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Stephen Oachs by Stephen Oachs
The mystery surrounding Web marketing
is enough to make any Internet euntrepanuer throw in the towel. Articles are published everyday with magical claims and guaranteed success tips to push your search engine listing to the top of the heap. Tricks like Dublin Core, Invisible text, phantom pixels and the list goes on and on. With spammers on the rise, and search engines taking a firm stance against the practice, you may find yourself in the Internet alley with no listing at all.

As with anything in life, shortcuts will often land you poor results. Claims of high relevancy scores using these digital enhances are vapid at best. True indexing results come from doing you homework and having a general understanding of the information sought by indexing robots. Below is an outline of general indexing practices that works as a template to prepare your site for indexing to the top 7 engines. (Studies have shown that 95% of search traffic flows through the top 7 search engines/directories: Yahoo, Alta Vista, Excite, Lycos, HotBot, Webcrawler, Infoseek)

Indexing principles
TITLE tags, META tags and Visible text

These three elements make up all the primary information a search engine will ask of you. It is very important to follow strict guidelines in each of these elements to ensure you maximize your relevancy scores but avoid the perils of spamming.

Title tags are paramount since almost every search engine calls upon them for information of one type or another. The end users web browser also looks at Title tags for book-marking information so it is crucial to include this tag in your HTML documents. The Title tag must contain your business name and if you can include a couple primary key words related to your site all the better.

Meta tag relevancy has long been a debatable issue. Meta data, born from Dublin Core, has many useful supporting elements when it comes to indexing a web site. Using two primary Meta attributes, keywords and description, will do no harm if a non-Meta spider indexes your page, and will do wonders for you site if present when Meta based spiders crawl your pages.

Content is king. A statement that rings true especially when your site is indexed by search engines that place value on the visible text it encounters. It is equally important that your site content be as descriptive and informative as your Title and Meta information. Your site should provide the same information through out each of these areas in order to establish the best possible relevancy score with every search engine or directory you choose to index with.

Start counting your characters
There are no two search engines that function in the same manner and as a result each has its own requirements for information and how much it will tolerate. Below are guidelines to follow that will allow your data to conform best to the top 7 listing services.
  • Title tags should not exceed 40 characters
  • Meta keywords should not exceed 1000 characters
  • Meta descriptions should not exceed 200 characters
  • The first 25 words of page content are the most crucial for indexing relevancy

    If you stay within these guidelines and you are creative with the content you will see results. These fundamentals can not be argued and they have not changed. Dont endanger the future of your on-line business by using sly tricks that can and will eventually land you without a directory listing at all.

Content is king
Content is two fold, text and presentation. If you create traffic flow to your site, your next challenge is to keep them interested in what you have to offer. The next paragraph is food for thought when creating your site.

The goal is to provide the client with a site that is viewable by the largest possible audience knowing of course that the variables for viewing the site are vast. Internet Technology is providing the end user with a site that produces the desired results. More visitors equal a higher likelihood of success. Internet Technology is really the antithesis of the stereotype. The stereotype being that Internet technology is all about providing features and functionality that we take for granted in software multi-media products. The real challenge is not how appealing we can make the site, but how appealing can we make the site for everyone who chooses to visit.

Article by Stephen Oachs, of Insights International . If you have any questions about this article or would like more information on website design, e-commerce, or promoting your website drop him a line at (888) 465-9957 or send an email. Stephen will be happy to answer any and all of your questions.

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