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Search Engine Optimization


SEO means doing everything you can to assure that your web pages appear as high as possible in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)

Many very smart people spend countless hours and millions of dollars struggling to make their websites show up at the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), the web pages you see after you type in a search term and click Search.

Why? Because very few people look beyond the first few pages of SERPs. If your site doesn't show up in, say, the top ten pages, searchers are unlikely to find it.

There's no quick, easy way to get your pages to the top of the SERPs. How could there be? If there were a way, everyone would use it and there would be no bottom.

Makes me think of Lake Wobegon, where "all the children are above average."

A few simple, easy tricks can improve your pages' rank substantially, however. Here they are:

1. Don't spend money on companies or programs that "guarantee" to get your pages into the top ten SERPs. I don't think they're worth the money, and in some cases they do things that alienate the search engines, eventually causing your rank in the SERPs to drop. Do it yourself!

2. Write Optimized Hypertext™! By dedicating each page to a discrete topic, you automatically raise the page's possible ranking in the SERPs, because search engines look for pages with a sharp focus on a single concept—the concept being searched for.

3. Use metatags wisely. Metatags are words hidden in the HTNL code header of each web page, including "keywords," "description," etc. Don't lard the "keywords" metatag with every possible search term. Rather, put up to 10 but no more than 12 keywords, words that are central to the concept on the page and that appear in the text on the page, preferably near its beginning and end. Put a concise, accurate description of the page's content in the "description" metatag.

4. Write an accurate "doctitle"(the HTML title of the page file) for your page, and include the most important keyword(s).

5. Don't change the filename or directory location of a page if you can avoid it. Keep them easy to find for both the search engines and other websites that may have linked to them. Plan your information design carefully so that moving pages may be minimized as your site develops over time.

6. Work hard at getting other high-quality websites in the same subject area to link to yours. This is particularly important to Google, the 500-pound gorilla of search engines.


About Search Engines

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What Makes a Good Web Page?

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Tom Brosnahan