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Posted on January 6, 1999

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The Add Me! Newsletter           *** ISSUE #9  ***
"Free tips for promoting your website"

Add Me, Inc                   http://www.addme.com
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	   !! HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

..................................................
January 6th, 1999                    Newsletter #9

This week's article:  

	What are the Right Keywords?
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	  .....THIS WEEK'S ARTICLE.....


	 "What are the Right Keywords?"
	 ==============================

We all know how important it is to use the right keywords for our Web
sites. The proper use of keywords will impact our keyword meta tags,
description meta tags, title tag, ALT text, and of course, the HTML body
copy. Ultimately, it will have a great effect on the rank of our pages
in the major search engines. However, now we run into a major obstacle:
What are the "right keywords"?

At first, you may think the answer is trivial. After all, you understand
your on-line enterprise better than anyone. You know what keywords you
would use during the course of a search to find your business and others
like it. The problem is that, unless you believe yourself to be a gifted
psychic, you cannot really anticipate exactly what word or phrase an
Internet surfer will type into the query field of a search engine in
order to find your home page. If you did have access to this
information, the results might (or might not) surprise you. Having
realized this, you might resign yourself to the fact that you are
actually playing a "guessing game" (albeit using educated guesses).

However, you can still exercise somewhat more control over this
situation than many realize. To that end, I will let you in on a little
procedure that I heard about a few months ago over the WWW grapevine.
Most of us probably are aware that the popularity of certain keywords is
not in doubt. For example, those on the Internet have access to
resources like the most popular 200 keywords at Yahoo!
(http://eyescream.com/yahootop200.html). There is much to be learned
from lists like this, but they also leave much to be desired. For
example, upon surveying lists such as this, one quickly sees that
keywords such as "free", "mystery", "secrets", "naked", and "sex" are
quite popular. At this stage you are likely to be disappointed, and I am
not referring to the fact that the strong interest in these keywords
establishes the distinctly unintellectual bent of the general public.
What I am referring to is the utility of these lists. For example, what
if you have an on-line business selling antiques, and you would like to
ascertain the popularity of keywords such as "antiques", "memorabilia",
and "collectables" (see also "collectibles")? How can one obtain
information about the use of keywords like this? Obviously, lists such
as the one found at Yahoo! will be of little to no use in this case.


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One answer is to use the search engine known as GoTo
(http://www.goto.com). Before I describe how this is done, I would like
to clear up some possible confusion about GoTo. You may have gotten your
URL in GoTo by paying money or it may have gone in for free. However, if
it was a "freebie" your rank for popular phrases probably isn't very
impressive. The reason for that can be found in how GoTo operates. Your
URL does not have a high rank in GoTo by virtue of your being savvy
about things like meta tags. Rather, the people with high rankings, who
have paid to get in, achieve this lofty placement by bidding on
keywords/phrases that they are interested in. Those of lower position
who did not pay (i.e., the rest of GoTo's database) are there because
they registered through Inktomi, which GoTo uses to supplement the
entries of the paying customers. Thus, if you registered with HotBot
(http://www.hotbot.com) you may also find your URL in GoTo even though
you did not pay (since HotBot is now powered by Inktomi). The point of
all of this is as follows. If people want a good rank at GoTo and are
willing to pay by bidding on keywords, they must be informed as to the
popularity or lack of popularity of their anticipated keywords.

Therefore, GoTo supplies this, and that is where my procedure comes in:

(1) Proceed to GoTo.com (http://www.goto.com/).
(2) Click on the navigation bar entitled "Get Listed on GoTo".
(3) On the page which appears, click on "Client Tool Kit".
(4) On the page which now appears, click on
"Search Term Suggestion List".
(5) A window will appear with a query field just below the phrase
"Get some suggestions for".
(6) Type in your query
(example: "antiques" or "memorabilia" or "collectables").
(7) Click on the circular button entitled "Find It".

Following this procedure for GoTo during the month of September 1998
(usually the data which appears has been compiled from the previous
month) one would have found for the searches done in August 1998:

"antiques": antiques (1946), antiques price guides (313),
antiques roadshow (50), etc.
"memorabilia": football memorabilia (137), disney memorabilia (89),
nasa memorabilia (89), etc.
"collectables": collectables (356), avon collectables (50),
nascar racing collectables (44), etc.

Thus, one can obtain a listing for a keyword/phrase from the most
popular query to the least popular, with the number in parenthesis
representing how many times that particular keyword was inputted to
GoTo's search engine during August 1998.

While it would probably be untoward of me to claim that I have made
keyword selection an "exact science", I do believe this procedure will
take some of the guesswork out of selecting keywords for your meta tags.

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Article by Frank Feldmann, sole proprietor of Kaleidoscope Desktop
Services (http://www.kaleidoscope-dts.com/). Please subscribe to his
free monthly e-zine "The Net in a Nutshell"
(http://netinanutshell.listbot.com/). Frank can be reached at
franknf@ix.netcom.com or (516) 826-9085.
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