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The UnFair Advantage Book on
Winning the Search Engine Wars
March 2011 —Version SE177
All Rights Reserved
© Copyright 1997...
The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars
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SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book
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SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book

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SEO: Search Engine Optimizer
An SEO is someone who understands how search engines work in the online marketplace, An SEO optimizes web site and web pages to rank highly within the search results. As an SEO you will inevitably , also become an SEM, that´s a Search Engine Marketer; a person who understands how to use the art of SEO. You are in for an exciting adventure because, once you learn and master the skills within this course, literaly, the sky is the limit for you!

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Transcript of "SEO Winning the Search Engine Wars - The UnFair Advantage book"

  1. 1. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars March 2011 —Version SE177 All Rights Reserved © Copyright 1997-2011 Planet Ocean Communications, Inc. 75-1027 Henry St Suite 11A #301 · Kailua-Kona, HI 96740-3154 Planet Ocean® is a registered trademark of Planet Ocean Communications, Inc. All other logos contained within are the property of their respective Trademark owners
  2. 2. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 2 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Congratulations for taking your first BIG step toward becoming an accomplished SEO! Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) An SEO is someone who understands how search engines work in the online marketplace. An SEO optimizes Web sites and Web pages to rank highly within the search results. As an SEO you will, inevitably, also become an SEM. That's a Search Engine Marketer; a person who understands how to use the art of SEO (search engine optimizing) to 'market' products and services online, over the Internet. You are in for an exciting adventure because, once you learn and master the skills within this course, literally, the sky is the limit for you! In other words, once you complete this course along with all of the Advanced SEO Tutorials within our membership site at SearchEngineNews.com, you'll have the knowledge you need to: Position your own Web sites and Web pages to rank at the top of the search results. In our opinion, owning your own business is the way to go. Putting your business 'online' is a necessity. It‘s hard to imagine any business 'making it' if they do not have a prominent online presence. And, being found at the top of the search results - exactly where your customers EXPECT to find you, is critical to the success of your business. Position OTHER PEOPLE's Web sites to rank at the top of the search results. The knowledge you‘ll gain from this course will provide you with a marketable skill for which you can charge a healthy fee. You'll be primed to perform a valuable service to any business that has, or wants, an online presence. It‘s not the slightest bit unusual for an SEO to earn $25, $50, $75 per hour or more (oftentimes much more) for their services. Consult for a fee to any person or business that has, or wants, an online Web presence. Although you will likely need to get some experience under your belt before you can expect to demand top dollar for consulting services, the fact remains that our own Planet Ocean SEO consultants command a hefty $500/hr (yes, that's Five Hundred Dollars per HOUR) when we do SEO/SEM consulting. Obviously your earnings aren‘t likely to be that high in the beginning, and perhaps never. However, if you do go on to become an Expert, your earnings could be even higher. Some SEOs and online marketing consultants charge as much as $6000 just for doing an SEO Web site audit. The point is that SEO consulting is immensely valuable to businesses that operate online BECAUSE the money those businesses make with the information we provide, greatly exceeds any $500/hr or $6000 site-audit fees that we charge them. But please! Don‘t construe any of the above as income promises or estimates of your future earnings. Nobody can really tell you how much *money* YOU will make as a result of the education you‘ll receive from this SEO course. Suffice to say that, if you are diligent in your studies and industrious in your efforts, then this course can become the threshold of an almost unlimited opportunity to duplicate, or even exceed, the successes of
  3. 3. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 3 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 others who have gone before you. After all, this whole ‘internet thing’ is just now really taking off. Incidentally, the earnings stated above are based on our own experience and the experience of others who have published their fee structures on the Web. They are accurate, verifiable and, if you like, we will be happy to provide details. Contact our customer service for specifics. Your Membership Explained You are now looking at Part ONE, of your Basic SEO Course. 1. This eBook is Part One of your SEO Course. When you complete this section, you‘ll have reached the level of Intermediate SEO. 2. The Advanced SEO Tutorials comprise Part TWO of this course. Once you‘ve completed Part Two, you‘ll have reached the level of Advanced SEO. This eBook section assumes you‘re starting at the beginner level. It will lead you up through the level of Intermediate. The Advanced SEO Tutorials will then elevate your knowledge to the Advanced level at which point you would likely feel ready to begin working on your own Web sites and, perhaps, even accept clients on a hourly or fee basis. In other words, once you have finished this book, and studied all of the referenced reports and tutorials, you should feel ready-to-go as a budding Professional SEO. Sure, you will then need to acquire some experience and gain some successes before you might have the confidence to demand top dollar. But, unquestionably, you will have at your disposal all of the information that is necessary to optimize your own Web sites and to charge a fee for doing it for others. In fact we promise. That is why this course comes with a guarantee. If you feel otherwise at any time during the term of your membership, please ask for a refund. Here at Planet Ocean, we are far more interested in your success than we are in your money. So, tell us if you aren't happy. We'll take good care of you, either way. Please note that your membership also includes your subscription to SearchEngineNews.com We suspect that you‘ll soon agree your SearchEngineNews.com subscription is the most valuable part of this package. That‘s because on the first day of every month you will receive ALL of the important tactical changes, new strategies, and trend forecasts that emerged over the prior 30 days and are relevant to search engine optimization and marketing (SEO&M). In other words, this means that you can literally ignore all of the daily SEO & SEM noise that would otherwise distract you away from earning your living. Rest assured that you can count on us to deliver everything that is strategically important so that you don't have to wade through all of the forum chats, blog posts, and industry- news-clutter to find those golden nuggets that you absolutely, do indeed, NEED to know.
  4. 4. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 4 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 WE DO THAT FOR YOU EVERY MONTH SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO! Within SearchEngineNews.com you will find the SEO intelligence you need on the first day of every month. You can count on it! ...and we've been doing this every month, and never missed a deadline, since February 1997! As a subscribed member of SearchEngineNews.com, you will need your monthly membership access information which is currently: Expect to receive a NEW monthly password on the first day of every month that you remain a member. Your password will arrive from: senews@se-news.com — right now would be a good time to flag your email account or inform your ISP so your password doesn‘t get inadvertently lost in your spam email. – Whitelisting Instructions. (And, we promise not to send you junk email — only the stuff you'll need to stay informed, like your password and other search engine related info.) Need Customer Service? http://www.searchenginenews.com/contact/customerservice/ (800) 334-5662 Toll Free U.S. (808) 329-5700 International Need technical help? http://www.searchenginenews.com/contact/tech/ Need a receipt? …your monthly password? Need to update your billing or contact information? Log into the Planet Ocean Member Center (Use your email address and your personal password you set up during purchase to log in) Remember, we love you and we‘re here to help! …so don‘t hesitate to ask! SearchEngineNews.com Membership Username: (your email address) Password: magic (Password good thru March, '11) Site: http://www.SearchEngineNews.com
  5. 5. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 5 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Table of Contents Critical Preparation to Begin this Course....................................................................................................8 How to Use This Book ...............................................................................................................................10 Lesson 1: Getting Listed in the Major Search Engines, and their Order of Importance ......... 11 Chapter 1 - The Only Important Search Engines Are................................................................................11 Chapter 2 - Relevancy: The Critical Ingredient of High Ranking Web Pages ............................................11 Chapter 3 - Getting Your Web Pages Listed..............................................................................................13 Chapter 4 – What about Paying for Instant Traffic?.................................................................................13 Chapter 5 – Organic vs. Sponsored Results ..............................................................................................14 Chapter 6 - What about Search Directories?............................................................................................16 Lesson 1 Review........................................................................................................................................17 Lesson 2: All About Keywords .............................................................................................. 17 Chapter 7 - The Three Basic Steps to Dominating the Search Rankings...................................................17 Chapter 8 - What are Keywords?..............................................................................................................18 Chapter 9 - The Importance of Keywords.................................................................................................19 Chapter 10 - Finding the Money Keywords That Trigger Sales.................................................................19 Chapter 11 - How to Find All the Right Keywords.....................................................................................21 Chapter 12 - Keyword Placement: The Location of Your Keywords Count! .............................................27 Chapter 13 - Keyword Density: An Enduring SEO Myth............................................................................33 Lesson 2 Review........................................................................................................................................35 Lesson 3 - Link Building…The Most Critical Element of Top Scoring Pages........................... 36 Chapter 14 - Beware of OLD Information.................................................................................................36 Chapter 15 - Linking Basics .......................................................................................................................37 Chapter 16 - Inbound & Outbound Links..................................................................................................38 Chapter 17 - Reciprocal Links....................................................................................................................38 Chapter 18 - Link Popularity: An Evolving Concept...................................................................................39 Chapter 19 - PageRank and the Google Toolbar.......................................................................................40 Chapter 20 - Essential Strategies for Building & Structuring Inbound Links.............................................42 Chapter 21 - Choose Your Links Wisely.....................................................................................................43 Chapter 22 - Get Links from Pages that Match Your Topic.......................................................................43 Chapter 23 - Count the Number of Links on the Referring Page..............................................................44
