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Search Engine Optimization (cont'd)

2. The <BODY> area

  • Keywords Appearance

    Your keyword should appear at least three times in the visible area of your page. For example, the keyword "search engine optimization" has already appeared three times on this page.

  • Keyword Placement

    Your keyword should appear as close to the beginning of your page as possible, preferably within the first 25 words in the visible text of this page.  Early appearance of the keyword shows that it is relevant to site. Late appearance is also very  important, so try to put it in the last paragraph of the page, too. 

  • ALT Image Attributes

    Search engines don't index images and they don't know what your images mean, so always use ALT attributes for any images on your page.  Use the ALT attribute not only to describe the image, but also to increase your search ranking. This is done by including your keywords in the ALT attributes.  This page, for example, has "search engine optimization" in the <TITLE>, throughout the visible body area, and also in the ALT attribute of the "Web Launch" logo (i.e., <img border="0" src="weblaunch.gif" width="255" height="155" alt="search engine optimization website promotion...etc.>).

3. Linking

  • Internal Linking

    Internal linking helps to maximize the Google PageRank of all pages on your site.  This is why you should cross-link all the important pages on your site.  Notice that the menu bar above appears on all the major pages of this site. This ensures that each major section is linked to all the others.

    Whenever possible, use your keyword as anchor text to link to other pages.  For instance, if your site offers free web tools, the anchor text "Free Web Tools" is more effective than, say, "Kool Web Toolz".  "Kool" and "Toolz" are not actual words in the English dictionary, and few people will search for "kool web toolz" on Google.

  • Cross Link all your Sites

    While you may not always get other sites to link to you, you can increase your incoming links by cross linking your own sites.  Scroll to the bottom of this page and you'll notice the list of links below the copyright notice.  These are some of the sites that I own.  These links are there not only to allow visitors to click on them but also to help to increase their search rankings. 

4. Link Popularity

Many search engines, such as Google, MSN, AltaVista, and Inktomi, factor link popularity heavily into their ranking algorithms. Google, in particular, considers link popularity as the most important factor for search ranking. Consequently, your site may not rank high even if it's perfectly coded for search engine's algorithm.  Nowadays it's an absolute essential to have other sites link to you, not just to rank high in search results, but also to bring visitors to your site through the links themselves.

Link popularity is not so much about quantity as it is about quality.  Having your site listed on 1,000 "free-for-all" link pages probably won't do you as much good as a handful of inbound links from quality relevant sites. Search engines are sophisticated enough to differentiate between relevant, on-topic links from quality sites and those  from free-for-all pages and link farms. 

Ultimately, search engine optimization involves a lot more than altering the HTML code to exploit the SE's ranking algorithm. Optimization is a long, arduous process of publishing a high-quality site with fresh, original content and building good rapport with your visitor and fellow site owners.

Speaking of link popularity, we invite you to exchange links with us. Just go to our Reciprocal Linking page and follow the instructions there.

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