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So you’ve worked for weeks on end to get your website all dressed up and promote it to the public. The site goes live, you start running some advertising campaigns, but a few weeks go by and you don’t notice your site being indexed in any of the search engines.

Believe it or not, many website owners unknowingly put up a “No Trespassing” sign to search engine robots and wonder why they are not being indexed well, if at all, in the search engines. Let me explain some of the most common mistakes:

All too often you will notice a nice flash or JavaScript based navigation menu on a website you visit. True, it is appealing to the eyes, but the search engine robots will not be able to follow any of those links. If you want to be search engine friendly, you’ve got to think one thing, and that’s HTML!

If your website requires JavaScript or cookies in order to display correctly, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Guess who doesn’t use JavaScript or cookies? That’s right- the search engine robots! If you have these requirements for your website, it will be impossible for search engines to index your website.

Is your hosting reliable? Wouldn’t it be a shame if Google tried to pay you a visit to index your site but your site was offline due to a “technical difficulty”? With the new Google PageRank updates expected at any moment now, you don’t want the visit that would determine if your site stays a PR3 or gets bumped up to a PR4 to notice your website offline do you?

Look in the header of your webpages and be sure that you don’t have anything similar to:

meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”

If you do, you’re telling the search engines to skip over that particular page. If you want it indexed, you’d better remove it right away.

Lastly but most unlikely, you may be violating a search engine policy or guideline and thus are being penalized and not indexed. Your best strategy in approaching this angle would be to become a member in a popular SEO forum and ask the members to scan your site and look for anything that may be violating a search engine policy and thus keeping your site from being indexed.

As long as your website is designed and optimized to work well with search engines, you should expect to see those robots scanning your site within a few days to a few weeks of your site going live. I have heard recent experiences of Google indexing a site after only about 24 hours of being online. Again, I will reiterate, be sure to use plenty of HTML- that’s the only language the search engines will understand.


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If you’ve got a landing page that you want to rank well in the search engines, you’ve got to be sure that it is designed with search engines in mind. If you want your landing page campaign to be successful, make sure you follow these five rules:

1. My landing page contains at least 250 words of HTML text.

Search engine spiders are like hungry animals trying to devour their prey. They feed off of HTML. If you want them to think well of you and visit often, you’ve got to feed them what they want. HTML is what they’re looking for so be sure to give it to them.

A page with only 1 or 2 short paragraphs of HTML text or text within graphics will not fare very well if compared to your competition whose page contains hundreds of “juicy” words written in HTML for the search engine spiders to feed off of.

2. The Text on the Page Contains My Target Keywords

All that text on your page will do you no good if you babble on about a red car, but you want your landing page to rank well for the search term “green boat”. If you want to rank well for “green boat” then be sure to talk about a green boat within the text of your landing page.

Your landing page will have much more success if you be sure to use your target keywords as many times as possible while still providing a pleasant reading experience for the visitor.

3. Don’t Forget the Title

You should put just as much emphasis on the title of your page as you put on the body. As with rule #2, be sure that your page title contains some of your target keywords. Also, you may find better results by making your title as specific as possible.

4. Anchor Text for My Links Are Relevant

This is the rule that you have the least control over, but you should do your best to be sure that the anchor text for your links contain your target keywords. Here’s an example:

If you’re target keywords are “green boat”, then you would want your link to look something like this:

<a href=http://www.yoursite.com/greenboat.html”>Green Boat</a>

This would be a bad example:

<a href=http://www.yoursite.com/greenboat.html”>Visit My Site!</a>

5. Your Landing Page Is Accessible From Your Homepage

If you’ve got a landing page you want to promote, be sure that it is accessible by following HTML links from your homepage. Some people will make their landing page, but have no way to access it from the homepage of their website. To the search engines, this looks as if the landing page is not very important to you, so the page is not very important to them.

The phrase to understand in what I just said is “HTML links”. I’m not talking about having javascript menus or a menu made up of images or links to the page from a login secured area of your site. I’m talking about good old-fashioned HTML links- food for the search engine spiders.

To sum things up, you’ve got to think HTML, HTML, HTML! Too many websites today are made up of nothing but images, flash & javascript. If you want to do well in organic search engine listings, you’ve got to use HTML.


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To be honest, I’m quite tired of hearing nothing other than PageRank, PageRank, PageRank. In the world of SEO, many have become easily distracted by focusing all of their time and attention on Google. However, it is very important to remember that Google accounts for only 39.8% of all the user searches on the Internet today. True, Google is the monstrous #1 search engine, but it’s not the only one out there.

Google’s PageRank is a measurement of a page’s worth based on the quantity and the quality of both incoming and outgoing links. The PageRank is calculated on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the best- and extremely rare. It’s important to remember that a high PageRank value does not necessarily guarantee a high Google rank for any particular keyword(s).

Over the past few years, website owners have focused so much attention to their Google PageRank that they have forgotten to pay attention to what the other search engines are looking for- and most importantly, what the human visitors are looking for. PageRank has become an obsession to the point that domain names are bought and sold, even with no associated website, just on the basis of that domain’s current PageRank.

Have we forgotten about these other search engines?

1. Yahoo!

Yahoo! accounts for approximately 29.5% of search traffic on the Internet today. Long before Google was a force to be reckoned with, Yahoo! was the most popular cat on the block. Let’s not forget that Yahoo! is still one of the oldest and best known search engines out there. They would be a good shoulder to fall back on if Google fails you and you just can’t seem to get to the top with them. Remember, with so much emphasis being placed on Google, this leaves much less competition for you with other great search engines such as Yahoo!

