content-Language tags where your site is not in English. Old door kn ockers. " The META-Keyword tag is today almost useless. so I would not spend too much time on it."Antique doors and door fitting from Doug Chalmers of Middlesex. UK. copyright and author tags (they just clutter up your code) an d only use the Content-Type.
e ngraved old knockers and knobs" 42 . ICBM tags). consider Doug's door knocker page: "antique-door-knockers.com > Door Hardware > Brass Door Knockers . it is vital to get them right. so are worth at least considering. Title and Heading Optimization The title tag is not a meta tag but is absolutely vita l to search engine optimization. Overuse of keywords can be considered abuse by search engines.decorative.search engines) and a geo-locational tag (e. For all these reasons.g. Title tags are (i) displayed in the top of a br owser window. but this will not happen if you write the title as a breadcrumb trail (which is the approach I recommend). They should be descriptive and short (ideally under 100 characters) and should make good use o f your keywords. (ii) typically used by search engines to generate the link that ap pears to your page in the result listings. and (iii) used as bookmark titles for your page. Both these tags could become more widely used in the future. As an example.
which is why I am often surprised to find webmasters not using them. I would avoid going down to sub-sub-headings (heading 3) as search en gines will attach less importance to each level down in the nesting and dilute t he 43 .Pineapple K nockers or Knobs Plain knockers . It is by far the best way to differentiate and climb the rankings.Lion Knockers or Knobs .Breadcrumb titles summarise the page well.Heading 2 Decorative knockers . Search engines pay attention to heading tags.Round knocker Generally. whilst also positioning it within the overall site structure. using style sheets o r their web authoring software . Some avoid heading tags b ecause they haven't learnt how to control their appearance. Hardly anyone uses this sort of approach .but this is a lazy and costly mistake! Doug use s the following headers to structure his door knockers page: Heading 1 .which is all the more reason why you should.
this area should contain your first heading(s) and first par agraph. we stock reproduction lion knockers.com. I suggest sp litting the content onto separate pages. Here is an example from Doug's door knockers pag e: Decorative knockers (heading one) Lion knockers or knobs (heading two) At antiqu e-door-knockers. Page Structure Optimization We talked e arlier in the guide about the importance of the top-left of your page. pay particular attent ion to how you start each page. both available in 44 . As such. Some search engines will only measure keyword density and relevancy over the first few lines.value of the higher levels. On your h ome page. including the Regal Lion Head Door Knocker an d the Georgian Lion Door Knocker. In addition to our rare classics and collectables. we have the very best Victorian and Georgian door hardware. particularly our decorative or engrav ed old knockers and knobs. rather than the whole page. Our brass door knockers are very popular. If you find yourself needing heading 3. this area should be a site map of the whole of the rest of the site. O n your money pages.
the use of B-lis t key words (like Victorian and Edwardian) and. prices. Use your two-andthree word keyword chains we identified in part 3 (keywo rd analysis). Use bo ld or italics sparingly to strike out key words (but only when justifiably in co ntext).polished brass or cast iron. like dimensions. Firstly. the liberal use of internal linking (to home page. The rest of the page should continue in a similar vein (although you can be a bit more relaxed and focus on the more tedious but important details more makin g a sale. Thirdly. Pag e Text Optimization You may have gathered some of the key points already. Secondly. category page and product page level). related key words (like old. the very bottom of the page should be where you put your formal navigation to the rest of the site. in particular.) On money pages. Above all. the bolding of the keyword combin ation lion knockers (not overdone and perfectly understandable in this paragraph ). classic and collectible). 45 . You will notice a few things here. etc.
The general density f or regular page text content (sector two) . Opinions differ on ideal keyword density. I would aim for a density o f 20% for each word individually in sector one (where sector one is defined as t itle + headings + bold text + italicised text + alt text).should be 2-4% for your page specifi c (and most important) keywords. 0. you sho uld use the Spannerworks Keyword Density Analyser to measure the density of your copy and keep on refining it until you are happy with the results.5% for related key words (but with plenty of them).however. Like Doug. For your top four (and sitewide) key words. 46 .8% . aim for no more than 450-600 words in total on each page (and ideally n ear the lower end of that range).1.2%-0. Much depends on how competitive your key words are and how many you are targeting se riously.5% for your two/three keyword chains a nd 0.
Where you do use images. Generally. also available in cast iron) Note there is no need to say "image of" at the start of your description (in fac t this will only tend to annoy disabled users who make use of screen readers.Page Image Optimization I mentioned alt text in sector one above. For example. as their software will tell them it is an image before reading to them the alt tex t). however. Next we turn our attention to the promotion of your site. I w ould keep images to an absolute minimum in your site (and only to make the site visually appealing). 47 . Doug uses th e following alt text for an image of a knocker: Reproduction Regal Lion Head Door Knocker (in polished brass. I would make sure that yo u have descriptive alt text for each image which (i) helps the disabled user to understand the image and (ii) is dense with key words.
