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27 Quick Tips To Top Search Engine Rankings

In this article I show you how to improve your search engine rankings using 27 quick search engine optimization tips.
Increase your site's link popularity by increasing your internal and incoming links.

Internal links - Cross link all your sites and important pages within each site. This will maximize the PageRank of all your pages within each web site.

Incoming links that you control - Create several small web sites related to your main site. Each site should only consist of a few pages. Then cross link them all together using the most important keywords. Don't forget to include links back to the main site.

Incoming links that you don't control:

Ask sites that link to your competitors to link to your site. To find out which sites are linking to your competitors, visit a search engine and enter, "link:" followed by the competitors' domain name.

For example:
link:www.yourcompetitor.com
Exchange links with sites listed in the same category as yours in the major web directories, such as the Yahoo! Directory and the Open Directory.


Find sites that accept site submissions. Visit your favorite search engine and search for:
"add url" "your keywords"
Also try searching for the actual submission page using its page name.

For example:
addurl.html, addsite.html, addlink.html, etc.
Include a TITLE tag as the first META tag, directly after the HEAD tag.

For example:
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>Mike's Marketing Software Tools Reviews</TITLE>
...
Try to avoid stop words in your TITLE tag. Stop words (a, an, and, but, he, her, his, i, in, it, of, on, or, she, the, etc.) are common words and characters ignored by some search engines to enhance the speed and relevancy of their search results.

You'll find a list of 297 commonly-used stop words ignored by most search engines in my search engine optimization book; Search Engine Optimization Strategies: Top 30 Search Engine Optimization & Ranking Strategies For Dummies.


Include a META DESCRIPTION tag, directly after the TITLE tag. Include the most important keyword phrase for the web page as close to the beginning of the description as possible.

For example:
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>Mike's Marketing Software Tools Reviews</TITLE>
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Mike's Marketing Tools is the leading review site for the very best internet marketing tools for web marketers and webmasters.">
...
If you use a META REFRESH tag, make sure it is set to refresh after 30 seconds.
<META HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" CONTENT="30; URL=http://www.mikes-marketing-tools.com">
Some search engines consider pages that refreshes under 30 seconds as spam. I recommend using a JavaScript redirect tag, if you require a quicker page refresh.

For example:

Step 1 - Paste this code into the HEAD section of your HTML document. Change the 3000 to whatever number you like. 1000 represents 1 (one) second.
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript"><!--
function redirect () {setTimeout("change()",3000);}
function change () {window.location.href="http://www.mikes-marketing-tools.com";}
//--></SCRIPT>
Step 2 - Insert the onLoad event handler into your BODY tag, so that the JavaScript code is executed when the page loads.
<BODY onLoad="redirect()">
Remove all other meta tags (author, date, etc.), unless you're sure they are absolutely necessary. The only meta tags I ever use are the META DESCRIPTION and occasionally the META REFRESH tag.

Include a site map with links to all your pages. This will help search engines find and index all your pages.

Limit the number of links on a web page to 50.
If you have more than 50 links, limit your links to your most important pages.
Include text on the page as some search engines, such as AltaVista, have been known to kick out links only pages.

Use one or more header tags in your main page body and include your most important keyword phrase/s.

Use large header tags, such as <H1> and <H2>.
Use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to alter the appearance of the header tags to fit the look and feel of your site. For more information read this CSS tutorial.

Check the first couple of lines of the first paragraph to see if it's appropriate to be used as a description of your page. Many search engines utilize the first couple of sentences of the body text as the search results description, instead of the contents of the META DESCRIPTION tag.

Try to achieve an overall keyword density of 1-2%. For more information on keyword density read my article, "How Keyword Density, Frequency, Prominence And Proximity Affects Search Engine Rankings."

Try to achieve a minimum word count of 300 and a maximum of 750 words on each page.

Register a domain name with the exact keyword phrase you wish to target, using hyphens to separate the keywords.

For example, if the keyword phrase is "search engine rankings," then register:
search-engine-rankings.com
If the domain you want is unavailable, either try a different extension, such as .NET, .INFO, or .US, or add a keyword to the end (preferential) or beginning of the domain.

Name directories after your keyword phrases, using hyphens or underscores to separate the keywords.

For example, if an important keyword phrases is, "search engine rankings," name your directory:
www.yoursite.com/search-engine-rankings/ or...
www.yoursite.com/search_engine_rankings/
Name web pages after your most important keyword phrase. Separate the keywords using hyphens or underscores.

