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Getting Honest With The Search Engines

discussion forumsDiscussion ForumsI spend a lot of time reading newsletters and forum postings about Search Engine Marketing. More often than not, people are asking about methods used to improve Search Engine rankings: what works, what doesn't, and what will get you in trouble.

Search Engine*:

A program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found.

Algorithm*:

A formula or set of steps for solving a particular problem.

Frankly, no one can predict what will happen from day to day with the Search Engines. Only the Search Engine companies themselves know if the algorithms will change from one day to the next. Even the Search Engine rules change from month to month, sometimes daily. Think of the changes that have happened since pay for inclusion and pay-per-click have taken over the market for Search Engine results.

It seems so simple to try and comply with the Search Engine rules. Even though optimization adds to the basic content of a site and source code, there are ways to approach this without stepping over the line.

We personally do not use the methods mentioned below (methods to avoid, methods to be wary of) in order to play it the absolute safest way, using a long term plan in providing you optimum ranking in the Search Engines.

Keyword stuffingAvoid Keyword StuffingMethods to avoid

Keyword stuffing. "Stuffing" keywords into places where keywords don't belong, such as comment tags, image ALT tags where the keywords have nothing to do with the specific image

Invisible text. Text color the same as background color

Automated submissions. Using automated tools to deliver huge numbers of pages to submission pages of Search Engines

Submissions to "thousands" of Search Engines. A waste of time, since the major Search Engines/Directories drive the majority of the traffic to websites

FFA (free for all) links. Link popularity is good, but only when the links are relevant; a link from a page of random links is not worth nearly as much as a link from a site that is relevant to your site

Search Engine Marketing companies hosting your pages on their server. The marketing company "owns" your pages, and if you decide you want to move them, you may have a hard time wresting them away. (This is not always the case with marketing companies that also provide hosting, but you need to carefully choose when using this option.)

Methods to be wary of

  • Cloaking
  • Doorway pages
  • Maintenance programs

Cloaking*:

Also known as stealth, a technique used by some Web sites to deliver one page to a Search Engine for indexing while serving an entirely different page to everyone else.

Cloaking is very difficult to do correctly, if you do not have an expert providing this service you could well be banned by the Search Engines. There are ways for this to be done that are accepted by some Search Engines. In general, cloaking is not always accepted by the Search Engine rules and can be a gamble unless you are certain your service provider knows what they are doing. Check credentials and get referrals from people who have used their services.

Doorway page**:

A page made specifically to rank well in Search Engines for particular keywords, serving as an entry point through which visitors pass to the main content.

Doorway pages are not accepted as they used to be by the Search Engines. A carefully crafted doorway page done by hand is entirely different from an automated doorway page generated by software. A few well-designed pages are a far cry from mass generated automated pages sent in large numbers through the Search Engine submission page, which are often considered as spam. Again, check credentials and get referrals from people who have used their services.

website maintenance2Website MaintenanceMaintenance programs

There are times when a page drops from the Search Engine listings or you re-design the page which might give you a reason to re-submit the page to the Search Engine. Re-submitting your pages every month is not always necessary. Having a log stats program in place will help you see which pages are still listed, along with a monthly ranking report. If you have these tools you should be able to see if any of your pages have changed. Be wary of people who consistently re-submit your pages, since re-submission can sometimes cause your pages to be dropped if they are already listed in the database.

My own experience with a very large website I did Search Engine marketing for, showed that the older (longer) the pages were in the Search Engine results, the better for link popularity and ranking. Of course, paid inclusion can give you more security in having your web pages stabilized in the Search Engine results.

A good maintenance plan will include providing a ranking report, tweaking keywords in your source code as needed for a monthly/six month/yearly fee and may also include log stats so you can see where your traffic is coming from and what keywords your visitors are using to visit your website.

Methods that work

Good content

Content is one of the most important items you need for your website. Once visitors arrive, you need to keep them there. Adding keyword-rich text that makes sense and serves the concept of the web page improves your ranking and keeps your visitors interested. The more text, the better for Search Engine spiders when they index a website.

Good navigation

There is nothing worse than arriving at a website and having difficulty understanding where to go for the information you are seeking. Have easy to use, clearly marked navigation so your visitors click through instead of click-away in frustration. Search Engine spiders (robots) index text and links; having good navigation is important to the indexing of your web pages.