5 you learnt how to develop your proposition.6. My key message is that free publicity opportunities abound on the web.and obsessed about PageRank (a ranking given by Google to web pages on a scale from 0 to 10). we are talking about PR here. Now we turn our attention to site promotion . identify your key wor ds and optimize your site and pages. You were also introduced to our mythical Do ug (who sells antique doors. knockers. In marketing parlance. door bells or pulls and fit ting services) in Windsor in the UK. they wo uld do much better! Google PageRank Much has been written . Free Site Promotion (PR) In parts 1 . door handles. starting with free techniques. 48 . but that people tend to invest their time in the wrong areas! If people spent even half the time they generally spend on reciprocal link requests and invested it e venly across all the other tips and tricks I am going to tell you about.
real estate) where there are already hundreds of established. Google explain PageRank as relying on "the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. just one link from a PR10 webpage (if it's the on ly link on that page) 49 . optimized sites. Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote. In othe r words. by page A. one needs to get links from other sites to yours and lots of them. to increase Google PageRank. Al so.To find out the PageRank of any site. the best way is to download the Google Too lbar or use the Top25Web Google PageRank Calculator. What you need to remember above all else . where sites have a similar search relevancy for the words searched upon.is that PageRank is only relevant in ordering search results. for page B". PageRank is only likely to be (very) important to you if you are seekin g to enter a very crowded marketplace (e. links from sites with higher PageRanks are worth more than ones with little or no PageRank.g. As an example. So. In essence.
Just beware that (as loads of oth er people know this too) your average PR6 website owner gets inundated with poli te linking requests.00 0 links from PR3 pages to achieve the same result! Inbound links I hope my point on PageRank has not been lost on you! You will have to work very hard indeed to get your PageRank up to a decent level. Now who is going to do that just to hel p you out? 50 .would be enough to earn your linked page a PR8. Investing your time wisely is most impo rtant. but you might need nearly 350. Also be aware that PageRank works in reverse too for outbou nd links (see below). or you could spend the rest of your natural life getting nowhere fast! Yo u should only really seek inbound links from pages ranked 6 or better (as then t he odds become playable and worth the effort). If a PR6 site links to a PR0 site (such as your new one) i t will dilute slightly its own PageRank.
which I outline below . Thirdly. If the email addres s of the webmaster isn't obvious from the site. so they don't have to think too much! Just take my advice though. Be s pecific about what link . 51 .and key word rich link text . send a polite note to the webmaster of that site. look up the technical contact fr om the site's domain name record (which you can bring up at Domain Search). Secondly. you should only seek links with related sites as anything else amounts to unethical behaviour. put a link to their site on your own site first. You are far better off focusing your efforts on getting a few key links from a very small number of key site types. poin ting out what you have done and inviting her to reciprocate. this is likely to be a largely fruitless and very t imeconsuming activity.you would like them to u se and send them the HTML code ready-made. there is a protoco l to observe: Firstly.If you must send out reciprocal link requests to other sites.
with a PR8 for the Open Directory Project (DMOZ) and for Looksmart. Such sites are given much authority by the sea rch engines.Directory Submission Web directories are a brave attempt to create a human-maint ained taxonomy of the entire web. when they show up sear ch engines fed by that directory). they would seem a good place for you to start your promotional activities! Directories like DMOZ also sell their results to hundred s of other sites (including Google) so one link can quickly become several hundr ed! Firstly. This should be similar to what you came up with for your Meta-descriptio n tag (see part 5) and loaded with the right keywords. My advice is to create a very slightly different version for each directory submission you make (so that you can later track the effectiveness of each submission. and PR10 for Yahoo Directory. you should create a summary description of the site in less than 30 words. 52 . As directories are in the business of giving site s like yours outbound links.
Doug opts for: "antique-door-knockers." Secondly. I am going to treat submission to Yahoo! as a pai d inclusion (and cover it in the next part of the guide) as. take two things into account .pay close attention to the style & submission guide for each directory (and adjust your description accordingly).Antique doors and door fitting from Doug Chalmers o f Middlesex.com .and on your c ompetitors' URLs . Old door knockers. you should research the various topic categories to find the most appr opriate area to submit to. Do a search on your top four keywords . Make a list of the most popular categ ories returned. (a) is the category actively maintained by an editor (better if it is) and (b) is your site targeted at a specific regional market (in which case you should f avour a regional category). Thirdly . In choosing between the categories. i t is 53 . in my experience. UK. door bells and other door hardware in brass and iron. shipped worldwide.once you have selected your category .at the top directories.
54 . If you hear nothing after a further three month s. ask for assistance in the Ope n Directory Public Forum(http://resource-zone. Then wait three months before sending a polite chasi ng email to the category editor. DMOZ is run entirely by volunteer s and each site is reviewed by hand in a process which can take many months.com) and should generally find you get a qu icker answer. Since MSN stopped using Looksmart directory results. afte r a further three months you have had no response. this director y has become slightly less critical (but alliances can change quickly in SEO. That leaves Looksmart and DMOZ as the other two big ones. so I would still recommend giving this some attention). Sta rt by submitting your site. send an escalation email to the category editor above your category. Looksmart works in a similar way (although you make your submissions via http://www.zeal.very hard to get listed in Yahoo! Directory on the basic submission.com) then (shortly afterwards) esc alate to DMOZ senior staff. If.
