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    Exclamation READ: I will put all your questions to rest finally


    *Ok, Im putting a little disclaimer on this due to the large influx of messages I have been getting. This is what works for me now, in the past, and at least for another year or so. Indexing, ranking, and technologies change and so will my techniques. I will continue to constantly adjust my sites for changing times and you should as well. So take everything below with a grain of salt, this is not a Bible for SEO or anything, its just how to build a very succussful website now. ALSO DO NOT ASK ME FOR STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN SEO SERVICES AND WOULD LIKE A CUSTOM QUOTE FROM ME, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME AT UPALLNIGHT2002@MSN.COM

    Browsing through these forums for the past 3 years I have seen some amazing advice and I have seen some god awful advice. I'm going to try to sum up in a couple pages the keys to good rankings in Google.

    I first started building sites in '93 and eventually launched a couple of insurance sites with a partner of mine. I have enjoyed several years of successful top 10 listings for all 4 of my sites. Many of the other knowledgeable posters like SEO Guy have been providing good advice for some time now, yet everyone always seems to come back with the exact same questions. Lets put some of these age old questions to rest.

    1. The most common question I receive from my clients lately is "Should I buy links?"

    Answer: Yes*, but you need to be careful which ones and not for the reason you are probably thinking. You want several high PR links coming from REPUTABLE sources, regardless of their relevancy. The key phrase there is reputable, meaning quality bigger name sites. Sure these links might cost you 200-400 a month but they can be very much worth it. The huge argument so many SEO guys have with each other is over relevancy of links. Yes, preferably you would only like to have relevant links coming into your site; however having a high PR unrelated link can do wonders for your sites popularity. If I had to choose between one unrelated PR8 link and ten PR1 related links, I'll take the PR8. The reason why is its all about A. the content on the landing page, B. the amount of backlinks you have on your landing page to other pages on your site, and C. the amazing boost in your PR you will see from the PR8 link in about 6-8 months. Important Note: Stay away from sites that use client side JavaScript to serve their paid links, sites that have more then 12 paid links per page, sites that refer to them as paid links on their pages, and sites that have no content at all (link farms).

    Now I know what your thinking, “Google only cares about # of links and relevancy of those links” You are exactly right, which is why you drive your website’s PR up to a 6-8 through a network of paid links, then have that landing page link to all the other relevant pages on your site with some very strong anchor text. What happens is you will drive your landing page’s PR way up and every link on that page you have to all your other pages will not only carry a high relevancy but those respective pages will rise significantly in PR as well. To sum up point 1, it’s not about where the link comes from as much as where Google travels next when it hits your page. .

    2. The second most common question I get is “How should I optimize my content for not only Google, but Yahoo and MSN?”

    I’m going to get a lot of flack for this one, but you optimize your site the exact same way for all three. I’m going to make this short and sweet:

    A. Proper uses of H1 tags and use CSS to shrink them down. They still get read as H1’s and they can be any size, color, weight you want. The CSS file needs to be attached, not coded directly on the page. Ideally you should not do this, but it works now and will work for at least a little while longer. I recommend using H2 and H3 tags for long term, results and to avoid being punished a year or more from now when Google, Yahoo, MSN adjust.

    B. Target phrases that people will actually type in. You probably know a lot more about the industry language then someone shopping for that product, so don’t use “big” words or industry phrases.

    C. Match your title, desc, url*, and header text. (Edited: Only match your URL's if you really want to. It is not necessary, but it helps very very slightly.) If you are targeting something like 19” Sony LCD Monitor for example. Your title better say “19” Sony LCD Monitor”, your desc tag better have “19” Sony LCD Monitor”, your URL should be* (not crucial) something along the lines of 19_inch_sony_lcd_monitor.html (whatever ending and separator you use is fine), and the H1 header text on your page better be “19” Sony LCD Monitor”. Keyword META tags are about as useful as getting punched in the face anymore. But you should still have “19” Sony LCD Monitor” in that keyword tag. If you are complaining “my URL’s can’t look like that or my system doesn’t allow me to control my META tags on every page”, then you are using the wrong content management system. I know of 3 CMS’s that are open source that allow for complete 100% control of META and URL’s. You have no excuse.

