Definitive guide to SEO here

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The below text will serve as a good guide to anyone wanting to achieve good
search ranking at google.
Obviously, not all of it applies to every site but in general it is the
single most useful thing I've read about seo. enjoy.

The following will build a successful site in 1 years time via Google alone.
It can be done faster if you are a real go getter, or everyones favorite a
self starter.

A) Prep work and begin building content. Long before the domain name is
settled on, start putting together notes to build at least a 100 page site.
That's just for openers. That's 100 pages of real content, as opposed to
link pages, resource pages, about/copyright/tos...etc eg: fluff pages.

B) Domain name:
Easily brandable. You want "" and not "". Keyword
domains are out - branding and name recognition are in - big time in. The
value of keywords in a domain name have never been less to se's. Learn the
lesson of "" becomes "" and why they did it. It's one of
the most powerful gut check calls I've ever seen on the internet. That took
serious resolve and nerve to blow away several years of branding. (that is a
whole 'nother article, but learn the lesson as it applies to all of us).

C) Site Design:
The simpler the better. Rule of thumb: text content should out weight the
html content. The pages should validate and be usable in everything from
Lynx to leading edge browsers. eg: keep it close to html 3.2 if you can.
Spiders are not to the point they really like eating html 4.0 and the mess
that it can bring. Stay away from heavy: flash, dom, java, java script. Go
external with scripting languages if you must have them - there is little
reason to have them that I can see - they will rarely help a site and stand
to hurt it greatly due to many factors most people don't appreciate (search
engines distaste for js is just one of them).
Arrange the site in a logical manner with directory names hitting the top
keywords you wish to hit.
You can also go the other route and just throw everything in root (this is
rather controversial, but it's been producing good long term results across
many engines).
Don't clutter and don't spam your site with frivolous links like "best
viewed" or other counter like junk. Keep it clean and professional to the
best of your ability.

Learn the lesson of Google itself - simple is retro cool - simple is what
surfers want.

Speed isn't everything, it's almost the only thing. Your site should respond
almost instantly to a request. If you get into even 3-4 seconds delay until
"something happens" in the browser, you are in long term trouble. That 3-4
seconds response time may vary for site destined to live in other countries
than your native one. The site should respond locally within 3-4 seconds
(max) to any request. Longer than that, and you'll lose 10% of your audience
for every second. That 10% could be the difference between success and not.

The pages:

D) Page Size:
The smaller the better. Keep it under 15k if you can. The smaller the
better. Keep it under 12k if you can. The smaller the better. Keep it under
10k if you can - I trust you are getting the idea here. Over 5k and under
10k. Ya - that bites - it's tough to do, but it works. It works for search
engines, and it works for surfers. Remember, 80% of your surfers will be at
56k or even less.

E) Content:
Build one page of content and put online per day at 200-500 words. If you
aren't sure what you need for content, start with the Overture keyword
suggester and find the core set of keywords for your topic area. Those are
your subject starters.

F) Density, position, yada...
Simple old fashioned seo from the ground up.
Use the keyword once in title, once in description tag, once in a heading,
once in the url, once in bold, once in italic, once high on the page, and
hit the density between 5 and 20% (don't fret about it). Use good sentences
and speel check it ;-) Spell checking is becoming important as se's are
moving to auto correction during searches. There is no longer a reason to
look like you can't spell (unless you really are phonetically challenged).

G) Outbound Links:
From every page, link to one or two high ranking sites under that particular
keyword. Use your keyword in the link text (this is ultra important for the

H) Insite Cross links.
(cross links in this context are links WITHIN the same site)
Link to on topic quality content across your site. If a page is about food,
then make sure it links it to the apples and veggies page. Specifically with
Google, on topic cross linking is very important for sharing your pr value
across your site. You do NOT want an "all star" page that out performs the
rest of your site. You want 50 pages that produce 1 referral each a day and
do NOT want 1 page that produces 50 referrals a day. If you do find one page
that drastically out produces the rest of the site with Google, you need to
off load some of that pr value to other pages by cross linking heavily. It's
the old share the wealth thing.

I) Put it Online.
Don't go with virtual hosting - go with a stand alone ip.
Make sure the site is "crawlable" by a spider. All pages should be linked to
more than one other page on your site, and not more than 2 levels deep from
root. Link the topic vertically as much as possible back to root. A menu
that is present on every page should link to your sites main "topic index"
pages (the doorways and logical navigation system down into real content).
Don't put it online before you have a quality site to put online. It's worse
to put a "nothing" site online, than no site at all. You want it flushed out
from the start.

