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Gaining Critical Incremental Benefits in Search Positioning

By Mike Banks Valentine
Posted Friday, October 22, 2004

Gaining top search positions for your chosen search words and phrases has become more and more competitive as search engine optimization firms use new, more effective techniques to place their large clients. The little guy needs every possible advantage to have the visibility necessary to bring search traffic. This is becoming more costly as new paid inclusion programs are launched by each of the major search engines seeking to "monetize" free search.

In order to rank well at any search engine it has become critical to use the basic techniques of appropriate content and page architecture to provide search spiders with indexing and ranking scorecards. We all know by now that metatags, including title, description and keyword tags as well as image alt text is important. Most of us know that using keywords liberally in body text and creating descriptive hypertext links within body copy is helpful. Most of us know also that using keywords in TEXT based page navigation links (not image links, such as buttons) increases ranking and improves your score at major search engines.

For a concise overview of this information for new webmasters, visit:

(http://website101.com/metatags.html)

Suppose you are doing all of the important items above and still need that extra little edge required to gain visibility in the engines? Here are a few techniques to tip the scales in your favor.

1. Gain link listings from large *Targeted* high traffic sites that are complementary to your business. Sometimes paid listings in these types of directories is well worth the cost of entry. One such directory would be the small business section of Business.com, $199 will gain your company dramatic link relevancy increases in Google and it's search partners. Specialists should consider sites appropriate to their professional category such as Law and legal sites for paid directory listings. Try contacting the "guide" at About.com for a link from your subject category for an often over- looked and valuable link from a guide site at About.com. (It's Free)

(http://www.business.com)
(http://www.about.com)

2. Consider programs such as the very new "Search Partner" program at FastSearch.com where they will not only offer a site "intrasearch" facility to allow your site visitors to search only your web site, but their spider recrawls your web site on a bi- monthly basis to be certain to index new information and assure fresh listings for sites that make frequent changes. This two-in- one program costs $149 yearly to start. Fast also partners with the Lycos Network and provides search results for several international engines as well.

(http://fastsearch.com/index.php?d=products&c=internet&s=partnersite)

3. Consider a paid subscription to the well known and extremely useful "Submit Director" service which allows instantaneous ranking algorithms for your site on an as-needed basis so that you can see your site precisely the way the search engines do. This valuable tool provides multiple charts, graphs and page analytics to allow you to carefully craft and then tweak to your hearts content. A very worhthwhile investment for a one year subscription gives you an edge very few small business webmasters are even aware of. This program is heavily used by professional search engine optimizers. $149 for less than 50 pages and $189 for up to 100 pages.

(http://www.submitdirector.com/)

4. The venerable First Place Software has just introduced the latest version 1.60 of their Web Position Gold ranking, submission and reporting tool and has version 2.0 in beta testing now. Those who have used this excellent software for their doorway page creation, submissions and reporting functions are well aware of the time- saving and instructive nature of WPG for top search positioning and should consider purchasing or upgrading now to gain an edge on the late adopters. $149

(http://website101.com/WPG.html)

5. Keep your eyes peeled for new developments in search such as the brand new Wisenut.com search engine. Wisenut has leapt out of the starting gate with the bold claim that they outperform and index more of the web than the current leader Google. We'll see how that claim holds up as the competition to dominate search on the web offers a tough nut to crack. New programs, new partners and new players could bring new chances to place your site in the top ten of at least a couple of the major search engines.

(http://WiseNut.com)

Searching for the best option for your limited web promotion budget will certainly lead to some of these choices over others, but with everyone beginning to charge for submission, listing and ranking, you had better make some choices and get moving if you want to be visible to the search engines and it's imperative if you find your site ranked below #30 at any of the major search engines.

About the Author
Mike Valentine does Search Engine Placement for the Small Business (http://website101.com/Optimization.html) WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet Weekly Ezine emphasizing small business on the Internet (http://website101.com/arch/)