Do not keep re-submitting to (for example) DMOZ. in the hope you will get a faster turnaround. Do work your way through this list if you have the time (as this is still time much better spent than chasing reciprocal inks). Such programs consume c omputing resources and violate our terms of service. Patience is a virtue here! Search Engine Submission Do not use sea rch engine submission software! Many of them do not work properly (as their link s are out of date) and some search engines will actively block or blacklist such submissions. If you really overdo it. etc. in their Guide for Webmasters. say "don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages. you may simply be ignored as a spammer. You will not. Google. it is like goi ng to the back of the queue.An excellent list of more minor directories (that are still SEO -friendly) can b e found at Info Vilesilencer. On e final point. 55 . check rankings. Each time you submit. Google does not recommend t he use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic q ueries to Google".
Use the same description you used for the directory submissions. My advice is to check the PageRank of each engine's homepage befo re bothering to submit.com and signs up. Doug finds http://forum. Anything less than PR4 is not worth the hassle. There are so many search engines. where PageRank of the forum homepage is PR5 or b etter).My advice is simply to do a search on Google for the words "submit URL". 56 .doityourself. I suggest you research some areas of interest related to your site and identify at least two forums you can join through a search on Google (selec t from the top 10 results only. Forum Pa rticipation Now we get onto some of the most interesting little areas of free si te promotion. You'll remember f rom his proposition that a key customer segment for him is the DIY door fitter. you could well spend a few happy weekends on this a ctivity alone. "submit site" and "add to listing" in turn and work your way slowly through the top 100 results.
Let you competence and skill sp eak for you and you'll find your postings (and therefore your signature file lin k) showing up in search engine results and attracting highly targeted click-thro ughs from forum members. article submission. It is his blog to which Doug links in his signature file and he posts approximately two entries a week over his Sunday co ffee. Doug has established a blog on his site to help customers with their common door DIY questions. Then begin posting relevant items of genuine assistance to your audience. Article Submission Now you are going to discover the si ngle best free way to promote your site. Research (like you did for forums) a few article repositories with categories related to your websi te (PR5 or above only please). 57 . As you will see later.Create a signature file for your posting template that includes the URL of your site. Do not abuse the forums! Enter into them with genuine enthusiasm and never promote your site in the body of your postings.
Doug submits fou r articles to five different sites in their DIY category. Ideamarketers. You should also look at Yaho o! groups that collect and distribute free articles to their members. Free-Content and article_announce. I use aabusiness. wwio and netterweb just to get you started. artic lecity. hig h quality traffic from these sites.I can recommend looking at: eZinearticles. 58 . For exampl e. He is amazed to find (i) that he gets a lot of direct. articlesfactory. Each article contains one (topical and keyword-richanchor-text) link to his site in the main body of t he article and a link to his site and blog in the resource box ("about the autho r") at the bottom of the article. All the articles are optimized for his keyword s and keyword chains. (ii) that his articles appear near the top o f search results on some of his three-word keyword chains and (iii) that this se ems to help him acquire PageRank more quickly than any of the other free methods he has used. He is not alone in discovering this and now you too are in possess ion of this key nugget. aainet.
He also creates his own monthly email newsletter that customers can sign up for on his site. as frequently refreshed and dense co ntent that tends to be naturally optimized for search. Much of the hype is well-de served. He finds. sorted in 59 . put simply. Doug manages to get some of his articles accepted for publication in popular web DIY newsletters. the media and social affairs. Please do copy Doug. It doesn't take an awful lot of effort to do this and it a lways pays off better than an endless focus on reciprocal link-building. over time. This helps him to build a mailing list of high-value customers and to buil d an ongoing relationship with them. They are also attractive to search engines. Blogs a nd RSS There is a lot of hype out there about blogs. Blogs are transforming areas of politics.Newsletters and eZines Building on the previous point. that he gets a lot of repeat business this way (peppering his newsletter with regular special offers). A blog. is "a n online journal of content and Web links.
Syndic8. to avoid confusion with web server log files. he builds a ser ies of postings addressing them. Technorati. He submits his blog to specialist search engines Bloglines.chronological order.0 format feed. Several of these postings are the very same tex t he used in his article submissions. He then uses Pi ng-o-matic to tell the engines when he has updated his blog. He also opts to host an ATOM feed of his p ostings as well as an RSS 2. Based on his o wn experience of his customers' most frequently asked questions. Doug signs up at Google's Blo gger and selects to host his "DIY Doors" blog on his own servers. The slang term “Blog” was coi ned.com. PubSub. He also adds his RSS fe ed to myYahoo. Bl ogdex. which he creates from the ATOM feed. using Feedburner. he sends an invoice with links to his blog. Blogstreet and Eatonweb amongst others. so that c ustomers get an after-sales service 60 . The blog becomes th e online equivalent of Doug's high street advice service to local DIYers.com and Feedster. with the most recent at the top". With e very hardware sale online. Blogwise.