Go for a listing in the ODP. If you have the budget, then submit to
Looksmart and Yahoo. If you don't have the budget, then try for a freebie on
Yahoo (don't hold your breath).

J) Submit
Submit the root to: Google, Fast, Altavista, WiseNut, (write Teoma),
DirectHit, and Hotbot. Now comes the hard part - forget about submissions
for the next six months. That's right - submit and forget.

K) Logging and Tracking:
Get a quality logger/tracker that can do justice to inbound referrals based
on log files (don't use a lame graphic counter - you need the real deal). If
your host doesn't support referrers, then back up and get a new host. You
can't run a modern site without full referrals available 24x7x365 in real

L) Spiderlings:
Watch for spiders from se's. Make sure those that are crawling the full
site, can do so easily. If not, double check your linking system (use
standard hrefs) to make sure the spider found it's way throughout the site.
Don't fret if it takes two spiderings to get your whole site done by Google
or Fast. Other se's are pot luck and doubtful that you will be added at all
if not within 6 months.

M) Topic directories.
Almost every keyword sector has an authority hub on it's topic. Go submit
within the guidelines.

N) Links
Look around your keyword sector in Googles version of the ODP. (this is best
done AFTER getting an odp listing - or two). Find sites that have links
pages or freely exchange links. Simply request a swap. Put a page of on
topic, in context links up your self as a collection spot.
Don't freak if you can't get people to swap links - move on. Try to swap
links with one fresh site a day. A simple personal email is enough. Stay low
key about it and don't worry if site Z won't link with you - they will -
eventually they will.

O) Content.
One page of quality content per day. Timely, topical articles are always the
best. Try to stay away from to much "bloggin" type personal stuff and look
more for "article" topics that a general audience will like. Hone your
writing skills and read up on the right style of "web speak" that tends to
work with the fast and furious web crowd.

Lots of text breaks - short sentences - lots of dashes - something that
reads quickly.

Most web users don't actually read, they scan. This is why it is so
important to keep low key pages today. People see a huge overblown page by
random, and a portion of them will hit the back button before trying to
decipher it. They've got better things to do that waste 15 seconds (a
stretch) at understanding your whiz bang flash menu system. Because some big
support site can run flashed out motorhead pages, that is no indication that
you can. You don't have the pull factor they do.

Use headers, and bold standout text liberally on your pages as logical
separators. I call them scanner stoppers where the eye will logically come
to rest on the page.

P) Gimmicks.
Stay far away from any "fades of the day" or anything that appears spammy,
unethical, or tricky. Plant yourself firmly on the high ground in the middle
of the road.

Q) Link backs
When YOU receive requests for links, check the site out before linking back
with them. Check them through Google and their pr value. Look for directory
listings. Don't link back to junk just because they asked. Make sure it is a
site similar to yours and on topic.

R) Rounding out the offerings:
Use options such as Email-a-friend, forums, and mailing lists to round out
your sites offerings. Hit the top forums in your market and read, read, read
until your eyes hurt you read so much.
Stay away from "affiliate fades" that insert content on to your site.

S) Beware of Flyer and Brochure Syndrome
If you have an ecom site or online version of bricks and mortar, be careful
not to turn your site into a brochure. These don't work at all. Think about
what people want. They aren't coming to your site to view "your content",
they are coming to your site looking for "their content". Talk as little
about your products and yourself as possible in articles (raise
eyebrows...yes, I know).

T) Build one page of content per day.
Head back to the Overture suggestion tool to get ideas for fresh pages.

U) Study those logs.
After 30-60 days you will start to see a few referrals from places you've
gotten listed. Look for the keywords people are using. See any bizarre
combinations? Why are people using those to find your site? If there is
something you have over looked, then build a page around that topic. Retro
engineer your site to feed the search engine what it wants.
If your site is about "oranges", but your referrals are all about "orange
citrus fruit", then you can get busy building articles around "citrus" and
"fruit" instead of the generic "oranges".
The search engines will tell you exactly what they want to be fed - listen
closely, there is gold in referral logs, it's just a matter of panning for

V) Timely Topics
Nothing breeds success like success. Stay abreast of developments in your
keyword sector. If big site "Z" is coming out with product "A" at the end of
the year, then build a page and have it ready in October so that search
engines get it by December. eg: go look at all the Xbox and XP sites in
Google right now - those are sites that were on the ball last summer.

