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High Rankings Advisor - Changing Tags, ODP Errors and More - Issue No. 039

January 8, 2003
________________________________________________________

~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~

*Introductory Comments:
---->   Welcome Back

*Search Engine Optimization Q&A:
---->   Will Changing Tags Affect Rankings?

*This Week's Sponsor:
---->   Logo Design Guy

*More Questions and Answers:
---->   ODP Error Message
---->   Submitting Site Too Often
---->   Spiders Not Finding Articles
---->   JavaScript Rollovers
---->   Iframes

*SEO Sound Advice
---->   The Myth of the Meta Keyword Tag
---->   Link Popularity and PageRank

*Stuff You Might Like
---->   Favorite Past Stuff

*Advisor Wrap-up:
---->   Call for Original Guest Articles
________________________________________________________

~~~Introductory Comments~~~

Hey everyone!  Hope you're all back from your vacations and raring to
go.  I've got lots of great search engine optimization questions and
answers for you today.  Hopefully a few of them will answer some
burning SEO questions you may have been dying to ask but never got
around to.  Enjoy! - Jill


~~~Search Engine Optimization Q&A~~~

++Will Changing Tags Affect Rankings?++

From: Tom Samson

Hi Jill,

I've signed up for your newsletter, thanks.

My web site is currently listed on all search engines. Some pages have
high rankings, while others do not. I have been doing a lot of
research and have learned a lot about how to improve my rankings.

My question is: what am I risking by changing Meta tags on existing
pages to try to improve rankings? Can my current rankings and listings
be taken off the engines when I change tags?

Thanks for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Tom Samson

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Tom,

Changing your Meta tags will have little if any effect on your search
engine rankings in any engine.  This is especially true with Google,
as they don't even look at the keyword Meta tag.  (Only Inktomi and
Teoma currently utilize the Meta keyword tag.)  You may be interested
in a recent article about this:
</issue029.htm#seo>.)

Your Title tag *will* have an effect on your rankings, however.  Other
major ranking factors are the visible copy on your pages and the words
in the hyperlinks pointing to your site.  If you are happy with your
rankings, you should try not to change those things very much.  If
you're not happy with your rankings, that's the stuff you'll want to
tweak.

Once you've uploaded any edited pages, the search engine robots may
come around at any time and index the altered pages.  Once they do,
your rankings are subject to change.  It may take a good four to eight
weeks before you notice any differences in your rankings, so don't
even think about it for a couple of months, if possible.  If you're in
a hurry to see your new rankings, you might want to put some pages
into the paid-inclusion programs offered by some of the engines.

Good luck!

Jill

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++ODP Error Message++

From: Vinod

Good Morning Jill,

I was trying to submit my site to ODP in a category that did not have
an editor, but which was relevant to my site.

At the end I got a message saying the following:

"Sorry we could not determine the IP address for this submission. This
may be because your browser or ISP has cached the previous page. Your
submission has been redirected to the misplaced submissions folder. We
apologize for the inconvenience."

I deleted all offline content and cookies and tried submitting again,
but got the same msg.

Plz advise.  Should I submit my site only to those categories that
have editors?

Warm wishes for the New Year.

Vinod

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Vinod,

The word from an ODP Meta Editor at the SES conference in Dallas this
past December was that some submissions are receiving that error
message, but their submissions are still going through okay.

My suggestion would be to wait four weeks and if your site is not
added to the directory by then (which is likely anyway), try
submitting it again.

Jill


++Submitting Site Too Often++

From: Dianne

Is it true that it is considered spam if you submit your URL to the
search engines too often?  If so, how often should a person submit
their site?

Thanks in advance.

Dianne

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Dianne,

It will neither hurt nor help to submit your site to any spidering
search engine.  Their crawling spiders find your site through links
pointing to it, so there's no reason to ever have to submit to them.
Get listed in the major directories and see if you can convince some
other sites to link to yours.  That's the best way for the search
engines to find and add your site to their databases.

Please read my article on submitting to search engines for more info.
It's slightly out of date, but the basics are there:
</sesubmitting.htm>.

Good luck!

Jill


++Spiders Not Finding Articles++

From: Marilyn Adamson

Jill,

I'm really stuck and can't find anything you've written on this. Right
now our site is set up in such a way that spiders and robots are not
finding our articles. They are finding levels one and two below, but
not the third level.

It's set up like this:

www.homepage.com
www.homepage.com/menu/category  (Directory showing articles available
in that section.)
www.homepage.com/feature/article  (Actual article.)

I'm thinking it should be set up like this:

www.homepage.com
www.homepage.com/category
www.homepage.com/category/article

Am I right? Do we need to restructure the links, or is there an easy
way to code the site so the spider knows to jump to our third level?

Marilyn

P.S. My husband told me to send you chocolate just to thank you for
HighRankings.com and your help.

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hey Marilyn,

You should be able to solve your problem very easily by setting up a
sitemap which links to all the pages of your site.  Use keywords in
the hyperlinks within that page, and if possible, put a nice
keyword-rich description next to each link.

Add a visible link from the main page to the sitemap page, and the
search engine spiders will be able to easily find all your pages.

Hope this helps.  Feel free to send that chocolate!  (Dark -- no
nuts!)

Jill


++JavaScript Rollovers++

From: Susan Garriques

Hi Jill,

First, I would like to thank you for your great ezine.  I read it
faithfully.

