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    Optimizing tips and tricks. Open to Everyone.


    Ok I been thinking about my earlier poll about Sharing the "Taboo" secrets of the SEO trade, and I agree it may be unfair to ask Darrin or anyone else for that matter to disclose their proven secrets to us. I see this forum as a support group incase we have read something elsewhere we may need clarification about it or more detail.

    Having said that I would like to open this thread for qualified Tips, I am not asking anyone to post anything they do not wish, what I am asking is that everyone take a moment and post the Top 5 "to do's" & "not to do's" on our sites. This can be common knowledge brought to the table from other sites, posted in point form, and will hopefully give the users of this board the opportunity to read over the thread ask questions, and give them a healthy start for optimizing their sites.

    So Please, let the "Tipping" begin!

    Chris
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    do:
    1. make your site as user friendly as possible
    2. give relative content
    3. give real content
    4. keep your site clean from spam
    5. love your site and its rankings

    dont:

    1. spam
    2. over optimize
    3. spam
    4. over optimize
    5. spam
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    Hi Watcher and thanks for the reply to get the post going! I am wondering if you could give some specifics on the points you have made, for example, Some key points to making your site user friendly or perhaps some definitions of Spam seeing as how spam can be taken in alot of ways, some users might not think something is spam until they read your post and say, Hey! I didn't know that! Also some defintion on Over
    optimizing would be great.

    Chris
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    DON'T ever include a keyword or key phrase in your meta tags that is not present on that page. Keywords should REINFORCE what is on the page, not define it. I've seen this, time and time again on sites I maintain, as search engines are defining this a spam more and more of the time.

    DON'T use a general (free) banner exchange service. You will see at most, a 1/50th increase in your site traffic from the banner exchange and at worst you will lose 1/10th of your traffic because they look cheap. Some people claim that a few search engines now decrease rankings if the standard banner programs are present (ie:link exchange/click trade, etc). However, there are some good banner exchanges out there for just certain topics (kinda like Webrings) that can work good to target a particular demographic audience.

    Search Engine Ranking Tips: Do's
    Do use high value keyword "phrases" in addition to keywords. Look for something unusual, don't just copy the competition, but do target the competition. Look at your referrals and see what combinations of words are being used together and work them into a phrase near the beginning of your keywords.

    Do use descriptive short alt tags for your images - many search engines will use them (which adds to your keywords). Each search engine has different criteria for indexing your site (as detailed elsewhere; but, all don't mind the alt tags and some use them - go for it, its a free bonus)

    Do check the competition. See what they are using for keywords and phrases. Check what sites are referencing them, and check what they are doing to get those referrals. Reverse searching for your competition can tell you a great deal about what your site is missing.

    Do consider each page of your site as an entry point for a search engine, and watch the results for each page. Use this to your advantage as a method of steering traffic and visitors back to your main page.

    Do put in a few small specific pages targeted directly at the keywords you wish to be listed under. Make one page of one paragraph that is highly descriptive including only your base keywords in the paragraph. Submit it to an engine and you'd be surprised and the results - smaller is better some times...

    Do take steps to consider heavily your Strategic Web Site Submission policy before you build and submit links for the next page. Start by building the page around a new keyword list. You-guessed-it, use the page to reinforce the keywords and the keywords to reinforce the page. This is still one of the best hints to up, your site presence before you announce it to the world.

    Do use at least one strange keyword as a means of testing bizarre and unrelated results. I used the word strange in this document. I assume I will get some unrelated hits based on the strange keyword, which can let me check what people are search for via referral data. If I get a few hundred hits a week based on the strange keyword, that might be an avenue to explore for a whole new page.

    (post note: the word "strange" formerly was ee-xxoottiicc. It is spelled this way to keep from getting branded an aa-dduulltt content site by the search engine indexers: which happened and hits went from about 200 a day to 30. - another lesson learned. Thanks to Infoseek for the information and heads up!


    For example, on of my older older pages used the strange keyword doritios. In the doc I mentioned the fact that I often have to clean my keyboard because I eat doritios while computing. The keyword Doritos pulled in unrelated surfers and allowed me to see that, hundreds of potato growers in idaho where looking for potato processing, prices, and information. Based on that fact, I added hundreds of potato and couch potato (grin) sites to my farm and ag search engine. Overall those keywords have pulled in thousands of hits to my pages. (a powerful technique not to be dismissed so quickly). Can you spot the strange keyword in this page?