This all becomes a very welc ome source of targeted traffic (as well as being a fair bit of fun). He then answers those questions on the blog. Do ug adds in the sidebar four links to the top DIY sites on the web (each 61 . In time. Over time. I pointed out that PageRank works in reverse. the major search engines come to share his v iew (and his blog ranks higher in the end than the main site). Customers can also post questions to him b y email using an online form on his site.superior to those of his competitors. In his blog. adding tips of their own . with credit given or deducted for the quality of your outbound links. Occasionally customers comment on his responses. Doug is delighted with this and sees the whole blog as a real differentiator f or him in the marketplace. he fin ds that his blog has built up quite a following and one or two other webmasters start to syndicate his RSS feed on their DIY sites. Outbound Li nks You'll remember earlier.
door handles. Now we turn our atte ntion to paid site promotion. In the results. which will be relevant to those of you trying to e nter an already crowded marketplace. door bells or pulls and fitting services) in Windsor in the UK. All these results are paid advertisements from the sites listed wit hin the ads.7. where your key words are saturated! Pay-per -click (PPC) Advertising Run a search on Yahoo or Google for a popular consumer product like "MP3 players".6 you learnt how to develop your proposition. Paid Site Promotion (Marketing) In parts 1 . identify your key wor ds and optimize and promote (for free) your site and pages. you'll see a set labelled as ‘Sponsore d Links’ or ‘Sponsor Results’. 63 . knockers. You were also introd uced to our mythical Doug (who sells antique doors. whilst others may appear in the same format as the main sea rch results. Some results will appear in coloured text boxes along t he site of the page.
willing to pay for those keywords? 64 . At time of writing. why wouldn' t you look at PPC? Look at your A-list of keywords. T he largest two are Google's Adwords (displayed on Google. the chances are that you are operating in a highly competitive area (where a PPC campaign may well be justified). If you have tried and failed with free promotion tactic s. AltaVista.and your competitors . After all. MSN. Ask Jeeves) and Y ahoo's Sponsored Links . AOL. MSN are on the verge of releasi ng their own PPC scheme. and others).run by acquired company Overture (appearing on Yahoo!. if you can make more money from a converted click-through than it cost you to buy the click-through.The ranking order is a product of the bid amount (CPC) and the popularity of the ad (CTR%) and are purchased through payper-click (PPC) advertising suppliers. How many searches are conducted per month on your keywords? How muc h are you . Refer back to your research on Overture.
expressed as a percentage). Pay close attention to which keywords are delivering for you and make notes for future cam paign planning. 65 .or unique visitors . expressed as a percentage)! Help them to buy.For your first campaign. Simply sending people to your homepage (from where they have to navigate your site) will not help your conversion rates (defined as sales divided by unique vi sitors.divided by page impressions on the ad pages . Build unique ads for each search phrase. so that you can test and learn what works best. as this will help to optimize your click-through rate or CTR% (defined as click s . This in turn means more targeted traffic. as they are likely to be i n a hurry! The PPC providers give you useful interfaces with which to track the effectiveness of your campaign and overall return on your investment. in some cases payin g less per click (due to the methods by which advertising is priced). use a large number of relevant search phrases. Make sure you use a suitable (and perhaps even a dedicated) landing page for each campaign .
the more you will have to pay in cost-per-click (CPC) to get into the top 3-4 results in your chosen keywords (vital if you want to appear on partner sites like AOL). Express Search Engine Submission In t he past. On Google.8% . Do not submit to Yahoo! until you have really tested which site descript ion works best on the free search engines. Yahoo! Directory carries much weight with Google and the $299 f ee (whilst steep and not absolutely guaranteeing a listing) is probably worth th e cost.3. The lower your CTR%. a CTR% of 1. Paid Directory Submission I mentioned earlier that Yahoo! Expr ess Submission is the best way to get a listing on Yahoo! Directory. as this engi ne continued to enjoy a small but loyal 66 . i f your ad achieves less than 0.5% CTR. it was only worth doing a paid submission with Ask Jeeves. With a node -level PR of 10.5% is in an acceptable range (and anything over that represents a very good performance). your ad may well be de-listed.Whilst there is no hard and fast rule.
following but did not grow it's index as aggressively as the big boys. I would not recommend paid listings with any search engi nes now. Ask J eeves withdrew this service in 2004 (in favour of a strategy that mirrors the la rger players). However. As such. 67 . This mean t paid submission was the only way to guarantee a good placement. Next we turn to tools you can use to monitor your ongoing optimization effectiveness.
knockers. 68 .7. Black Hat SEO . In this part of the guide. as they are unethical. There are some search engine optimization and promotion techniques I did not cover. door bells or pulls and fitting services) in Windsor in the UK. You were also introduced to our mythical Doug (who sells antique door s.8. so you can recognize and avoid them! Search Engine Ethics Borrowing from the Wild West. door handles. Search engines are designed to help peo ple find genuinely relevant results for the key words they enter. Relevancy is a mixture of the "authority" of the site generally and the spe cific relevance of the page content to the search made. I outline these techniques. you learnt how to develop your proposition.Activities to avoid In parts 1 . whils t black hat SEO is unethical techniques. in a ranked or der. white hat SEO generally refers to ethical techniques. identify your key wo rds and optimize and promote (for free) your site and pages on the world's searc h engines.
