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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Review of SEO Best Practices

Below is a summary of Google's Quality Guidelines and Specific SEO Recommendations.

Quality Guidelines - Specific recommendations:

  • Avoid hidden text or hidden links.

  • Don't employ cloaking or sneaky redirects.

  • Don't send automated queries to Google.

  • Don't load pages with irrelevant words.

  • Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.

  • Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines, or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.

  • Webmaster's who seek long-term search engine rankings need to stay within these guidlines in order to ensure the best possible results.

    Joel Dalley
    Senior Project Engineer
    Peak Positions, LLC.

    Friday, March 19, 2004

    Website Content Vs. Linking Strategies

    How important is content on a website? Let us first answer this prevalent question with another, more important question. What else is there? Really: why even have a website if you are not actually delivering quality information and relevant content to site visitors?

    Websites and companies that understand their purpose and concentrate on serving their users will always be successful. Many marketing directors and webmasters read the guidelines posted on Google and mistakenly begin to believe that incoming links from third party websites are the ‘magic silver bullet’ needed to drive their content-light sites into prominent keyword ranking positions on Google and Yahoo-Inktomi.

    Don’t fall into the links trap and take your focus off of relevant content. Links from third party websites into your site need to considered, however not until the site is serving site users with quality content.

    Is your site delivering the content that users are seeking? Remain focused on serving users first and foremost with quality content before reaching out to other unrelated sites in an attempt to increase link popularity scores.

    Keep some of Google’s basic principles in mind when working on a website. Make pages for users, not for search engine spiders. Don't deceive users, or present unique page content to search engine spiders than to users. Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers, FFA’s, or "bad neighborhoods" on the web as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links. Don't use computer programs to submit pages. Automated submission software programs consume computing resources and violate Google’s terms of service. When in doubt, remain focused on serving users with relevant content.

    Jack Roberts
    Vice President, Director of Client Services
    Peak Positions, LLC.

    Tuesday, March 02, 2004

    New York Times Headline about the New Yahoo Search Very Misleading

    See Story Here

    We find the headline of this New York Times article to be very misleading.

    There is no reason to believe that Yahoo would change their keyword search business model. Why would they move to a 100% free search results model and write off a significant revenue stream? The Yahoo search index (directory) has always required a website listing fee for directory inclusion. Historically, the Yahoo directory was generated and maintained by human editors. Yahoo then switched to a Google Index/Yahoo Directory blended results page model. The blended results were a temporary measure, which gave Yahoo time to complete the transition to and incorporation of the expansive Inktomi spider generated search index system.

    The new Yahoo search results page model merely represents a shift from a human generated search index to a spider generated search index. However, nothing else has changed, least of all Yahoo’s fundamental search business model. Inclusion fees are still required to be listed with Yahoo, and these fees do little to ensure premium keyword rankings in their results pages.

    Considering the facts, we conclude that the headline of this New York Times story is sensational at best and not patently disingenuous at worst. Why? The headline implies that Yahoo has shifted to a pay-to-play search business model, when in fact that has always been the case. The REAL shift at Yahoo search is that the order in which the search query results appear is now completely dictated by a software robot (ie, the Inktomi/Yahoo Slurp and Archiver spiders) instead of a team of human editors.

    Business owners should remain focused with optimizing their corporate website properties for the search engine spiders and spider-based search indeces, which determine over 90% of all keyword search results.

    Joel Dalley
    Senior Project Engineer
    Peak Positions, LLC.