Title TagTitle TagsTitle/META tags

Individualized Title and META tags for each of your important web pages gives you the best chance for optimum success in ranking. Title tags are necessary for Search Engine ranking, in particular with Google's Search Engine. META tags have decreased in importance, but are worth using for clarity and search results. The META description is still used by some Search Engines as the default text indexed by Search Engine spiders for the search results. The keyword tag is the least important but is still used by some engines. My theory is, you never know when the rules of the Search Engines will change, or a new engine will want them, so take the time to include these tags in all your web pages.

Link popularity

Links from other popular websites back to your website are one way of increasing your site's popularity. Finding websites with similar content (but not your competitors) and high link popularity, then trading links to be posted on each site, is one way of increasing your site popularity. Good content is vitally important because visitors who stay longer while visiting a website help measure the popularity of the site in the Search Engines.

Paid Inclusion

Paying a one-time fee or (as is most recently the case) a yearly renewable subscription fee to be included in the Search Engine results. Directories also use this style of service to accept submissions. Paid inclusion does not guarantee that you will be listed with the Search Engine or Directory, but gives a shorter time-line of acceptance if they do.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

Overture is the most popular PPC engine. You bid an amount per keyword phrase to get the highest ranking in the Overture search results compared to your competitors.

Google AdWords Select

Google AdWords is a program that uses your chosen keywords in an ad in the Google Search Engine results in order to promote click-throughs

Log Stats programs

Having a log stats program is very helpful in tracking your visitors, finding which keywords they are searching on to enter your website, tracking which pages they leave from and much more. Analog is a good free log stats program. WebTrends is a popular paid logs program used by many businesses.

free or paid submissionsFree or Paid SubmissionsFree submissions take patience

After paying for inclusion, try submitting to some of the secondary Search Engines and directories. Long before Google was a household word, I thought it might become popular and submitted the company website. It certainly paid off a year later when Google became the best of the upcoming Search Engines.

Another avenue to venture down are specialty directories. As the web grows larger over time, specialty directories (also known as vertical portals or "vortals") focused on your business area may help you get more link popularity and your company name out to the public.

Stay Honest

Stay honest, create good content and do your homework when hiring for services.

Using affordable Search Engine Marketing services you will add to your audience exposure on the web. In this way you will always be ahead of the game and hopefully, ahead of your competitors.

If you would like a free quotation, or more information, please contact us today

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How to Use Keywords to Optimize Your Site for Search Engines

SEO Keyword ResearchSEO Keyword ResearchPlacing keywords strategically throughout your web pages will greatly improve your rankings in the search engines. Many sites, however, leave them out altogether so your Site won't get ranked at all. Inserting too many keywords in your web pages or repeating them too often, will result in your site getting banned from the search engines.

How do you sort all this out so you can effectively market your web site to the search engines?

What is a keyword, and how to create targeted keywords for your site. Next we will discuss where to place keywords, how many to use, and some tips on what to avoid.

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How Can Search Engines Help You with Your Business?

globalNetworkGlobal NetworkWhat Are Search Engines?

Most of us often face the problem of searching the web. Nowadays, the global network is one of the most important sources of information there is, its main goal being to make information easily accessible. That's where the main problem arises: how to find what you need among all those innumerable terabytes of data. The World Wide Web is overloaded with various stuff related to diverse interests and activities of human beings who inhabit the globe. How can you tell what a site is devoted to without visiting it? Besides, the number of resources grew as quickly as the Internet’s own development, and many of them closely resembled each other (and still do). This situation necessitated finding a reliable (and at the same time fast) way to simplify the search process, otherwise there would be absolutely no point to the World Wide Web. So, development and deployment of the first search engines closely followed the birth of the World Wide Web.*

How It All Began

At the start, search engines developed quite rapidly. The "grandfather" of all modern search engines was Archie, launched in 1990, the creation of Alan Emtage, a student at McGill University, Montreal. Three years later, the University of Nevada System Computing Services deployed Veronica. These search engines created databases and collected information on the files existing in the global network. But they were soon overwhelmed by the fast growth of the net, and others stepped forward.

World Wide Web Wanderer was the first automated Internet robot, whereas ALIWEB, launched in Autumn of 1993, was the first rough model of a modern web directory that is filled up by site owners or editors. At about the same time, the first 'spiders' appeared. These were: JumpStation, World Wide Web Worm, and Repository-Based Software Engineering** starting the new era of World Wide Web search. Google and Yahoo are two of their better-known descendants.

business directoryBusiness Directory SearchSearch Engines Today

Modern web searchers are divided into two main groups:

  • search engines and
  • directories.
Search engines automatically 'crawl' web pages (by following hyperlinks) and store copies of them in an index, so that they can generate a list of resources according to users' requests (see ‘How Search Engines Work’, below). Directories are compiled by site owners or directory editors (in other words, humans) according to categories. In truth, most modern web search combine the two systems to produce their results.

