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Q: Status Check II Please... SEO ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Status Check II Please... SEO
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: ionweb-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 08 Jan 2004 08:17 PST
Expires: 07 Feb 2004 08:17 PST
Question ID: 294414
Hey guys - serenata and rskelton have offered assistance in the past
with helping to design this site using approved SEO techniques.

I have held off doing much while the Florida update ran it's course. 
My questions are as follows:
1. The site is listed with yahoo, google, zeal, dmoz, msn, alexa, and
quite a few others... yet page rank is still 0.  In addition, before
the update, yahoo had every page from this site listed - now only two
are listed - including the home.htm which has not been used since the
site was finished (home.php is the proper link)  Any thoughts on what
may be happening?

2.  When doing a search "personal trainer houston" or a variant of (no
quotes!) the site does not show up in the top pages - yet there are
sites (as an example that do - and in looking at that site
- I see not real difference in structure than mine... It is getting
frustrating following the rules of using clean HTML, following googles
guides for not using spam or link farms - yet there is no reward for
doing so.

Perhaps the above is too "wordy" and if so - I will clarify as
required and try to leave frustration out of it **grins**

Thanks and take care,

Clarification of Question by ionweb-ga on 08 Jan 2004 13:12 PST
As an afterthought - and to clarify... do I still just wait?? or are
there some specifics that I need to do?  I understand that external
links are important (we are still working on that - but are only
seeking to add relevant, non-competitive links)- but at the same time
- there are other similar sites that have little or no links of that
type that do quite well with the search parameters I indicated.
Subject: Re: Status Check II Please... SEO
Answered By: serenata-ga on 08 Jan 2004 19:04 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi again IONweb ~

Just for the heck of it, let's take a look at the results that I got
for the search term ~ personal trainer houston ~ (no quotation marks,
and search engine searches are not case sensitive).

Here's the results I got:
   - ://

It may help to remember that Google indexes almost 3.5 billion pages
and distributes its index over a dozen or more data centers and
thousands of servers. No matter how fast, anything with that kind of
scope takes time to get distributed over every data center, and there
is no physical way it can be done simultaneously.

It is not unreasonable to take 6-8 weeks or even longer for any site
to get crawled and indexed considering the above. I think it more
remarkable that it can happen faster than that.

Let's remember, too, that Google returns PAGES ... not websites. It is
reasonable to assume that while the theme of a website may (or may
not, only Google knows) carry some weight in search algorithms, 
that's why at times you will find a page from inside a website
returned for a search query instead of a site's home page. In other
words, the search engine found an inside page to be more relevant than
the index page, and returned that inside page as a query result.

In a perfect world, there wouldn't be any errors, and irrelevant
and/or spammed pages wouldn't get returned for a query result.
Google's not perfect, but they're working on it, and they are always
updating their algorithm to improve search results.

In case you haven't noticed lately, thousands of link farms have
disappeared from search results; and there are less for any given
search query every day. Likewise, while some other directories or
search results may be in Google's index, the chances of their showing
up in a broader query are becoming less, while more relevant sites
containing relevant content are making their way up the ladder (so to

Taking your questions out of order, I am going to address the second
question first.


You asked, "When doing a search "personal trainer houston" or a
variant of (no quotes!) the site does not show up in the top pages -
yet there are sites (as an example that do - and in looking
at that site - I see not real difference in structure than mine..."

Let's do a side by side comparison of the two"

                  ======================     ========================

1. Page rank      <1/10                      3/10
2. Links in 
   Google's       0                          1

3. Contains the term (meaning contains a link to the URL, but has a
   page rank of less than 4)
                  8                          18      

4. Uses term "personal trainer houston" in <title> tag
                  Yes                        Yes

5. Uses term "personal trainer houston" within body content
                  No                         Yes

6. Uses term "houston" within body content
                  No                         Yes

7. Uses the term "houston" in page header
                  No                         Yes

8. Uses a menu on its landingi page to lead visitors and
   search engines to its inside pages.
                  No                         Yes

It's pretty easy to see, all things being equal, why
shows up in the results for the search term "personal trainer houston"
and I am not surprised that didn't.

You also say, "It is getting frustrating following the rules of using
clean HTML, following googles guides for not using spam or link farms
- yet there is no reward for doing so.

And I couldn't agree with you more. Keep in mind that Google's
responsibility is to the searcher, not the website owner, and while
you may be seeing some questionable results, even for your search
term, the site isn't one of them. It belongs there
because it does meet the criteria, and it left out a very important
element you seem to have missed, the word "houston".

