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Q: Optimizing for Google ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Optimizing for Google
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: mnathan-ga
List Price: $35.00
Posted: 02 Mar 2004 20:04 PST
Expires: 01 Apr 2004 20:04 PST
Question ID: 312833
Good Day,
I own and operate a vehicle lighting accessories online store/website . I am not doing as well as I would like in
Google and I am re-thinking my whole SEO campaign. The problem is, I
am constantly reading about optimization techniques and I tend to
apply most things I read to my site. This has resulted (in my opinion)
an "over optimized" store. That is to say, I believe I am actually
hindering my own advancement in the Google SERP's!
My PR is 3 and I would love to improve on this. I have 50 reciprocal
links, some to pages with PR 4 or higher, but Google only recognizes
1. I also have a cataloge of all my products. There is a "browse all
products" link at the bottom of my homepage. My SEO strategy so far
has been to promote my main product, "Euro Tail Lights" and to have
good keyword rich content throughout the site. It is a bit difficult
though, as many people search for "Euro Taillights" as well.
Unfortunately, I can't seem to rank as well as my competitors for any
of my keyword phrases.
Could someone please have a look at my site and my Google listings and
tell me what I am doing wrong? What could I change? Are my keywords
right/relevant? How can I get my site to rank better in the Google
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated as my head is going to implode
if I agonize about this any
Subject: Re: Optimizing for Google
Answered By: robertskelton-ga on 03 Mar 2004 16:54 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi there,

Here are some things you can do to improve the ranking of your
homepage for "euro tail lights". The same fundamentals apply for any
keyword or phrase you wish to target, however I recommend only
optimizing for one keyword or phrase per page - for other keywords use
other pages.

Most people would just search for euro tail lights, without enclosing
their query in quotes - "euro tail lights". However, Google will still
rank pages higher if it finds those three words forming a phrase in
the same order, higher than pages that might have the words, but in a
different order or with other words between them.

You have done well with the text on the page, I see the phrase
appearing 3 times in regular text. I always suggest that it should
appear once per paragraph, so I would put it in there one more time.

There are two more places where you need the phrase to appear:

In HTML there are tags such as <H1>....</H1> that are used to show a
heading. Ordinarily a H1 tag will appear bigger than the rest of the
text, and can look quite ugly. However you can use CSS to change the
tag to look anyway you choose. Google adds weight to a page with the
keywords in a heading.

Change "Altezza Style Euro Tail Lights and more!" to a H1 heading.

The title is the most powerful place you can put a keyword or phrase.
Change your title to the following:

Euro Tail Lights

... or at the very least make sure that the exact phrase appears in
the title. I recommend that titles should only be 3-4 words long and
targeting just one keyphrase. Opinions on this vary - many other
optimizers cram their titles full of keywords.

Notice in search results how many sites have the exact phrase
somewhere in the title:

Links to your site
Google's power stems from its use of links as votes for a page - the
more links that are pointing to your page, the more votes. The higher
the quality of those pages, the more the votes count.

Getting anyone to link to a commercial site is a very hard task.
Reciprocal links can work, but Google prefers sites that have many
more genuine links that reciprocal ones.

At the very least submit your site to Open Directory (it is free). The
pages of major directories tend to have good PageRank.  This category
seems to be the most appropriate, and has PR5:

Submission form:

You could also try LookSmart or Yahoo Directory, but they are not free.

Yahoo ($299 per year)

Looksmart (charge per click)


Look at who links to your opposition for ideas. These results are for


Google pays attention to keywords and phrases appearing in or near the
text of links pointing to a page - in general it is a good indication
of the contents of the page being linked to.

Optimizers had taken advantage of this for years, especially because
it was not expressly forbidden by Google Guidelines. They made sure
that all links to their site contained their targeted keywords.
Because of this, late last year Google changed things so that many
commercial sites that had the same text appearing in all incoming
links lost any benefit it gave them. If you ever have the ability to
dictate the words used in links pointing to your site - try to vary
the words for each link.

The Power of Many Pages
Optimize each page individually - especially have a different title for each page. 

This page of yours:

Ranks 2nd for:
Pontiac Grand Am Tail Lights

Any keyword or phrase that isn't ranking well - make a page for it, or
convert any page that isn't optimized. If it's not a specific product,
make a page anyway. Write an article on the topic.

Every page is a potential landing page from search engine results. If
people arrive on any page of your site, and they feel they have come
to the right site, they will browse your site further.

If any part of my answer is unclear, or you have more questions on
this topic, just ask for a clarification and I'll get back to you.

Best wishes,

Request for Answer Clarification by mnathan-ga on 03 Mar 2004 19:00 PST
I appreciate the feedback Robert, and I'm getting to work on the
changes right away. I'm just a little unclear about changing my title
to just euro tail lights. Would'nt it be better to have more keywords
in the title area? Especially since my product is searched for in so
many different terms such as; euro taillights, euro tail lights,
altezza lights, clear tail lenses, altezza euro taillights etc. I
though I was being pretty ingenious writing a title that included
almost every one of these
Are you sure that having these words in the body text alone will be
enough for a decent listing? Or should I create a different page for
each of these terms?

Thanks Robert, I plan to give you an excellent rating. Melanie

Clarification of Answer by robertskelton-ga on 03 Mar 2004 22:33 PST
Hi Melanie,

Titles are a very tricky topic. My opinion is based on running 10
websites and working as a professional searcher (not just at Google
Answers). It also makes sense - the short the title, the more accurate
it will be.

I like to think to myself, if I were a Google Search Engineer, how
would I decide ranking better... A four-word title or a twenty-word

Most optimizers have been stuffing the title, meta description & meta
keywords for years, without ever questioning if it is the best
practice. Studies often show X number of words in a title rank better,
like here:

They have worked out that the average top 10 ranking page has 6.7
words in the title (5.9 for #1s). This does not necessarily mean that
it is the reason they made the top 10. If I did a study of US
Billionaires and found that 90% of them were men who drank whisky
every night, that certainly does not mean that drinking whisky every
night helps you become a billionaire.

Many top 10 sites aren't optimized at all. Of those in the top 10 that
are optimized, title cramming is the norm - but it could be other
factors (like getting lots of links) that really count.

Bruce Clay is quite a well-known optimizer, and his homepage title is
stuffed full of keyphrases. But the real reason he ranks well is that
he has PageRank of 8. He could have a blank title and still rank well!

See this forum for an example of webmaster discussions about title length:

I have always advocated a policy of optimizing each page for only one
keyword or keyphrase. The downside to this is that homepages usually
have a higher PageRank than the rest of the site.

Keep in mind that the title is what stands out in search results, and
smart searchers prefer sites with titles that read nicely. Keyword
filled titles are more likely to belong to spam pages. And a title is
what gets saved when you make a page a favorite/bookmark it.

Here are some random searches I made. Many have long titles, but not
due to optimization:
mnathan-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
My researcher was very helpful. He provided general as well as
specific feedback on my dillema with very insiteful suggestions. I
really feel like I got my money's worth! Thanks so much.

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