  6. 6. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 6 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Chapter 24 - Maintain Format Consistency of Your Incoming Link URL's.................................................44 Chapter 25 - Get Your Keywords into Your Anchor Text ..........................................................................44 Chapter 26 - Go for Deep Links.................................................................................................................45 Chapter 27 - Beware of the nofollow Attribute........................................................................................45 Chapter 28 - Don't Get Involved with Run-of-the-Site Links ....................................................................46 Chapter 29 - Avoid Link Farms, Web Rings, & Site Networks...................................................................46 Chapter 30 - Be Careful Who You Link To!................................................................................................47 Chapter 31 - Remember Your Primary Goal  Profits!............................................................................48 Chapter 32 - The Best Place to Start Getting Links ...................................................................................48 Chapter 33 - Acquire On-topic Links.........................................................................................................49 Chapter 34 - Link outside the Box.............................................................................................................50 Chapter 35 - The Problem with Reciprocal Links......................................................................................51 Chapter 36 - Evaluating the Quality of a Link ...........................................................................................52 Chapter 37 - Buying Links..........................................................................................................................56 Chapter 38 - How to Buy Links without Getting Penalized by Google......................................................56 Chapter 39 - Buying Ads in Ezines and Newsletters to Build Links...........................................................57 Chapter 40 - Article Links and the Value of a Good Writer.......................................................................58 Chapter 41 - Writing Your Way to a Higher Search Rank .........................................................................58 Chapter 42 - Syndicating Your Articles to Build Links ...............................................................................59 Chapter 43 - Using Forums to Reach Customers and Build Links .............................................................59 Chapter 44 - Blogging Your Way to Top Rankings ....................................................................................60 Chapter 45 - Distributing Press Releases to Build Links............................................................................60 Chapter 46 - Buying Abandoned Web Sites to Gain Links Quickly ...........................................................60 Chapter 47 - How to Obtain Valuable Links from .edu and .gov Domains ...............................................61 Chapter 48 - Providing Tools & Resources to Attract Links ......................................................................62 Chapter 49 - Using your Affiliate Program as Link Magnet.......................................................................63 Chapter 50 - Social Networking to Build Links..........................................................................................63 Chapter 51 - Discover Who's Linking To Your Competitors......................................................................63 Chapter 52 - LinkBaiting via Social Media: the fastest & safest way to acquire links in bunches ............64 Chapter 53 - Finding the Right Link Balance .............................................................................................64 Chapter 54 - Is Having a Great Site Enough? ............................................................................................65 Chapter 55 - Here's Your Link Building Roadmap!....................................................................................66
  7. 7. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 7 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Lesson 3 Review........................................................................................................................................66 Lesson 4: Critical Competitive Analysis................................................................................ 69 Chapter 56 - How to Use the SSI Tool to Analyze your Competition, So You Can Beat Them in the Rankings....................................................................................................................................................69 Chapter 57 – Tricks and Traps of the SEO Trade.......................................................................................74 Lesson 5: Choosing the Right Domain Name ........................................................................ 77 Chapter 58 - What's In A Name?...............................................................................................................77 Chapter 59 - In Search of the Ideal Domain Name ...................................................................................77 Chapter 60 - Domain Names that Please Customers and Search Engines................................................80 Chapter 61 - Choosing a Domain Extension: .com? .net? .org? .biz? .info? .............................................81 Lesson 5 Review........................................................................................................................................82 Lesson 6: Site Architecture; Making Your Web Site Easy for Search Engines to Index ......... 82 Chapter 62 - Designing Search-Friendly Pages .........................................................................................82 Chapter 63 - Keep Your URLs Simple ........................................................................................................84 Chapter 64 - Meta Tags: Do They Matter? ...............................................................................................85 Chapter 65 – How to Customize the Way Your Listings Appear in Google ..............................................87 Chapter 66 - Be Careful with Session IDs and Dynamic URLs ...................................................................88 Chapter 67 - Sitemaps: What, Why, and How ..........................................................................................89 Chapter 68 - Sitemaps for Large Sites.......................................................................................................90 Chapter 69 - XML Sitemaps; How to Get Your Difficult-To-Index Pages Fully Listed................................90 Chapter 70 - XML SiteMaps as an Alternative to mod_rewrite................................................................91 Chapter 71 - How to Use Robots.txt for More Targeted Web page Indexing ..........................................92 Chapter 72 - Be Careful with using Frames, JavaScript, and Flash ...........................................................94 Lesson 6 Review........................................................................................................................................97 Lesson 7: The Pinnacle of SEO Expertise: You! ...Becoming an EXPERT................................ 98 Chapter 73 - You are now here! Look how far you've come!...................................................................98 You are now armed with at least 18 actionable linking sources and strategies: .....................................98 Chapter 74 - Becoming an Advanced SEO ..............................................................................................100 Chapter 75 - Becoming an SEO Expert....................................................................................................101 And now, a word from the legal front…..................................................................................................102
  8. 8. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 8 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Critical Preparation to Begin this Course ike any industry, SEO (search engine optimization) involves a lot of trade terms and jargon. The same can be said about SEM (search engine marketing). Relax; this book provides simple understandable meanings for all the industry trade terms, jargon, and acronyms as you go. BUT if you ever get stumped about the meaning of something, you have our online SEO Glossary to help you clearly understand exactly what we (and others) are talking about. The SEO Glossary is located at: http://www.searchenginenews.com/se- news/seo-glossary/. This link should log you in automatically. If not, then use your email address and current month‘s password to gain access. In fact, you should go there now and bookmark it. Later on, when you need to look something up, you'll be really glad you did. It‘s Real, not Theory! Please note: the examples we use in this book are real, they are not theory. Most, in fact, have been taken from our ongoing experience with very successful websites that we've developed for ourselves and our clients. You should also note that we have, within our organization, more than a dozen researchers and search optimization specialists that are continuously feeding information into our collective brain-trust here at Planet Ocean® and SearchEngineNews.com. Summed up, this collective represents thousands of professional hours spent accumulating information while testing and applying the various strategies and tactics dating all the way back to 1996—the year when version #1 of this book was originated. Yes, we have been doing this search-engine-thing that long! Therefore, you will notice this course is written from a "we" perspective and reflects the collective effort that keeps this course on the cutting edge of today's competitive search engine strategies. We mention this to help you understand how much time and ongoing research we continue to pour into this SEO course to make it the world's most valuable, effective, authoritative, and up-to-date training resource for ranking at the top of Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft‘s Bing (formerly Windows LIVE Search). Please forgive us, there‘s no ―hype‖ in this book! Period. And, unless you are, well …stupid, then you already know there is no such thing as a magic wand that will wave your Web site into top rankings (darn!). Instead, successful results are the product of weaving together all of the effective ranking tactics into one strong Web site while carefully avoiding the common mistakes that can literally sink all of your good efforts. And, like baking a cake, the critical element of time is essential for you to reach your desired result. Then, as the search engines adjust to the ever-changing market, you‘ll be strategically positioned to make your own timely adjustments as needed. These course materials, combined with our monthly publication of strategic updates (included with your membership at SearchEngineNews.com) will keep you abreast of ALL of the forthcoming adjustments. L
  9. 9. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 9 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Cautionary Note: Be sure to read the book completely before you start constructing, deconstructing, or making changes to your Web site. You may find that you already know some of these strategies and techniques, especially in the early lessons of this book. That‘s because we start with the most basic and then move on to the more complex. If you already know the basics, great! Your knowledge will give you an added advantage because you'll already have that experience to build on. This will enable you to comprehend the value of the more subtle, yet most valuable, refinements contained within—as well as provide you with a solid foundation to build your expertise. Rest assured you will learn many useful strategies that you do not know; in fact, we guarantee it. By keeping an open and inquisitive mind you'll be more likely to find those subtle changes that will make a HUGE difference in your Web site's rankings. On the other hand, if everything in this book is new to you, that's okay too. We are starting from the beginning. Assuming you‘re at least somewhat comfortable with your computer, and have some idea of what the Internet is about—and aren't afraid to experiment with HTML documents (aka, Web pages), then you will succeed. Even if you‘re an Internet beginner, the information contained within this book will start making sense to you once you begin to familiarize yourself with the Internet, Web page design, and source code. In fact, you'll likely even gain an unfair advantage over many of the so-called pros.
