HTML Writers Guild Guild Operations Newsletters Tips Jan00b

HWG-News Tips Late January 2000

Search Engine Placement Tips

HWG-News features member-submitted "tips" in each issue, in the space between articles and announcements. These were the tips submitted for the 24 January 2000 newsletter, for the category 'Search Engine Placement'.

This issue's winner!

The best way to get high rankings in Search Engines (SE's) is to coordinate your META tags with your TITLE tag and the first 200 words of *visible* text on the page. After making your list of keywords, arrange them from most important to least important for insertion into your META keywords tag. Then heavily pepper your META description tag, TITLE tag, and your visible text with them. Most SE's use an algorithm that compares these 4 elements for relevancy.

-- Submitted by Anne McKay <>

Other Search Engine Placement Tips

Make sure each of your pages has a <title> tag that provides a concise, helpful description of the page's contents. Most search engines display the text of your <title> tag as the "headline" for your entry in the search results list. Most spiders also extract search keywords from your <title> tag, so your page will be more likely to reach its intended audience if it contains words that your audience is likely to use when searching for the information on your page.

-- Submitted by Tom Maki <>

Practice Link Trading: Link your web site to lots of relevant sites and ask them to link to yours. When your web site has many other web sites linking to it, it will gain higher positions in the search results of several top search engines: AltaVista, Excite, Google, Infoseek, Inktomi, Northern Light and HotBot.

-- Submitted by Linda Titus <>

Be careful with FRAMES place your Meta Tags with some basic text inside the <noframe> tag; put Meta Tags on ALL sub-pages mix them up on each page so they appear different to the engine; In your META name="keywords" use up to 1,000 characters, including spaces and commas"; use your most important keyword, for that specific page, in <title> tag on each page; Manually submit your URL(s) to each engine verify it was received.

-- Submitted by Glenn Dalgarno <>

Be sure to tell prospective clients that they have a responsibility to get traffic to their site. They need to do their part with:

  1. getting the word out that the site exists to their target audience, using whatever marketing efforts are currently in place, and
  2. make that targeted consumer aware of WHY they need to go there, highlighting a feature on the site of importance to them, (ie., a homeowner should be aware that the Realtor sending him that newsletter has a web site where he can "FIND OUT WHAT MY HOME IS WORTH".

This will not only get the client better results from YOUR work, but puts some of the responsibility for the sites success in his lap. Make the client aware that major internet based corporations spend up to 85% of their advertising OFF the internet to get people to go to the site.

-- Submitted by John King, <>

Alt tags are a good idea. And while you are at it, put in one or two of your most important keywords. Some of the SE's count them in determining your placement.

-- Submitted by Elan Chalford <>

For surfers with graphics turned off, you want both a background color and a background image. But if fonts have the same hex value, some search engines (HotBot is one) will penalize for spamming their index with hidden keywords, even with a different colored background image. Example: if your background color is white and you use white letters in a navy table, or on a navy background image, you may trigger spam penalties that will reduce your page rankings.

-- Submitted by Aurora WebMasters <>

"Popularity" (the number of links going to your site) can give you a better ranking. Search for pages with same subject of your site and suggest to exchange a link. When the link to your site is in place sumbit the URL of that page to search engines.

-- Submitted by Marco Bernardini <>

Since I started using Web Position to register my web pages I have learned a tremendous amount about how search engines work and this has improved my business incredibly. Within the first week, I received an increase of 300% internet traffic.

-- Submitted by Healingplanet <>

Search engine ranking is a very delicate area, and strict rules need to be followed to assure good placement. Doorway pages can get you to the top. For more information see our article on exactly how it is done at:

-- Submitted by Maria Moloney, Executive Editor, TheMillennia Web Magazine <>

Other Tips Submitted

Sometimes we get tips that don't directly relate to the topic at hand, but they may be useful anyway. Rather than discard them, we've chosen to list them here: shows a navbar that transforms gracefully across media. Under CSS it is presented as a left-hand navbar, black on green, as per client's instructions. With no CSS it presents as a nav line across the top. Not a table in site, and anyone who cared about presentation enough to get a modern browser gets the nice view. And it doesn't depend on screen size. (Check the source, of course)

-- Submitted by Charles McCathieNevile <>

This is more of a request than a tip, actually. I suffer from carpal tunnel and nothing annoys people like me more than a site that has the following:

  1. numerous scroll bars than require a user to hold down the mouse and drag (very painful).
  2. vague links, i.e., a link that doesn't adequately describe the target content so that the user has to click on each one to find out if it is relevant to his/her needs (unnecessary mouse clicking is to be avoided!)
  3. any navigation (on the current screen) that can't be completed with tab and arrow keys (in lieu of mouse clicks)

Carpal tunnel makes working at a computer hard enough, and it seems every job has a computer these days. Web designers need to be keenly aware of how much they are asking the user to click. Many times unnecessary mousing can be avoided by judicious use of other keys (alt, tab, arrow keys) or other methods of content organization onscreen that would decrease mouse use.

-- Submitted by Nancy Cottom <>

If you place files on your website for download, let the user know how big the file is before they start the download process. It can affect their decision as to whether to download now or later.

-- Submitted by Gail Hasselberg <>

I am new to this list so this site might have already been submitted. It is a site that checks sites for their accessibility to users with disabilities.

-- Submitted by Sharon Martin <>

More HWG Resources on Search Engine Placement

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