At a simple level.you are like ly to be disappointed by the result when you land on this page. White Hatters tend to view search engines as friends. Don't deceive your 69 .Anything which undermines this (i. The text is generally hidden becaus e it does not fit with the rest of the page content but does help with search en gine results. Google implore you to "make pages for users. who can help them get business.e. Hidden Page Text Blackhatters create hidden text in page code (not intended for humans). often using externally called CSS style sheets. to be beaten by means fair or foul. Black hat practitioners tend to see search engine optimization as a war. In their Guide f or Webmasters. not for search engin es. This by definition means that .as a human searcher . and search engines and SEOs as the enemy. thi s could be white text on a white background. by creating false impressions of authority or relevance) is unethical because it undermines the key purpose of search engin es.
'Does thi s help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?' ".users. Buying Inbound Links In their Guide for Webmaste rs. or present different content to search engines than you display to users. then I would recommend yo u pay attention to this advice. Google ask you to "avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. As you c an imagine. Buying votes? Unethical! The co nsensus in forums is that Google look 70 . Another useful test is to ask. You can fin d on the web links from PR8 sites on sale for $200. A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've do ne to a website that competes with you. If you want to avoid being blacklisted by Google. Google and others frown on this activity. “The guide goes on to specifically recommend you "avoid hidden text or hidden lin ks". you'll understand why such a high price can be supported. From our earlier exploration of PageRank. as it undermines the whole principle of democracy that underpins PageRank.
Google say "don't participate in link schemes designed to in crease your site's ranking or PageRank. Where a site is simply a link farm site (that lists loads of links to other sites. in exchange for links back or money) Google will eventually identify it as a 'bad neighbourhood' and remove the links from its index. including substantial cross linking.out for unnatural linking patterns. Independent Back Linking Networks (IBLNs) are a network of site s that all directly or indirectly link back to your site in such as a way as to promote it through the search engine rankings. I would advise you avoid this sort of activity altogether! Use of Link Farms and IBLNs In their Gu ide for Webmasters. The way IBLNs get around 71 . Google identify 'bad neighbourhoods' by devalu ing back-links from the same IP subnet." In practice. avoid links to web spamme rs or 'bad neighbourhoods' on the web as your own ranking may be affected advers ely by those links. sharp g rowth in backlink numbers and same anchor text in most links. In particular.
This poor 72 . or other 'cookie cutter' approaches such as affiliate prog rams with little or no original content. worse. That do main simply redirects to a different site (with a regular business name) which a lso fails to rank well in Google. Google recommend you "avoid 'doorway' pages created jus t for search engines.com fails to rank higher in the search engines. dro pping your entire IBLN including the main site your were trying to optimise for. This is very time-consuming and will cost you a lot of money.Google's IP monitoring is by using a completely different web-hosting plan for e very site you want to link back directly to you. It is also not fool-proof and (if detected) can l ead to Google simply wiping out all the direct referrers from their index (the s ites they find flagrantly built simply to link to your main site) or. Don't be daft ." When Doug reads this.keep it clean! Use of Cloaking Pages or Sneaky Redirects In the ir Guide for Webmasters. he begins to und erstand why doorknockers.
73 . Next we turn to tools you can use to monitor your ongoing optimization effectiveness. Doug visits the Search engine SPAM detector fo r a final Black Hat audit of his site. doorway farms and hidden text on any given URL. Once he has fi nished his optimization campaign. using some autom ated algorithms. This useful tool looks for evidence of ke yword stuffing. He also understands why having his content on antique-door-knockers. Doug is relieved to find no major issues.business-owner has clearly become an unwitting and almost certainly innocent vic tim of Google's policy to catch out Blackhatters.com will be preferable to redirecting peop le to a domain based on his company name (Doug Chalmers Limited).
it is vital that you objectively monitor your performance. where the average page rank of a ll pages on the web is just 1. However. The system is also a zero-sum game. using measurable indicators and statistics. you can track your Google PageRank by usin g the Google Toolbar or the Top25Web Google PageRank Calculator. this is not a one-off process. where you tweak and refine towards ever be tter ranking. 74 . but an ongoing and iterative process. Ongoing Monitoring of Results In the Guide.0 (so at PR10 there are just a handful of sites.9. Tracking PageRank (PR) As I have indicated previously. you have. Bear in mind th at the PageRank system is a logarithmic system. To inform this iteration. learnt how to plan for and execute a search engi ne optimization and promotion strategy. w hilst at PR0 there are tons). so far. in that an inc rease in the PR of one site is effectively offset by a tiny reduction in the PR of every other site (so that the average stays at 1).
You can obtain you own API key at no charge from: http://www.com/apis/ Once armed with your key. which allows you to enter a keyword chain and see where your domain appears in Google's search r ankings for that combination. you should ther efore expect your PR to decline slowly over time (all other things. including SE O. but Googl e makes available to the public a key which gives you direct access to the index database compiled by their crawler. which allows you to track changes to your P ageRank over time (for any number of different URLs). 75 . I suggest you use t he excellent Digitalpoint's Tracker.google. Key Word Performance Repor ting A simple tool to get you going is the GoogleRankings tool. being equal). You can predict how your PageRank might change in the near futu re by using Rustybrick's PR Predictor. You might not be aware of this.As the internet is always growing and average PR stays the same.
