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Question About Text Copy
Posted 14 September 2005 - 03:04 PM
That being said, my design cannot afford the space for 200-250 words in a single body of text. I want a simple "bottom line" paragraph at the top describing the purpose of the site, and HOW to use it. This makes sense simply for the purposes of helping visitors use the site. However I will also make this body of text my keyword center, but I can only afford about 100 words.
There will be LARGE bodies of text on the right side of the page (search engines I think read left to right via tables. So a left hand table will be scanned from top to bottom before the right hand table will. Therefore, this main body of text (which is news and updates and will more than likely NOT be properly keyworded) will be disjointedly seperated from the introductory body of text.
Will this confuse a search engine's text copy totaling algorithm? In otherwords, will it treat the first body of 100 words as the keyword body, ignore it because it's only 100 words with a keyword density that's a bit too high (probably around 15-20%), and then just scan the news body of text which ISNT optimized with the keywords we want instead? Or will it just consider the first body of text part of the 2nd body and then average out the keyword density accoringly?
Posted 14 September 2005 - 03:27 PM
Posted 14 September 2005 - 03:33 PM
If you've been reading Jill's teachings, you know it's more important to do what makes sense for your users and then tweak in keyword phrases where it makes sense, not stuff them in the places you think are most important for search engines, right?
I'm pretty sure everything Jill's ever written says to ignore keyword density...
Posted 14 September 2005 - 03:37 PM
Thanks for the advice guys
(Nice, you guyes have a banana. Any forum that has a banana gets an A in my book )
Posted 14 September 2005 - 04:47 PM
You can create bands of tabled content by stacking tables, rather than putting everything into one table.
Treat each "row" as a table. That way, you can more closely associate text with the images (will you be using ALT= text to provide descriptive text with the images too?).
I agree that doing what is best for your visitors is primary, but you may find (as I have) that stacking tables keeps things neater and tighter than nesting them (ick).
It also helps the search engines figure out what is really associated with what (although they do seem to be developing the ability to analyze "virtual" pages by assigning content to zones -- but this seems like an advanced concept you cannot count on yet).
Posted 14 September 2005 - 05:17 PM
1. It's fine to use 100 words. There's no hard and fast rule about 250 words. I pulled that number out of my head once as a recommendation about 5 or 6 years ago, and everyone thinks that's some magic number of words. It's not.
2. Your far right table of stuff is ALL still spiderable, and will definitely be given weight by the engines. It doesn't matter what's first, middle or last on your page or in your code. It's all good stuff for your users and the search engines. You'll want to make sure that all your page content is focused on relevant phrases that matter to you.
I don't know exactly what "stacking tables" is, as Michael has mentioned above, but as far as I'm concerned, there's no reason to stack anything. Just code your pages for your users so that a spider can also access all the info, and you'll be fine. No stacking necessary.
You may wish to read some of the Karon's copywriting articles when you get a chance, also!
Posted 14 September 2005 - 07:31 PM
It's only useful (in my experience) when you have a tendency or desire to nest tables (I cannot think of how to illustrate the complexity of nestng tables without drawing lots of pictures).
Table 1 might consist of 1 row and 1 column. It might consist of 1 row and a few columns. I use the top table for mastheads.
Table 2 might consist of 1 row and 2-3 columns. I usually go with 2 columns. I generally put main body text and some navigational text in there.
Table 3 might consist of 1 row and 1 column. I usually go with that for page footers (copyright notices, banner exchange code, maybe a few links to standard stuff).
Now, I realize technical benefits from doing this that other people (especially people who don't code by hand) won't be able to capitalize on. If you use FrontPage or a complex template design, forget it.
But I went to this format to reduce the amount of table code I was using on my pages. It streamlined the process considerably.
Some sections of Xenite, like custom news archives and essay archives, require that I change hundreds of pages whenever I do a site redesign. The less table code I have embedded in the HTML, the less complex an automated update program needs to be. That's an example of a technical benefit most people won't realize.
As far as how text is associated with portions of a page by search engines, before the "virtual zone model" (that is my name for it -- I forget the correct technical term) was developed/announced a year or so ago, you pretty much HAD to use stacked tables to ensure that text was closely associated with other things (remember that proximity between keywords is still important to some queries).
In general, I only recommend this design approach for the sake of getting rid of nested tables. They are, in my opinion, ugly and unnecesarily difficult to manage. Many designers, of course, use DIVs and Layers (because, as they quite rightly point out, tables were not intended for page layout). However, I find that stacked tables reduce the amount of style code I need to create my pages.
Your mileage may vary, but I prefer to use as little HTML code as possible. That is just because I don't like writing HTML code, but I like having the control that doing things by hand gives me.
Posted 14 September 2005 - 10:52 PM
Im always concerned that multiple php modules or isolated bodies of text/links are not well recieved with search engines. Well, google at least. Currently our site has made it to #1 on Yahoo and MSN for a very large majority of the keywords we want people to find us by.
Google has sandbagged us however, and we're ranking between 200 and 300 for our target keywords Despite nearly 350,000 listings and solid link popularity, our google ranking is abysmal.
I attribute this to a lack of solid content and coherent bodies of keyworded text on our actual site pages. Most of it is in our forums (and forums are not the best thing for search engines). This site revision will be changing that, and most of our content will be accessible AND viewable from our index pages (currently the forum content is only accessible on them, not viewable by spiders/users). To be quite honest, our current pages are simply link spam to our forum content, with poorly keyworded bodies of text in the news sections
Edited by AgmLauncher, 14 September 2005 - 10:59 PM.
Posted 14 September 2005 - 11:05 PM
It's not the nested tables that's causing it, you can rest assured of that.
Posted 15 September 2005 - 06:20 AM
Don't worry one bit about php includes or any other type of server side inclued re: the search engines. They never see them. They can't even tell that they're there in fact.
They're parsed prior to delivery of your page(s), so look just like plain old html to the engines.
Posted 15 September 2005 - 11:04 AM
I think you've answered your question.
Posted 16 September 2005 - 09:27 AM
Who said it all had to be in one place? Who said it had to be 200-250 words?
Use what's right for your visitors. Split the copy up. Put 100 words at the top then 50 words in the right-hand table and 50 words someplace else, etc., etc. As long as the copy is there, the engines will find it regardless of where on the page it falls.
<By the way, it's either "text" or "copy." You don't need to say both )
Posted 16 September 2005 - 01:07 PM
That said, in my opinion, the site has tremendous internal linkage but no significant external linkage. I just don't see any quality inbound links, as compared to the competitive sites.
I have suggested one way of expanding the internal linkage to include static, hand-written content that should help matters somewhat. But what I did not suggest privately, and what I will now suggest publicly, is that you get some major inbound links to match those of your competitors. That includes (I hate to say it) DMOZ and/or Yahoo! and/or Zeal and/or JoeAnt and/or GoGuides.
I would say any two of those listings would help you. You seem to have none now.
I would also recommend you get some writeups on gaming feature article sites.
I feel that, if my forums were to expand into your area (not likely to happen in the next three years if at all), I could probably zip to the top of the listings. But I have a pretty good foundation in place with my own network of sites. You don't have that kind of ground-level base to work with. So you'll need to work a little harder, but I believe you have the content and the community to become a competitor for your targeted search expression.
You may need to make occasional adjustments to your strategy as you move along, but eventually you should develop enough inbound links that your rankings will stabilize somewhere in the top ten (or twenty, but I believe your site has a reasonable chance of getting into the top ten).
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