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Posted on October 24, 1998

    ==================================================
    The Add Me! Newsletter      *** SECOND EDITION ***
    "Free Tips to promote your website"
    
    Add Me, Inc                   http://www.addme.com
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    ..................................................
    October 24, 1998                     Newsletter #2
    ..................................................
    
    
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    The Add Me! Newsletter is a brand new high quality 
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              .....THIS WEEK'S ARTICLE.....
    
    
    
         SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION - PAGE DETAILS
         =========================================
    
    
    There is a fine balance in creating pages that are 
    esthetically pleasing, informative, marketing conscious 
    and search engine friendly. And sometimes the goals are 
    at odds with each other. 
    
    
    TELL A STORY
    ============
    Your web should tell a story, not unlike a newspaper 
    article, with a headline, content, images, captions, etc. 
    The components are all interconnected and all effect the 
    relevancy of your page or article.
    
    
    COMPONENTS
    ==========
    If you don't do anything else in terms of optimization, 
    do this: First, you must ask, what is the central and 
    primary theme to this page? That theme needs to be 
    repeated throughout the page in all of the components: 
    headline, content, Meta Tags, images, captions, etc., 
    to get the best possible ranking. That is not to say 
    that the page must be LIMITED to one theme. But it 
    must EMPHASIZE at least one theme. 
    
    Let's say baseball is your theme. Your page can deal 
    with baseball and discuss hitting strategies, defensive 
    maneuvers, pitching statistics, etc. 
    
    But your page title should have the word baseball in it. 
    The ALT text tag for your images should mention baseball. 
    Your headline should have the word baseball in it. Your 
    Meta Tags need the word baseball and variations thereof 
    in the tags. And obviously you want to mention the word 
    baseball in your content. 
    
    Now how would you rank this page in terms of relevancy 
    for anyone doing a search on the word "baseball". Probably 
    pretty high. What about "pitching statistics". Not quite 
    as high, but it has some degree of relevancy. 
    
    Now buried in the Meta Tags of this baseball page, the 
    author decides to add the word "sex" just to get some 
    more hits. What do you think the probability of that page 
    getting hits on the word "sex" are? Somewhere between 
    zero and none. 
    
    Got another theme you want to emphasize? Make another 
    page. 
    
    
    ORDER
    =====
    Search engines start at the top and work their way to 
    the bottom (clever folks these programmers). And their 
    ranking mechanism will place MORE emphasis on content at 
    the beginning of the page than content at the bottom of 
    the page. 
    
    But that makes sense. When you read a newspaper article, 
    you tend to read the headline first. And then the first 
    paragraph. You expect it to tell you what the article is 
    all about. Same thing in search engines. 
    
    So make sure you place the most important information as 
    close to the top of your page as possible. And here is 
    the corollary: if it is NOT important DON'T put it at the 
    top of the page ... you are only pushing the good stuff 
    down. 
    
    So here is a good design strategy. Put five or six banners 
    at the top of your page, followed by 4 pictures of your 
    children, and 500 words about Clinton & Lewinsky, and 
    then devote the last 25 words on the page to discuss your 
    primary topic - wood carving. 
    
    Guaranteed you'll be number one in the search engines? 
    Right!
    
    
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    PAGE LAYOUT
    ===========
    Some page designs are more conducive to getting a better 
    placement than others. It is often the case that the 
    simplest presentation is the easiest to optimize. 
    
    - Plain Pages: content is presented top to bottom which 
    is exactly how the search engines will read it. 
    
    - Tables: search engines will look for content outside 
    tables first, then come back to read the tables. . 
    
    - Navigational Panels: if you use a table and insert 
    navigational content in the left-most column, that is 
    the information that will be read first as the search 
    engine reads from left to right. 
    
    - Shared borders: content in the top and left shared 
    borders are read before content in the main panel. 
    
    - Frames: in terms of optimization, frames actually work 
    well, because the navigational panel in the left is 
    actually a separate page and the content on the right is 
    also a separate page that has no navigational panel to 
    clutter it. However, there are other significant 
    limitations to frames that we won't get into here. 
    
    
    HEADLINES
    =========
    Headlines capture a reader's interest. They are also a 
    signal to the search engines that they represent an 
    IMPORTANT piece of information. 
    
    In order to highlight and emphasize that fact, use the 
    headline tag (H1 to H6) when formatting your headline. 
    Search engines will assign it more weight. 
    
    
    PAGE CONTENT
    ============
    You need to have content on your pages. Pretty pages with 
    nice graphics and stunning banners may look very appealing, 
    but they are virtually meaningless to the search engines. 
    
    This is a critical point: The search engines do not have 
    our esthetic taste. They cannot "read" pictures. The search 
    engines need words on which to base their relevancy. 
    
    Here is a situation that, unfortunately, is all too often 
    found. The page has nothing on it except a beautiful, 
    artistic, animated rendition of your corporate logo. 
    
    Pretty? Absolutely. Search engine effective? Not at all. 
    And the client wants to know why the page isn't rated high 
    in the search engines? 
    
    I am not opposed to artistic creativity. And that might 
    very well be a part of the image that you want to project. 
    Just understand that this particular page has no substance 
    to earn a high ranking in the search engines. 
    
    
    PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
    =======================
    As we said at the beginning, your web page tells a story. 
    Optimization is simply putting the components together so 
    that they emphasize at least one critical theme that you 
    want to get across.
    
    Next time we'll look at some of the behind the scenes 
    material: Meta Tags.
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Article by Len Canning (candocdx@lemaze.com), founder of 
    LeMaze Resource Center(http://www.lemaze.com). 
    
    LeMaze lists in excess of 14,000 marketing and web development 
    resources. And for those who don't have the time or inclination 
    to do it themselves, they provide an array of marketing services. 
    Like a Free Meta Tag Analysis for your site, check out our Free 
    Meta Tag Analysis 
    (http://www.lemaze.com/Features/Submit_Forms/tag_analysis.htm)
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    
     
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