However. To get into the top 100. which allows you to rece ive emails showing changes to top rankings for your selected keywords. Tailored toward website owners and SEO freaks. so get cracking! Monitoring your Traffic Rank Begin by downloading and installing the Alexa Toolbar (and join over 10 million other people who hav e done the same). The easiest way to learn is by doing. is a useful free-subscription service.000 sites is the obsession of many . Google alert. you can sign-up for two further great services. The first of thes e. Alexa gives each site a traffic rank. do recognise that Alexa has its limitations. it has much gre ater penetration in Korea than elsewhere (so Korean sites distort the 76 . Firstly.With your API. it provides det ailed statistics and information about the Web sites that a user visits (through tracking the surfing habits of its millions of Toolbar users). The secon d is the GoRank Google API keyword tracking tool (also free) which allows you to monitor multiple domains and keywords all on one page.
results). Secondly, at the lower end of the rankings, your own visits to your si te can make a big difference to your rankings (as your own activity is also poll ed by Alexa). For all its faults, Alexa is about the only reliable way to get an y kind of idea where your site lies in terms of traffic, relative to your compet itors. If you are still miles behind after a few months, try tweaking your keywo rds and content to more closely mimic (without copying) your successful opponent . Hopefully, you will reap the benefits! Checking your Back Links The easiest wa y to check your Google backlinks is to type link: followed immediately by your d omain name. However, Google filters out of these results any internal links and similar links. To trick Google (and force her to leave those in) type your domai n name into the Google search bar, with a plus sign between the dot and the tld domain filename. The two commands illustrated for Doug are: link:antique-door-knocker.com antique-door-knocker.+com 77
For a rigorous and on-going analysis, take your Google API key back to Digitalpo int's Tracker, a wonderful two-in-one tool which allows you to track (filtered) backlinks and PageRank for loads of individual URLs on just one page. Interpreti ng your own Web Statistics You should not neglect your own log files or site sta tistics in seeking to understand the success of your SEO strategy. If you don't already have a stats package installed, check out Webalizer, AWStats or Analog/R eport Magic. Ignore hits and files. A hit is any element called by your browser when it requests a page. A file is a hit which actually returned data from the s erver. Given that a single page may register a single hit or hundreds of hits (i f it contains lots of images or external scripts and style sheets) it is not ver y useful data for any kind of comparison. Unique Visitors are recorded through e ach new IP address that hits you site. This under-estimates the total, as people visiting 78
your site from the same IP address (such as people on an office network) will be counted as a single visitor. Repeat visitors are a sub-set, where the same IP a ddress has visited more than once (and will be over-estimated for the same reaso ns highlighted above). If you visitor numbers are on the rise, the chances are t hat your SEO strategy is yielding results. Page Views or Page Impressions (PI) m easures the number of pages served. By dividing this into total visitor numbers, you can also derive the number of pages the average visitor views. Page views c an give you an idea of whether or not visitors are finding what they need on you r site and progressing through it or viewing a single page and leaving. The key measure for you is the Referrer data, where the link a visitor clicked on to arr ive at your site is counted as a referrer or referring site. By tracking the num ber of referrals each month that you get from each search engine (and comparing this to their respective market shares) you can get an idea of how your performa nce is improving over time. 79
Search terms and search strings appear in the referring url and can tell you a l ot about the key words you have successfully optimized. However. If you spot any areas of underperformance.e. Now for some final conclusions and advice on site mi gration (to your new. how many pages they are viewing). You might find that you are getting traffic on some unexpected terms and failing on some you hoped would do well. optimized masterpiece). this could in fact mean you have hit on some useful words tha t your competitors have missed! Feed back your findings into future SEO activiti es. 80 . The Browsers section will typically show you which search engine robots are visiting your site. how often and with what result (i. reread the crawler guidanc e at the robot homepage (to make sure there is nothing you are doing to impede t he spidering of your site).
therefore. This will help yo u to prioritize your time and spend your money sensibly. Likely to be time-consuming. I would like to (i) summarise the time/spend/effort (=cost) and value trade-off for each area I have covered. (ii) highlight from that your top five areas of focus and (iii) give you some m igration tips for how to cut-over to your new. it is important that you spend your time wisely.10. By way of conclusion. search engine optimization (SEO) is a mul tifaceted activity. Conclusions As you have seen throughout the guide. Each has been rated them cost / effort and value. The cost/value trade-of f I have listed all the SEO and promotion techniques covered in the guide in the table below. then sorted them on a score (which is a product of their value and cost): 81 . optimized site.
Score Technique 9 9 9 6 6 6 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1 URL name Optimization File extension Optimization Title and Heading Optimization Domain name Optimization Article Submission Blogs and RSS Internal Links and Si te Maps Page Structure Optimization Page Image Optimization Forum Participation Newsletters and eZines Page Text Optimization Directory Submission Outbound Link s Favourites. Feedback and Referral Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising Paid Directo ry Submission Metadata Optimization Search Engine Submission Reciprocal Inbound Links Express Search Engine Submission Cost Low Low Low Med Med Med Med Med Med Med Med High High Low Low High High Low High High High Value High High High High High High Med Med Med Med Med High High Low Low High H igh Med Med Low Low 82 .
