Discover the Top
5 "Dos" and "Don'ts" of Web Site
Optimization that Will Make or Break Your Ranking
with the Free Search Engines!
If you want your online
business to be successful, it's a good idea to optimize your site on a
regular basis to make sure it's got a good position in the Web's top
in order to maintain your ranking, you have to keep on top of what's
happening in the rapidly changing search engine industry. The rules
that affected your ranking yesterday may be meaningless tomorrow!
on to learn more about the latest developments in the search engine
industry and what key tricks you should (and shouldn't!) use to
optimize your site to make sure it gets a high ranking with all the
major search engines, plus the tools and resources you can use to keep
"Dos" and "Don'ts" are constantly changing!
search engine industry is continually evolving. You need to know which
of the major "players" is powering the smaller search engines if you
want to know where you should focus your optimization efforts.
The battle of the titans
the past couple of years, the major search engines have been preparing
to square off against each other and battle it out for the industry's
top spot. Google
has been #1 for a while now, but Yahoo! and MSN have been making moves to steal the crown.
is still extremely powerful, with about a 55% market share. Yahoo! is
the closest runner-up, with about 20% of users choosing it as their
main search engine. And MSN is still a distant but threatening third,
with about 10% of the global usage share.
in mind, however, that Google and Yahoo! power many of the smaller
search engines. For example, Google powers the free listings featured
on AOL and Netscape, plus the
featured on AOL, Netscape, Ask Jeeves, HotBot, Teoma, and Lycos.
powers free listings featured on MSN, AltaVista, AllTheWeb, and HotBot, plus the paid listings on
MSN, AltaVista, and AllTheWeb.
MSN won't be powered by Yahoo! for much longer! MSN came out with a
preview of their own long-anticipated search engine technology earlier
this month. They're still working out the bugs, and the official MSN
Search engine is still being powered by Yahoo!. But you can expect MSN
to go solo
sometime over the next few months.
need to be aware of these changes if you want to gear your optimization
efforts toward the engines that will send you as much traffic as
The changing rules of search
course, you also need to keep tabs on changes to the search engines
engines frequently change the algorithms they use to rank sites. They
don't want unscrupulous site owners manipulating their indexing methods
in order to get high rankings. By doing so, they damage the integrity
of free search!
soon as the search engines become aware of a trick being used by
"search engine spammers" to boost their site ranking, they figure out a
way to catch them.
be careful! You don't want to catch yourself employing a "great
strategy" promoted by a marketing "expert," only to find out it's a
tactic the search engines hate! That could get you booted off their
listings in no time flat.
fact, that's exactly what happened at the end of last year, during what
has come to be called the "Florida Google Dance."
made some major changes to their algorithms in November 2003 and
started imposing an "over-optimization penalty" on any sites that
appeared to be artificially boosting their site's relevancy for
members of the business community were surprised to find their sites
dropped from their high ranking in Google's listings. These people had
to put a lot of work into revamping and resubmitting their sites in
order to get listed again.
many of the people who were penalized weren't "unscrupulous" site
owners! They weren't trying to pull a "fast one" on search engines
using frowned-upon techniques such as "keyword stuffing." They were
simply trying to be smart marketers -- and some feel they were unfairly
punished for it.
don't want the same thing to happen to you!
let's have a look at a list of what exactly the search engines are
currently looking for when indexing sites -- and what they'll punish
"Dos": Legitimate tricks the SEO masters use to optimize their sites
and maintain their high ranking
search engines don't want to be manipulated by marketers. They want to
provide the best unbiased results possible for any given search -- or
they'll lose users!
why they need to change their algorithms so frequently -- to stay ahead
of the tricks people use to get top rankings.
being said, there are still a lot of legitimate ways you can optimize
your site without angering the search engines and causing them to drop
you from their list.
are some of the best things you can to do ensure your site has a high
Ask relevant sites to link to your site
the past, scoring a high ranking with a search engine was all about
positioning your keywords in "prime real estate" positions in your text
and site coding. All that has changed, however. These days, links are
engines place a huge amount of importance on the number of sites that
link to yours. But it's not just the quantity of links that matter,
it's also the quality. Search engines look at how relevant the links
are -- i.e., how much the content of the linking site has in common
with the content on your site.
The more relevant, the better!
engines also look at how "important" the linking site is. What kind of
"online presence" does it have? How much traffic does it get?
example, your site will get a higher ranking if it's linked to by sites
such as BBC.com or nationalgeographic.com
instead of, say, the personal homepage of your friend's neighbour's
Pay attention to keyword inclusion and placement
may no longer be the sole determining factor of a site's ranking, but
they're still pretty important. The most useful places to include them
- In your domain name -- only make sure your keywords are in
the root of your URL, not the stem! For example, if your main keyword
phrase is "cell phones," try to get a domain name such as
"www.cell-phones.com" instead of "www.mobileusa.com/cell-phones.com."
Some search engines will actually penalize sites for including key
words in the stem of a URL.
- In the title tags in your source code
- In the meta description of your site -- this is much less
important than it used to be, but it can't hurt.
- In your meta keyword tags
Be sure you only include relevant keywords! Search engines will
penalize you if you try to sneak in keywords that have nothing to do
with the content of your site.
