++Optimizing Individual Product Pages++

From: Clarence Seneca

I subscribed to your newsletter a couple of months ago and I must say you've got me hooked! I keep all of your newsletters and try to catch up when time allows.

I have a few questions about optimizing my site. I recently adjusted the title of my index page. After the change it temporarily jumped from 127 to 37 in Yahoo under my main keyword phrase. I checked again later and the ranking returned to around 124, with the title having the original wording. Will the spiders eventually re-read it and change the ranking again (hopefully higher)?

Here's the next question. Each one of the brands is on its own individual page. Does that mean I could optimize them each somehow and get them in the search engines also?

One last thing please. I'm also just beginning to research the subject of copywriting, and I'm considering a total rewrite of the index page after I'm confident I've learned enough to do it right. Is it a bad idea to tweak pages a little at a time, like changing phrases here and there, as opposed to doing a final draft and changing everything at once? I get the impression that it is, but I can't figure out why. Sure hope I make sense, and thanks for everything.



++Jill's Response++

Hi Clarence,

Glad you like the newsletter!

From your Yahoo! results, it sounds like you're actually talking about the Google results that are within Yahoo! (i.e., Yahoo! Web Pages as opposed to Yahoo! Web Sites). If you see the Google logo at the top of the results page, you're actually viewing Google results.

If you were talking about actual Yahoo! Directory results, your description/title would not change when you alter your site's code.

Therefore, the changes you're seeing are normal, because Google often gets the information from your new page, but then reverts back to the old page for awhile. It's nothing to worry about, as they will eventually pick up your new information within a few weeks to a month. You simply have to have a little patience and wait it out. The good news is that you already have seen a preview of how it will rank once they have it in the database for good!

Regarding your individual product pages, you absolutely can and should optimize them according to the brands they're selling! Remember, your main page can only do so much if you're selling a variety of products, services or brands. For these kinds of sites it's imperative to make sure all your inner product pages are search engine friendly, i.e., the spiders can find and index them, and that they make use of keyword-rich copy, titles, metas, and other optimizable HTML code.

You don't have to worry about submitting them individually to the search engines, but you do need to make sure their links are easily spidered. A good rule of thumb is to provide a sitemap which links to all of the optimized pages, and have a link to this sitemap page right on the main page of your site (and every other page too, if possible).

As to your copywriting question, it really won't matter if you tweak your copy a little bit at a time, or do it all at once. The only thing to keep in mind is that you never quite know when the search engine spiders may come a-crawlin'. Therefore, they may find your copy in various states of readiness. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but unless you're paying for frequent page spidering, it could take a month or more for your latest revisions to show up in the search engines' databases.

Good luck!



++My DMOZ Listing is Showing Up in Google++

From: Roger Clark


Thanks for your wonderful newsletters - they have offered me many wonderful suggestions and hints that have helped me receive better positioning. Recently I have seen my listings improve notably, but I have an interesting situation that I don't know how to approach.

Several months ago I was crawled by Google and watched my listing fluctuate substantially from being #10 to disappearing altogether, and other positions in between.

But in the past week I have noticed that I am now #4 in one of my key phrases, but the actual listing is the path to the page in DMOZ's directory which has my site listed alphabetically. I believe that I have just recently been included in DMOZ, which is great - I have been waiting so patiently for this event - but being listed in this manner is very confusing to those using this search term. Interestingly, when I search using [a different keyword phrase] in Google, I come up #1 with the listing nicely posting the name of the business and a direct link to my home page.

What can I do to change my main search phrase results from showing a path to DMOZ, to one that directly states my business name and shows a direct link to my home page?

Thanks, Jill!

Roger Clark


++Jill's Response++

Hi Roger,

It's not your site that is ranking number four for that keyword phrase, but the actual DMOZ results page that has the number four ranking. You have no control over that.

What's happening is that your page must not be as optimized as it could be for your main keyword phrase (which I'm guessing is also more competitive). All you can do is be sure to optimize your site better for the more competitive phrase and hopefully it will get back to the top 10 on Google at some point. Also, be sure to obtain some outside links that use the main keyword phrase in the hyperlink. This can help big time!

Don't forget, you have lots of pages of your site that you can "play" with. You can optimize different pages for different phrases; it doesn't always have to be the main page that brings you high rankings for your different phrases. Choose a very specific inner page, and optimize accordingly!