    D. General Rules (If you are an experienced SEO, you need not read this): Do not SPAM keywords, do not have more then 15-20 outgoing links on any page, keep your code clean, never use JavaScript or hide it in .js files (never put JavaScript code directly onto your page), use CSS as much as possible, try if you can to always validate your CSS, HTML, XHTML etc, push the text of your page as high on the page as possible, make important keywords bold, use as few images as possible and use ALT tags (BUT DO NOT SPAM ALT TAGS), use TITLE tags on outgoing links or backlinks (BUT DO NOT SPAM TITLE TAGS), DON’T USE DHTML OR JAVASCRIPT MENUS AS YOUR PRIMARY NAVIGATION (CSS dropdown menus are just as good and can be fully parsed by all major search engines, JavaScript Menus CAN’T), always build a SITEMAP of your entire site, don’t use image maps unless you absolutely have too!, and lastly your navigation should always be text (never use images/roll overs for navigation, search engines want to follow text links). With how far CSS has come, you can create pretty amazing navigation menus and bars with CSS.

    3. This question never ceases to amaze me. “What tricks or secrets are the top listings using to get their and how can I do the exact same thing?”

    STOP IT…….. All of you webmasters out there frantically searching these forums, your competitors sites, your competitors links, trying to hack into their directories, searching every link in their sitemap, etc… just STOP IT. Every moment you waste doing that is a moment you could have spent optimizing your own site. Sure there are temporary tricks, but they are a complete waste of time. I love these webmasters who spend all day every day building dozens of sites that climb fast and then plummet. I can’t believe they don’t realize its more profitable to make a long term ranking in a major keyword then a 2 week burst.

    I’m hopefully going to kill a few rumors here once and for all:

    1.“The sites that sit at the top must be paying to be there (insert pathetic excuse here like – “they don’t have enough incoming links”, “they don’t have enough content” etc…).

    STOP IT. My sites are involved in some of the most expensive keywords on Google and Yahoo (life insurance, auto insurance quotes). I have been lucky enough to meet with a few of the sites that are up there with me (crazy part is they are all 20-24 year old kids, one of the owners of a very large network of financial sites is only 19) and we talked about what we do etc and I will tell you for a 100% fact that no one is paying to be at the top, there is no favoritism among Google and Yahoo results. Of course I’m going to have people message me and say “I know people who do it” .NO, you don’t, and you don’t know what you’re talking about, STOP IT. People that achieve quick results almost always lost them as soon as they get them.

    2.“But what about these ads/doorway pages/cloaking redirects/javascript redirect pages that I see sometimes do so well on Yahoo and Google sometimes?”

    My question to you is, do you still see them there? I have see hundreds of these sites come and go every day, month, year, etc.. They don’t last long, Google/Yahoo spot them up very quickly, they get blacklisted, and my sites are still there year after year. Good solid SEO work takes many months to years to pay off, but if done correctly you will survive any competitor, any index reshuffle, any search engine update, etc. Have patience.

    3.There is no secret to good search results. (I have lots of people messaging me about this one. I am referring to long term results! I could easily produce a site that within 2 months will dominate a certain popular keyword, and then it will be blacklisted. The goal is a site that is in the top 10 and will remain there for several years.) In Google, Yahoo, and MSN you need good solid content, links, backlinking, and good clean code. Do this and a year from now you will probably take over any keyword you want. I think one of the only reasons all the dirty tricks exist is because of people constantly worrying about rankings rather then just working on making their site better and cleaner. If you spent less time trying to cheat the system, you would actually see long term reliable results.

    I am going to finish this article by doing something I have never done before in a post about SEO. I am going to list the software and sites I use.

    None of these are affiliate links. I am not trying to make any money here; these are all hard coded direct links and none of these companies are in any way affiliated with myself.

    Validation Toolbar: My Main Weapon of Choice
    http://www.nils.org.au/ais/web/resou...bar/index.html Free, 100% no spyware, company that makes it is a non-profit, amazing tool to use when designing

    Helpful seo script sites:

    http://www.webmaster-toolkit.com/

    http://www.submitcorner.com/

    http://www.dynamicdrive.com If you HAVE TO use dhtml or JavaScript, go here as there is not a site with more scripts and it’s so easy to navigate.

    http://gritechnologies.com/tools/spider.go See what your site will look like in Google

    Content Management:

    http://www.mamboserver.com with the http://www.Sakic.net SEO Module installed

    http://www.xoops.org

    http://www.wordpress.com (I highly modify it though)

    http://krang.sourceforge.net/ hands down the single most powerful open source CMS (advanced users only, trust me you don’t want to try to install this if you don’t know what you’re doing)