Create content-rich "information pages" to direct traffic to your site
easy way to boost the number of pages that link to your site is to
create some pages yourself!
you have to make sure these pages contain valuable contents that
provide people with useful information. Search engines hate "pointer
pages" that have no content and exist only to add to the number of
links pointing to a site.
sure the information relates to the content on your site and has your
keywords placed in advantageous positions. This will boost the ranking
of your pages with the search engines and ensure they get lots of
traffic -- which they can then redirect to your site.
Submit your site to online directories
sure to submit your site to important directories such as Yahoo!, the Open Directory Project,
and About.com, as
well as smaller directories. Your listing on these directories will
help your ranking with the major search engines.
Multiply and conquer!
a "community" of related sites that link to each other. Why stop at
only one information page? The more content-rich sites that point to
your site, the better!
can also boost the number of links that point to your site by dividing
it into several separate sites that all link to each other.This works
especially well if you sell a number of different products or services.
you build a different site to focus on each of your products and
services, then you can also concentrate the use of specific keyword
phrases on each site. That's another great way to boost your search
"Don'ts": Tricks the search engines hate and why you should never use
them, even if your competition does
that we've covered the "dos," here come the "don'ts." Although these
questionable tactics have worked well in the past, the search engines
absolutely hate them. If they catch you using any of these tricks, they
may go so far as to drop you from their listings like a hot potato!
Beware irrelevant links!
it's a good idea to get a lot of different links pointing to your site,
but the search engines only like RELEVANT links. If they find sites
that have nothing in common with the content on your site linked to
your web site, they'll lower your relevancy rating.
Beware irrelevant keywords!
engines hate finding irrelevant keywords on your site -- especially in
your meta tags. If they catch you using keywords that have nothing to
do with the actual content of your site, they'll penalize you for it.
Don't "keyword stuff" your meta tags!
the past, people used to repeat their keywords in their meta tags over
and over again. This used to get them a high ranking with the search
engines -- but not any more! Search engines are on to this trick and
will punish you for it by dropping your ranking.
Don't create "link farms"!
farms" are the evil cousins of the "information pages" we discussed
the past, some spammers used to build multiple "doorway" sites that
existed only to multiply the number of links pointing to their sites.
content-rich information pages,these doorway pages would usually only
include a string of keyword terms that would earn them a high ranking
with the search engines.
search engines have caught on to this tactic, however, and will drop
you from their listings if they find you using it.
Avoid "free for all" link pages!
bother placing links to your site on pages where everyone and their dog
is invited to put up a link. Such sites have extremely low relevancy
ratings and will cost you points with the search engines.
tools and resources to optimize your site and stay n top of the search
are a lot of great tools out there that can help you optimize your web
site while ensuring that you stay on the good side of all the search
engines. Here are a few of our favorites.
This great online tool helps you select specific keyword phrases that
will direct more traffic to your site. Free and paid versions are
- SitePromoter: This useful software program helps
you create individualized submissions to the different search engines.
A lot of search engine optimization experts swear by this software.
It's a "link reputation analyzer" that helps you determine a site's
reputation and why the search engines like it or dislike it. It
certainly comes in handy when you're checking out the competition or
looking for reputable sites to link to yours!
- WebPosition Gold: This is a great piece of search
engine placement software that generates Web pages designed to rank
high on the major search engines. It also analyzes your existing Web
pages, providing suggestions for improvement, and tracks your ranking
on different search engines.
Engine News: Planet Ocean's online resource, "The Unfair Advantage
Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars" is updated monthly and provides
excellent optimization tips and information on the Search Engine
Engine Watch: This free site is another rich source of tips and
information on the Search Engine industry. Paid memberships are
available for more advanced content.
- Search Engine Guide: This free site contains a lot
of useful information about the smaller search engines on the Web, and
who you should submit your site to in order to get a better ranking
with the bigger search engines.
research by search engine optimization experts suggests that there is a
surprising lack of overlap between the results produced by the major
search engines. All too often, sites that are ranked high on Google get
a much poorer listing with Yahoo! and vice versa.
could mean that webmasters are focusing their optimization efforts
solely on one search engine while neglecting to improve their ranking
with the other. They might be using optimization tactics that work for
Google on Yahoo!, without being aware that Yahoo! uses different
criteria to index a site.
way, sites that aren't optimized for both Google and Yahoo! are missing
out on a lot of potential visitors.
don't forget, MSN will soon be throwing its hat into the ring and
switching from Yahoo! to its own search engine technology. When that
happens, you should be sure to submit your site to MSN as well.
one really knows what the future holds for the search engine industry,
but one thing's for sure: Businesses that don't stay on top of the
changes are going to find themselves slipping behind. Don't let that
happen to your business!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Corey Rudl is the owner of four highly successful online businesses
that attract more than 6 million visitors and generate over $5.2
million each year. He is also the author of the #1 best-selling
Internet Marketing course online.
To check out his site that's JAM-PACKED WITH THE EXACT INFORMATION YOU
NEED to start, build, and grow your very own profitable Internet
I highly recommend visiting his website.
here to visit his website now.
This guy really knows what he's talking about