  10. 10. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 10 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 How to Use This Book This book is divided into Eight Lessons: We highly recommend that you read this entire book before attempting to ―SEO‖ your Web site for ranking high in the search engines. And, by the way, to search this book, use Ctrl+F and then enter whatever you‘re looking for in the search box at the top. Try it out right now to see how it works...search for anything you wish or just enter the phrase: anchor text) Lesson 1 You are Here Lesson 2 Getting Listed in the Major Search Engines, and their Order of Importance Lesson 3 All About Keywords Lesson 4 Critical Link Building Strategies Lesson 5 Critical Competitive Analysis Lesson 6 Choosing the Right Domain Name Lesson 7 The Site Architecture of Top Ranking Websites Lesson 8 Becoming an Expert SEO
  11. 11. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 11 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Lesson 1: Getting Listed in the Major Search Engines, and their Order of Importance Chapter 1 - The Only Important Search Engines Are... e are sure this is no surprise, but if you were to focus on only one search engine, that would have to be Google. They are miles ahead of their only two rivals, Yahoo and Microsoft‘s latest search engine, Bing (formerly Window's LIVE Search). Google receives more than 65% of all searches and their market share keeps growing. Even YouTube, which is owned by Google, gets more searches than either Yahoo or Bing. And, 95% of all searches take place on these three major engines. Not only is Google the sole dominant player in its own right, it also provides search results for Internet service providers (ISPs) like AOL, Earthlink, and Time- Warner as well as many other lesser ISP‘s. So, throughout this book, when we use the phrase 'search engines' we are speaking of Google, Yahoo, and Bing—in that order. And the heavy emphasis will always be on Google. If something is unique to either Yahoo or Bing, we will clearly state it as such. Otherwise, think Google! Now that we've put the search engine universe into perspective, let‘s define and outline the strategic process of getting your Web pages listed, and highly ranked, in the search engines. Chapter 2 - Relevancy: The Critical Ingredient of High Ranking Web Pages t‘s important to understand that search engines make their money by showing ads. Basically, that’s their entire profit model. This means they need to show ads to as many people as possible. And the way they get the largest number of people to use their search engine is by giving them the most relevant search results possible. Think about it: If you enter the search query, Maui vacation rental into a search engine, you‘d expect to see the very best pages about vacation rentals located in Maui, Hawaii. If the search engine gave you pages about Jamaican vacation rentals or Maui onions—or even worse, pages about Viagra or online casinos, you‘d probably decide to use a different search engine; one that provides you with more ―relevant‖ search results. Therefore, you should always bear in mind that search engines have a selfish interest in providing the best, most relevant search results possible. Otherwise, people will stop using them, which means they‘ll have no one to show their ads to, and they‘ll eventually go out of business for lack of profits. Your job is to make YOUR Web pages the most relevant pages available for your business related keywords. There are a number of ways to establish your Web page‘s relevancy in the eyes of the search engines. On the one hand, we have the so-called ‘on-page’ optimization strategies. Although we'll talk more about these later, on-page optimization involves placing keywords in strategic locations throughout your Web pages so that search engines know to associate those keywords with your Web page. W I
  12. 12. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 12 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Important on-page keyword locations include your title tags, header tags, internal link anchor text, bold and italicized text, text in HTML lists, alt and title tags for images and links, and other locations; all of which we will explain in detail in the next lesson. On the other hand, we have the ‘off-page’ optimization strategies. These off-page strategies relate to pages that link to you from other sites. Off-page strategies include: Anchor text: the actual keywords you click in a link that point to your Web site (a subject we‘ll be discussing throughout this book), This is what the paragraph would look like as it is displayed on a Web page… Looking for help grooming your new dog? Check out this great article that shows some must know dog grooming tips. Keyword text within the paragraphs surrounding that anchor text, Keywords within titles of the pages that link to you, Keywords within the body content of the pages that link to you, Directory categories your site is listed in, Directory categories of the sites that link to your page, The authoritative strength of the sites that link to you, The authoritative strength of the sites that link to the sites that link to you. These along with many lesser elements all add up to a successfully optimized Web site. Of all the off-page strategic factors listed above, the inbound link anchor text is currently the most important, but they all play a collective role as factors that add relevancy to your Web pages.
  13. 13. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 13 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Chapter 3 - Getting Your Web Pages Listed our first steps to getting listed in a search engine are actually very straightforward. Let‘s start with Google, since it‘s the most popular search engine by far. After you've finished reading this book, compiled your keywords, analyzed your competition, and built your Web pages, your next step must be to obtain a link to your site from another site that is already listed in Google! In case you're thinking, "Why not just submit my site to Google?" ...here's why: Google prefers to find pages on its own by following links from other sites. Google places more trust in pages that it finds naturally through links that are pointing at it than it does in pages that are submitted to them. Of course, if this is your first site, then you may not (yet) have an easy way to place a link to it from an existing Google-listed site. But don't worry, in Lesson Three: Critical Link Building Strategies, we'll give you some good ideas for acquiring your first links. The getting listed procedure is exactly the same for Yahoo and Bing. Being listed in the index of any of the major search engines legitimizes your site in the eyes of the others. And, once you have pages indexed in any of these engines, you'll have your very own avenue of entry for new pages and sites. By simply placing links to these new pages from your own Google-known pages, search engines will find these strategically placed links the next time they visit your site to update their index. By the way: after you register a domain name, you might receive emails from businesses offering to "submit your site to thousands of search engines." Avoid these offers like the plague. These are scam artists who prey upon the ignorance of people who do not know that 'submitting' their site to Google, Yahoo, or Bing is a waste of time. And to say they'll get you listed in thousands or even hundreds of engines is the online version of snake oil. That's because these lesser engines are generally redundant and send virtually no significant traffic whatsoever. Chapter 4 – What about Paying for Instant Traffic? f your budget can afford it, and you're looking for immediate traffic to your Web site, then pay-per-click marketing is one way to help build your company's immediate web presence. A Pay-Per-Click (PPC) program (Google's AdWords is a PPC program) can have an ad for your site listed on the front page of the search results (in the Sponsored Listings section) and sending traffic to you within a matter of minutes for a price. However, PPC is not something to be entered into lightly. Since you‘re paying for every visitor a search engine sends your way, it‘s possible to unwittingly rack up expensive click- charges if you‘re not careful. Frankly, we consider the PPC realm to be the battlefield of Advanced and Expert SEOs, and beyond the scope of this course. Y I
  14. 14. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 14 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Still, when used correctly, PPC is one of the most powerful weapons in an Expert SEO's arsenal. The three major PPC services are Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft's adCenter. Chapter 5 – Organic vs. Sponsored Results he Sponsored Listings that you see on the right hand side of the search results are what we call pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Do not confuse these with the non-paid—aka, organic, natural or regular listings found in the main search results. If driving traffic to your site quickly is your main goal, then there's nothing faster than PPC. Google AdWords can have you receiving traffic in as little as 15 minutes. But, we recommend that you know what you are doing before venturing forward with any PPC campaign. Google‘s AdWords informational page, is here https://adwords.google.com/select/index.html Getting listed in Google‘s organic search results is free; but is not nearly as fast as getting listed in the paid Sponsored Listings via Google AdWords. Bear in mind, however, that ranking well in Google depends greatly on how many inbound links a page has—and it typically takes some time to accrue links. In Lesson Four you will learn Link Building. T
  15. 15. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 15 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 That's where we‘ll reveal in great detail exactly what page elements and link factors are necessary for top scoring pages in Google. For now, we'll tell you that Google assigns relevancy to pages based on a proprietary and continuously evolving algorithm that takes into account the following elements, plus a few others, by assigning them a weighting factor: Some of these factors are on-page and some of them are off-page. For instance, if another Web site links to your Web page with the anchor text, budget widgets, then Google tends to believe that your site is about budget widgets—regardless of what content your page actually has on it. This factor is known as page reputation; and Google places a lot of weight on page reputation. To rank well on Google involves optimizing as many of these on-page and off-page factors as possible. If this all sounds a bit complex, relax. It's easier than it sounds and you'll have a big advantage over your competition once you've absorbed the information in this course. Keep reading because we cover this all in detail later on. For the moment, suffice it to say that getting listed in Google should be a top priority. By the way, Google‘s not the only one in the PPC business. Every major search engine has it‘s own version of PPC. Yahoo! - Like Google, the Yahoo search engine prefers to "find" your Web pages, so site submission is unnecessary. Again, the inbound link concept comes into play. If your site has links pointing to it, Yahoo's spider will find it. If not, then it won't. So, as with Google, your mission will be to GET LINKS! (Remember: we‘ll show you how to do that in Lesson Three). Microsoft‘s Bing – Formerly Windows LIVE, Bing also wants you to wait for their Web crawler to find your Web pages, rather than submitting them. Microsoft also offers their own version of PPC advertising. They call it, adCenter. And because of the current search agreement between Yahoo and Bing, Microsoft adCenter supports both Bing and Yahoo‘s PPC accounts. And, in case you are wondering, paying for listings in Google AdWords or any other PPC Sponsored Listings program will not get you indexed or favorably ranked in Google or any other search engine’s regular search results.