As for the spammy pages or pages which really don't belong there,
there is no reason to believe those pages will remain there for any
reasonable length of time. Remember, Google is constantly improving
its algorithms. It has already made some sweeping changes, and I would
imagine there are more to come. The sites that remained pretty
constant were ... you guessed it! Those sites which did follow the

You also asked, "before the update, yahoo had every page from this
site listed - now only two are listed - including the home.htm which
has not been used since the site was finished (home.php is the proper
link)  Any thoughts on what may be happening?"

I can't speak for Yahoo search, but I've never cared for it, not even
when I worked for Yahoo; but I can surmise what you're seeing are the
results after Yahoo has adapted to a new search engine. I may be
prejudiced, but for a person who deals in information on a daily
basis, Google is still my search engine of preference.

I can tell you have put some time into redoing the site, but there is
still more you can do to attain your goal. Treat every page as its own
"mini-site", optimize each for your user first, and the search engines
second, and you really can't go wrong.

One other thing I would mention is your using right-justified content.
You have no idea how others have their individual monitors,
resolutions, default fonts (which may or may not override your own),
and browser settings, but using light text against a dark background
is extremely difficult to read.

By the nature of the beast, text online does not kern well, and there
is no such ting as word spacing as you can get in printed material.
Therefore, in some cases, your text on your index page has huge gaps
between words. This makes comprehension more difficult as your user
battles to concentrate on lines of text with gaps between words.

On previous occasions, I have referred you to Jakob Nielsen's site on
website usability. You might want to read what he says about the use
of justified text online.

I hope this answers your question about your search terms and page rank.

My advice is to make your changes and resubmit.

Then wait ... it's the hardest part of the whole thing.

Search terms
  Having answered a couple of questions for this Cutsomer before, I am
relying on past material provided him from Google and other resources
that I use daily.

Happy New Year and warm regards,

Request for Answer Clarification by ionweb-ga on 09 Jan 2004 08:49 PST
Oh... almost forgot - you said that our landing page does not have a
menu?? It is at the bottom of the index page... or am I
misunderstanding your point?


Clarification of Answer by serenata-ga on 09 Jan 2004 09:29 PST
Well oops on me! 

You're right, you do have your text links down there at the bottom,
forgive my error, please!

I must have been squinting or closed my eyes or something when I was
looking at the page.

With regard to links ... yes. The Internet is about links, and how all
the links to and from different sites.

Here's what Google says ... check it's PageRank information. Without
some important links to your page, combined with relevant content and
good HTML, your site practically doesn't exist.

Here's the link to the PageRank info:
   - ://

And remember, don't try to game the system by signing up with link
farms or engage in linking schemes. That could get you penalized,
which you don't need or want.

And remember, too, that the competition among the search engines is to
provide relevant sites, so while there may be pages which don't seem
to be or actually aren't as relevant right now, the algorithms are
changing - almost daily, sometimes subtly, sometimes rather jarringly
(like the Florida update), but the ultimate goal is to get the
relevant information presented in answer to a query.

If you're watching daily, you may not notice the improvements (from
the searcher's point of view). But searchers are noticing that they're
getting better results.

In my own business, I work with clients for optimum design and keeping
to the guidelines, and some of them have been climbing up to first
page SERPs by sticking to the basics. It can be done, and you will
increasingly see that search results will become very relevant to the
search queries - you can bank on that.

Warm regards,
ionweb-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Hello serenata... nice to see you again ~
I do see your point about the "houston" issue and I will work that in.
I am still a little unclear as to why there is no page rank at all??
Is it simply "links" that is causing that because the relevent content
is there - or am I still missing the boat?

Yes - I have worked on content - am glad you saw that - and yes, the
reader is the focus, that is why it is sometimes hard to put some of
the search terms in and still keep it readable ... make sense?  Alas,
I will work out the issues you spoke of and resubmit - perhaps have
you peek back at it next week to get your thoughts once again.

Take care and thanks again!

P.S.. of course there is no need to post all the search criteria - no
need to repost them - I have them bookmarked :)

Subject: Re: Status Check II Please... SEO
From: serenata-ga on 13 Jan 2004 14:41 PST
Hi Ionweb~

Thanks for your remarks ... and of course, thank you for your generous
tip. Please know it is very much appreciated.

Warm regards,

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