Your Top Search Rankings at Yahoo & MSN Search are Worthless

Written by Mike Banks Valentine © copyright March 8, 2005

It seems I now do this rant every single year when traffic statistics are discussed in web industry news. Last week I posted to my Reality SEO blog that referred traffic numbers are repparttar only statistic that webmasters should be concerned about when looking at their search engine rank. I wrote about this last year after ComScore Media Metrics statistics were relased discussing Search Engine Queries generated by each search property.

In that article, I suggested to Micorsoft as they developed their own search technology that MSN search might consider resistingrepparttar 105835 urge to keep searchers on their site by plastering both PPC and "Sponsored Sites" above and below search results. Google displays two "Sponsored Links" above organic results and none below, along with Adwords ads alongrepparttar 105836 right column.

Well now that MSN search has made its official debut, we can see that they put three "Sponsored Sites" links both above AND below their organic search results, along with those Overture (Soon to be Yahoo Branded) PPC ads alongrepparttar 105837 right side ofrepparttar 105838 page. Not bad visually, but it appears to be keeping visitors onrepparttar 105839 MSN search site because they simply are NOT clicking through to highly ranked sites according to closely watched traffic statistics of several sites I monitor for clients.

I've been pouring over web stats for a half dozen clients looking for traffic from MSN and it is missing in action. Even though these sites rank well for targeted terms for my clients - MSN is not deliveringrepparttar 105840 traffic at all.

This has always been an issue for SEO's and their clients and we are puzzling this one over, looking for results from those top rankings at both Yahoo and MSN as they seem to retainrepparttar 105841 searchers no matter how well we rankrepparttar 105842 sites!

Yahoo has dropped dramatically, with referred traffic that used to amount to over 5% ofrepparttar 105843 visitors to client sites, it has dropped as low as 1.5% of total referred traffic from search engines. After a recent increase in referred traffic from Yahoo search, we were hopeful it would stay high, but it wasn't to be. Rankings have not declined - Read That Again - Rankings have not declined, justrepparttar 105844 referred traffic!

Google has gone up in referrals from foreign countries, including foreign language sites. We used to see tiny amounts of traffic trickle in from non-English language countries, but Google country sites for Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Mexico and a dozen other language specific Googles have combined to send more non-English referred traffic thanrepparttar 105845 total coming from (English) Yahoo Search!

Webmaster Secrets for Top 10 Search Results in Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Written by Mark Senden

Webmaster Secrets for Top 10 Search Results in Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Inrepparttar following article, 3 simple steps that are easy to remember will reveal just how easy search engine optimisation can be once you know how. There are many websites that will complicate SEO by referring to engine algorithms, page rank formulas, key-word density or what have you. This article will not dwell anything that technical. Lets leaverepparttar 105834 theorists and bloggers to do what they do best and argue tillrepparttar 105835 cows come home. Inrepparttar 105836 meantime we can work towards getting your webpage up intorepparttar 105837 top 10 results at Google, MSN and Yahoo.

There are only three simple steps ofrepparttar 105838 SEO equation to remember:

  1. Choose to target search terms that are not hotly contested by competitors.
  2. Optimise your page content and html for those terms.
  3. Actively seek external, one-way, incoming links withrepparttar 105839 targeted key terms asrepparttar 105840 anchor text.

Let's take a look at those 3 steps in greater detail.

Choose to target search terms that are not hotly contested by competitors.

Why..? Would you rather spinrepparttar 105841 roulette wheel and take your chances against high-rolling competitors, who throw tonnes of cash into professional SEO and advertising campaigns; or get qualified traffic hitting your site now? Websites targetingrepparttar 105842 most popular search terms are small fish in a big pond. By targeting less popular terms with fewer possible search results, you become a bigger fish in a smaller pond.