  16. 16. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 16 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Chapter 6 - What about Search Directories? here are two main search directories and several niche directories that can provide you with a valuable listing. Unlike the three major search engines, directories are more like catalog listings and they require that you actually submit your site (and sometimes pay a fee) if you want to be listed. Submitting to directories is a great way to begin acquiring links and driving traffic to any site, new or old. In fact, Directory submission is where to get started when you are ready to begin building your incoming link structure. In Lesson 3, Chapter 32 we'll provide more details on exactly how to get listed in Directories. However, for now, we'll limit our explanation to a simple introduction to the Web's two main Search Directories. DMOZ -- Otherwise known as The Open Directory Project (ODP), DMOZ is one of the oldest directories. It's free to add your site, but it could take a year or more to actually be included. Frankly, this time lag is a source of frustration for many. Regardless, DMOZ can provide a valuable incoming link (if you can get it) because they supply results to the Google Directory (not to be confused with the organic Google search results). And, the submission-to-indexing delay is just all the more reason to submit your site as early as possible. Because DMOZ is a directory compiled with the help of volunteer editors, it can take a very long time for your site to get listed. The volunteer editors are saddled with an ever-growing number of submissions while working with limited resources. We've had sites wait in the queue for over a year before getting listed. Therefore, submitting your site to DMOZ is something you do and then just forget about. If you happen to check back a few months (or even a year) later, and you've been accepted, then that's great. If not, don't worry. Unless you are prepared to become a volunteer editor (too hard!), there's not much else you can do to speed up the process. Yahoo Directory -- Even though the Yahoo Directory is considered to be the oldest surviving directory on the World Wide Web, it does not provide the search results for Yahoo Search. Those are provided by Yahoo‘s search engine. Therefore, be careful you don’t confuse the two (Yahoo's directory listings are searched via http://search.yahoo.com/search/dir). The value of being listed in Yahoo's Directory lies in the fact that an incoming link from Yahoo‘s Directory tends to increase the importance of your page in the eyes of the major search engines (think Google). Getting listed is free only for non-commercial sites, and good ones can expect to get listed fairly quickly. Commercial sites, however, are charged an annual $299 review fee. And, while a listing isn't guaranteed, you'll receive a response within 2 days. If your site meets all of their guidelines, your listing will immediately go live upon approval. We wholeheartedly recommend getting a Yahoo Directory listing. This is the easiest place to get what is considered to be a highly relevant and important link in the eyes of Google. That alone makes the $299/yr review fee well worth it. One very nice advantage you‘ll gain by being listed in the Yahoo Directory is that your listing quickly gets transmitted to Yahoo's International Directories. In other words, for that single $299 per year payment, you're likely to also get valuable links from directories like Yahoo T
  17. 17. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 17 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 India, Yahoo Asia, Yahoo Singapore, Yahoo Australia, Yahoo New Zealand, and many other country-specific Yahoo related sites. And, while it‘s true that international directory listings may not send you the kind of traffic that will help your sales, the link equity you‘ll receive from these authoritative Yahoo links will help boost your overall rankings in Google. Lesson 1 Review This lesson has provided you with a general Search Engine Strategy Overview where: 1. We‘ve identified the top three, and only important, search engines as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft‘s Bing; and in that order. 2. We‘ve revealed how Web pages actually get listed in the search engines by being found, not by being submitted. 3. We‘ve explained the difference between free, organic (aka, natural, regular) search results and Sponsored Listings which are paid search results also known as pay-per-click or PPC. 4. You now have a basic list of ranking elements that Google uses. They are; incoming links, page content, Web page title tag, keywords in URL, anchor text (i.e. link content), PageRank score; among others and not necessarily in that order. 5. And you‘ve been introduced to the two main search directories (Yahoo & DMOZ). Now you know there‘s a difference between search engines and search directories. Let's move on to the next lesson where you'll learn all about keywords. Lesson 2: All About Keywords Chapter 7 - The Three Basic Steps to Dominating the Search Rankings he secret to building a high-ranking Web site can be boiled down to three simple steps: 1. Targeted Keyword List: Assemble a smart list of relevant search words (aka, keywords) that your target audience is using to locate your products and services; and then strategically insert those keywords into the proper locations within your Web pages. 2. Search-friendly Site: Build your site so that it is easy for search engines to locate and properly index. 3. Get Links: Accumulate the right incoming links coming from the right places. And, this course will show you how to do all three. 1 Targeted Keyword List 2 Search-Friendly Site 3 Get Links T
  18. 18. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 18 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Regardless of what you may have heard, 95% of professional SEO (aka, search engine optimization) is really all about focusing on these three basic steps. Yes, it's that simple. In SEO-speak, we call this, ―Building a search engine-friendly site using relevant keywords and getting the right inbound links.‖ Soon you‘ll see that SEO is not some black-magic voodoo thing. Top ranking Web pages focus mainly on building a great site with great content that uses the right keywords. This, in turn, tends to attract links which, ultimately lead to dominating the top results for your chosen keywords. Chapter 8 - What are Keywords? he singular term keyword is actually misleading. You'll almost never be optimizing your Web pages for a single keyword because single keywords are typically too general. Single keywords are also highly competitive—in fact so competitive that it is unrealistic to expect that your Web pages can score at the top of the search results for a single keyword search. But, that's ok because you don't need to, nor do you especially want to. The search terms that convert best to sales are typically very specific key phrases comprised of two to five words. Although this is sometimes called a keyword phrase, it is most typically called a keyword. For example, hotel is a keyword. But it would do you no good at all to score at the top of the search results for any single keyword like hotel. That‘s because such generic keywords are far too general. When we search Google using the keyword, hotel, the search results give us a list of hotel directories featuring hotels located all over the world. This is what's known as an untargeted search because the search results we get are not actually very useful. On the other hand, for example, let's say you own the Manago Hotel in Captain Cook Hawaii. Some of your target keywords would be: hotel Hawaii Captain Cook or hotel captain cook Hawaii—both of which reflect the location of the Manago Hotel situated in the little upcountry town of Captain Cook, on the Big Island of Hawaii, in the state of Hawaii. Another keyword possibility could be, affordable accommodations captain cook. Yet another keyword possibility could be, big island affordable accommodations. Notice that, in each of these cases, our keyword is actually a keyphrase. This is almost always the case. So, get used to thinking of each of your unique keyphrases as a keyword. Using our example above, our ―keywords‖ are actually four different keyphrases: hotel Hawaii Captain Cook hotel captain cook Hawaii affordable accommodations captain cook big island affordable accommodations Of course, there are many more keyword (i.e., keyphrase) possibilities which we could potentially target, but you get the idea. T
  19. 19. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 19 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Chapter 9 - The Importance of Keywords eywords are the cornerstone of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). Every aspect of crafting a Web site-for-profit revolves delicately around carefully chosen and strategically placed keywords. Behind the scenes of every top-ranking sales page is a company's systematic campaign to win dominance in an escalating battle over specifically targeted keywords. The stakes can be high. Billions of $$ have already been earned and billions more are in the queue waiting to be tapped. Clearly, keywords are big business. There's much to be gained by getting them right. Be systematic and select carefully! While the effort required can be great, the rewards for mastering the skill of keyword selection are substantial. Know for a certainty that before you take another step toward online profitability, your degree of success will be mirrored by your own comprehension of all nuances that revolve around the concept of keywords: 1. How to find them, AND 2. What to do with them once you have them! And, of course, this course will teach you all three. But, right now, we'll stay focused on the basic explanations of keywords before we actually show you how to use them and where to place them within your Web pages. Chapter 10 - Finding the Money Keywords That Trigger Sales s you now know, keywords are the search words and phrases people use in their online searches. Be aware though, there are three different types of searchers... 1. Academic Information Searchers 2. Product or Service Research Searchers 3. Buyers that already know exactly what they want and are searching to make a purchase right now! To clarify, sometimes the searcher's motives are purely academic, even scientific. For example, they may be looking for information on a medical condition or a geographic location for a school report, or perhaps even a political or science answer—something that does not involve a commercial transaction of any sort at any time, now, or in the future. We call this an academic search. Another type of searcher is a person who is interested in making some sort of purchase at some time in the future; doing research in preparation for making a purchase decision at a K A
  20. 20. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 20 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 later time—maybe 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, or even 5 months later. We call this kind of search activity, research prior to making a purchase. The searcher you really want is a buyer—a consumer who has completed their research and is ready to get involved now with your product or service. In other words, they are ready to pick up the phone and call to make an appointment or, perhaps, place an order for your product(s). They are ready to move forward with a decision that is likely to involve a commitment or purchase of some sort. They have done their research, however brief or long, and they know what they want to purchase. Of course, a Web site is well advised to build Web pages and use keywords that are geared for all three instances. But, if your site is to successfully close the sale, you must realize that it's only in the latter case—when a searcher becomes a buyer—that there's any statistically significant chance for an online company to make a sale in an unbroken buying process that looks like... So, while all three searcher-types involve keywords, only one type consistently converts to sales. That's why today's professional SEMs (search engine marketers) spend the extra effort necessary to identify the keywords that customers are using when they are ready to BUY their product or service. Sure, their secondary focus is to work keywords into their information pages that funnel researchers to sales pages as they're preparing themselves to buy. But the professionals know the difference. They know to focus their efforts on determining exactly which keywords people use to buy and which ones they use to research. Then they reverse engineer the process by building their buy keyword-pages first, before broadening their focus toward crafting their information-pages that'll capture the researchers as well. For example if a consumer is looking to buy a cell phone online, they might keyword search Google for cell phone. Obviously, they'll get results that offer a wide variety of brands with an almost endless selection of features. At this stage they are researching. Soon they may learn about Bluetooth and GPS technology and perhaps also include those keywords in their searches. At some point they learn the Motorola i605 has all of these features. Let's suppose it becomes their cell phone of choice. That's when the savvy online shopper enters a highly specific keyphrase—something like Motorola i605 best price which produces the following search result:
  21. 21. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 21 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 It doesn't take a behavioral science major to figure out that one of these top listed sites (see above) is likely to get that consumer's purchase as soon as the researcher turns into a buyer. Ironically, those informational funnel pages—the pages that scored well for keywords like cell phone, Bluetooth, GPS cell phones, and so forth, are what primed the pump for this sale. But, ultimately, they were left out in the cold like the nice guy on a blind date with the pretty girl who's still pining away over her last boyfriend. While cell phone, Bluetooth, and GPS were important keywords, the page that got the girl, ...uh, sale, was the page with the specific cell phone model coupled with the keyphrase best price. THAT's how buyers behave in the cell phone market. So, your job is to reverse engineer the keyword buying process for your market, making sure your pages score well in the keyword searches your customers are using to buy. Once you've covered that base, then you can build your informational funnel pages to help snag even more buyers. Chapter 11 - How to Find All the Right Keywords tart by making a list of every possible search term that people might use when searching for whatever you're selling. There's a good chance you'll easily come up with a list of twenty or so before you start to run out of ideas. That's the point at which you should resort to the following tips and tools that'll help you continue the brainstorming process of building your raw keyword list. 1. Be specific. When selecting your keywords, you want to avoid stand-alone words that are too general, such as travel. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, you will face very stiff competition. Big money sites like Expedia and Orbitz sites have already spent enormous sums of time and money to secure top positions for such general keywords. Knocking those sites out of the top results can be extremely difficult to impossible. Besides, it would also be unproductive from a sales-conversion perspective because people who buy things don't typically search using only these general keywords. Second, general keywords like travel are so broad they could apply to all kinds of products and services—travel guides, travel insurance, travel accessories, and travel tours are just a S
  22. 22. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 22 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 few of the possible key phrases associated with the keyword travel. Unless you happen to sell every product and service related to travel, you shouldn't waste your time and resources bringing traffic to your site that isn't likely to buy what you are selling. For example, let's say you sell travel packages to Europe. Obviously, you want to attract European travel package buyers. But, rather than targeting the keyword travel, a much better keyword would be travel Europe or European travel packages. By targeting these much more specific keywords, you'll bring a far more targeted prospect to your site—one that will be much more likely to find what they're looking for and to actually buy from you. However, when looking for keywords that are specific to your business niche, bear in mind that sometimes keywords can be too specific. A rule of thumb is that you shouldn't optimize your Web pages for keywords that none of your potential customers are using. Instead, you should focus on keywords that are in the mainstream. Fortunately, there are free keyword tools available (that we'll tell you about in a minute) to help you determine how many people are searching for any given keyword each month. The table below illustrates how the best keywords are those that generate a high volume of searches but have little or no competition because they're generally overlooked by your competitors. And you are likely to find a surprising number of these overlooked keywords once you learn how to look for them. Keyword Value Chart Keyword Category Keyword Value Examples Generic Word or Phrase Low value, Competitive, Poor Sales Conversions Travel, Real Estate, Hotel Category Slightly higher value, Somewhat easier to gain high rankings European Travel, Florida Real Estate Sub Category High value, greater percentage of sales conversions European Travel Tours, Miami Real Estate Specific Topic Highest value: These keywords will be easier to achieve high rankings & Garner higher rate of sales conversions Fully Guided European Package Tours, Miami Beach Luxury Homes Looking at the table you can also see that the more general your keywords, the more competitive they'll be in the ranking wars AND the less effective they'll be for sales conversions. The good news is that intelligently selected, specific topic keywords are not only much easier to rank well for, they also tend to convert to sales better too. 2. Put Yourself in Your Customer's Shoes, ask yourself... What problem does my product or service solve for my typical customer? Sometimes the difference between a company that succeeds and one that fails is simply a matter of talking to its customers and asking the right questions. A while ago we published a critically important article in this regard—The Missing Link to Writing Effective Ad Copy—it‘s included in the Advanced SEO Tutorial portion of this course and you should study it.
  23. 23. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 23 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Learning how to interview your customers can be the X-factor, the magic bullet, the missing link between failing miserably and succeeding spectacularly. These days people who shop online are abundant and growing. It isn't hard to gather an informal group and watch as they attempt to locate a product or service within your company's sales niche. If you're selling a consumer product or providing a professional service, then friends and family could help in this regard. Sit down with them at a computer, ask them to find your products or services, and see what searches they perform. You may discover a keyword or group of keywords that you and your competitors have overlooked. Remember to keep the customer's perspective in mind. Don't make the mistake of assuming you know what customers call your products. Do the necessary research to find out what keywords that customers are actually using to locate your products or services. Learn to speak like your customers. Real people don't generally use insider terms of the trade (aka, jargon) when searching. So, unless you're selling to insiders within your own industry, you should avoid using industry trade terms. Think about words and phrases that real customers, not industry insiders, would use in a search. On the other hand, if you are selling to industry insiders, then by all means, jargon away! Reading trade magazines is a good way to become familiar with industry catch phrases. You can also scour the indexes and glossaries of books about the business you're in. Be sure to also browse the Internet forums that are dedicated to whatever specific industry, product, or service you're targeting. 3. Glean Keywords from your Web site's Referral Logs Probably the most overlooked source of keywords is your Web site's referral logs. This can be an indispensable source of feedback regarding what keywords your site visitors are using to find you. Referrals coming from search engines will include the keyword query that a searcher used to find your site. People often search using some very creative search queries—terms that you and your competitors might never think to optimize for. Once again, this can give you a leg up on the competition, even in competitive fields, by enabling you to capitalize on overlooked highly targeted keywords. 4. Check out Your Competition Once you've acquired a small list (shoot for about 30 keywords), start entering those keywords into searches on Google and Yahoo. Scrutinize the Web pages that are coming up in the search results—these are your competitors. Scouring their pages can help you uncover the keywords your competitors are actually targeting, some of which you may have overlooked. You can also view the source code of your competitors' Web pages to determine what keywords they're optimizing for. If you are using Internet Explorer (IE) then, in your browser's menu, click View, then Page Source. If you are a FireFox user, use Ctrl+U to view the source code. Once you see the source code, inspect the title tag which looks something like this: <title>Baby Strollers – The best strollers and infant supplies for your baby</title> Notice the keywords sandwiched between the start <title> and the end </title> tags. This title tag is where Web pages generally place their best keywords.
  24. 24. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 24 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Another source code location for you to check is the <meta name='keywords'> tag, although oftentimes the keywords Meta tag is poorly done or non-existent so you may have to look at several pages before you find anything you haven't already thought of. However, you can still pick up a few good keywords this way. A word of caution is in order here: There are court cases where the use of a competitor's company name, product names, or trademarks, when used as keywords, is being interpreted as trademark infringement. Bear that in mind when scanning your competitor's pages to brainstorm new keywords. If it's questionable, you should consult your own legal counsel for advice on this matter. This book is no substitute for qualified legal advice. 5. Cover All Your Keyword Variations Next, look for variations on keywords you think might be successful. This includes misspellings, plurals, synonyms, merged words, or keywords separated-by-hyphens. Misspellings…Sometimes targeting common misspellings of your keywords can be an easy source of traffic. For example, one estimate says that 20% of Britney Spears related searches are misspelled (why are we not surprised?). In some cases, you may even find the misspelled or non-grammatical version of a keyword gets more searches than the keyword itself. For instance, let's say that you're optimizing your page for the keyword children's clothing. Your keyword research shows there are actually more searches for the non-grammatically correct version childrens clothing when compared to the proper children's clothing. Here is an instance where you should consider optimizing for both versions of the search term. Never mind which one is actually correct. Your customers are always right. Whatever search term they are using to seek your product is functionally correct. Of course, one must also take into account that Google and other engines have factored-in the reality that many people are lazy spellers. That's why they offer their Did you mean: feature, as in... ...where they provide the option of clicking a link that leads to a corrected version of the search term's results. Our research shows that most people actually click this corrected version of the link, since it is so conveniently found above the rest of the search results. Even so, there is traffic to be had from common misspellings of search terms. Whenever your offerings lend themselves to such, you should consider optimizing companion pages that glean traffic from bad spelling and other typical grammar mistakes whenever you know the terms involved are keywords that buyers use.
