FAQs

More about meta tags and meta keywords

September 26th, 2006

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Q: What are the key issues to address with meta tags and meta keywords in regards to how Google uses them in its algorithm?

A: Meta keywords and meta description tags will not have a positive impact on rankings in Google. They could have a negative impact if the meta tags look spammy. The meta description is of some value though because it sometimes appears in whole or part in the “snippet” in your search listing. Meta keywords is more for Yahoo’s benefit than Google’s.

Content and links in Flash

September 26th, 2006

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Q: If we are using flash on the home page with very little content, can we include relevant content and links below the fold and will this help in search results?

A: Yes, it will help to some extent. Certainly that is better than not doing so. But it may not look that great to the user if s/he does scroll below the fold (i.e. it’s not the best user experience to repeat yourself). Better to remove content and links from Flash altogether.

Google reads straight so rejig HTML code

September 26th, 2006

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Q: I understand that Google reads the left hand side of the site, the top then the middle and that is what is displayed. Is there a particular code to have the spiders read the middle first.

A: Google actually reads straight down the page – in the HTML source code. If you’re clever with your HTML, you can rejig the HTML code to put the middle column on top. You can see an example of how we put the second column first in the HTML above the left column of navigation at http://www.stepbystepwebmarketing.com

Spam propogating tools not OK

September 26th, 2006

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Q: Regarding Link Popularity: What is your opinion about tools like Arelis that can help produce link popularity. Can these do more harm than good?

A: How do you feel when you get an unsolicited reciprocal link request via email? How many of them do you respond with a “Yep, sure thing. I added a link to you.”? So why buy a tool that propagates that sort of spam? We don’t use any such tools.

Image file names affect rankings?

September 26th, 2006

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Q: Do the names of image files themselves – not just the alt tags – affect rankings?

A: Possibly you might get a small uplift, but the effect is negligible.

php pages any different?

September 26th, 2006

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Q: Are php pages searched different?

A: No, because their output is HTML, just like asp pages, Cold Fusion pages, etc.

Influence of home page PageRank

September 26th, 2006

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Q: Could you elaborate on how a home page’s PageRank score influences the PageRank score of internal pages?

A: The home page is typically the most PageRank-endowed page of a site because it’s the most linked to. Thus the home page is the holder of much PageRank. You pass on PageRank to other pages of your site via the links contained on that home page. The links contained on that home page, and on the secondary pages that lead from the home page, is a reflection of your site hierarchy. Change your internal linking structure/hierarchy and you will change the way PageRank is conveyed to sub-pages within your site. Best practice is to think through which pages are your best opportunities and as such should be getting a bigger share of PageRank.

Froogle listings

September 26th, 2006

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Q: How can we get products listed in Froogle? Is it similar to Google or does it have a specific method?

A: You can get your products included automatically without any effort just by having a Google-friendly online catalog site. You can also submit a data feed to Froogle in XML format on a regular basis free of charge. Learn more at http://froogle.google.com/froogle/merchants.html. It’s a good idea to submit a Froogle data feed if you are eligible (your online shop must operate in the US and in US dollars to be eligible).

Affiliate programs

September 26th, 2006

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Q: How do affiliate programs play a role in optimizing search engine results?

A: Affiliate links typically run through a third-party web site then redirect. Rarely is an affiliate program set up so that the PageRank score flows through to the merchant’s home page. It’s technically challenging to achieve this, and I see little motivation for the third-party affiliate management company to do things any differently from the current status quo.

Links from my own site – hurting or helping?

September 26th, 2006

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Q: Regarding link popularity: I just queried google (i.e. link:www.xyz.com) and found some 2,000 links to my site. But, according to Google’s results, many of those links are from within my site. Is this hurting or helping me?

A: It’s not hurting you. Internal links count as votes, and as such that can help you, but voting for yourself can only do you a limited amount of good. Linking across your entire site to particular pages (such as your Top Sellers) reinforces their importance over other pages in your site. But without good inbound links from other sites “voting” for you, your voting for yourself doesn’t mean much.
Incidentally, if you want to see how many inbound links are pointing to your entire site (not just your home page) and with all internal links excluded, try the following search on Yahoo!: “linkdomain:www.xyz.com -site:www.xyz.com” (without the quotes)


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