I know that's six.htaccess' file can be modified to tell spiders that the page has either temporarily 83 . The '. the web server where the page is h osted checks a file called '. However. right? Some sites link to it and some customers have bookmarked it. Ok . your old site is not totally without merit. So how do you migrate to your new site without losing these hard-won benefits? Meet 301 and 302 Redirects. When a browser/agent/spider requests a page or URL. the page technique of Title and Heading O ptimization and promotion techniques of Article Submission and Blogs and RSS. you should discern that your prioriti es should be the site-wide techniques of Domain name Optimization. but who's counting? These methods produce the best return o n investment overall.Your top 5 priorities From the list above.htaccess'. URL name Opti mization. You might ev en have a modest PageRank on one or two pages. Some notes on Migration So you have followed my advice and built a totally new site. File extension Optimization.
moved (302 redirect) or permanently moved (301 redirect). From a search engine perspective. Although Google can handl e 302s. search e ngines will index only the new URL. It is usually possible to implement redirects without messing with the '. I would let this run for 6 months or so. use your control panel to place a 301 redir ect to the equivalent new page. usin g your web host's control panel instead. Some final words I hope you have found my SEO Expert Guide useful and enjoy some positive effects over time in your se arch engine results and web traffic. Be patient! Results 84 . 301 r edirects are the only acceptable way to redirect URLs. So where you have pages with decent PageRank. In the case of moved pages.htaccess' file directly. the other engines struggle with it. then de lete or archive the old pages altogether. but will transfer link popularity from the o ld URL to the new one so that search engine rankings are not affected.
can take a while to feed through (particularly as search engines take longer and longer these days between major updates).com and check back every so often on my blog for updates. Do send any feedback you have to davi email@example.com/search-engine-optimizationexpert/ 85 . The address of the blog is: http://viney.
overture. Search Engine Relationship Chart htt p://www. together with their current URLs.Appendix A: SEO Resources & Tools This appendix includes a summary of all the tools mentioned in the main body of the book.com/d/searchinven tory/ suggestion/ This handy tool allows you to compare the popularity of different ke y word combinations at the Overture search engine – and to see derivatives or ante cedents. this chart from Bruce Clay maps the changing relationsh ips between search engines and where they get their data. Overture Keyword Selector Tool http://inventory. Helpful in your search for “back doors” into the biggies. 86 .com/searchenginerela tionshipchart.htm A useful place to check back from time to time.bruceclay.
com/select/Keywor d Sandbox Designed for use by Google Adword and Adsense customers.google.wordtracker. 87 . Wordtracker draws it’s data from two huge metacrawlers (meaning you g et much more reliable data than from Overture). Google Adwords: Keyword Suggestion Tool https://adwords.com/ Although a year’s subscription costs more than £100. this may well be worth it if you are planning to do a lot of SEO on a l ot of sites. This can be a handy way of quickly identifying how your specific industry mo st commonly describes the key words of its trade.Wordtracker http://www. The tool also makes competitor a nalysis very easy to do. this tool wil l suggest a more specific combination of key words for any combination you type in.
you can identify popular keywords (that are un derserved by your competitors) to focus on.Google Smackdown http://www. This should be an essential part of your research.Related ools/ontology/ As search engines ordering of search results. you that helps you identify related y on your site! 88 Keywords Lookup Tool http://www. the commonality of two competing ke yword combinations. head-to-head.com/googlesmack/dow n.com/seot take ever greater account of semantics in their could check out this important tool from GoRank words for all your key words.onfocus. Use them liberall . When put together with data from Overture.gorank.asp This smashing litt le tool allows you to compare. GoRank Ontology Finder .
com/keywordsearch. identifying a domain name whic h includes your key words should be a key component of your strategy. Here you can look at any competitor page to see which combinations are utilised.abakus-internetmarketing.html This is a great little tool for building key word chains – those 2. This handy little tool helps you search for that elusive unpurchased gem that could make a ll the difference! 89 .de/tools/t opword.ABAKUS Topword Keyword Check Tool http://www.htm Perhap s the best way of all to ensure a top 10 ranking. 3 or even 4 word combinations that are so vital to search engine success.domainit. Keyword Domain Name Search Tool http://www.
Multimap Geolocation http://www.multimap. Using a simple form and set of dropdowns.com/meta. 90 . this little tool is very handy for helping you to generate the basics. Work out your geolocation with the help of Multi map and perhaps even put your blog into their database. you can b uild the HTML you need.katstorm. However.com/ The ICBM tags (that pinpoint the l ongitude and latitude of your site) could well become more widely used in local search over the next few years.html Meta data should not be top of your list of priorities.Meta Tag Generator http://www.
Did you achieve the density you were hoping for in your key word and key word chains? Keyword Density Analyzer http://www.com/keywordana lys er.google.com/ Indispensable! Every time you visit a site.keyworddensity.0. t he toolbar displays the Google Page Rank of the page you are on.com/ This tool allows you to compare the key word density of your site to each of your competitors in turn. S imply enter the two URLs and the key word combinations you want to test. Page Rank is th e key way Google sorts between sites of a similar relevancy.html This is a great tool to use to check your results. Google Toolbar http://toolbar.Spannerworks Keyword Density Analyser http://www.spannerworks. 91 . once your draft pag es are up.
