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Free Search Engine Secrets: Naked Truth Exposed!

by Frank Feldmann

Providing authentic secrets that will vastly improve your website's position in the search engines, this free report exposes the naked truth by describing meta tags, keyword density, search engine placement, and how to submit your URL right on target!

Greetings Fellow Cybernauts! My name is Frank Feldmann. I am the sole proprietor of Kaleidoscope Desktop Services, a website design and Internet consulting firm. Do not adjust your browser; you are not in control. You have reached the Outer Limits of the Internet. You have just entered the Meta Tag Zone. It is my hope that when you leave it, you will have been both entertained and made somewhat more knowledgeable about how to improve the rank of your URL in the search engines.

To be completely candid, there really aren't any "free search engine secrets". Actually, all it takes is alot of study and hard work (sounds a lot like all the other things in life, doesn't it!). For a page that you are attempting to optimize, you will need to take into consideration:

  • Title Tag
  • Description Meta Tag
  • Keywords Meta Tag
  • HTML Body Copy
  • Alt Text
  • Comments Tag

First of all, forget what I said about not adjusting your Web browser. Actually, I welcome you to do just that! Suppose you are using Netscape Navigator 3.0.4 for the Macintosh OS, as I am. If you go to the "View" menu and select "Document Source" you will observe the following:

<HTML>

<HEAD>

<TITLE>Authentic! free search engine secrets: naked truth exposed!</TITLE>

<META name="description" content="Free Search Engine Secrets: Naked Truth Exposed! Describing: meta tags, keyword density, URL submission, and improving search engine placement.">

<META name="keywords" content="authentic, free, secrets, free search engine secrets, naked, truth, expose, exposed, naked truth exposed, exposing naked truth, exposing truth, meta tags, keyword meta tags, description meta tags, comments tags, keyword density, alt text, ALT TEXT, submit url, free report, right on target, URL submission, submit URL, hand posting, program posting, relevancy boosters, free for all pages, stop words, body copy, improve, improved, improving search engine placement, improving search engine rank, improving search engine position, raise, raised, raising search engine placement, raising search engine rank, raising search engine position, high, higher, highest search engine placement, optimum, optimize, optimized, optimizing, optimization">

</HEAD>

As you can see, the Title Tag comes right after <HEAD>. Description and Keyword Meta Tags reside between </TITLE> and </HEAD>. Are you with me so far? Good! Now, let's go over these systematically.

First of all, this page's title: "Authentic! free search engine secrets: naked truth exposed!" resides in the gray title bar at the top of the Netscape window. That is to say, the "title" in this case is not referring to any titles on the page itself (those would be part of HTML body copy). Now that we've gotten that straightened out, you may well ask: How do I go about writing a good title?

The title should be descriptive; "My Home Page" simply won't do! At first, "Search Engine Secrets" would appear to be sufficient. Obviously, a page with such a title is either advising you about how to raise your page's rank in the search engines, or alternatively, it is telling you how to get the most out of your Infoseek search. With all the "buzz" about search engine positioning nowadays, most of us would probably assume the former. So why do I need all that other stuff in the title?

Let's start with the word "Authentic". In certain instances, some search engines and directories display websites alphabetically. Therefore, to take advantage of this, some site developers will start their title with an "A" or "$" or "!". Okay, that settles that particular question. Moving right along, I used the word "free" because alot of us are goldbricks and will type keywords like "free" while performing a search. To boot, alot of us are preoccupied with sex and will type in words like "naked" and "exposed". Of course, everyone loves finding out about "secrets". You don't believe me? Am I "politically incorrect"? Well, it's not my fault that many of us have interests that are far from intellectual, to say the least! Just check the 200 most popular keywords at Yahoo! Note that I wrote "naked truth exposed!" and not "the naked truth exposed!" Yes, it's true that using "the" would have made this phrase sound better. However, "the" can be referred to as a "stop word". Stop words are often conjunctions, prepositions, and articles and other words like "and", "to" and "a" that often appear in documents yet alone may have little meaning. Many search engines ignore stop words, so using them won't enhance your search engine placement; they just take up valuable space. Also, for similar reasons, avoid common WWW terms such as "Web", "Internet", or "home page". One final note on titles; different search engines have different rules as to what they will accept in the various tags. Furthermore, these rules are a "moving target"; search engines have the right to change them as they see fit, and you should frequently review these rules. Therefore, I would suggest you write your title tags to be 60 characters or less.

You have seen from my earlier example what format you need for your Description Meta Tags. Description meta tags, depending upon a particular search engine's rules, may vary in length from 150 to 250 characters. Therefore, I would suggest that you keep your description meta tags to 150 characters or less.

Similarly, Keyword Meta Tags can range from 874 characters to 1000 characters. I would recommend that you use 874 characters or less; that should be plenty.

You need to avoid the over-repetition of keywords to prevent search engines from penalizing you in some way after indexing your site. How many times is too much? Some say 3 is good while others say 5 is fine and still others maintain that even up to 7 repetitions is okay. Of course, if you are trying to optimize your rank, you want to "go for all the gusto you can get". However, if you're really paranoid about being penalized and want to be very conservative, you can stick with a maximum of 3 repetitions.

Also, note the practice of keyword derivatives or "stemming". For example, if you developed a website concerning mutual funds, you might use keywords like invest, invests, investment, and investor.

You might also want to consider variations in upper and lower case and even some common misspellings. For example, as I mentioned previously, I am the owner of a business called Kaleidoscope Desktop Services. Therefore, for my keyword meta tags I might want to consider Kaleidoscope Desktop Services (upper case), kaleidoscope desktop services (lower case), KALEIDOSCOPE DESKTOP SERVICES (all caps), kaleidescope (misspelling), and kaleidascope (misspelling).