    Shopping Cart Software:

    http://www.oscommerce.com (fantastic for SEO with the SEO controls contributions installed)

    http://www.clickcartpro.com Recommend only if you get the SEO module from http://www.aatechservices.com/clickcartpro-seo.php for Click Cart Pro

    http://www.zencart.com

    Best Whois:

    http://www.whois.sc

    Design Aids:

    http://colormixers.com/mixers/cmr/ If you need a 6 color matching color pallete for your website use this simple to use software.

    http://www.sxc.hu 100% free photos – No BS, I get all my photos from here for free

    Scripts and Script Databases:

    http://phpforms.net/index.html Best form script I have used

    http://php.resourceindex.com and http://cgi.resourceindex.com are great for PHP and CGI Scripts

    http://www.hotscripts.com another place I get all my software at

    Cheap Reliable Hosts:

    http://www.doorhost.net $20 a yr package is just simply amazing. Many other packages. I have not had a single problem with them in 2 years and they have great customer support. At the time of writing this article they are redoing their payment system, so if you have a problem signing up please do not discard them.

    http://www.onehost.ws Another cheap host I have used since 2002. Though they aren’t as reliable as DoorHost.

    http://www.ipowerweb.com If I were to count I would assume over 80% of my sites are hosted here. They are simply the best company out there for the money.

    Since I don’t want to be sued I’m not going to publish the names of companies I know are fraudulent or just plain awful. Please don’t message me and say “Well blah blah under Fair Use Provisions of the National Copyright Laws you are allowed to publish the name of a company as long as its for educational uses or to better serve the greater good.” I don’t care, lawsuits cost money regardless of whether or not they have any merit. If you really want to know, I may consider emailing them to you.

    Hopefully, this article has helped some of you out. If you would like you can reach me at upallnight2002@msn.com

    PLEASE LINK TO MY ARTICLE SO WE CAN GET THE WORD OUT AND STOP ALL THE ANNOYING REPETATIVE POSTS!

    Link: http://forums.seochat.com/t22713/s.html




    Also if you would like me to write some more tips here please ask. I can write some more specifics for you below.

    Comments on this post

    • TearingHairOut : Excellent
    • maluk agrees : rep given
    • ptdirect agrees
    Last edited by thingyamabob; Feb 17th, 2005 at 09:48 PM.
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    Wow...


    That was one of the best explanations I have ever read. Thanks for the links.
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    Probably one of the bests posts in a long time. nfire:
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    Tough love is a good thing.

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    Also never use frames. I forgot to mention that.
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    thingy -
    Thank you. This was a very good contribution. On part C - I take some issue with the importance of having the URL include your page title. I feel that although this is a piece I would do if I wanted everything "perfect", it is the least of your concerns - if you have trouble with pages that are - site.com/content/121.php - you should be just fine.

    Also, I take some issue with the future of the success of sites who buy unrelated high PR links. I agree that these are currently effective tactics and have been in the past, but you should expect that to decrease. All of the search engines are moving away from the initial PageRank ideas and as PR dies the slow death in the algo, those high PR, non-relevant links will no longer be enough to keep you up top. If you plan for the future by using your popularity to get lots of related mid to low level PR links, you should weather the storms of the future fine too.
    CEO & Co-founder of SEOmoz
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    Exclamation


    In this thread http://forums.seochat.com/t22592/s.html
    we're discussing the possibility of a new overoptimization penalty from Google that could be causing the latest SERPs.

    How are you dealing with the last update? Do you think that repeating your keywords in the title, H1, tags, url, etc. could be losing its effect or worse, being rated as spammy?

    I sure hope not.-
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    thingyamabob, thank you for writing long artical ,.....yes it is good contribution
    I like this part very much.....'crazy part is they are all 20-24 year old kids' ,
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    Originally Posted by Renton
    In this thread http://forums.seochat.com/t22592/s.html
    we're discussing the possibility of a new overoptimization penalty from Google that could be causing the latest SERPs.

    How are you dealing with the last update? Do you think that repeating your keywords in the title, H1, tags, url, etc. could be losing its effect or worse, being rated as spammy?

    I sure hope not.-
    I do suppose if Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.. were to sit back in the next year or so and decide what they view as spam. It is possible that the URL could be viewed as spamming.