    Do Log the visitors web site and referring URL. This is critical information for adjusting your site keywords and phrases. Study and learn; do research on the internet for a good log analysis tool or logger program. This can do more to help your web sight placement than anything. (side bar: notice the few intentional mis-spellings in this doc? again, reinforce those keywords! Its a classic tip for the techniques and promotions column that can honestly increase and generate site traffic before and after you announce your site to the world. I find I do far more keyword and meta tag work after a page is two months old, than I did when I built the page. I usually leave 300-400 characters play room in my meta keywords just for follow up work. There be gold in that referral data!

    DO mix it up. Consider every page on your site as a potential point of entry for visitors. Use some small widget, solo topic, or narrow focus pages with keywords unto themselves - and also some large heavy content pages with broad topics. With search engines constantly changing their ranking systems, one month a large content rich page will score high, while the next month that little two paragraph "after thought" page will suddenly jump to the top of the rankings for seemingly unknown reasons. You should be careful with this technique not to give the search engines the appearance of spamming (don't just replicate a page and change a little here and there - keep topics divided).
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    ROFLMAO....darrin! why did I get banned from googleeee!!!!
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    What more can one say?

    Other than use www.wordtracker.com to supply the keyword phrases for those niches that your head just doesn't conceive

    Well done darrin and thewatcher11
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    Remember - what worked in the last dance doesn't mean it will work in the next. That's assuming you're trying to get better SERPS via tricks rather than good content.
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    Well-done guys there are some eye-opener tips here. Thanks to all sharing their experience.

    I will try to contribute for the new comers to SEO arena.

    Always have a robot.txt in your root directory. Most of the search engines (SEs) look for it and it will be easier to manage the robots what they can spider on your website.

    Use style sheets. This way you will have smaller page file size and it will be easier and faster for the robots to go through your code.

    Keep your javascripts in separate files than your content pages. Most of the SEs donít read them anyway, so why clutter your code?

    Read all the SEs submission guidelines, to understand what is considered as spam for that specific engine and follow the rules strictly.

    Make sure your site is listed in dmoz.org and Yahoo directory.

    Make the most use of 404 page. Use a sitemap/internal links page in case things go wrong and robots end-up on this page. All your pages linked on this page will get spidered. This will be very useful if you happen to change your file structure i.e.; .html to .shtml or .php!

    And donít forget, we are all here to answer and help you when you post your problem.
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    Darrin, regarding your point #2: My site design requires images in some cases. Do alt tags work as well as text or at least almost as well?
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    Based on the tips for text navigation, is the following code good, bad or neutral?

    <img src="0spacer.gif" width="10" height="10"><a href="buying01.html" class="roll">Buying a Home</a><br>
    <img src="subnavLine.gif" width="140" height="7"><br>
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    instead of using <img> use css padding on the cell..that is a better way..
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    Although we already know many of the secrets, including some form of spam, I am amazed at one particular awful looking small commercial site that has spammed Google for 4 years now with 1277 keyword/phrases on its main page in the bg colour. The owner doesn't appear to be changing much content though.
    Don't ask me the url (its not mine I assure you). I will not give it as I feel that's not what this forum is for.
    As a result that domain is very well found in its and more cats and in more than two languages.
    Maybe the Google algorithm is over extended.
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    My Tipp of the day concerns Framesets.

    If you are in the need of a frameset for what reason ever, please take care of the proper "preparation":

    - Use the "noindex" in the META-Tags for no-content-frames
    - Use "follow" in the META-Tags for the navigation
    - Use "NOFRAME"-Tag in the Frameset-Page, and don't put a text in there like: "Hi, if you see this, your browser is not able to read this page. I'm sorry about that - please klick here to download a newer version"
    - Take care, that the user from the content-frame gets back to the "complete" site
    - Use a sitemap

    It is sooooo simple - but it's incredible how many just don't follow these lines and then wonder, why they don't get any visitors, or the visitors only view one page

    Reg,
    Birthe
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    Keep Users in mind not to search engines.

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