Search Engine Optimization expertise

Search Engine Optimization stratagies

Great articles on search optimization from around
the web here.

Consider these an example of the things we might do for you should you need professional search engine optimization services.

This is intended as a basic guide
to Search engines, and Search Engine Optimization technologies. One of my favorite sources is
Stargeek.com and its excellent articles on SEO
for dynamic pages, namely php. The rules for php can easily translate into asp, jsp, and of any other web programming language. Learning how to build Search Engine friendly pages is the essence of great SEO work. I hope you find useful information here and please drop a note or two to me if you find anything else I could add here. Knowledge is best when shared selflessly.


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SEO, the stargeek way.

Using search engine optimization to increase traffic to your web site from google and other search engines can be tricky business. With various rules defining what is acceptable search engine optimization (SEO), marketing and/or promotion; and what is not it can be difficult to determine exactly how far to go in your search engine marketing campaign. SEO consultants often charge incredible amounts of money for their promotion services, yet every day we read more and more about the spam-laden techniques that they employ and google's subsequent actions to penalize them and their client sites. Similar problems can occur with site submission services, that promise to get your site higher a pagerank and increase traffic by submitting your site to every search engine on the web.

A realistic strategy for increasing your traffic from google is one of a dualistic nature. Two factors determine your search engine positioning with google searches, 1) the infamous pagerank based mainly on incoming links, and 2) search query relevancy based on the density of relevant keywords contained in your site. Too often web masters focus either solely or at least overwhelmingly on one factor, eschewing the other.

Pagerank

Pagerank (pr) is decided by your incoming links and the pagerank assigned to each of those pages, so obviously the first thing to do in your aspiring SEO efforts is to get alot of incoming links, making sure as many as possible utilize on-topic link href text, to boost not only your pr but also your relevancy.

Incoming Links

Start with web masters you already know and are friends with, as you can often arrange a reciprocal link exchange with them and garner a more visible place for your links on their page than a generic link directory, which often have lower pr.

Next, check out the sites you use daily, which are relevant to your topic. Look for email addresses, reciprocal link exchange programs and link directory pages to submit your site to as many of these as possible.

Navigate to your competition (or just similar sites) and check their incoming links via a link search at google (Google will only return sites with a pagerank higher than 4 but you should be concerned with the rest anyways.):

link: WWW.competitor.com

scour these pages for places to either exchange reciprocal links or a form where you can submit your url and get free incoming links. Your last resort, and often-times a pretty sizable resource is to search on google for

"your topic" "suggest a site"

This will return pages in your target relevancy that have link submission forms. You can then navigate to these pages, in order of SERP (Search Engine Results page) ranking and simply input your site's information including url, title and brief description, and sometimes a contact name and email address. The most important part of this information is the title since this is generally the text of the href tag and will be quite indicative to googlebot where your site is relevant, so make sure you always supply a consistant title, using your choosen keywords. also try exchanging "suggest a site" with one of these:

add site, add link, add a url, add a site, add a link, submit url, submit site, submit link, submit a url, submit a site, submit a link.

or use a page name instead of a phrase:

addurl.html, addsite.html, addlink.html, addaurl.html, addasite.html, addalink.html, submiturl.html, submitsite.html, submitlink.html, submitaurl.html, submitasite.html, submitalink. add-url.html, add-site.html, add-link.html, add-a-url.html, add-a-site.html, add-a-link.html, submit-url.html, submit-site.html, submit-link.html, submit-a-url.html, submit-a-site.html, submit-a-link.

Another important issue surrounding pagerank is the use of internal links, the pagerank algorithmn applies to links from one page inside of a site to another in a way similar to external incoming links. Be especially aware of the text you use in your href tags, supplying relavant keywords can boost your search engine position and relevancy on searches for thoose terms, and keeping most of your pages in or near the root directory can help to share your pr points.

Directory Positioning

The next area for incoming links and a pagerank boost you should look is directories, specifically dmoz, or the open directory project (odp). Here you can navigate to your the category that matches your sites' topic most specifically, trying to stay as close to the major categories as possible since the pagerank is highest there, and submit your url to be reviewed and possibly added. This is best done later in the site's development, since a wealth of useful content and information will greatly increase your chances of getting listed. There will most likely be no huge increase in traffic from odp but since not only dmoz.org and google's directory page now link to you, there are literally hundreds of other sites using odp data to generate their own link directory.