Whether or not it might be advantageous to omit the commas in your keyword meta tags is a rather complex topic that for the sake of brevity I would prefer not to even broach here.

Some major search engines like Lycos and NorthernLight don't currently even accept description meta tags and keyword meta tags. Therefore, for this and many other reasons, you need to have relevant HTML body copy on the page itself. The body copy will be visible both to a human visitor and to the spider that will index your site. Therefore, try to have an effective summary at the top of your page. For this, you might even like to simply reproduce the text that you used for your description meta tag; that is what I have done on this particular page.

You should probably set up Alt Text for all your images. For example, if you have a company logo on your page, you might write:

<IMG SRC="logo.gif" ALT="[XYZ Corporation Logo]">

There are three reasons why you should do this:

  1. If you write Alt Text and the visitor is not downloading images, at least he will see [XYZ Corporation Logo] even though he doesn't see the image itself in this case.
  2. Many search engines accept Alt Text so they may catalog images, as well as entire websites.
  3. You can even take this opportunity to increase your "keyword density" somewhat!

Finally, I will discuss Comments Tags. They appear as <!--Your Comments-->

Please don't use Comments Tags! Most search engines no longer support them. In the past, many people abused this tag to commit "keyword stuffing". Keyword stuffing is a form of Spamdexing. If you "spam" the search engine, you will probably be penalized. The search engine may refuse to index your site, or it may index it with a very poor position for your anticipated keyword phrases. Again, study the rules available at the particular search engine's site to avoid doing anything that could be considered "spamdexing"; after all, you would like to earn your high rank as opposed to getting it by unethically "stacking the deck" in your favor. You don't like it when people spam you (i.e., sending unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail), so why would you want to "spam the search engines"?

In case you are in need of further assistance, here are some Internet Resources:

Resources for Writing and Analyzing Meta Tags, URL Submission and Checking, and Position Analysis:

Website Promote: I believe that at this point, you are quite capable of writing your own meta tags; just remember to type all your keywords on the very same line before hitting "return". However, if you like, a robot can do it for you. If you would like to find other free tools similar to this one, type a phrase like "meta tag generator" into the query field of your favorite search engine.

Sofer.com: A concise, but useful and level headed discussion of meta tags and search engine placement.

Search Engine Watch: Danny Sullivan's wonderful and comprehensive site. The Search Engine Bible!

Webmaster T's World of Design: Contains a great deal of information on meta tags, search engines and all aspects of website promotion.

Scrub the Web: A nifty meta tag analyzer.

Submit Express: Yet another meta tag analyzer! However, this one can also test link popularity (on a different page). The number of other sites that link to your home page is quite important for a number of reasons. One such reason is that links to your site are a "relevancy booster" with certain search engines. For example, WebCrawler factors in your site's link popularity when it ranks your site. You may want to increase the number of links to your site by submitting to "Free For All Link Pages". Since normally this would be quite laborious, you may want to use a "for a fee service" to enable you to do this automatically. Link-O-Matic is one such service. Although I have not personally used this service (as of the date of this writing), they have been recommended by VirtualPromote, which is another excellent source for learning about meta tags, search engines, and many other aspects of website promotion.

You may also wish to submit your URL to numerous places which consider sites for possible awards.

After writing and analyzing your meta tags and completing your site, you are now ready to submit your URL. It is well documented that most of your site traffic will come from the major search engines and directories; you do not want to risk anything going wrong with these particular submissions. Therefore, for these submissions, use "hand posting" as opposed to "program posting".

All things considered, I would strongly suggest that you "hand post" to the following 24 sites:

About.com, AltaVista, AOL Search, Ask Jeeves, Direct Hit, Excite, FAST Search, Galaxy, Google, GoTo, HotBot, ICQ-iT!, Infoseek, LookSmart, Lycos, MSN, NetGuide, Netscape Search, NorthernLight, Open Directory Project, Snap!, WebCrawler, What-U-Seek, and Yahoo!

Also, remember that Yahoo! is actually an example of a directory, not a search engine. This means that a live human being (as opposed to a spider) will actually visit and evaluate your site (how quaint!).

"Program Posting" is perfectly acceptable for the somewhat less popular search engines and directories; hand posting to these will probably consume too much of your valuable time. For this purpose, you will probably want to consider a "for a fee service" or you will want to purchase the necessary software.

SelfPromotion: Here, you can add your URL to a number of search engines, directories, and awards sites. In the tradition of shareware, there is no initial fee. Instead, you use the service and decide how valuable you feel it is. Supporters who contribute $10.00 or more (USA funds) are given access to various tools created by Robert Woodhead, the webmaster of this site.

Rank this!: Somewhat similar to Position Agent. However, also gives the "top 10" for a particular keyword or keyword phrase. That being said, don't be reluctant to surf over to one of these highly ranked pages, look at their HTML source code, and consider doing a little "reverse engineering". It is true that we were all taught "not to copy" in school but then again were were also taught that "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"! A "thievish magpie" approach is acceptable (within reason) on the Internet provided that you scrupulously refrain from copyright violations.

WebPosition: If, for whatever reason, you become really serious about writing and re-writing your meta tags and continuously checking the position of your URL, you probably should consider buying this program. As of the date of this writing, this is another program that is available only for the Windows (but not Macintosh) OS. Curses! Foiled again!

NoteTab: Windows users should give serious consideration to this HTML / TEXT editor. The reason is that this software can count the number of words on your Web page as well as sort them by the number of repetitions. Considering all of the previous discussion, such features are obviously of great utility.

Besides search engine positioning, other important on-line promotional techniques include banner exchanges and e-zine advertising.

I sincerely hope that you have benefited from this merry quest for search engine knowledge!

 

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