It pays to study the Search EnginesWritten by John Saxon
Vive la difference
Here we were, very complacent at significant progress our site was making in search engine placement stakes.
Number 3 on Excite, with a number of hits coming in, number 7 on Northern Light, no hits from there, and so on. We were starting to get a number of hits from Google and Fast and then ... we appeared on Lycos, out of blue at Number 1, but only on one key phrase 'barnsley accountants' and when I tried 'barnsley accountant' we fell out of site (no pun intended).
What was wrong, why couldn't Lycos recognise that accountant is in word accountants? Why was 'Business Start Up' getting nowhere on Lycos?
In order to solve problem it was back to basics. What was it reading, what were words highlighted in listing? How did Lycos work. After all it is one of major Search Engines and if they are investing all that money advertising on TV (by way only 1% of web site hits come from 'off-line' promotion) I should piggy back this campaign and make sure we are well up on Lycos listing.
I know, from bitter experience, that Google works on and first paragraph or so of , AltaVista looks at s and little else, but Lycos is a different beast. The secret lies in becoming a student of search engines - looking at them for hour after hour and trying to 'optimise' your site to reach them all without alienating any of major ones.
Lycos seems to work on title, however rest of it is driven by description that is contained in s that we write for every page (don't we?).
I had omitted to write descriptions for most of 603 pages on site because I assumed that they were only for human reviewers and I wasn't too interested in them at this stage of development of our web site.
So I wrote descriptions for each page, making sure that I wrote singular 'accountant' solicitor' and plural 'accountants' and solicitors' in all meta tags, in a particular section of web site and submitted them to Lycos - long wait - then, there we were Barnsley Accountants, Sheffield Accountants, Doncaster Solicitors, Rotherham Marketing Services, South Yorkshire Premises ... every time our site was number one.
The art of "Page Positioning"Written by Janette Moran
Page positioning is an art and a job all-its' own. It is a tedious and boring, yet equally justifiable. Page positioning is a necessity for any web site that needs to be noticed. And vital for search engine ranking.
Search Engines Ranking high / scoring high / getting a good placement, all mean same thing. All search engines judge pages submitted to them based on their own criteria. Even with all of variation, many principles seem to hold true. Most search engines use software to quickly scan pages it receives. With information gathered it tries to categorize your site according to search engines data bank. When a person searches for specific words, system "pulls-up" from its' data bank most relevant sites that corresponds to these words. It does this by matching same words used in search to words on a page. The sites that contain these words with most frequency, and in correct places, are favored over other pages.
But What is "right frequency" & "correct places" By frequency we do not intend for you to go and make your site read every other word same. What we meant in previous paragraph, was that you should include words you think most frequently will be used to search out your page, AND that of your competitors. Use these words as "Key Words" to insert into image text, body, Meta Tags, Title and various places of your web-site.
"Key Words" Key words may well be most important factor behind any determined web site. They get attention of viewer, keep them reading, help place your site in search engine searches, and bring you added traffic you desire. It is important that you choose your Key Words with care. They are not to be treated lightly. It is better that you not use them at all, than to underestimate them. Key words can be chosen in many ways. However I strongly recommend using method that follows. 1) First, take some time to carefully compile a list a words you feel strongly represent your business / web site. They should reflect what you believe are words most likely searched by your current / future clients, prospective clients, general public, and even skeptics or bashers of your trade. Include all of words and phrases you think these same people would use to seek out your competitors, and likely employed tradesmen or trades women. 2) Narrow this list down to approximately 20 entries of 2 - 3 word phrases that use as many of words you chose as possible. For instance a cookie baker with a list containing words such as chocolate chip, raisin oatmeal, batter, dough, experts, cookie, gourmet, dozens, etc., etc., can maximize potency of his "Key Words" by using them together to make catchy and reusable phrases. Like "Gourmet cookie dough" or "Cookies buy dozen." If kept even shorter between 2-3 words you can use them all time when submitting your page manually to engines. They will usually ask for additional descriptive words, or key words. 3) Check them "Key Words" out with a key word generator that counts search frequency / popularity of "Key Words." They can help you determine just how often people actually search these words. Keep only most popular or highly searched words. 4) Search "Key Words" yourself. There is no point in trying to tweak your page out to one word only to find that soooooo many other people have too there is no way for you to compete with 1 billion other sites generated in that search. Look for miracle phrase. The break in clouds. The one no body has thought of ... but everyone is searching. How? Well, every time you search and it is truly a good and popular key word, or phrase, but results returned contained mostly unrelated sites ... this is perfect "key Word" choice. Use this and any like it to place into your Title, Header, Meta Tags and like. They should however be tailored to each individual pages needs.