W) Friends and Family
Networking is critical to the success of a site. This is where all that time
you spend in forums will pay off. pssst: Here's the catch-22 about forums:
lurking is almost useless. The value of a forum is in the interaction with
your fellow colleagues and cohorts. You learn long term by the interaction -
not by just reading.
Networking will pay off in link backs, tips, email exchanges, and it will
put you "in the loop" of your keyword sector.

X) Notes, Notes, Notes
If you build one page per day, you will find that brain storm like
inspiration will hit you in the head at some magic point. Whether it is in
the shower (dry off first), driving down the road (please pull over), or
just parked at your desk, write it down! 10 minutes of work later, you will
have forgotten all about that great idea you just had. Write it down, and
get detailed about what you are thinking. When the inspirational juices are
no longer flowing, come back to those content ideas. It sounds simple, but
it's a life saver when the ideas stop coming.

Y) Submission check at six months
Walk back through your submissions and see if you got listed in all the
search engines you submitted to after six months. If not, then resubmit and
forget again. Try those freebie directories again too.

Z) Build one page of quality content per day.
Starting to see a theme here? Google loves content, lots of quality content.
Broad based over a wide range of keywords. At the end of a years time, you
should have around 400 pages of content. That will get you good placement
under a wide range of keywords, generate recip links, and overall position
your site to stand on it's own two feet.

Do those 26 things, and I guarantee you that in ones years time you will
call your site a success. It will be drawing between 500 and 2000 referrals
a day from search engines. If you build a good site with an average of 4 to
5 pages per user, you should be in the 10-15k page views per day range in
one years time. What you do with that traffic is up to you, but that is more
than enough to "do something" with.

Re: Definitive guide to SEO here

Brothermark wrote:
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  Really, REALLY bad advice if you want to do well in Google.
-- /
For information about the psychedelic drug DXM, including dangers.
Yet another murder by someone on Coricidin:

Re: Definitive guide to SEO here

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One bad point out of 26? That's still pretty good.
Its not necessarily bad advice. I don't take the above advice either but its
no big deal. I think you may be overstating the case. If your anchor text
for internal and backlinks is "blue widgets" then your url could be and it wouldn't much harm your serps.


Re: Definitive guide to SEO here

Brothermark wrote:
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   I was referring specifically to this one.

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  In the real world other sites linking to you won't all use "blue
widgets". The other is that keyword names have long been good for
business on meatspace. Think Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, etc.
Which suggests to me keyword domain names may be a good idea
*independent of search engines.* People respond to the keyword as
"they've got what I want."
-- /
For information about the psychedelic drug DXM, including dangers.
Yet another murder by someone on Coricidin:

Re: Definitive guide to SEO here

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That's a good point and is the reason why I try and get a keyword into my

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What about Macdonalds? The biggest of them all.
Non-keyword domains hasn't harmed google, overture, yahoo. Also ebay but
that's borderline. They didn't name themselves after a searcphrase.

Also there is something tacky about domains such as or other such names. You end up with a
serious lack of identity when you name your domain after a searchphrase


Re: Definitive guide to SEO here

On Sat, 4 Oct 2003 12:48:57 +0100, "Brothermark"

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I don't think it helps when thinking about SEO value to look at big
names like these. They don't need their sites optimizing as everyone
knows them by other means.

It's the equivalent of us lot owning a small high street shop, we have
to advertise the fact we exist like advertise in the local paper
(equiv to doing well in search engines) otherwise we only get passing
trade from those walking by and word of mouth (equiv to the generally
small traffic from links).

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I agree, you have to pick a point both you and your potential visitors
are happy with. Our Lingerie site was originally called OOar Supplies,
the only way we could of done well with that name was branding. since
we don't have a multi million advertising budget that wasn't

So we kept the name for other reasons i.e. our customers credit card
statements say wp-ooar rather than Adult Lingerie UK, so more private.
Also leaves it open to do other non adult sites under the same non
specific business name.

We trade online under the name Adult Lingerie UK for obvious keyword
reasons and it's worked very, very well.

I don't think we'd do too well trying to brand a name like this, but
currently we have no need to.

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Free Search Engine Optimization, SEO and
Search Engine Placement Tips (updated 31/08/2003) /

Re: Definitive guide to SEO here

SEO Dave wrote:
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   Using the specific example of McDonalds, they managed to get where
they are largely through tons of TV advertising. If someone has a
multimillion dollar ad budget for their website, then perhaps they don't
need to worry so much about SEO. Otherwise, they need to do well in
search engines.