Can you tell me if the search engine spiders are able to follow nav
bar navigation if those buttons are image buttons with rollovers as
opposed to simple text links?  The nav bars I've been using are
actually run with JavaScript, so if I look at the HTML, I see the
links within the script.

Thanks in advance,

Susan Garriques

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Susan,

Glad you like the newsletter!

The search engines can follow some JavaScript mouseover links, but not
all.  I'd have to see your code to be sure. Usually, if they have the
<a href> tags in them, they can be followed.

There are a couple of additional things you can do to ensure proper
search engine spidering of your site.  One would be to place your menu
links in the <noscript> tag.  This tag is used for older browsers that
can't read certain scripts.  Since search engine spiders are similar
to older browsers, they will follow the links within this tag when
used for this purpose.  The other thing you should do is place some
plain-text links at the bottom of the page directing people to your
most important pages.  This will ensure that the search engines can
find, follow and index them.

Plus, as I mentioned in my answer to the previous question, having a
visible (non-JavaScripted) link to a sitemap couldn't hurt either.

Good luck!

Jill


++Finding the Best Keywords++

From: Dr Hugh G Frostick

Hi,

Have just subscribed, thanks for the welcome. A useful-looking site. I
heard about your website on a developer's forum here in UK.

A question:

I have had a pleasing amount of success with search engine
positioning, but the thing that puzzles me is how to work out the key
phrases the potential visitor is likely to use.  Monitoring the
phrases used in the logs for my clients' sites is of use, but I want
to know the ones that we are missing!

What's the secret?

Best regards,

Hugh

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Hugh,

That's a great question!  Many advocate using log files to determine
what keywords people are using to find a site.  However, the log files
are only as good as the current optimization of your pages.  It's a
bit of a Catch-22.  If your site isn't optimized for certain relevant
keywords, they're certainly not gonna show up in your logs!

Thankfully, a few years ago the Mindel brothers came up with a program
called WordTracker.  Before WordTracker, we basically had to guess
what people *might* be searching for that was related to our sites.
With WordTracker, we can be much more accurate.  Their huge database
of keywords is fed information from metacrawler.com and dogpile.com,
which give a fairly accurate representation of the words people use to
search.  (As an aside, one of my claims to fame is that I was
WordTracker's very first customer!)

There are similar programs out there, but most of them get their data
from search engines that receive a lot of automated queries, i.e.,
people checking their ranking positions with products such as
WebPostion Gold.  This makes the other programs' results much less
accurate.  These days, WordTracker has become the industry standard
and should be an essential part of any professional search engine
optimization campaign.

You can check it out and purchase a subscription via my affiliate link
here: </wordtracker>.

Have fun! I know you're going to love it.

Jill


++Iframes++

From: Michael Nezi

Hi Jill:

Do you know if search engines (Google especially) can read iframes? I
have a site that has the bulk of its text on the home page in an
iframe.

Thanks,

Michael

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Michael,

My research shows that the search engines are not reading or following
the information contained in iframes.

For more info regarding iframes, see the W3C specifications here:
<http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/present/frames.html#h-16.5>.

If you can't redesign the site to remove the iframes, you can use the
"longdesc" attribute of the <iframe> tag to place a description of the
information you want indexed.  Browsers that don't support iframes
should be able to read and index the information contained within that
attribute.

Jill


~~~SEO Sound Advice~~~

Here are my latest "Sound Advice" search engine optimization audio
tips:

The Myth of the Meta Keyword Tag
<http://www.whatsworking.biz/gfx/audio/sa-se08.asx?HRA>

Link Popularity and PageRank
<http://www.whatsworking.biz/gfx/audio/sa-se09.asx?HRA>


~~~Stuff You Might Like~~~

++Favorite Past Stuff++

Below are links to the reviews of some of my favorite Internet
marketing ebooks and special reports.

"21 Techniques to Maximize your Profits on Google AdWords Select" by
Andrew Goodman - recently updated special report with everything you'd
ever want to know about Google AdWords.  Read my review here:
</issue006.htm#seonews2>.

"Step-By-Step(tm) Copywriting Course" by Karon Thackston - a
full-blown copywriting course in ebook format.  Read my review here:
</issue009.htm#stuff>.

"Search Engine Optimization" Report by Mike Grehan  - solid facts on
how search engines actually work.  Read my review here:
</issue018.htm#stuff>.

"Search Engine Optimization Fast Start" by Dan Thies - an SEO ebook
for very busy people.  Read my interview with Dan here:
</issue014.htm#stuff>

"Words That Work" reports for copywriters and wannabe copywriters to
get into the minds of their target audience.  Read my review here:
</issue033.htm#stuff>.


~~~Advisor Wrap-up~~~

That about wraps up another one!  This was an easy one for me because
all of the above questions and answers were taken from my normal
everyday email exchanges with subscribers.

I'm on the lookout for some original guest articles to appear in
future newsletters.  If you have an idea for an article you'd like to
write for me, please let me know.  I'm not looking for something
that's been published elsewhere, so please don't send me your old
stuff.  If I run yours, you're certainly welcome to publish it on your
own afterwards, but I want first dibs!  Dontcha hate those newsletters
that are full of recycled stuff you've seen a million times before?
So hit me with your ideas and we'll run from there.  I'm especially
interested in articles on pay-per-click advertising, since that's not
something I specialize in.  Plus articles that are of a technical
nature, such as how to redirect old domains to new domains, setting up
.htaccess files, and all that kinda fun stuff!

Catch you next time! - Jill

 
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