Hi Jill,

Thank you for your newsletter and the invitation to ask a few questions. You would be surprised to see how many "experts" there are, but very few with published accessible email addresses for "dumb" questions.

We have a salon that provides a number of services. Each category of service has its own html page; for example, manicures and pedicures on one and massages on another.

I have three questions:

1. I have added a title and the meta tags to the index page, and there seem to be a lot of keywords on the main page. Can I break them up and optimize each individual page with keywords, titles, and meta tags? Or do the search engines only look at the main page of our site?

2. Links. I have read how off-page optimization through links is very valuable to search engines. Does it matter on my site which page the links are located? For example, should I have wedding-specific links on my weddings page, have yoga-specific links on my yoga page, etc.? Or do all the links have to be on the main page for the search engines to notice them? What if I had a "my links" page and put them all in there categorized, so as to not mess up the look and feel of the site?

3. Google AdSense. Do Google AdSense links carry more weight with the search engines than the other links, and if so can I have filtered AdSense on each page or does it only work on the home page?

Thanks so much for your time and your willingness to help.


Jill's Response

Hi Dave,

1. You not only *can* optimize every page of your site for its relevant keyword phrases, but it's a *must*! It would be a complete waste to optimize only the home page of your site, as that could never fully encompass all that you have to offer. Ideally, each page of your site is unique and focuses on different things, and each should be optimized accordingly.

Please note, however, that it's not the Meta tags you need to worry about, it's the Title tag and the *content* on the page that are important. Plus, the site architecture, the way you describe your links, and the overall popularity of your site on the Internet as a whole.

2. Regarding links, your rankings will not be in any way impacted by the links you place on *your* site. It's the people who like your site enough to link to yours that will help your site in the rankings, not your links to their sites. Those outbound links certainly don't hurt and have many other benefits, but they won't raise your rankings.

If you feel like linking out to others on your site, simply do it in the way that is most helpful to your site visitors. If you have a page about yoga, for instance, you might want to link out to a site that offers yoga mats. So yes, it would make perfect sense to place that link on that specific yoga page of your site. Whatever you do, never link to any site that you don't truly recommend to your visitors. Be sure that it makes sense for them to visit and possibly purchase or learn from. You can never, ever go wrong when you think of things that way.

3. Regarding using Google AdSense on your site's pages, it has absolutely nothing to do with your rankings in Google for your relevant keyword phrases, nor do those ad links count in any sort of link-popularity equation. If you feel you can make a little extra money with your site by having ads on it, and don't mind their being there, then AdSense is a nice and easy way to make it happen.

Hope this helps!


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February 24, 2006

CEO and founder of High Rankings®, Jill Whalen has been performing search engine optimization since 1995 and is the host of the free High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter, author of "The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines" and founder/administrator of the popular High Rankings Search Engine Optimization Forum. In 2006, Jill co-founded SEMNE, a local search engine marketing networking organization for people and companies in New England.

High Rankings is an internationally recognized search engine optimization firm located in Framingham, MA specializing in search engine optimization, SEO consultations, in-house training, site audit reports, search marketing seminars and workshops. High Rankings has a 100% success rate for substantially improving client rankings and targeted traffic.

Jill speaks at national and international conferences and has been writing about SEO and search marketing since 2000. She's been quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post. Her articles have appeared in numerous print magazines and online websites including CIO Magazine, CMS Focus, The Internet Marketing Report, ClickZ, WorkZ, Inc.com, Entrepreneur, Lycos Small Business, WebProNews, SiteProNews and others. Jill has also appeared on many online and offline radio programs such as Entrepreneur Magazine's E-Biz Radio Show, SearchEngineRadio and the eMarketing Talkshow.

Search Engine Guide > Jill Whalen > Home Page, Links, and AdSense