  25. 25. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 25 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 And, if your ego can stand the dissonance, you might consider placing both versions on the same page. Of course, you could choose to obscure the incorrect versions and even tuck them away inside your keywords Meta tag. Regardless, inexact and incorrect usage of keywords is a consumer reality that online merchants must adjust to. 6. Keyword Variations Plurals and Synonyms - Many search engines utilize a process called word-stemming to identify plural versions of a keyword. In theory, this means that a search engine should recognize charity and charities as being the same keyword. In practice, however, the search results for singular and plural versions of a keyword are rarely ever the same. This means that you should optimize for both versions by working them into the visible text on your Web pages. The same can be said for common synonyms and descriptive terms. For example, a site selling auto parts would ideally optimize for variations on the keyword auto parts, such as car parts and automobile parts. In addition, they should also optimize for the various qualifiers (like best price, high quality, lowest priced) that buyers tend to use when searching. Here's an example of text that works all of the related synonyms with typically descriptive terms into a single paragraph focused on selling car parts... Looking for the best price on car parts and accessories? You've come to the right place. We're your vehicle's one-stop source for the lowest priced auto parts and accessories. If we don't have the high quality automobile parts you're looking for, no one does! Merged and Hyphenated Words - Be aware that some keywords may be commonly merged or hyphenated. An example of a merged keyword would be webhost versus web host. In some cases, both the merged and unmerged versions will garner about an equal number of searches. In other cases, one will far outpace the other. Hyphenated keywords, such as e-commerce versus ecommerce, should also be taken into account. Again, keyword tools are available to help you determine which variation is the more popular. Remember, search engines will treat them as different keywords. So, if your research suggests you should target both hyphenated and un-hyphenated keywords, be sure to work them both into your webpages and your Web pages ;-) 7. Be Descriptive Once you've covered all the variations of what you expect to be your most important keywords, begin adding descriptive terms to augment your existing terms. For instance, cheap, low cost, affordable, or inexpensive can go with most consumer products, as can superlatives like best or cheapest. Sometimes, using reverse descriptive words (words that describe the opposite of what your product does), can work to your advantage. For example, if you're selling fast Internet connections, then slow Internet connection is at least as good a keyword as fast Internet connection, since a person typing the query slow Internet connection has a problem they're actively seeking a solution for. 8. Use Action Words
  26. 26. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 26 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Try to recreate in your mind's eye how your typical customer conducts their various searches. It's likely that many will use action words in their searches. Words such as buy, find, or purchase are examples of actions words that are widely used by buyers. Depending on your market, it may be well worth appending these types of words to your primary keywords as such: Buy Motorola i605 Find Motorola i605 Purchase Motorola i605 Best Price Motorola i605 Free Shipping Motorola i605 Low Price Guarantee Motorola i605 Many searchers will also phrase their queries in the form of a question. For instance, the query, where can I buy a cell phone, actually receives a fair amount of traffic. As you grow your keyword list, consider using questions for which your site provides an answer in the form of a solution to their problem. 9. Target Local Markets If your product or service is geographically relevant, then be SURE to mention the location in the text at every opportunity. For instance, if your motel is in the little town of, say, Port Angeles, WA, then a normal sentence might begin as: The Uptown Motel boasts an unlimited panoramic view.... A better, keyword laden sentence would be: The Uptown Motel in Port Angeles boasts an unlimited panoramic view... ...even when the reader already knows it's in the town of Port Angeles. When you're selling to a local market, it helps to be familiar with local idioms and unofficial place names. For example, Philly vs. Philadelphia, Big Apple vs. New York, or Big Island vs. Hawaii—and did you know that people living on Michigan's Upper Peninsula refer to themselves as Yoopers? But don't leave out official place names. If you sell mobile homes in San Diego, make sure you optimize for california mobile home and san diego mobile home, in addition to so cal mobile home. You'll also probably want to pull in traffic from surrounding cities and counties, so you could add mission beach mobile homes, la jolla mobile homes, etc... Break out a map and add those relevant place names to your keyword list. 10. Use Keyword Tools to Complete Your Selections Once you've assembled your basic list, you'll need to determine relative keyword popularity. You must know which keywords are the most popular as compared to other related keywords. For example, if you sell coffee, you need to know if French Roast is more popular than Dark Roast, if decaffeinated is more popular than caffeine free, and so forth. Keyword tools are there to help you determine these differences.
  27. 27. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 27 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 When you are ready, be sure to study these two essential, critical, Advanced Keyword tutorials:  Three Good Reasons To Target Long-Tail Keywords!  Five Free Keyword Research Tools to Laser-Focus Your Web Site's Keyword Targeting Campaign! The keyword tools tutorial will provide you with ALL of the information you'll need to sharpen and hone your keyword selection process. These two tutorials will also give you all of the information you'll need to precisely target your Web pages to the right audiences using the right keywords. Consider these tutorials to be a CORE part of the Advanced Section of this SEO course. Chapter 12 - Keyword Placement: The Location of Your Keywords Count! here are numerous places on your Web page where you might place your keywords—and some page locations are much more effective than others. We'll show you how keyword placement can make a big difference in terms of ranking well within the search results. Title Tags — The most critically important location to place keywords is within your Web page's HTML <title> tag. Search engines consider the keywords found in the title tag to be extremely important. These are the keywords that literally tell the search engines what your Web page is about. Therefore, you should always place your most important keywords within the source code of your Web page's <title> tag. You should also avoid wasting valuable space with words like your company name, unless your business is so well known that people use your company name as their primary keyword while searching for what you sell (like eBay, for example). Another mistake that we commonly see in title tags is something like Welcome to our Home Page. This is pointless since nobody will be using that phrase to search for your site. It's hard to overemphasize the importance of keywords within the <title> tag located within your Web page's source code. Here are two important points to remember: 1. Your Web page title tag is the most important aspect of Web page design in regards to ranking well on all search engines. The title tag tells the search engines what your page is about. 2. Your title tag is what Google and most other search engines use as your Web page's link within the search results. It confirms to your potential site visitor that your page has what they searched for. Let's say, for example, that you own a Bed & Breakfast called Kiluhana Inn, located in Hanalei Bay on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. You should not use Kiluhana Inn as your title tag. If you do, your business will be handicapped in a search for anything related to Hawaii, or bed and breakfast, or Kauai, or Hanalei Bay, because none of those relevant keywords T
  28. 28. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 28 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 appear in your title. You'll more than likely be buried in the rankings by your more knowledgeable competition. A better title tag would be: <title>Bed & Breakfast Kauai - Hanalei Bay & Beach – Hawaii</title> There are three reasons why this is a better title tag: 1. Hawaii, Beach, Bed, Breakfast, Hanalei Bay, and Kauai are all keywords in your <title> that people are likely to enter when searching for this type of service. 2. The keywords Hawaii, Beach, Hanalei, and Kauai are all terms that are entered when people are doing research related to your location. For instance, if someone does a keyword search for hanalei kauai your B&B has a good chance of showing up near the top of the search results. 3. The name of your business, in this case Kiluhana Inn, is almost always very easy to rank well in the search results because business names tend to be somewhat unique which makes them less competitive as keywords. Therefore, it is usually more than sufficient to place your business name within the normal body content (text) of your Web page. This alone will rank your Web pages at the top of the search results when searching for your business name. Stated another way, it is usually considered a waste of title tag space to place your business name within your Web page's title tag unless your business name also happens to be the primary keyword that your customers are using to find your goods or services. Take note that you should limit your title tag to 65 characters or less—usually about 7 to 10 words. Anything longer and you risk getting part of your title chopped off by some search engines. In our example above, we might consider placing Kiluhana Inn at the end of our title tag only if it fits within the 65 character limit and there aren't any better keywords to use in its place. By the way, here's a shortcut to help you find all of the other Web pages that are using your keywords in their titles. Go to Google and enter intitle:"put your title keywords here" into the search field. This will help you get a handle on how many other pages are competing for the same keywords. You should also limit the use of stop words (aka, dead weight words) in your title tags. These are words that have become so common that search engines either ignore them or return results that are hardly relevant. Examples include Homepage or Home Page, www, web, and Web page. Other stop-words that you should avoid using in your title are the, of, that, is, and, to, and so forth—words that have no meaning in a search. They waste valuable character space and do nothing to help your rankings.
