|complex numbers||Search Engines||Index|
|Text too small ?|
|All those that believe in telekinesis..........raise my hand|
search engine optimisation:
What is search engine
optimisation ? Search engine optimisation is the act of configuring
web pages for search engines, to achieve high rankings. This means that
when someone conducts a search for your product or service, your website
is returned by the search engine in the top of the pile.
How is a web site optimised ? There are a myriad of different ways to optimise pages for search engines. Each search engine has its own idea of what a 'good relevant' page is. Some like long pages with loads of relevant text, some like short pages with few graphics, some hate Java, log-in and plug-in pages, some hate the wrong domain extension (thingamys.co.uk will have trouble getting listed on a lot of Aussie search engines for example). A web site is optimised page by page. This is best done before the website is actually built. However, I do particularly enjoy the challenge of optimising prebuilt sites.
Can't I just do it myself ? Yes, of course you can. There are plenty of tips and guides on the internet that will help with all aspects of search engine optimisation and positioning. I started out by monitoring the changing algorithms and reworking them over and over until I could echo the results of the major search engines. I read all the information I could find, indeed I still do and even now, I spend 5 days every month rechecking the algorithms, who has changed to a new one, who is sourcing data from another search engine or directory..... and so on.
What about stealth and cloaking ? I never use these techniques but I must say they can be very effective. To sum up the effects of these methods, it is a way of feeding the search engines with one page, but feeding a visitor another. The idea being that the search engine reads a wonderfully optimised and very dull page, but a visitor gets to see the proper website. Why don't I use these techniques ? I believe the biggest war search engines have is foiling these tricks. They are open to abuse, consider the following effects. A minor searches for his favourite car, a Ferrari Dino. The page fed to the search engine was a page that was plastered with the words 'Ferrari' and 'Dino'. The same minor clicks on the first listing in his search results and what he is delivered is xxxxxxxx Russian hard-core 'you know what !'. Sooner or later someone will file a lawsuit and the search engines know it. In fact some search engines threaten to ban any domain found to be using these techniques. For now however they are still a very effective way to get good rankings.
What is Bait and Switch ? Bait and switch is another technique for fooling search engines. This happens by accident for the most part but it is not unknown for search engine optimisers to use the technique on 'lazy' search engines. Bait and switch is where the search engine is fed a page and the search engine optimiser waits for the search engine to crawl the page for indexing, then switching back to the proper pages again. the lazy search engines only carry out their indexing once in a while and can often be predicted to return at a certain date. This is another trick I avoid as I have yet to find a website that cannot be successfully optimised.
What are doorway, gateway and corridor pages ? Doorway or Gateway pages are additional pages created specifically for high ranking in particular search terms. For instance, if a high ranking was required for the term 'thingamys' then a doorway page would contain all the necessary optimisation to attain a high ranking. The page would simply have a 'next' or 'click here' hyperlink into the actual website. A corridor page is a page that contains links to all the doorway pages and frequently to all the proper pages within the website. This technique is frowned upon by many of the search engines and so additional domains are set up to facilitate these pages, thus disassociating from the main domain pages.
Will Optimising my website alter the look ? No. In most cases a website can be optimised for search engines by behind the scenes work that is not necessarily visible to the viewer. If however, your website is simply one large image or Flash movie. Then you may have to consider additional HTML pages to support not just the search engines but the the hundreds of thousands of people that surf without plug-ins, images switched off and java switched off.
How much does it cost
? Optimising a website of lets say five pages would cost around £200.
Twenty five pages would cost around £500. Creation of doorway pages etc
is a little extra. The fact of the matter is, every website has different
requirements for the individual search terms and is further complicated by
the presence of competition. In short, the competition has to be analysed
before great results can be achieved.
Will that get my website in the top ten ? maybe. I never promise a top ten placement because I don't know what i'd say to my eleventh client. Furthermore, neither you nor I know what your competition will be up to come the next indexing period. Take a look at these following statements from a few of the 'big' search engines;
"We do not add all submitted URLs to our index, and we cannot make any predictions or guarantees about when or if they will appear." Statement from Google.
"Submitting your site to the AltaVista Search Index does not guarantee your site will be added to the index." Statement from Alta Vista.
"We do not guarantee that all submitted sites will be listed in our index." Statement from Northern Light.
As you can see, I cannot even promise you a listing at all. I have yet to come across a website that I could not get listed but as a disclaimer, I must inform you that who gets listed and who does not is the responsibility of the search engines themselves. Indeed, I perceive each of the above statements as disclaimers in their own right.
What happens next ?
Once your pages have been optimised, I submit each of them to over 100
search engines and directorys. For the more major search engines, I
monitor the page position and report back the search term and rank
position attained. This can take several weeks to complete depending on
the indexing habits of the search engines. This service is included in the
the following extract is from the Ranking management clients guide;
What if my Competition hires you after I have ? I work to a set of very strict set of rules as defined in the clients guide;
A-K strategic business solutions - online web services
I can be reached direct via email at
Other excerpts from these cynical articles can be viewed at