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   The advantage to a keyword domain is that when people see, they know you sell exactly what they want. The problem
with a brand name is it hurts sales until the point people are familiar
with the brand. Getting brand familiarity takes advertising, or lots of
-- /
For information about the psychedelic drug DXM, including dangers.
Yet another murder by someone on Coricidin:

Re: Definitive guide to SEO here

On Sat, 4 Oct 2003 02:51:29 +0100, "Brothermark"

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There are many more bad points, will have to point them all out when I
get the time. There are some good points, but without knowing that in
advance you could shoot yourself in the foot so to speak.

I think one of the worst things you can do is choose a domain that's
not keyword rich, it makes your job much harder getting the right
anchor text for links!

For starters ignore part or all of points A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,
J,O,S,T,X,Y,Z rest are probably OK.

It's not a very good article, I could do a much better one (another
project, that's what I need, not).

Free Search Engine Optimization, SEO and
Search Engine Placement Tips (updated 31/08/2003) /

Re: Definitive guide to SEO here

On Sat, 04 Oct 2003 05:20:30 +0100, SEO Dave wrote:
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it's not that bad -- I thought SEO was largely on building good
hefty content. Besides, it highlights some good points in general site
design. Not all of us have broadband (in the uk at least) -- nor do I want
my viewers to read paragraphs of lond winding sentences.

It all fits in well with the blogging phenomenon on google -- different
content on every page, tons of archived content, and lots of outbound
links to temporary news pages..


- n

Re: Definitive guide to SEO here

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Well its the closest thing to a full list of what-to-do I've ever found for
I guess you'd have to buy a current e-book if you want the up-to-date
definitive guide.
The text I pasted is over 1.5 years old. I guess we've learnt a lot since

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I may be wrong (but I'm quite sure I'm not) but didn't we have a discussion
recently where I was advising someone to change their url from to  and you were saying that it was
bad advice?  There is *NO* keyword value to the first domain, but the 2nd
domain is keyword rich.


Re: Definitive guide to SEO here

On Sat, 4 Oct 2003 12:58:59 +0100, "Brothermark"

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It's filled with half truths topped of with wishful thinking.

I'm a poet and I know it :-))

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I did, but for another reason.

The ideal domain is, but it's not a good idea
trashing a domain like if you already have put some
work into it since a keyword rich domain name can only help the pages
relevant to the keywords.

Most sites are not based around just one or two keywords and though
keywords in the domain help they don't help that much so you can get
by without one. Otherwise a keyword rich domain would only rank for
the keywords in the domain and this isn't the case.

Don't forget you can always do this-

But even that's not necessary, most of the pages on my main site are
dept_**.html and p_**.html and loads of them rank well.

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Free Search Engine Optimization, SEO and
Search Engine Placement Tips (updated 31/08/2003) /

Re: Definitive guide to SEO here

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This complete guide, plus some cool little things you can do with Google can
be found in the Google Hacks book by O'Reilly


------------------------------- Internet Services

Re: Definitive guide to SEO here

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This list will lead folks down unnecessary work and down useless trails I am
Most of this is junk, and won't work.

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Should be able to do it in 3 weeks to 3 months.

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100 is arbitrary.  I have sites with far less that are #1 for almost all of
their keywords on multiple search engines.

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RUBBISH.  Try to get a domain name that is keyword rich.  Not necessary but
I have one that has four pages with a keyword rich domain name and spidered,
ranked well and given a PR or 3/10 in two weeks.

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Some truth here.

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not really.  I tdepends upon your crowd. You have to design for your crowd.
Hollywood folks will reject a "simple" site.  So will gamers.

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Nothing to do with SEO but it does apply to good site design.

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Again, nothing to do with SEO, but good idea if you can do it.

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Proof please?

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May or May not work...not sure on this.

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ONLY if you want tyour rank to go down the toilet.  READ previous posts on
PR dilution.

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Good advice.


Wrong.  Makes absolutely no difference.

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Do well on Google and you'll be included in Yahoo (They are still getting
some results from Google I believe) but this is supposed to stop soon.

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Or, just have someone with a PR of 4/10 link to you.  You will be spidered
within a few weeks at most.

I am tired...the rest doesn't look too bad.

James Taylor

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interaction -
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