Course Outline developed by: Harold Goldstein -- --

Search Engine Positioning: Course Outline

Course Objectives: To introduce the student to techniques used to get websites high positions in the Search Engines and the Web Directories. Techniques will include website design, special doorway pages and submission techniques.


Selected materials will be handed out and a resource list made available on the web. Also see my HTML Resources for general purpose web development tools and techniques; and my list of diagnostic utility sites.

A.M. 1
       Before Your Campaign:
  • What are the goals for your site, the audience, the website strategy?
  • Keywords, Keyword Phrases.
    • what keywords are used to search? see Mallnet, Wordspot, Wordtracker for common words. Search Spy is a huge database but is not recent. Go2 gives combinations associated with your chosen words.
    • Keep them simple. Try: generic terms, makes/models, specific products, search words/phrases, do pluralize.
    • But try to identify unique, less used phrases and dominate them. What about common misspellings!
  • Good titles of various lengths.
    • See Naming Newsletter and Name Stormer.
    • For directories:
      • If listing is alphabetic then you'd prefer an A.
      • Try to incorporate a very popular keyword phrase. (Go2)
      • Avoid self-promotion, keyword repetition, brand names if a human editor.
    • For search engines
      • Do incorporate a sexy sales message.
  • Descriptions of various lengths.

    • Need 25, 50, 100, 250 word descriptions.
  • Domain Names - see Netmechanic.
    • Real value isn't helping find your site; it's helping find it again!
    • At least have one domain name, if possible several; use Network Solutions,, others to search.
    • Get one with a popular keyword phrase (vs. company name).
    • Make sure you are the owner, administrative contact and billing contact.

A.M. 2
       Search Engine Positioning
  • The Search Engine - Directory Distinction.
  • The important Search Engines and how they work.
    • they all function differently and change continuously!
    • need to track continuously
    • need to place the best keywords in:
      • meta tags and page title unique to each page. (meta tags have other uses)
      • strategically in the body, <H> tags, at the start of <P>s, in links and in image alts.
      • In your domain name and in your file/directory names.
  • Issues with Frames; use title and meta tags and make use of noframe section - and Image Maps.
  • Can use Meta Medic to check out usage and see simulated results.
  • Manually submit to the key search engines - check their relative rankings (handout pg.50).
    • Handle Yahoo separately and carefully! Especially consider correct category.
    • Submit one page/site/search engine/day; repeat daily for multiple pages if allowed. Use the top search engines.
    • Repeat monthly (can use SubmitCorner) for best results but, if already top ten then don't touch!
    • If your competitor has a top ranking site then you can resubmit it!
  • If not where you want, resubmit your URLs frequently.
  • Don't spam the SEs; don't repeat exact keywords/phrases or submit duplicate pages.
  • Using a company to promote your site (see article).
    • Automated submissions
    • More personalized services (see Yahoo's list)

P.M. 1
       Using Doorway (Hook) Pages - see WebpositionGold description of this process
  • Doorways are pages optimized for particular words/phrases/complex phrases and/or specific SEs.
    • search for your phrase on a top SE and view the top scoring site(s).
    • Analyze keyword usage (w/GRKDA, Webposition, Webjectives, KeywordCount); densities, positions in meta/title/h/body/alt tags. Find common data; title length, location of keywords, paragraph/page size.
    • Recreate these numbers in your doorway page and repeat for each search engine.
    • Give your doorways appropriate site 'look and feel' and add content (to avoid spam exclusion)..
  • You can get very specific with doorway pages; even focus on a single product. People who search for Widget model speedo 2398 are better prospects than those that do a general search.
  • Creat a page on an SE-popular topic. Maybe related to your site or maybe not; a favorite 'chocolate cupcake recipe'; about a hot music group; how to process film online; anything you enjoy or know or is 'in' and will generate visits.
  • Doorways on different domains, or in different directories named index.html, tend to score better in search engines.
  • This is a never ending process; see SearchEngineWatch (ho pg.7), BruceClay.Com (ho pg.31).

       Using Hallway Pages
  • Hallways are pages that only link to your other pages. They make it easier for search engines to spider your site, they are organziational tools, they can increase your relevancy scores.

P.M. 2
       Submitting to Directories
       Other Traffic Building Strategies/Issues
  • Tell your friends to tell their friends ... use a Recommend Script on your site.
  • Automatic Submission Services
  • Your email signature file, other promotional literature, business cards and stationary, word of mouth, print media ads.
  • Press Releases - see Digitalwork, the Internet News Bureau. Get custom postcards or WEBCARDS; get free samples.
  • Reciprocal Link Exchange - try reciprocal link directory.
    • Sites should be complementary and Must fit with your site (related resource page?).
    • Carefully research sites and email appropriate request.
  • Banner Exchange
    • some disadvantages - if at top of page its a distraction, may be slow, bad color mix, takes visitors away.
    • but it might bring traffic - evaluate with data - and you can evaluate the effectiveness of your banners.
    • in any case, if you are at the top of the search engines you don't need banner exchanges.
    • Actually use your own banners to promote your own products!
  • Affiliate programs
    • Create your own (see AssocTRAC software)
    • Particpate in others' programs and add to your product list.
  • Usenet Newsgroups and Mailing Lists
    • Create your own mailing list:
      • Get email addresses from customers.
      • Offer a free list with 'special' information.
      • Offer a free premium or a drawing entry in exchange for information.
    • Find relevant newsgroups/mailing lists and monitor them.
    • If applicable announce your site in an unobtrusive manner or post relevant news.
    • If questions come up for which you can offer useful feedback (or for which your product is appropriate, send your comments, reference your website and include your signature file with website information.
    • Use established announcement sites: (see Netpromote list)
    • Note: these postings are indexed by Deja and News2web and so are found in search engines: use keywords!
  • Track your visitation (free visitation tools)
    • keep track of submission dates (or ads or whatever) for each page and visitation data for those pages.
  • internal search engines to learn why people come to site.
      so here is A nice summation of the Process and the Tools

Goldray Copyright © 2000 Goldray Consulting Group
for Version 5.08.2000