Optimization help

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Hello All,

Let me start by saying that I'm very new (4 months now) to website
development and optimization but I like to think I learn quickly and I
read everything I can get my hand on at the library, bookstores and
the web.  I just recently discovered these groups on Google.

My friend and I have been working on a web site for the past 4 months
"trying" to sell New England Patriots and Red Sox collectibles.  We're
on our 2nd version of the site and it seems the more we learn, the
worse our page rankings have been.  With Sunsday's new index we fell
from page 1 on one keyword back to 8.  On another, I must admit we
moved up from page 5 to page 2.
Our website is www.patriotsfanshop.com and my keywords are Patriots
pins and Patriots photographs.
Before the current website, we had a very simple website built using
MS Frontpage wizard for a corporate website.  It was this primitive
site that had the better rankings.
I've been considering buying these self-help optimazation tools but
I'm confused at all their claims and do they really work.  What I
would like is a place on the web where I can get the SEO information
and tools/aids that I need to improve my own site.  I've been using
free tools like Instantposition.com, the trial versions of Internet
Business Promoter and WebPositionGold but it appears that instead of
moving ahead in the rankings, I'm moving back.  Maybe I had a case of
beginners luck.
Thanks and any help, suggestions or useful information would be most
Thanks again for listening,

Re: Optimization help

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You need more text content on the front page of the site. Also, get rid of
the animated gif file as it looks horrible and distracts from the rest of
the page.

You should have the keywords you're targeting in H1 and H2 tags on the page
as well. Then try to get as many in bound links (IBL's) as possible. Try to
insure that these links contain your targeted keywords in the anchor text.

According to http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion /
neither of the terms you're targetting generate any real traffic, so it
might be worth going after other search terms.


Andrew Gibson

Digital Video Editing Software, FAQ's, Resources and Filming Tips.

Re: Optimization help

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Also, replace the icons top right with text. Not only does that mean that a
search engine can read them, it also means that humans will have some idea
what they link to. Me, I saw a drawing board, then a graphics tablet, then a
printer... is this a graphic art site? :)


A quality online comic strip for the discerning reader.
With shagging in it.


Re: Optimization help

On 4 Jun 2004 07:04:48 -0700, haroldphaley@yahoo.com (Harry) wrote:
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According to my side, when visiting your site, the google toolbar
registers a PR1 for the site and, when doing a backward links, google
doesn't share any.

Yahoo says your site has 6 backlinks.

So my first suggestion would be to get more links to your site. Some
say what is used in the anchor text, on those sites linking to yours,
will help on Google. Whether it does or not - a link back to your site
will help strengthen your placement in search engines where inbound
links is part of their algorithem. If that link is shared from a site
where people interested in sports memorabilia, Patriots, or Red Sox
frequent - that may increase your chances of people considering
clicking on your link or you getting some relevant traffic from those
Although it is not uncommon for a low PR site to come out on top of
search results on Google for certain terms - you really don't want to
put all your eggs in one basket on that thought. Likewise you can't
put all your eggs into one basket that high PR sites will come out on
top of the search results on Google; as your own post about having a
PR1 site being #1/currently #8 or on page 2 for a certain phrases has

But if, on the phrase where you are currently coming in at #8, I
imagine if you compared your site to #7 or #3 or the current #1 that
they may have more backlinks than your site and that may have made a
difference in why you are at #8 slot now.

You may also consider looking over your content and seeing how you can
structure it to share heading markup [<h1></h1> - <h6></h6>; although
I rarely use below <h4></h4> or <h3></h3> on most of my pages].

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My advice, and note that I do not claim to be any sort of SEO
professional, is when using such programs and such tools then taking
the advice shared with a grain of salt - just like you would if taking
advice from an online group or website, or reading through older
content shared in those places as some advice may be outdated or

I consider such things sort of like using an WYSIWYG HTML editor that
claims you can point and click and voila - you have a website. Yes, it
is handy. Yes, it is interesting. But - as you go in and clean up the
extranneous or unnecessary markup it generated on your site's pages -
not always "right". One freebie SEO tool I tried out last year claimed
my site was lacking "comment tags with keywords" - now in 2003 it was
not a secret that many search engines were not caring what people
listed in their comment tags ... but this program suggested that PLUS
advised using hidden links and text.

Much of the advice I've seen listed shared by such programs have been
shared in people's articles or posts about SEO. Nothing really
"secret" shared in those programs - just a nifty comparison tool
format which may be their perk in terms of people doing SEO [that's my
opinion - others may not agree].

As a sidenote:
May want to read up about php pages and ? marks in page URLs/links
and how some search engine spiders are felt to "not handle" those
properly across the board.