For example, if the keyword phrase is "search engine rankings," then name the page:
search-engine-rankings.html or...
search_engine_rankings.html
Name your graphic files after keyword phrases. Again, separate the keywords using hyphens or underscores.

For example:
<IMG SRC="search-engines-rankings.gif">
Include an ALT (alternative text) atrribute in image tags. Include the most important keyword phrases.

For example:
<IMG SRC="search-engines-rankings.gif" ALT="search engine rankings.">
If you use an image map, include HTML links, as some search engines do not follow image map links. Plus image maps do not offer search engines any link text to index. So, try to avoid the use of image maps as they do not help with your search engine optimization efforts.

Use the longer or plural version of a keyword, where possible. Word stemming is a concept used by some search engines to return search results that include keywords that extend beyond what you searched for.

For example, a search with the keyword "engine" might return results for, "engines," "engineers," and "engineering." If someone searches for the longer version of a word and your page only uses the short version, then your page will be excluded from the list of possible results.

Sprinkle a few uncommon keywords and synonyms in your main body text. Less popular keywords have less competition in the search engines. So your web page is has a greater chance of being listed amongst the top results.

Do not repeat keywords or keyword phrases over and over again on a web page, as this would be considered as spam by search engines.

Keep your pages as close to the root domain as possible. Do not set up more than 3 directory levels.

For example:
www.yoursite.com/index.html (1st level - excellent)
www.yoursite.com/html/index.html (2nd level - Good)
www.yoursite.com/html/marketing/index.html (3rd level - OK)
www.yoursite.com/html/marketing/search/index.html (Too many levels down - search engines will find it difficult to find and index pages this far down)
If you have a persistent (on most or all of your pages) navigation bar at the side of each page, your table is almost certainly set up in such a way that it pushes your page's body text down the HTML document. Search engines give prominence to keywords nearer the beginning of a HTML document. So, design your HTML table so that the navigation bar is placed after your main body text.

If you're unsure how to do this, check out my Search Engine Optimization Strategies ebook. You'll discover exactly how to design such a table in my book.

Move Javascript code to a separate file, or the end of the HTML document after your closing BODY or HTML tag. Yes, this technique actually works!

Follow these instructions to move the JavaScript code to a separate file and link to the file from the HTML document. Then place the following code in between the HEAD section:
<HEAD>
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript" SRC="file-name.js"></SCRIPT>
</HEAD>
This procedure also reduces your file size, and therefore your download time. In addition, it allows you to reuse the code on other pages by simply link to the JavaScript file. Both of these techniques will move your important body text nearer to the top of the HTML document.

Although not always practical, you may like to try naming your cascading style sheet tags after keywords.

For example:
.search {
color: #ff0000;
}
Use Robots.txt files instead of Robots meta tags, as some search engine robots do not recognize the tag. Visit The Web Robots Pages for more information.

Do not use font size one (1) text as the default text size. Many search engines consider tiny text to be spam. It's OK to use some font size one text.

Do not participate in link farms or link exchange programs. Search engines consider link farms and link exchange programs as spam, as they have only one purpose - to artificially inflate a site's link popularity, by exchanging links with other participants.

Do not confuse link farms and link exchange programs with reciprocal linking. Reciprocal linking is the exchange of links with individual sites, and is certainly an accepted technique for improving your site's link popularity.
There you have it. My 27 quick search engine optimization tips to improving your search engine rankings. I hope you found this report useful. For more in-depth tips.

Incoming Text Link Keywords

I'll explain each in more detail and what you MUST do to maximize the effectiveness of each element.

1. PageRank

PageRank is determined by the number and quality of links to a page. Both the quantity and quality of text links are important. Always try to get links from web pages with a PageRank rating of at least four.

Concentrate on getting as many different quality sites as possible to link to one page on your site, usually your home page. Do not spread the links to different pages. This will maximize the PageRank of your main page, plus those of the subpages.

2. Incoming Text Link Keywords

ALWAYS provide text links for linking to your site. Avoid image links.

Google does index image links, but without any text for it to index, it won't help your link popularity rating for your important keywords.

In addition:

Include the most important keyword phrase in the text link, using the EXACT spelling.

Do not pluralize the keyword phrase, if people usually search the singular version of the phrase. And vice versa.

Avoid excess words, where possible.

