Search Engine Optimization Essentials For Top Search Engine Rankings
Search Engine Optimization
Essentials for Top
Search Engine Rankings
The search engine optimization (SEO) process consists of designing, writing,
and coding web pages to increase the likelihood that they will appear at the
top of search engine results for targeted keyword phrases.
Many so-called SEO experts claim to have reversed engineered search engine
algorithms and use strategically created "doorway pages" and cloaking
technology to maintain long-term search positions. Despite all of these claims,
the basics of a successful search engine campaign have not changed in all the
years we have provided these services.
To get the best overall, long-term search engine positions, three components
must be present on a web page:
• Text component
• Link component
• Popularity component
All of the major search engines (AltaVista, FAST Search, Google, Lycos, MSN
Search and other Inktomi-based engines) use these components as a part of
their search engine algorithms.
Sites that have (a) all of the components on their web pages, and (b) have
optimal levels of all the components perform well in the search engines
Since the search engines build lists of words and phrases on URL's, then it
naturally follows that in order to do well on the search engines, you must place
these words on your web pages in the strategic HTML tags.
The most important part of the text component of a search engine algorithm is
keyword selection. In order for your target audience to find your site on the
search engines, your pages must contain keyword phrases that match the
phrases your target audience is typing into search queries.
Once you have determined the best keyword phrases to use on your web
pages, you will need to place them within your HTML tags. Search engines do
not place emphasis on the same HTML tags.
For example, Inktomi reads Meta tags; Google ignores Meta tags. Thus, in
order to do well on the entire search engines, it is best to place keywords in all
of the HTML tags possible, without keyword stuffing. So no matter what the
search engine algorithm is, you know that your keywords are contained in your
The strategy of placing keyword-rich text in your web pages is useless if the
search engine spiders have no way of finding that text. The way your pages are
linked to each other, and the way your web site is linked to other web sites,
does impact your search engine positions.
Even though search engine spiders are powerful data-gathering programs,
HTML coding or scripting can prevent a spider from effectively crawling your
pages. Examples of site navigation schemes that can be problematic are:
1. Poor HTML coding on all navigation schemes: Browsers (Netscape and
Explorer) can display web pages with sloppy HTML coding; search engine
spiders are not as forgiving as browsers are.
down menus. Note: Even though reputable designer resources claim search-
engine friendly scripts exist, many of them are untested and unproven.
3. Dynamic or database-driven web pages: Pages that are generated via scripts,
databases, and/or have a?, &, $, =, +, or % in the URL can present spider
4. Flash: Currently, none of the search engines can follow the links embedded
in Flash documents.
Therefore, to ensure that the spiders have the means to record the data on
your web pages, we recommend having two forms of navigation on a web
page: one that pleases your end users, and one that the search engine spiders
The popularity component of a search engine algorithm consists of multiple
• Link popularity
• Click-through popularity
• Web page popularity
Attaining an optimal popularity component is not simply obtaining as many
links as possible to a web site. The quality of the sites linking to your site holds
more "weight" than the quantity of sites linking to your site.
Since Yahoo is the most frequently visited site on the web, a link from Yahoo to
your web site carries far more "weight" than a link from a smaller, less visited
Other outstanding sites that can help generate excellent popularity are
LookSmart, the Open Directory, and About.com. Non-competitive, industry-
Obtaining links from other sites is not enough to maintain optimal popularity.
The major search engines and directories are measuring how often end users
are clicking on the links to your site and how long they are staying on your site
(i.e., reading your web pages). They are also measuring how often end users
return to your site. All of these measurements constitute a site's click-through
The search engines and directories measure both link popularity (quality and
quantity of links) and click-through popularity to determine the overall
popularity component of a web site.
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