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Q: Search Engine Optimization ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Search Engine Optimization
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: sheilahowell-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 22 Jan 2004 09:41 PST
Expires: 21 Feb 2004 09:41 PST
Question ID: 298957
How can I increase the natural search engine results on the Designer
Linens Outlet site?  I would like the answer split between
easy/inexpensive to implement and more long-term solutions.

Request for Question Clarification by serenata-ga on 22 Jan 2004 11:22 PST
It would help to have the URL, in order to look at what's there, what
can/should be changed and what you can work on for the long-term


Request for Question Clarification by omnivorous-ga on 22 Jan 2004 12:16 PST
Sheila --

If the following URL is yours, note that the Whois registration shows
it expired Jan. 21, 2004 -- though it may not yet reflect a renewal of

Best regards,


Clarification of Question by sheilahowell-ga on 22 Jan 2004 12:37 PST
The url is:
Subject: Re: Search Engine Optimization
Answered By: robertskelton-ga on 22 Jan 2004 23:52 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Sheila,

First of all, in my opinion, there isn't really such a thing as a
long-term SEO strategy. There are basic optimization principles that
will probably always be valid - implement them as soon as possible and
use them whenever you update your site. In the future, just keep an
eye out for new search engines to submit to (expect Microsoft to
launch one later this year), and if your traffic from search engines
ever drops significantly, pop over to WebMasterWorld to see if it has
happened to others, and read their opinions.


Otherwise, everything I mention below should be done ASAP...

Search Engines and Text
Search engines love text - they feed on it, they analyse it, they provide it. 

There is an aspect of search engine optimization which generally does
not have a perfect solution: you can have a good looking site with
lots of images, or one with lots of text that ranks well with search
engines. In your case I suggest a compromise between the two.

Your site has very little text. For your site to appear in search
results for a keyword, it pretty much has to have the keyword
appearing on the page somewhere. To decide which words to use, try

Overture Suggestion Tool 

Play around with a few of the product types you sell, and look for
keywords and phrases that match your site's content. They are listed
in order of how often people search for them at the Overture search

Here are the places where the keywords or phrases should appear, I
suggest that you stick to one keyword or phrase per page. If each page
is optimized for different words, you have many more chances of
appearing in search results.

Very, very important. The more concisely it fits the search keywords,
the higher the page will rank. Two or three words work best. For your
site's homepage I suggest:

Designer Linens: Bed and Bath Linen

This is a HTML tag that designates a heading. Ordinarily it looks big
and ugly. But by using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) you can change how
a heading looks - color, size, font, background - so that it looks
like it belongs on the page. Place the keywords or phrase in one H1
tag near the top of the page.

Image ALT tags
Your site already using ALT tags for some images. The ALT tag is a
great place for keywords, and should be used for every image of your

Regular Text
Let the keyword/phrase appear once or twice for each paragraph of
plain text on the page.

File Name
Not as important, but if filenames are like


instead of


...they will rank a little higher.

At the very least make sure that each page of your site has a short,
individual title that reflects the page's content. And stick a couple
of paragraphs of text on your homepage, below what is already there -
just describe your site and what it sells.

Getting Indexed
At present Google has only indexed your homepage. In most cases,
Google follows internal links and indexes every page it finds. The
most likely reason for Google not indexing your entire site is the
nature of it - a dynamically generated shopping site. Sometimes Google
shies away from these, because the dynamic nature means that what they
index might be different when the searcher visits. Google has stated
that dynamic URLs that have a variable labeled "ID" in them are often
not indexed. Removing the "ID" from Category_ID, SID=1 and Product_ID
might make a difference.

An answer to this problem is to create some static HTML pages. Google
is far more likely to index them. The easiest solution would be to
change your main category pages to static HTML and leave the rest of
the site as it is.

You should also get listed in Froogle, Google's shopping search engine
that is designed to work with sites like yours. More info:

Froogle: Information for Merchants

The power of Google comes from the way it looks as links to a website
or page as "votes". The more links, the higher the likelihood of the
page or site being worth a visit. If no-one links to your site, Google
(being a piece of software) will determine it can't be much good.
Basically, the more sites that links to yours, the better. And if they
are quality sites, better still.

Getting links from other sites is difficult for retail sites. But the
more you get, the better you will rank. At the very least get a free
listing with Open Directory, and consider paying to be listed in Yahoo
and It might pay to wait a month before paying Yahoo,
for they might change things dramatically in the near future.

Open Directory
(click on Suggest URL at the top of the page)

(click on Suggest a Site near the top - $299 per year)
(click on Standard Listings in the right column, $99 per year)

Submitting to Google
Whenever you make major changes to your site, resubmit it using this page:

Best wishes,
sheilahowell-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
The answer is very detailed and is written so that I can understand. 
He re-enforces some of the ideas I had, but he suggested many changes
I didn't know about.  He answered me timely and fully.

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