2. MSN

MSN, owned by the Microsoft Corp., has not particularly been a favorite amongst Internet gurus and SEO experts for a variety of reasons. However, MSN steals approximately 14.2% of the search traffic on the Internet. How about when you purchase that new Windows-based computer and open up Internet Explorer for the first time? MSN will most likely be your default homepage. Believe it or not, many people do not even realize that they can change their default homepage or even understand how to directly type a URL into their address bar. Therefore, to reach any page they want, they’ll just type it in to MSN and click “Search Web”. Forgetting about MSN could really take a bite out of your website’s full traffic potential.

3. AOL

I’m very happy to say that I have noticed AOL slowly slipping off into the background. It couldn’t be done fast enough if you ask me. However, estimates have shown that AOL accounts for about 8.7% of search traffic. The funny thing about this is that AOL does not generate their own independent search results. Any results that are shown on AOL are pulled from Google. So the bottom line is that to do well on AOL, you’ve got to do well on Google. This doesn’t really help me out as I’m trying to tell you to back off Google a bit and remember all the other search engines, but I thought I would share the traffic estimates with you anyway.

4. ASK.com

Over the past few years, ASK.com has been continuously refined to where it is now, and is still undergoing constant changes. Accounting for approximately 6.5% of search traffic, ASK.com has a “Google-like” appearance with an easy to use interface. True, ASK.com has a ways to go in order to be a really hard competitor with some of the larger engines, but I see it gaining more and more momentum in the shadows and over the next few years, I feel that ASK.com will really be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.

Overall, proper SEO techniques will improve your rankings in any major search engine. The message I am trying to get across is to warn website owners about making the mistake of focusing all of their time and attention to Google-specific optimization while forgetting about quality content, a user friendly site and the other 60.2% of user searches being done everyday.


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For those of you who own a blog, are you making sure to “ping” blog crawler sites when you publish new posts on your site? Pinging these services is like submitting a static website to a search engine- only better. When you submit a website to a search engine, you have to wait for weeks or months for the spiders to crawl your website, and then hope that they will list your site. When you ping these blog services, you are in effect notifying them that you have published new information and their spiders will automatically crawl your blog to search for this new information, publish it, and in turn will increase your website’s popularity. The crawling process is usually completed within a few hours as opposed as weeks or months. Pinging sites as these is something that every blog owner should implement when making posts. And best of all, it’s free!

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I was browsing around the net today and came across a very informative site. Directtraffic.org is a website that offers SEO and campaign management services.

However, I found an article on their site that grabbed my attention:

Beware of Site Wide Text Link Ads

I found the information to be very well written and straightforward. For the most part, I agree with what the article says and it actually made me think twice about some things I have implemented on my own website.

I thought that I would share the link with you all, because I feel the information in that article could be very helpful to many website owners.


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You know the value of your website gaining its position in the top search engines. You’ve learned tons of tips and read endless tutorials about how to improve your ranking, but here’s an article that will explain five ways you can destroy your search engine placement overnight.

1. Every Link Is Not a Friend

Sure, you want tons of links pointing to your website, but if where they’re coming from a site that has nothing to do with yours, it may be doing more harm than good. Search engines are looking for relevant links. If you’ve got links coming from 100 irrelevant websites, you could drop your site’s relevancy rating. It’s true that it would probably take a large number of irrelevant links to make a big difference, but it is possible.

2. Watch Your Meta Keywords

Some people go nuts on their meta keywords and don’t realize that they’ve repeated the same keyword or phrase multiple times. Others do this on purpose, thinking that by repeating their keywords over and over again, it’s bound to improve their rankings. Don’t fool yourself- search engines will frown on this and you will be punished!

3. Hidden Content

A few years ago it was not uncommon to find websites that would list 1,000 keywords on the bottom of each page, making the text color the same as or similar to the background so that visitors would not notice it, but search engines would. The point of this was the hope to improve their keyword relevancy and bump their spot in the search engines a little higher. You didn’t think this would go unnoticed forever did you? Not as many sites are doing this anymore for good reason- you take a guess.

4. Cloaking

Cloaking is programming your website to show certain content to real visitors, but show something different when a search engine robot crawls your page. One reason a person might do this would be to make it appear as if the keyword density was much higher than it actually is in order to improve search engine ranking or to decrease their CPC (cost per click) on a PPC (pay per click) advertising campaign. Chances are, if you feel the need to go to extremes by cloaking your site, your content is probably so bad that any visitors you would expect to gain would leave your site anyway. Don’t cloak!

5. PPC (Pay per Click) Advertising

You probably say, how in the world can PPC advertising drop my search engine rankings? Well, this is my own thought and I’ll tell you why. Many website owners will spend so many hours doing keyword and CPC research as well as monitoring and managing their advertising campaigns that they totally forget about implementing any other SEO techniques. What happens is that all of their time and energy goes in to these advertising campaigns, and once the advertising budget is used up, your site disappears from the radar. Remember: With CPC advertising, your website is only popular for as long as the money holds out. On the other hand, organic search engine listings, backlinks, etc. tend to stick around a little while longer than CPC ads do. In the long run, they may pay off better than expected. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

 


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