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Search Engine Optimization Primer

Question
Hi there, I have problem with search engine listing to yahoo, dmoz and others. Google only shows the main page and when i sarch for product keyword, it didn't show up. Can you guys advice me on this? I'm totally lost on this...thanks

Answer
Search engine optimization is actually a pretty complicated subject that can't be answered in a ticket :-). However, I will try my best to give you a primer on this.

Search engines generally consider 2 things when ranking your website.

1) On-site criteria - This includes your page title, meta tags (sometimes), headers and body text. The key idea is to choose the keywords that are relevant to each individual page (eg. each product page) and ensure that your most important keyword/phrase appears in the page title, header and in the body text. It might help to include your keywords in the keyword meta tag but most search engines are disregarding the keyword meta tag. However, it can't harm you to include your keywords as long as you do NOT repeat it excessively.

2) Off-site criteria - Most search engines nowadays will rank your site according to how "popular" your site is among other related and reputable sites. What that means is that you gain brownie points if you have a link from a reputable and related site. It would be best to get a text link compared to an image link. Also, try to get the other site to use your most important keyword/phrase as the linking text.

Knowing this, a good action plan would be as below:

1) Brainstorm the most important keywords that are related to your products. You can use free tools like Good Keywords (http://www.goodkeywords.com) and WordTracker's free trial (http://www.wordtracker.com) to help you find out the popular keywords appropriate for you.

2) Make sure that you include the most popular keyword/phrase in the title, header and body text of your pages. Do NOT repeat keywords mindlessly. Gone are the days where repeating a keyword multiple times will get you a good ranking on the search engines. Nowadays, you are more likely to get banned from the search engines if you do that. Instead, craft your keywords into your title, headers and product description.

3) Get links from popular directories such as Open Directory (http://www.dmoz.org). Please submit your site ONLY ONCE to the most appropriate section of the Open Directory. DO NOT repeatedly submit your site since everytime you submit your site, it goes to the bottom of the queue. The volunteer editor of the category will review your site (in time!) and may choose to reject or list your site. This process could take weeks and sometimes months! Be patient.

4) Get listed in directories related to your industry. There is normally a large number of niche directories related to your industry. Try to get listed in those directories. Search engines like Google will only index your site if they can find links to your site from sites that they already index.

5) Install the Google Toolbar (http://toolbar.google.com) and visit related but non-competing sites. Exchange links with sites that have a high Google PageRank (> 4).

All these should start you off pretty well. If you would like more in-depth articles on search engine optimization, you can visit the sites listed below.

- http://www.searchenginewatch.com
- http://www.bruceclay.com
- http://www.searchenginenews.com (subscription-based)

Category : Miscellaneous
Author : charlestang (Charles Tang)
Date : --

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