Google Toolbar

google toolbar

The last little bit of pagerank advice I have to bestow is to get the google toolbar. Downloading google's add-on toolbar is only useful for users of windows as it will only function on IE/WIN. It uses an http get request to google servers, to which the servers reply with a wealth of information in XML format, but also encoding some unique information in a checksum variable that is related directly to your query and cannot be generated outside of the toolbar. The most valuable information that comes from the toolbar is the little green bar that shows the pagerank of the current page, hover your mouse over it and get an pagerank integer from 1 to 10. You can check your site, your competitor's sites, and sites with possible reciprocal link exchanges, to determine where they rank.

But the times when you really want to know your pagerank, normally during the search engine database and index update when ww2.google.com and ww3.google.com's indexes are shifting and search engine positioning ranks are moving too, the toolbar will be of little use to preview your pr because by default the toolbar uses WWW.google.com but by editing your hosts file (either c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts, or c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) and adding this line:

216.239.33.100 toolbarqueries.google.com

you can force the toolbar to use the newer servers for determining your pagerank.

Relevancy

Relevant Keywords

The next most important factor in search engine optimization is relevant keyword choice and usage. Start by selecting a list of keywords and more importantly, keyword phrases, that are pertinent to your site, staying focused and on-topic while remaining broad enough to allow for unthought-of query possibilities. Then run these through overture's keyword suggester (I know its not google, but it works), to see how many searches are performed on your phrases in relation to other similar phrases.

Your site should also be equipped with a statistics analyzing program than will allow you to view your most popular google terms, based on google referral hits. This can allow you to explore niches that your site is uniquely suited to returning great positions on.

Using pluralized and tensed version of your words can appeal to a web spiders use of word-stemming whereas your page will become relevant to singular *and* plural searches. Also do not forget international spellings and misspellings, which can be an under-exploited traffic source, like the word "optimisation" instead of "optimization".

The fine tuning of your relevant keyword phrases usage comes from the utilization of a keyword density analyzer. This tool simulates a web spider and returns a list of single keywords, one and two word phrases, and their respective densities. For your top phrases you should attempt to achieve between 2% and 5% density, but be wary of going much over that 5% as it may be regard by googlebot as spam.

Placing your keyword phrases, not only in the body text, but as file and directory names can aid in your position also.

Content

google loves content

You have heard this a million times so far I'm sure, but it cannot be overstated, google loves content, especially fresh content, and since the fresh bot crawls on average once every other day (if you are lucky) you should insure that your home page has been updated every time googlebot visits you. This will lead to an increased relevancy on current topics and, consequently, increase traffic. RSS news feeds can do this for you while also keeping you and your visitors up to date on the latest news in your topic area. Another great source of fresh content is a 'blog of some sort that you update on a regular basis. In both of these cases, be sure to provide permanent links to the item for search engine bots to spider since the nature of this content is to change rapidly and be replaced on your index page. Also, don't forget the older news links, which can scroll through your databases by 15 or 20 entries, allowing googlebot to spider all of your content with different page names every time that your databases are updated, and increase the number of pages and amount of content indexed. If you use RSS feeds select the sources that utilize your keyword phrases most often, and if you 'blog, comment on them as much as you can.

There are certain html tags that can be used to emphasis certain sections of text including keywords and keyphrases on your page, these include, title, alt and heading tags. Title tags should be short lists of your top keyword phrases as this will often be used to provide the snippet of content from your site on SERPs. Alt tags should be relevant to the image on which they are used, but can be shifted towards desired words and phrases. Alt tags can be helpful in ranking your graphics in google's image search as well as its normal web search results. The heading tags are more meaningful to web positioning on google that bold or strong tags and should be used to provide relevant keyword emphasis to certain bits of text, such as headlines, title and captions, there are as many heading tags as you need with h1, h2, h3 etc and they can be styled to look as you wish with css.

Google's use of meta tag information is debatable at best and non-existant at worst, so while all of your pages should hold pertinant meta descriptions, you should be extremely careful to stay on topic with them, as so not to turn them into spam, as many sites do.

 

Another excellent article from Dan Zarrella 2003 Stargeek Studios

 

Vancouver web design

On website cloaking:

Will My Website Get Penalized? Answer: maybe

Anyone using Search Engine Optimization Software, Including Cloaking, Redirects, etc is potentially at risk of being removed from search results(that s correct, you are banned and will not show up on search results for an very long time). Some software uses special techniques to insure your risk is very minimal. We recommend using natural methods in most cases on websites that are commercial in nature. Even though cloaking is a powerful technology, it is often taken with a grain of salt. Use web page cloaking at your own risk. When your sales start to skyrocket, remember, it can/and does all end because of this method.

 


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