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The 'No META Tags, No. 1 Listing' Formula For High Search Engine Rankings

By Karon Thackston
Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Let me tell you about my experience with getting my latest site ranked 1 on Google and 2 with Lycos... with NO tags.

Depending on who you ask, you can receive two dozen different answers as to what factors will get you that coveted number 1 spot on your favorite search engine. However, the proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes. Well, my pudding has bubbled and boiled and is now ready for tasting!

Let me tell you about my experience with getting my latest site ranked number 1 for its chosen keyphrase on Google. Incidentally, it is also ranked number 2 with Lycos.

Step One - Don't Guess About Keywords

This is an all-important step. Choosing the wrong keywords will stop you before you even start. A case in point... initially, the name of my site was going to be different. I was going to call it The Step-By-Step Copywriting Workshop. However, much to my surprise, the keyphrase "copywriting workshop" was not searched for by surfers. Had I chosen that keyphrase, I could have set myself up for lower rankings.

I use a service called WordTracker ( This is, without a doubt, one of the best keyword analysis services I've come across. With WordTracker, I was able to find the exact keywords/phrases that those interested in learning to write copy were using online. Thanks to this service, I was able to come up with a much stronger keyphrase... copywriting course. That's what I decided would be the primary keyphrase for my new site, and the name of the ebook.

Step Two - Plan Your Site

In planning for the site I knew I needed to use my primary keyphrase wherever possible. I looked at placing it within the page links, but the link names would not have made sense. I - of course - used it as the URL ( Next, I thought about how to use the phrase in the ALT tags of the images on the site pages. That worked well.

Finally, I turned my attention to the copy.

Step Three - Writing the Copy

I already knew that the copy was the major player of the game. For this reason, I strategically placed the keyphrase in the title bar of the site, used it in the header section and made very sure to achieve a keyword saturation ratio of around 3% - 4% within the body copy.

The End Result

When all was ready, I submitted the site to the major free engines including Google, AltaVista, Lycos, HotBot and others. The first submission took place on March 20th. My site finally hit Google and Lycos on May 8th - some 7 weeks later.

I typed in "copywriting course" and - low and behold - it was 1 on Google and 2 on Lycos!

The Amazing Part

What's so amazing? I used NO description tag or keyword tag! I had forgotten all about it. When I went back to the site to view the source code - I found no tags. (Go ahead and take a look... you won't find them either.)

So, *is* copy the key to good search engine rankings? I'd say this proves it beyond the shadow of a doubt.

While META tags are beneficial (especially the title tag), they are not the only factor at play. Search engine compatible copywriting plays a much more important role than any other "trick" in the book.

About the Author
Karon is Owner and President of Marketing Words, Inc. who offers targeted copywriting, copy editing & ezine article services. Visit her sites at ( and (


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