Hope this helps!



++Indexing a Framed Site++

From: Eddy Baker

Hi Jill,

Thanks for your great newsletter and all the useful information you provide on your web site.

I hope you can provide some insight into a problem I have. It might even qualify for inclusion in your newsletter. :-)

My problem is that Google seems to only be indexing the first layer deep on my frameset structured web site, i.e., for a classic 3-frame frameset, Google is only indexing the contents menu, banner, and introduction pages.

I make good use of the <noframes> tag by including text links to all other main pages and a decent amount of body text derived from general site content with a bunch of the keywords to boot. All pages in the sites have reasonably appropriate Title, Description and Keywords, etc.

I like framesets because they make administration and maintenance so much easier but must wonder if they are restricting my SEO efforts.

Is there something I have missed, am I too impatient or is a touch of paranoia starting to show? Any advice greatly appreciated.

Keep up the good work.


Eddy Baker


++Jill's Response++

Hi Eddy,

It's really hard to say for sure why Google isn't indexing your inner pages. It's possible that they do not trust the noframes content as much as they used to, because of how easy it is to abuse it.

Perhaps the long list of keywords in your noframes tag (where they don't belong), is to blame?

Here's what I found when viewing your source code:

Webstart Design webstart design web site website web page site web home page web design web design company web designer web page builder web site builder web site designer web site maintenance web site updates page designer developer develop creator builder create shopping cart shopping cart australian sydney australia nsw mortdale hurstville saint st george area eddy baker world wide web www asp vbs javascript frontpage dreamweaver photoshop webcentral flash html dhtml e-commerce ecommerce shopping purchase sell selling online on line on-line shopping cart catalogue commerce database data secure software internet based shop ecommerce web store electronic commerce ecommerce web development web publishing web site design web page design webpage design website design website publishing web site publishing home page design web designer home page design internet b2b consultant professional strategy strategies maintenance custom search engine search index list listing search prepare preparation optimise optimisation keyword key word meta tag planning plan hosting host services service code coding portfolio example domain name url registering availability retail retailing retailer business commerce corperate enterprise small business with need for in make how want a find locate to me us i help assistance new south wales qld queensland vic victoria tas tasmania sa south australia wa western australia nt northern territory act australian capital territory north south east west brisbane melbourne hobart adelaide perth darwin canberra parramatta city suburb suburban Sydney Australia

The search engines just don't take kindly to that sort of thing, and I wouldn't be surprised if they penalized you for it. Can't really be sure, but since those words aren't actually being used in your visible text, that's probably your culprit.

Good luck with it!



++Using Mini-sites for High Rankings++

From: Michael Sopa

Hi Jill,

Lately I've been hearing some Internet gurus discuss "mini-sites" and how they're the best things since sliced bread for getting high rankings.

What exactly are mini-sites and do you recommend them as a viable SEO technique?




++Jill's Response++

Hi Michael,

Good question! Mini-sites are really nothing other than another name for doorway sites, doorway domains, gateway sites, and all those other names that they've been called over the years. Like doorway pages (or "zebra pages" if you prefer), "mini-site" is just a new name for an old trick.

The main difference is that the affiliate program crowd, as opposed to the SEO crowd, is promoting mini-sites. Apparently, some affiliate gurus are heavily pushing the use of multiple sites to sell one product or ebook (usually one they have an affiliate link to).

Does it work? Apparently so! Many people are making big bucks using the mini-site method. Will it work for the long term? That's doubtful.

The creation of additional sites for the sole purpose of getting other sites ranked highly in the search engines has become a huge problem for the engines. All these mini-sites are clogging up their results, and they are definitely working on ways to combat it. In fact, my friend Mike Grehan, whom you might remember from a review I wrote on his book, had an article published in FantomNews this week where he touched upon the subject of "nepotistic linkage." (Dontcha love that phrase?)

Just as the search engines have gotten much better at detecting mirror sites and duplicate content, they are getting better at detecting sites that are put up simply to direct traffic to other sites. As Mike recently told me, it's not really very difficult to detect these sites. After all, they may all be linked together and have great links pointing to the main domain, but who is going to link to the mini-sites? Hmmm...good question.

Can you say PR0? (PageRank Zero)

August 23, 2002

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.

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