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Search Engine placement favors active web sites

Jim Hague, May, 2010

Pretty much you can kiss the concept of Meta tags (or keywords) good-bye. As it turns out, the days are done for encoding Meta tags into the source code of your site. Google’ simply does not place value on them anymore.

Now that’s not to say that placing keywords in other parts of the source code is not important. Keywords should appear in at least three percent of the total content of your Web site. In addition, I encourage the use of keywords to name your Web page and image files. For instance, instead of using the generic aboutus.html or services.html, name your files to denote your company name or specific service.

So let’s take a guy named Joe, who owns a crab shack in Newport Beach. I would suggest to Joe that he use joes-crab-shack.html instead of aboutus.html, or fine-sea-food-dining-in-Newport.html instead of services.html. For images, instead of pic01.jpg be more specific and use files names such as crab-cake-with-fries.jpg.

These tactics will help you climb the search engine ranking, but be mindful of your nearby competition. Knowing Newport Beach, there are other seafood places there that are very good and equally priced. They also may be using the same keywords Joe may be using for his Web site, as well as following the same tactics mentioned above.

So what may help Joe overcome his competitors when it comes to search engine rankings? Simply maintain a lively site that is always changing content!

Here is how to achieve that and have fun at the same time.

Blogging

Blogging is considered to be a Web site’s best friend. Why? Because it is the easiest way to keep content flowing, which is heavily favored by the search engines. You don’t need a Web master to write for you. It’s as simple as logging in, entering the content, saving it, and your content is updated.

The popular software used for blogging is WordPress, and others include Blogger, TypePad, Blogware, and Expression Engine. I highly suggest making sure that whatever software you use for blogging, that it is installed in your Web server and under your domain name. So you should see http://www.your-website.com/blogs/ or http://blogs.your-website.com/. Having a site outside of your domain name is okay except that the search engines will give credit for the number of visits to blogging domain and not to your own, which will not help you with the search engine rankings.

You can find my blog at http://blog.webtipstv.com for all the info on improving your Internet strategy.

RSS Feeds

Okay, so you may not want to blog because you are simply too busy or just may not want to. If that is the case, then I suggest finding a way so that other people’s articles can magically appear on your Web site.

This is the magic of RSS feeds, which automatically updates news and articles about a topic. A great source is Yahoo News Groups. Just log in to http://news.yahoo.com/page/rss and you will find an entire library of events and news sources.

The trick is to have the news feeds appear on your Web site. That requires special coding. Your Webmaster should be able to help you there.

Video

Remember the song, “Video killed the Radio Star.” That was the first song ever played when MTV launched. Now it’s ‘Video Killed the plain boring Web sites.’

Adding video to your Web site, especially if the same video is uploaded to YouTube, will certainly help your search rankings. Of course, the video has to be fun and entertaining.

Create a bunch of videos. Not just one. A lively site is a site the search engines are looking for. Give a reason for your audience to keep coming back.

Jim Hague welcomes questions and may be emailed at jimh@crystaldi.com.

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