Lets take an extreme example. Your a commercial web host and you want your site optimised for search engines. With Google,repparttar 105843 search phrase 'web hosting' returns 23 million results. That's a lot of competition; small fish in a big pond remember. How about 'commercial website hosting'? Well you have about 9 million other pages to compete with there. The phrase 'webhosting specials' only returns 1.2 million results. So how many other pages do you want to compete against, 23 million or 1.2 mil?

There are a few convenient tools around for selecting your search terms. To find how many search-result competitors exist for related terms, check out Google's keyword suggest. Once you've narrowed down a list of candidates, head on over torepparttar 105844 Overture's site and start up a dummy account. The key-word suggest tool is invaluable for gaining an insight to what people punch into search engines and how many hits these terms are scoring at Overture per month. Your looking for a sweet spot of say 5-10% ofrepparttar 105845 result pages that your industry's hottest terms return.

Optimise your page content and html for your new terms.

The most logical page to optimise first time round is your homepage. There are factors that play into SEO which are heavily dependant on how many external websites link to your page. The most common link you are going to score from other sites isrepparttar 105846 default homepage, so it follows that this isrepparttar 105847 best place to start. The most critical part of your web page is behindrepparttar 105848 scenes inrepparttar 105849 html. Particularly important isrepparttar 105850 header and it's relationship torepparttar 105851 rest of your html.

Your website should include 3 important tags inrepparttar 105852 head. They include title, meta description, and meta key-words. It's important to haverepparttar 105853 title as repparttar 105854 first tag inrepparttar 105855 head, withrepparttar 105856 2 mentioned metas soon following. Stuffing your head tags with other metas and clutter such as lengthy javascript can only harm your search engine results page ranking (SERPs); <head>clutter will never improve it.

So lets take a look at our web hosting site example. The beginning html forrepparttar 105857 index page should be something along these lines;

<html> <head> <title>Webhosting Specials</title> <meta name="keywords" content="webhosting specials, webhosting, specials, web, hosting" /> <meta name="description" content="ACME Webhosting offers competitive webhosting specials" /> <!-- keep all your css external --> <style type="text/css" media="screen">@import "your_css.css";</style> <!-- get a funky bookmark icon in there --> <link rel="shortcut icon" href="favicon.ico" rel="nofollow" type="image/x-icon" /> <!--get any javascript external from head tags --> <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="externalJavascript.js"></script> </head>

Nowrepparttar 105858 header tags have setrepparttar 105859 stage forrepparttar 105860 rest ofrepparttar 105861 page. The idea is to makerepparttar 105862 rest ofrepparttar 105863 html and content appear with 'Website specials' asrepparttar 105864 most prominent topic. Search engines see tags such as <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <strong>, <em>, <u> and <a href> as prominent indicators of topic relevancy. You want to make sure that 'website specials' appears in a h1 or h2 tag as close torepparttar 105865 beginning of your content tag as possible:

<body> <h1>Website Specials</h1><!-- this may berepparttar 105866 web page title --> ..snip.. <h2>ACME Webhosting offers competitive webhosting specials</h2>

Whatever copy or text content you have onrepparttar 105867 page, you want 'website specials' to appear in bold and italic or underlined (just once will do). Don't go overboard in repeatingrepparttar 105868 terms throughout your text content over and over. Don't hiderepparttar 105869 terms by giving them a font colourrepparttar 105870 same asrepparttar 105871 background. Just sprinklerepparttar 105872 term sparingly throughoutrepparttar 105873 copy so that it remains easily read. Remember you still have to sell product and no one likes to read spam; say a ballpark of once per 100 words of content. Forrepparttar 105874 first 3 images that appear inrepparttar 105875 html fromrepparttar 105876 top ofrepparttar 105877 page, you wantrepparttar 105878 key terms to appear in their 'alt' attributes.

..blah...<strong>Webhosting Specials</strong>. <u>Webhosting Specials</u> ..blah.. <img src=mainlogo.jpg alt="Webhosting Specials Logo" />

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