How Search Engines Work

All search engines consist of three main parts

  • the spider (or worm);
  • the index; and
  • the search algorithm.

The first of these, the spider (or worm), continuously ‘crawls’ web space, following links that lead both to within the limits of a website and to completely different websites. A spider ‘reads’ all pages’ content and passes the data to the index.

The Index is the second part of a search engine. It is a storage area for spidered web pages and can be of a huge magnitude (Google’s index, for example is said to consist of three billion pages).

The third part of a search engine system is the most sophisticated. It is the search algorithm, a very complicated mechanism that sorts an immense database within a few seconds and produces the results list. Looking like a web page (or, most often, lots of pages), it contains links to resources that match users' queries (i.e., relevant resources). The most relevant ones (as the search engine sees it) are nearer the top of the list. They are the ones most likely to be clicked by the user of the search engine. A site owner should therefore take heed of the site's relevancy to the keywords it is expected will be used to find it.

A Relevancy calculation algorithm is unique for every search engine, and is a trade secret, kept hidden from the public. However, there are some common principles, which will be discussed in the following paragraph. < p/>

What to Do to Have Your Web Site Found through Search Engines

There are some simple rules to make your resource relevant enough to be ranked in the top 10 by the majority of search engines.

content designContent and DesignRule 1: Work on the body copy

A search engine determines the topic of your site judging by the textual information (or content) of every page. Of course, it cannot comprehend the content the way humans do, but this is not critical. It is much more important to include keywords, which are found and compared with users' queries by the program. The more often you use targeted keywords, the better your page will be ranked when a search on those keywords is made.

You can increase the relevancy of your targeted keywords still more if you include them in the HTML title of your page ( tag), in subheaders (- tags), in hyperlinks ( tag), or just emphasize them with bold font ( or tags). Meta tags were introduced specifically to help search engines. Unfortunately, they are rapidly losing their significance because it is too easy to abuse them. Webmasters should therefore concentrate mainly on body copy, which is the part of textual content placed between them and the tags.

One should take into account the facts that the search engines' algorithms are constantly improving and that index databases are updated. When you have acquired the desired position in the listings, do not rest on your laurels. Site optimization should become a permanent job for all site owners who regard web presence as an important part of their business.

Rule 2: Build links to your site

As we have mentioned before, a spider scans the web following the links placed by site owners onto their pages in order to inform their visitors of where to find something that might be of interest. So, the greater the number of website owners agreeing to list your site, the smaller the time that will pass before all existing search engines will find out about you. What's more, those pages that are linked from multiple sites are considered by crawlers as more important. Google (http://www.google.com/) implements this concept via a so called Page Rank; other engines analyze your site's popularity in different ways. Remember that a link from a site that itself ranks well, is much more valuable than just any link. Also note that content relevancy of the site linking to you further increases the importance of the link.

Rule 3: Play fair

Do not get involved in unfair games with search engines. If you feel that your method is obviously deceptive, do not use it. Here are just some of widespread methods used by unscrupulous webmasters.

say no to spammingSay No to Search Engine SpammingSpam

Let's assume that the site owner wishes to make a page very relevant to a certain key phrase. The most obvious course to take is to include this phrase into a page copy as many times as possible. When it starts looking unnatural (that is, the keyword density value becomes excessive), it will be regarded as a kind of spam (so-called keyword damping). This page will look odd both for human visitors and for search engines. Consequently, any WWW user will hardly wish to return to this page after having visited it just once, and search engines will be likely to penalize spam by reducing the page's ranking.

Using colours to hide multiple keywords, as a kind of spam

Some web masters in their vain hope to deceive search engines go a step further. They make the part of body copy, which is intended only for search engines, invisible (that is, of a colour identical or just a shade different from the background colour), or tiny enough to be indistinguishable (i.e., 1 or 2 pixels high). Modern search engines have become smart enough to detect such tricks, so we wouldn't advise you to use these methods. You might even win for a short time, but lose afterwards, because some search engines penalize spammers by excluding their web sites from their databases.