The linked to page MUST have the text link keywords in the body of the page, otherwise Google will discount the page.

Include the text link keywords within the title tag of the linked to page. It is possible for a page without the text link keywords in the title tag to get top rankings. But I have discovered that around 80% of top 10 rankings have the text link keywords in the title tag, so always include it.

Well, there you have it. Those are what I consider the two most important ranking factors used by Google. Other factors are considered by Google, but their importance pales in comparison to the two I have discussed in this article.

Follow these tips whenever you optimize your web pages and they will quickly shoot up the Google rankings.

How To Get Free Links From Yahoo! Full Coverage

In this article I show you a little known technique on how to submit your web site to the Yahoo! Full Coverage sections.

If you've got great content, use this little known tip to get a link from a popular section of Yahoo!.

Yahoo has "Full Coverage" pages on hundreds of news topics. Under those topics, they list useful sites. They're not the same as those listed in the Yahoo! Directory.

Yahoo! will consider suggestions for original content news and op-ed (opinion/editorial) articles, and for related web sites of a non-commercial nature. Do not submit syndicated or wire service content.

You may submit content to the following areas:

Full Coverage on Yahoo.com
Full Coverage on Yahoo! Asia
Yahoo! Movies Full Coverage
Full Coverage on Yahoo! Canada
Yahooligans Full Coverage

To submit your site for review, click on the "Submit links or send feedback to Full Coverage" link at the bottom of a page in the Full Coverage section, and you will end up on the "How do I submit a link to Full Coverage?" page.

If your content is deemed worthy by a Yahoo! editor, they might just link to it. In addition, Full Coverage editors may also post links to specific articles on your web site.

Inclusion into Yahoo!'s Full Coverage section will almost definitely increase your traffic, boost your credibility, and search engine link popularity of your site.

But be warned. You MUST be submitting great content. Inclusion into the Yahoo! Full Coverage section is pretty much reserved for the very best content.

It is for this reason that few submissions are ever successful. But it's always worth a try, right? Good luck!

Seven Illegal Search Engine Optimization Techniques

In this article I discuss seven illegal, or almost illegal, search engine optimization and related techniques.

1. Trademarked Keywords In Domain Names

If you're thinking of registering a domain name that includes a trademarked keyword, think again.

Using someone else's trademark to attract customers is illegal. It violates federal trademark law, which prohibits the use of someone else's trademark, if it causes a "likelihood of confusion" among consumers.

Take Yahoo for example. They objected to 37 registered domains, including AtlantaYahoo.com, DCYahoo.com, Jahu.com and Yhu.com.

2. Trademarked Keywords In META Tags

It's not necessarily illegal to use trademarked keywords in your META tags. But you could get sued, and people have.

It all depends on why and how you are using the trademarked keywords. If you used the keywords in what is deemed a deceptive manner, then you're likely to lose your case.

However, there has been one instance of a defendant who proved to the judge that she had a legitimate reason to use the trademarked keyword.

Here's a short story to illustrate the seriousness of using trademarked keywords in META tags.

I had a client who included the trademarked brand name of a competing product in one of his web pages.

One day, he received a letter from the lawyer acting on behalf of the trademark owner in question.

The letter stated:

"Use of [trademarked term] constitutes federal false advertising, trademark infringements, state unfair competition and is deliberately designed to trade on [trademarked term] reputation and goodwill. Placing the term, [trademarked term], in the keywords and META tags of your site inappropriately and unlawfully draws Internet users to your site."

They threatened to sue, unless my client removed the trademarked terms from the META tags. Naturally, we obliged! ;o)

What was surprising was that we could use the trademarked terms in the visible page body. So we kept the trademarked keywords in the page body.

3. Pagejacking

Pagejacking is copying someone else's web page and submitting it to the search engines as your own, in hopes of getting high rankings. Quite often pagejacking also involves page cloaking.

Pagejacking is no more than stealing copyrighted content. It beats me why people would be so dumb as to try this technique. Don't try it. You will be caught sooner or later.

4. Deep Linking

Deep linking is the practice of providing a link directly to specific content on a web site's sub-page, instead of linking to its home page.

On July 5, 2002, the Bailiff's Court of Copenhagen ruled in favor of the Danish Newspaper Publishers Association, which claimed that Danish company Newsbooster violated copyright laws by "deep linking" to newspaper articles on some Danish newspapers' web sites.