  29. 29. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 29 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Header Tags After your title, your Web page's header (aka, headline) tags are the next most important place for your keywords. Header tags are specified with the following HTML source code: <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, and <h6>. Generally speaking, an <h1> tag (because it is typically a larger font), is considered more important than an <h2> tag, which is larger and considered more important than an <h3> tag, and so on. Since your header tags will appear as headlines on your Web page, it's important that they look natural and appeal to customers who visit your site. Good examples of keyword-rich header tags would look something like: <h1>Your San Diego Real Estate Resource</h1> <h2>For buying San Diego real estate and selling real estate in San Diego, we're your one-stop source.</h2> Body Text Next on the chain of importance comes your page's <body> text. This is the source code tag that refers to the visible text on your page. Think of this as your Web page's general content that site visitors will be viewing. While it's very important to place your keywords in page titles and headers, it's also beneficial to feature your keywords throughout the rest of your page within the <body> content. Generally, Web pages should have about 200 to 300 words of text with special emphasis on two or three carefully chosen keywords. Within this keyword-rich <body> text, search engines respond favorably to keywords placed within boldface and italic fonts as well as bullet points. The style tags that look like <b>, <strong>, <i>, <em>, and <li> within the source code of your Web page. Here's an example of some keyword-rich body copy for a site that sells San Diego Real Estate: <p>The <b>San Diego Real Estate MLS</b> is your source of information and services for anyone buying or selling <b>real estate</b> in <b>San Diego</b>. We specialize in <b>San Diego real estate</b>and are committed to providing the expertise, professionalism and superior customer service today's market demands. </p> <ul> <li>Buying San Diego real estate?</li> <li>Selling San Diego real estate?</li> </ul> <p><i>Put us to work for you!</i></p> In case that looks like Greek to you, then here's a translation: The <p> tag begins a paragraph, the </p> tags ends the paragraph
  30. 30. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 30 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 The <b> tag begins the bold typeface, the </b> ends it. The <ul> tag begins a bullet section, the </ul> ends the T The <li> begins a bullet point, the </li> ends it. The <i> begins the italic typeface, the </i> ends it. Once you get the hang of it, it's actually pretty simple. The above paragraph would display in your browser, on your Web page, as something like this: As you can see, the tags are invisible when the text is displayed on the Web page. Cool, eh? Link Anchor Text -- When another site links to you, the text they use in their link is called the anchor text. This is an extremely important concept to grasp because Google and the other search engines look for keywords located within the anchor text when ranking Web pages in the search results. Getting your keywords placed within the anchor text of links that point to your pages will be a strategy that we will be discussing frequently within this book. It is arguably the MOST important ranking factor of all! Here is an example of a typical looking link: Homeschool Learning Style Quiz This link shows Homeschool Learning Style Quiz as the anchor text. The actual HTML source code for the link itself looks like this: <a href="http://www.homeschoolviews.com/">Homeschool Learning Style Quiz</a> This link's anchor text tells Google that the page located at: http://www.homeschoolviews.com/quiz/quiz.html is ―about‖ Homeschool Learning Style Quiz And, if there happen to be a lot of Web pages on the Internet that link to this page using Homeschool Learning Style Quiz as the anchor text, then that page will rank well in the search results for any search query that uses homeschool learning style quiz. In fact, this specific keyword strategy is one of the primary tactics for ranking at the top of the search results. Keywords placed in the anchor text of links on your Web pages are given a higher priority by Google and most every other search engine. Whenever possible, you should use The San Diego Real Estate MLS is your source of information and services for anyone buying or selling real estate in San Diego. We specialize in San Diego real estate and are committed to providing the expertise, professionalism and superior customer service today's market demands.  Buying San Diego real estate?  Selling San Diego real estate? Put us to work for you!
  31. 31. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 31 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 this fact to your advantage by placing your best keywords into your own site's internal text (anchor) links – those links that point to each of your Web pages throughout your site. Even better is when other sites link to your Web pages using your keywords in their link anchor text. Therefore, whenever possible, try to influence what keywords are being used in the link anchor text of other sites that point traffic in your direction. This is arguably the single most effective strategy for boosting your page's rankings. The Higher Up on the Page, the Better It's very important that you place some of your best keyword-rich text as high up within the visible content of your Web page as possible. That's because search engines index page content (by looking at your source code) in linear order and the engines give priority to keywords found closest to the top of your Web page. This means placing your keywords within your first headline (aka, header) tag (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) and in the first paragraph of your page. That means that you should avoid, whenever possible, placing images, JavaScript, and other HTML code that precedes your keyword rich text. Combining HTML Tags Now you know that keyword text placed inside <h1> and <b> tags are given more weight by search engines. You also know that link anchor text is given more weight in the ranking equations. So it follows that it can also be beneficial to combine tags whenever formatting allows. Here is an example where we combine a headline (<h1>) tag with the link anchor text, Cell Phones. <h1><b><a href='mypage.html'>Cell Phones</a></b></h1> This link‘s anchor text tells Google the Web page located at mypage.html is definitely ―about‖ Cell Phones. Google then places a high importance on the keyword Cell Phone because this keyword is found within the headline tag and is also being used in the anchor text for this page's incoming link. Whenever the layout of the page allows, you should place a sentence or two of text containing the primary keywords near the top of the page in an <h1> tag and then bold the keywords that you want to emphasize and then make them links too. Important tip: At the risk of sounding complicated, you can use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to alter the standard appearance of any tag. In such cases, <h1> tags, which are normally very large, don't actually have to be large. Bold <b> tags don't necessarily have to actually make text look bold and links can even be made to not look like links. It all depends on whatever style you've assigned to the tags within your Web page's associated stylesheet.css file. The logic for using an <h1> tag is to lead Google and the other engines to believe that the keywords located within the tag are very important. However, you may find, and we agree, that the <h1> tag makes ugly headlines because they are far too big. That's where CSS comes to the rescue by making the <h1> tag look like a reasonably-sized people-pleasing font – but without sacrificing the ranking advantage you would otherwise have if you had used the ugly big <h1> headline tag.
  32. 32. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 32 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 By the same token, you can also use absolute positioning in CSS to arrange your keyword- rich copy so that it appears at the beginning of the HTML source code, regardless of where it actually appears on the visible portion of the Web page. This means you could actually display an image, like your company logo, at the very top of your Web page above your keyword-rich text but make it look to Google like your keyword rich text is above your logo. Obviously, these are tricks of the trade that require a bit of understanding of HTML and CSS. If you are fluent in this so-called ‗markup‘ language, that‘s great. If not, then pass along this info to your technical Web people. Let them perform these worthwhile tricks. And, if you want to learn how to do it yourself, here are a couple of (separate from THIS course) tutorials that can bring you quickly up to speed.  CSS For Absolute Beginners - Part 15: Absolute Positioning  CSS For Absolute Beginners - Part 12: Properties and Values - The font Property Of course, if you search Google for CSS, then you‘ll also find an abundance of explanations and tutorials. And, for a complete overview on the topic of CSS, then you can search Wikipedia. As you will see, CSS is a powerful design tool for formatting Web pages that are pleasing to the eye of your site visitors while maintaining your competitive edge in the search engine rankings game. PLEASE NOTE: It isn't so important that YOU actually know how to "do" CSS. It's only important to know that you should consider working with, or hiring someone who knows CSS and that you show them this section so they can see how to use CSS for SEO when developing your Web site. Take note that you should be careful when using CSS absolute positioning because you might make your page look very strange if the site visitor uses their browser to resize the fonts for better readability. Be sure to test the look with different browser font-size settings to ensure an acceptable design layout. Use a Small Number of Keywords on Each Page In most cases, each Web page should be focused on no more than two or three keywords and these keywords should be related to each other. There are a couple of reasons to limit the number of keywords per Web page: 1. Your most important keywords should be placed into your Web page's title tag. Since a title tag should be limited to no more than 60 characters, this functionally limits the number of keywords that can realistically be placed within it. 2. If you optimize a page for too many keywords, you'll end up diluting the focus of that page in respect to those keywords. Each page on your site should be tightly focused to rank very highly for a specific set of terms. If you want to rank for a greater number of keywords, then you should increase the number of Web pages on your site. This doesn't mean that your page won't rank for other related terms. Oftentimes keywords overlap. Ranking highly for one keyword can also help your page rank highly for a whole host of related keywords. For instance, if your page ranks highly for the keyword direct marketing, then it's likely to also rank highly for professional direct marketing or direct