    Maybe my biggest piece of advice could be to realize you are going to have to constantly adjust to changing conditions. Don't ever be "comfortable" with your rankings, as you might have to completely overhaul your site 6 months later to keep up with the changing times.
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    Originally Posted by randfish
    thingy -
    Thank you. This was a very good contribution. On part C - I take some issue with the importance of having the URL include your page title. I feel that although this is a piece I would do if I wanted everything "perfect", it is the least of your concerns - if you have trouble with pages that are - site.com/content/121.php - you should be just fine.

    Also, I take some issue with the future of the success of sites who buy unrelated high PR links. I agree that these are currently effective tactics and have been in the past, but you should expect that to decrease. All of the search engines are moving away from the initial PageRank ideas and as PR dies the slow death in the algo, those high PR, non-relevant links will no longer be enough to keep you up top. If you plan for the future by using your popularity to get lots of related mid to low level PR links, you should weather the storms of the future fine too.
    I agree with you on the URL part, I have achieved very good results even with ugly ?& dynamic URL's. It is the least of your concerns and when I say they should match the title I should have put in as long as it doesn't get too long. You obviously don't want a URL that is 100+ characters long.

    Also, it always helps to have a quality unrelated high PR link as long as its from a reputable source. I will be very very curious to see how Google will build a technology to see what is a relevant link and what isn't and punish all sites that have unrelated links.
    Last edited by thingyamabob; Feb 17th, 2005 at 05:56 PM.
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    Very good post and advice. I agree I have never paid for a link and have some really well positioned pages for top keywords.
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    Very good article!
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    Originally Posted by thingyamabob
    Also, it always helps to have a quality unrelated high PR link as long as its from a reputable source. I will be very very curious to see how Google will build a technology to see what is a relevant link and what isn't and punish all sites that have unrelated links.
    Thingy -
    I don't think punishment for links will ever happen - it's too open to spamming and maliciousness. What I do think will happen is simply a switch towards topic analysis to provide better relevancy. As that happens, those sites that are not themed as 'on-topic' by their links will not be able to compete with just the global popularity provided by high PR inbounds. I'm simply suggesting that the wise SEO keep this in mind as they link build in the future.
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    Originally Posted by randfish
    Thingy -
    I don't think punishment for links will ever happen - it's too open to spamming and maliciousness. What I do think will happen is simply a switch towards topic analysis to provide better relevancy. As that happens, those sites that are not themed as 'on-topic' by their links will not be able to compete with just the global popularity provided by high PR inbounds. I'm simply suggesting that the wise SEO keep this in mind as they link build in the future.
    I agree with your point that I don't think punishment will happen for unrelated links. That would simply open the door to a new way for competitors to damage opponents sites.

    I have only had 2 sites since 1993 get blacklisted and that is due to competitors adding my link to dozens of link farms and then emailing Google complaining that my good rankings were from these spam link farms. And anyone who has ever dealt with Google knows you have a better chance of getting struck by lighting while being eaten by a shark, then having Google help you. The moral of the story is Google does care about massive amounts of unrelated links, but normally this only applies to links from sites that are not reputable sources like a link farm or FFA.
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    As much as I thank you for trying to clear up all of the "over asked" questions, it won't work, people will still ask.

    I also have to disagree with you on alot of things. Optimizing for Google, Yahoo and MSN "CAN" be the same if you have a lot of money and time on your hands. If you need fast rankings their are still "tricks" that work in MSN and Yahoo. I built a site with about 30 pages on a new car model and pointed a site wide link to it (1,500 links from 1 site) and within 7 days I ranked #1-#10 on THE NEW MSN over all aged competitors. It takes a little longer for yahoo b/c their indexing takes quite a bit of time but in 1-3 months after getting indexed in yahoo I will rank top 10 their as well with the single sitewide (this is tested and has ranked for over 6 months on another site).

    However, that doesn't work at all for google (in my experience). Google requires that usually have a competing amount of backlinks as your competitors from DIFFERENT sites and that your ALLINANCHOR/ALLINTITLE are ranked highley.

    I would also not count my eggs on the CSS. Right now if you put the CSS to resize your H1's, etc in the page file Google can and will read it and not give you credit for being an H1. If you put it in an EXTERNAL CSS file google does not yet read those , but will be soon and discrediting it also.
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