Link farms

Many site owners unite in so called link farms in order to artificially increase the link popularity value. These are nothing but networks where everyone links to everyone else, concentrating on the quantity of links and disregarding their quality. Their efficiency is very low. First, a page can deliver just a small part of its value to every page it links to within the farm. If it contains too many links, this part will be worthless. Second, a page that contains links, just links, and nothing else but links, cannot be very authoritative for quite natural reasons. Besides, modern search engines analyze the link quality in terms of web site relevancy, ranking the link highly if it leads to a site devoted to similar issues. So, when you are looking for link exchange partners, choose those whose business is similar to yours. The sites of your partners, or web portals devoted to your business issues, are ideal for this.

Cloaking

This is a widespread technology that aims to deceive search engines . The point is, all known spidering robots recognised by their IP addresses or host names are redirected to a page that is specially polished to meet search engines' requirements, but is unreadable to a human being. In order to detect cloakers, spiders often come from fake IP addresses and under fictitious names. Also, users' feedback is collected, and if people too often find that a page's real content doesn't match its declared description, the page is revised by search engine owners’ staff and runs the risk of being penalized.

Web DesignerDesign an Interesting WebsiteRule 4: Your site must be interesting

Increasing the number of pages included on your site, and the quality of information you place on those pages, increases the probability of getting good links to your pages. Interesting articles, and actual news concerning your business, will attract visitors' attention, and your site will be well-known and spoken of. If you gain a good reputation on the Internet, your commercial success will be almost certain, and the site will promote itself.

Good site structure is also very important. If your site is created with the basic usability requirements in mind, and is categorized well, the users will enjoy visiting it. Every page should be easily accessed from the home page, and plain text links are preferred. Thus, a search engine robot will experience no difficulties whilst spidering your site content, following the links that lead from one page to another.

As you can see, merely having a website, or running a company does not guarantee success. The demands of promotion, catering for conditions of your web site, or brand recognition, popularity and attracting still more clients must be of prime importance.

We have introduced you to the majority of tools used for the promotion of your business on the Internet. These tools apply the technologies that facilitate searching for desired resources. Evidently, website owners can be discouraged by the multiplicity of web searching algorithms as this demands search engine optimization and comprehensive spadework. So if you don’t think you can cope with this job, it is probably worth seeking a qualified Internet promoter or an Internet promotion company in order to gain good results at affordable costs. You will surely stand high in directories and search engines results, and therefore increase traffic, and the number of potential clients your business has access to.

* Before HTTP protocol was invented (around 1989-1991) the Internet was just a huge network consisting of FTP servers, and was used as a means of file exchange. There were no websites at all. The first search engines mentioned in the article ran via FTP and similar protocols. Only after Tim Burners-Lee had created HTTP protocol, did we get the World Wide Web, and the Internet acquired its actual shape.
 
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Keyword is the king in the Kingdom of Search Engines Optimization

keyword is kingKeyword is KingKeyword is the king in the Kingdom of Search Engines Optimization

Digital Economy : What Is e-Marketing : Internet Search Engines are new Marketplaces in today's digital economy. Companies operating new sales and marketing channels(websites) on Internet where customers can come from all over the world.

Today's Customer can place orders from any location and orders will be delivered to their home quickly.

Importance of Search Engines optimization in e Marketing : Search Engines are an invaluable tools for reaching customers targeted market. The customers visiting companies website as a result of search engine query are specifically interested in the products or services provided by companies.

Keyword marketing: Customers finding products and services through search engines. companies should select proper keywords for their products and services.

Keyword Selection : Companies should include keywords in copy writing of their products and services information. Internet have no Geographical boundaries but companies should use city name, country name, village town names in keywords, so that customers can find products in their nearest town, city, village or country.

keyword domain name Keyword Domain NameDomain name, subdomain names and Directory names: Search Engines giving main priority to domains name in ranking of keyword optimization. If your domain name is itself is keyword then your website can get top rank in search engines result. If you don't have domain name as a keyword then you can create sub domain for exact keyword. You can also use directory name names and file names as a keyword. This will help your website to get top ranking in search engines. example:

  • http://keyword.url.com
How Search engines read Keywords : Search Engines use small computer software programs to browse through and read webpages on the Internet. Such Programs are often referred to as "search engine spiders" or "search engines robots" or "bots". When a search engine spider visits a page, it first reads the text on the page, and then tries to follow links from that page off to other webpages and websites.
 
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Essential Guide to Creating SEO Friendly Website Design

successful seoSuccessful SEOThe process of creating a successful search engine optimization campaign, can be compared to the construction of a new building - without a solid foundation, (SEO friendly website design), the building, (your website) won't be sturdy or safe to occupy. Ultimately, the risk of the building collapsing (your website SEO campaign failing) significantly increases because of a poorly constructed foundation.

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