The argument is that in bypassing the newspapers' home pages, Newsbooster links deprive them of advertising revenue. Further, they asserted that Newsbooster is in direct competition with newspapers.

7. Deep Linking Without Permission

If a site you are linking to has stated that linking is prohibited, or requires permission first, then don't link to them. If you do, you're asking for trouble.

6. Trademarked Keyword Advertising

Thinking of bidding for competing trademarked keywords in search engines? Think again!

In January 1999, Estee Lauder sued iBeauty and Excite@Home, saying its trademarks were violated when iBeauty's ads were presented during searches for Estee Lauder trademarked keywords.

When a person searched Excite@Home's search engine for "Clinique," they were presented with a banner ad for iBeauty. In addition, the search returned a list of related web sites, including iBeauty.com.

In August, 2000, iBeauty decided to voluntarily remove the trademarked keywords from its list.

7. Deep Linking Within A Frame

If you link to another site's content by displaying it within a FRAME on your site, and your ad in another FRAME, you're walking on thin ice.

What you're basically doing is "stealing" other people's content to generate advertising revenue. I would recommend staying clear of this practice.

Conclusion

Take care with the marketing techniques you use. If you think a technique can be construed as illegal, search the internet for possible legal cases on the technique. If you can't find any, then it's a good chance that the technique in question is worth pursuing.

How To Find Link Exchange Partner Sites To Improve Your Link Popularity

In this article I show you how to find link exchange partners to improve your link popularity rating, which in turn will improve your search engine rankings.

Search engine optimization experts agree that link popularity is now considered by most search engines to be one of, if not, the most important factors that determines a site's ranking in the search engines.

If you're not sure what your site's link popularity rating is, then use a link popularity check tool to check your link popularity rating in the top search engines.

Let's say we have two identical sites. One has thousands of targeted sites linking to it. The other only has a few incoming links. It's virtually guaranteed that the site with thousands of incoming links will rank higher than the other site.

So how do you find reciprocal link partners?

First, you need to work out what type of web sites would link to your site. Here are some examples of sites and the types of sites that would link to them.

  Your Site:   Links From:
Pet store Pet lovers' sites
Site design service Webmaster sites
Travel site Local guides
PC store Software/hardware review sites
Music store Music fan sites

As you can see, you're looking for sites that are on the same subject matter, but not necessarily similar.

So now you know what sites to look for, how do you find these sites?

There are basically two methods:

In the following examples, we'll use "pet lovers'" sites as the type of sites we're looking for.

1. Find targeted sites in the web directories, such as Yahoo!, LookSmart, or the Open Directory Project.

Go to a directory's home page and search with the keywords, "pet lover." Then click on the category the top listings belong to. The sites listed in these and related categories are the types of sites you need to contact.

If the category has a resources or directories sub-category, then try the sites in those categories first. Resources typically offer links to sites on the same subject.

2. Use the search engines to find sites that link to your competitors' web sites.

Using the search engines is probably a more efficient method of find reciprocal link partners, than searching the directories.

Go to your favorite search engine, such as Google, and search for any of the following keyword phrases:

"pet directory" - Searches for pet directories.

"pet search engine" - Searches for pet search engines.

"pet lover" links.html - Searches for link pages in pet lover's web sites.

"pet lover" resources.html - Searches for the resource page in a pet lover's Web site.

Don't forget to include the quotation marks to narrow your search.

Also try replacing the ".html" with other file extensions, such as ".htm," ".shtm," ".shtml," ".cfm," and ".php."

Now make a list of the sites. Then create a links or resources page and add links to the sites on that page.

After you've done that, link to that page from your home page. If you have hundreds of links, split the pages into different sub-categories. When you're done, upload the pages to your server.

Now contact each site by informing them that you have linked to their site and request a link in return. Don't forget to be polite and inform them of the benefits of exchanging links.

Some sites, such as web directories, will not require a reciprocal link. So simply submit your link.

The most important tip I can give you with regards to reciprocal linking is to only exchange links with targeted sites. I highly recommend that you don't exchange links with sites that bear no relation with your site. If you link to poor-quality or spam sites, it could affect your search engine rankings.

WARNING

Under no circumstances should you link to, or add links from, link farms. Link farms are considered as spam sites in the eyes of the search engines.

If you want to save time and effort, you could use a reciprocal link management tool, such as Arelis. It will help you find and contact link exchange partners.

Good luck with improving your link popularity!

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