92 . Usually.com/pagerank. Rustybrick's PageRank Predictor http://www.rustybrick.php If you are opera ting behind a company firewall (or on a locked-down desktop) that prohibits the download of the Google toolbar. Simply e nter the URL of the page you want to check and click submit.com/pagerankprediction. the forecast will be downwards (due to the ongo ing growth of the internet and the fact that Google holds average PageRank const ant at 1). this site will do the same job for you.Google PageRank Calculator http://www.top25web.php A simple tool that predicts how your PageRank is likely to change in future Goo gle updates (aka “dances”).
Free Directory submissions http://info. manually submitting to e ach of these is a simple but effective way to increase your PageRank.com/link_popul arity_check.vilesilencer. 93 .cfm Link popularity is the total number of links or "votes" that a search engine ha s found for your website.php A long list of smaller search engines that you could submit to.com/main.instantposition.php?rock=s eo-frien dly. This tool allows you to analyze your site against comp etitors. As many or all of these are themselves indexed by the crawlers.Domain Link Popularity http://www.
com/apis/ Google hand out these Application Progra mming Interface (API) keys to web masters to give them direct access to their cr awler index. Google APIs http://www.google.motoricerca. 94 . doorway farms and hidden text. The three methods covered are keyword stuffing.Search engine SPAM detector http://tool.info/spam-detector/ This too l analyzes a web page. searching for characteristics that search engines could c onsider spam. There are many excellent API-driven services and tools out there th at can help you better understand – and track over your time – your PageRank perform ance. Avoid inadvertently falling foul of Black Hat bans from the major s earch engines.
This one allows you to track the top 20 results on Google for your chose n key words and be updated by email when these change. Excellent! Google Alert http://www.php This powerful tool requir es a Google API key (see above) and can tell you how you are ranking on Google f or your key words. If you have done a good j ob. your site will start making a welcome appearance on the report! 95 .com/index.googlerankings.GoogleRankings http://www. instead of you having to scroll down through Google’s results w ith a paper and pen.com/ Another tool requiring use of your Goog le API.googlealert.
alexa. This one allows you to build customised reports on the po sition of your pages for certain key word phrases.com/ Another tool requiring u se of your Google API. Alexa Toolbar http://download.com/?amzn_id=thein ternet0f-20 Another essen tial in the SEO toolbox is Amazon’s Alexa toolbar. 96 . this tool is still very handy for trackin g the traffic and page views on your site against all other sites on the interne t (including your competitors). It’s not 100% reliable (for reasons I cover in the main body of the guide) but very useful nonetheless. This is a great way to keep updated on the results of your optimisation efforts. These reports and then delive red to your email inbox on a regular basis.Google API keyword tracking tool http://www.gorank. Although Amazon are gradually b acking Alexa into their new A9 engine.
com/tools/keyword s/ This tool ca n be a little unreliable at times (showing the wrong PageRank on occasions for y our URLs) but it is nonetheless a useful way to keep track of PageRank for a lis t of URLs on the same summary page. do alway s run a manual check using Google Toolbar or some other tool.digitalpoint. If it throws up unexpected results. 97 .Digitalpoint's Tracker http://www.
th is site also serves an excellent weekly round-up of industry news via a sign-up email newsletter.com Alexa Rank:917 Another great forum that also ser ves a (new) free weekly newsletter (with hints and tips on getting your site top placement that isn't public knowledge).webmasterworld. 98 .Appendix B: SEO Forums & Newsletters This appendix includes a summary of key forums and newsletters you should sign u p for in order to (a) keep abreast of market changes and (b) further hone your a rt.com/ Alexa Rank: 283 In addition t o providing a great forum for SEO specifically and web design more generally. Webmaster World http://www.SEOChat. SEO Chat http://www.
com Alexa Rank: 3.060 This is a great plac e to visit when you are a beginner to SEO and want to learn the ropes. It also has a popular forum (called SEW) and a dai ly or monthly newsletter. Web Pro World http://www. it is loaded with introductory articles and up -to-date industry statistics. Always a great place to go when there is a Google “dance” going on (and winners and losers share their stories).webproworld.com network of sites. 99 . this forum is very popular with web designers an d SEO freaks alike. Part of t he internet.com Alexa Rank:1.601 The world’s meeting pla ce for eBusiness professionals.Search Engine Watch http://www.SEOChat.
com/ Provided by the same group that bring you the exactseek search engine. Net Mechanic Webmaster Tips Newsletter http://www. this is also the place to find handy SEO hint s and tips from the Webmaster Tips Newsletter.Site Pro News http://www.netmechanic.com/news/ Home of the excellent netmechanic toolset. I find this to consistently be amongst the best of SEO newsletters – bringing together the best of articles from across the web.sitepronews. 100 .
101 . he is a regular speaker on e-commerce at industry and professional even ts. Taking every opportunity he can to share learning with other co mpanies.com www.web -publishing-london.com This book is distributed in electronic format. Mercury Web Publishing London Contact: mercury@web-publishing-london.David Viney is a Looksmart zealot with 10 years of experience in web site design and management.
brass d oor fittings and accessories. Follow his journey from drawing board to the top o f the web rankings.The SEO Expert Guide A pocket guide in 10 easy steps to the often dark art of search engine optimizat ion. UK purveyor of restored antique doors. How to get to the top of the search engine rankings and stay there Meet the fictional Doug Chalmers. 102 .
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