Non-SEO comments:
Also may consider "fading" or "lightening" the background used in the
center column just a notch or two to help it serve more as a
backdrop/background versus sometimes competing with the text shared
under the product images. Oh, and why not line the upper image links
side by side, under your logo or thereabouts, or in pairs versus one
on top of the other to reduce the amount of "whitespace" occupying
that section of your layout?


Re: Optimization help

Hello Carol,

Thank you for your long and thoughtful response to my SEO Optimization
question.  I really do appreciate the time you must have taken to
review my site.   I would like to ask you a follow-up question
concerning your heading mark-up suggestion.  I don't claim to know
much about HTML and web marketing but I'm learning real fast.  You
were the second person to make that suggestion about <h1> to <h6>
headings.  I've bought what I've been told was the best selling book
about (X)THML) with CSS and I read about the headings.  My problem is
that I don't see the application considering the way we have the
webpage set-up dynamically loading our data into the main page.
Before this version of our site, we had a website we made using
Frontpage that had static page after page which you navigated based on
what topic or class of product you wanted.

Also, how does using headings, help with your SERP performance and

With dynamically loaded pages, how to you use these headings when you
don't know what the subject will be?

Please note that I haven't ignored your other comments.  They will be

Thanks again,

Harold Haley


Re: Optimization help

On 5 Jun 2004 13:49:51 -0700, haroldphaley@yahoo.com (Harry) wrote:

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You are welcome!

I would like to ask you a follow-up question
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HTML will get easier for you as time goes along - then you will be
able to do, almost, in your sleep. :))

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Think of it this way:

When making an outline for a school report or something you listed
things in order of importance and then subsets of those thoughts to
help you structure the report. Naturally the most important thing on
that outline is the main thought, or title, that the report will be
built up off of ... right?

So applying that to heading markup, which in a way that is _what_ it
was created to be used for:

<h1>Main Thought</h1>
  <p>filler info or introduction to following:</p>
      <h3>Thought one</h3>
  <p>filler info</p>
      <h3>Thought two</h3>
  <p>filler info</p>
         <h4>Expanding of Thought two</h4>
  <p>filler info</p>
      <h3>Thought three</h3>
  <p>filler info</p>
  <p>filler info or introduction to following:</p>
      <h3>Thought one</h3>
  <p>filler info</p>

Et cetera
So, loosely using your site theme:

<h1>Sports' Fan Memorabilia Online Store</h1>
    <h2>Red Sox</h2>
  <p>Red Sox items filler info or introduction to following:</p>
  <p>filler info</p> [&/or teaser listing of items]
  <p>filler info</p> [&/or teaser listing of items]
         <h4>Children's shirts</h4>
  <p>filler info</p> [&/or teaser listing of items]
  <p>filler info</p> [&/or teaser listing of items]
  <p>Patriots filler info or introduction to following:</p>
  <p>filler info</p> [&/or teaser listing of items]

Et cetera.

Remember, the above is just a loose idea ... I am not saying that is
how you should structure your content but just working off remembering
you menioned those two teams and that your site sold sports related
sounvenior type items/memorabilia

But perhaps now you see how a search engine/search engine spider may
place "importance thoughts" to such a structured layout? Just like you
did when outlining that school report where you listed the main
thought first then created [structured] a list of  thoughts relating
to that main thought?

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I don't use that kind of method of creating pages. I am old-fashioned
I guess and make all my pages one by one - but then my sites are
informational and not anything that would be needed a catalog or such.

Perhaps SEO Dave, Big Bill, Victoria, or someone else will be able to
help you with that one as - I beleive from their posts - they admitted
to dabbling into those areas from time to time a bit more than I do. I
am your basic HTML/CSS gal. Should really expand on that, huh? ;)


Re: Optimization help

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You've explained it perfectly.

The dynamic site will have a template that dictates - for example -
where on the page the logo sits, or what the footerbar says or whatever.

The server then insert fields from the database into the template to
make a unique 'page'.

So, all you need to do is edit the product template so that whatever
HTML is currently wrapped around your product name (usually looking
something like '$productname') includes the appropriate tags.

However, having had a very quick peek at the site, before the OP does
that or anything else, he should  make sure that the site isn't serving
up those phpsessionids in the URL to search engines  (if not, go check
up on this from whoever created the shopping software you are using - is
it OScommerce?)  

To check for this and other nasties, turn off javascript and cookies and
go surf the site - or use the Lynx web browser for a Google'seye view of
your code.

Clare Associates Ltd
http://www.clareassoc.co.uk /
01822 835802

Re: Optimization help

On 5 Jun 2004 13:49:51 -0700, haroldphaley@yahoo.com (Harry) wrote:

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I imagine you'd have to include the headings in your dynamic content.
Presumably dynamic content is generated by a specific request and
content pertinent to the subject of that request should include a
pertinent header.
But I've never worked with dynamic code.


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