  33. 33. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 33 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 marketing services, assuming those keyphrases appear somewhere in your <body> text; the viewable content of your Web page. Piggy backing related terms onto your primary keywords like this is a good way to boost your Wed page rankings for a broader range of searches without diluting the focus of your pages. <Images Alt=" "> Tag - Use it wisely and quickly turn Images into Assets Your company logo may show what you are, who you are, and even state a benefit—but the engines can't index your image (not for keyword purposes, anyway). The search engine's indexing-bot is oblivious to everything but text. The only indexable keyword aspect of images is the text content you place within the <image alt="put text here"> tag. In fact, if your logo image loads higher on your page (when viewed from the linear source code perspective) than your keyword text, then your page starts out with a disadvantage. This is a typical mistake. Whenever possible, avoid placing images higher on your page than keyword text. Regardless, you can turn all images into keyword assets by placing keyword text within the Alt tags. Here's an example... <img src="logo.jpg" alt="Beachfront Hawaii Vacation Rentals - Big Island"> Notice how we've placed the keywords Beachfront Hawaii Vacation Rentals - Big Island into the alt="..." portion of the image tag. Although the search engine cannot ―see‖ or read the image, it most certainly can read the alt portion of the image tag. This enables us to tell Google or any other search engine what that image is about and get just a little bit of keyword relevance help from an image that the engine could not otherwise read. Bear in mind that you shouldn't expect a big ranking boost from this tactic—in fact you may get none at all. However, search engines have been known to index the content of Alt tags in the past, and one never knows when the ranking algorithm will shift back again as it does from time to time. Three more reasons for using the alt tag are: 1. The alt tag content becomes visible when a mouse passes over the image when using Internet Explorer (IE), the most popular web browser. This can be useful information to a site visitor. 2. The alt tag content is displayed whenever the image fails to load which means that people who turn their images off will, instead, see your keywords which can help make the rest of the nearby content make sense even without the image. 3. And the latest HTML specs require that images have an Alt tag. In essence, using the alt tag can sometimes help, and will never hurt, your ranking and web design efforts. Therefore, you should use the alt tag whenever doing so holds any chance of making an image keyword-meaningful and thereby stacking the advantages in your favor. Chapter 13 - Keyword Density: An Enduring SEO Myth
  34. 34. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 34 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 orth mentioning is the often-misunderstood concept of keyword density. In its pure form, keyword density refers to the number of times a keyword appears in relation to all of the other words on the same Web page. For instance, if a page only contained one word of text, say... Chicago, the keyword density for the keyword Chicago would be 100%. On the other hand, if the only text on the page was... Eat at Chicago's finest seafood restaurant ...then the keyword density of the keyword Chicago would be 20% since each word on the page represents one-fifth of the entire text. By the way, search engine's ignore common stop words such as the, at, of, etc. – therefore the word at would not be included in our keyword density calculation. Optimum Keyword density is one of the tactics that some search engine optimizers (SEOs) place way too much emphasis on. They're usually under the mistaken impression there is some magic formula for calculating the optimal keyword density that will appeal to each search engine. While this was true in the past, it has effectively ceased to be a factor anymore. At best, keyword density is only a bit-player in the big algorithmic search engine formula for top ranking pages and no longer worth the effort to factor into your strategies. Regardless, you may still hear stories that Google prefers pages with a 5% keyword density or Yahoo likes pages with a 11% keyword density. There are, however, a number of reasons why this is not an effective strategy for optimizing your Web pages. First of all, the concept of keyword density doesn't take into account the location of the keywords on the page. As you learned in the previous lesson, keyword placement is an important element of optimizing for search engine ranking. To say that a page has a 10% keyword density says nothing about whether those keywords are featured in your title tags, header tags, link anchor text, or any other of the important places to feature your keywords. Secondly, keyword density also ignores the distance between keywords on a page, a concept known as keyword proximity. In general, the closer your keywords are to each other, the better. For instance, the phrase: Your premier resource for San Diego real estate information ...is better optimized for the keyword San Diego real estate, than the following phrase: Your premier real estate information resource for the San Diego area And finally, our analytical research of top-ranking pages in any search engine shows an enormous variation in the keyword density of those pages. Some top-ranking pages have a 50% keyword density. Others have as low as 0% keyword density. Indeed, we've found a few pages that rank highly for a keyword in spite of the fact the keyword doesn't even appear on the page! In such cases, it's the keywords in the anchor text of external site links that point to the page that's causing it to rank at, or near, the top. This alone illustrates just how important it is to get your keywords into the anchor text of offsite links pointing to your Web pages! W
  35. 35. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 35 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 As you might imagine, such a large degree of variation makes it all-but-impossible for anyone to determine just exactly what the "ideal" keyword density actually is. Restated simply, you should insert your keywords into the natural flow of descriptive text without wasting time stressing over the exact number of times a keyword should appear on a Web page. Lesson 2 Review In this Lesson: 1. You‘ve gained a detailed understanding of the importance of keywords: what they are, how to find them and where to place them. 2. You‘ve learned there are three kinds of 'searchers' and how certain keywords (actually keyphrases) appeal more to a specific type of searcher who is ready to buy. 3. You know there is a difference between general keywords and money keywords that trigger sales. 4. You‘ve been given 10 steps for finding all of the right keywords. 5. You‘ve learned exactly where to place your keywords. 6. And you‘ve been given an explanation of Keyword Density and its associated overall lack of importance. Remember, there are Three Advanced SEO Tutorials that are now available to you inside your membership area of SearchEngineNews.com when you are ready to study them. They are:  The Missing Link to Writing Effective Ad Copy  Three Good Reasons To Target Long-Tail Keywords!  Five Free Keyword Research Tools to Laser-Focus Your Web Site's Keyword Targeting Campaign! Once you've grasped the details of this lesson, along with the above referenced tutorials, it's safe to say you'll know quite a bit more about the strategic use of keywords than your competitors. Surprised? ...it's true! Armed with the knowledge revealed within this Keyword lesson, you're ready to move on to the most important lesson of this course: Link Building.
  36. 36. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 36 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Lesson 3 - Link Building…The Most Critical Element of Top Scoring Pages Chapter 14 - Beware of OLD Information robably the biggest threat to your search engine ranking success is old information. Sure, by now everyone knows the key to high rankings is links! But there are an unbelievable number of places to get bad information about link building. For instance, many seemingly reputable sources fail to report that some inbound links help more than others, while others can actually damage your ranking efforts. And if you think the key is reciprocal links (two sites that agree to trade links) then think again. The sun has long since set on virtually every reciprocal link strategy. In fact, some reciprocal links are like two gunfighters who pull the trigger simultaneously only to succeed in wounding the ranking efforts of each other. We'll talk more about the details of reciprocal links later. In the meantime, you should know that building high-quality incoming links is the single most effective strategy for boosting your site's search engine rankings. Although it may also be the most challenging, it is clearly the most rewarding in terms of ranking well for your chosen keywords and for staying ranked. The challenge for most sites is to accumulate enough incoming links to dominate their niche without tripping any one of the many spam filters that trigger the ranking penalties. The problem is that a lot of search engine optimization (SEO) firms and SEO educational websites are still recommending outdated, potentially damaging SEO tactics. Warning: many of the standard link building strategies that once formed the backbone of an SEO campaign are no longer effective. In fact, some of them are actually detrimental to your Web site's ranking efforts. So, pay very close attention to this lesson. Here you will find ALL of the strategies that can help you, while steering you clear of the tactics that will hurt your ranking efforts. P
  37. 37. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 37 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Chapter 15 - Linking Basics et's begin by looking at the foundations of link design while identifying the most important elements. Anchor Text A typical link looks something like this: Search Engine Optimization. Here is the HTML code used to generate the above link within a Web page: <a href="http://www.searchenginenews.com/">Search Engine Optimization</a> |---------------------------URL------------------------| |----------Anchor text---------| The most important parts are: 1. The URL (Uniform Resource Locator): This is the web address of the Web page being linked to. 2. Anchor text: This is the visible text of the link (in this case it's: Search Engine Optimization). As we‘ve mentioned several times already, getting your keywords into the visible, aka anchor, text of the links that point to your Web pages is one of the most important rank- boosting strategies you can employ. L
  38. 38. The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars 38 | P a g e w w w . S e a r c h E n g i n e N e w s . c o m V e r s i o n S E 1 7 7 : M a r . 2 0 1 1 Chapter 16 - Inbound & Outbound Links You'll often hear reference to inbound and outbound links. An inbound or incoming link is a link that points to one of your Web pages. An outbound link is a link *on* one of your Web pages that points to someone else's Web page. To illustrate, let's say that A and B represent two Web pages hosted on different sites. In the diagram above, Web page A links to Web page B. Thus, page A has an outbound link to page B, and page B has an inbound link from page A. We can also say there's a one- way link between pages A and B. Chapter 17 - Reciprocal Links In some cases, Web site owners (or SEOs) may agree to "swap" links with each other. These are called reciprocal links; a term that refers to a situation where Web pages from different sites link to each other. Trading reciprocal links is hard work and their value has been increasingly diminished over the past few years. A few are ok, but to actively pursue them for the sake of just building a large quantity of links is a strategy of the past. Don't waste a lot of your time on this; we'll show you better ways to get better targeted, higher impact links.

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