Hello again IONWeb ~
Thanks for asking for my input, and please forgive that I didn't see
it until just now.
I can tell you with 99% certainty that since Google has introduced its
[See: "Closing the Last Mile Gap: Local Search",
Intrnetnews.com", April 2, 2004
"Will Local Search Live Up to its Hype?"
By Matt Hicks, eWeek, April 1, 2004
- http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1560195,00.asp ]
You're going to be hard pressed to rank for that search term in Google
unless you actually use those terms and/or words in your copy.
Look at landing page for your site ... the word "Houston" can only be
found four times total, and that's all in metatags, not in the page's
And no matter how you look at it ... your landing page is still an
entry page to the 'real' site, which Google isn't inclined to weight
as heavily as other entry pages which reflect the site's content and
lead from that page to the inner pages.
If I remember correctly, you kept the page because your "main squeeze"
likes the image (the reflecting pool, etc.), and I can appreciate
that. However, in all honesty, the graphic on that splash entry page,
and the content do not reflect what searchers would be looking for
under those search terms, "fitness trainer houston".
The entry then to the "main site" is in small letters at the bottom -
and at the very bottom are the text links to other inside pages.
You are either going to have to get rid of the reflecting pool and (at
the risk of angering one of my favorite Google Answers customers) get
to the purpose of the site, working the design into the "real" pages,
or your are going to have to be less "reflective" and more direct in
the content on your entry page (not the home.php page).
Again, I really hope that didn't upset you ... but your landing page
just doesn't seem related to what your site is about.
While I'm at it, I did want to clear up a misconception about MSN and
Yahoo! I respect both of them. But until recently, Yahoo was a
directory, not really a search engine - that's relatively new. And MSN
is still using other search engines as it develops its own.
I have just found for years now that I can get more relevant material
without wading through a lot of garbage and ads on Google. That's why
it is still my favorite Search Engine! The fact we're starting to see
search engines improve and a so-called "search engine war" heating up
can only be good for searchers.
Lastly, I had to check to see why Yahoo would list you at number one
for the search term ... and ut-ohhhh!
Remember, search engines return PAGES ... not sites. And look at the
PAGE Yahoo returns for that search term: your LINKS page - and picks
up your Description metatag. That's how Google did it years ago, and
changed the technology because the results for searchers were less
than optimal. How long do you feel searchers will stay with a search
engine that gives them a page of links to other sites?
Yahoo Search Results:
"TOP 20 WEB RESULTS out of about 73,200. Search took 0.09
seconds. (What's this?)
1. Personal fitness trainer houston
Certified personal fitness trainer Houston TX promoting
a healthy lifestyle, diet, and exercise for weight loss
and physical finess, includes articles and self-help
www.bodyreconstruction.com/links.htm - 9k - Cached
MSN Search Results:
Notice that the number 1 position is your main landing page. The
viewer won't find anything about Houston in that page ... check your
logs for referrers from MSN and how many of those visitors go beyond
your first page.
As a searcher, if I can't find anything there about fitness trainer
and houston, I'm gone.
The second page does get to your home.htm page (which redirects to
home.php). How did it find "home.htm" instead of "home.php", and how
is it redirected? If the page itself redirects to home.php, that may
be why it's not showing up in Google's index for the search term. I
say "may", because Google doesn't like to list redirects, considering
them less than ideal (and sometimes even spam).
Alta Vista is likewise picking up your links.html page first.
Now, let's see what Google HAS indexed for your site.
Try entering "site:site:www.bodyreconstruction.com " in the Google
search box (without the quotation marks).
And you can see there are 11 entries. If you want the tie in "fitness
trainer" and "houston", you do need to make sure you use the terms
intelligently and close enough together to make the connection for
being found under those terms.
Notice, too, that links.htm ranks higher than your home.php ... I
suspect that you don't want links AWAY from your site to rank higher
than information ABOUT your site. It might be wise to consider how to
write effective copy to boost you up there.
Recent news shows Google's pulling out ahead in the search engine
preferences ... because Google is giving good quality to its users.
After taking a look at the other search engines, I wouldn't consider
your links page to be relevant content for that search term. I bet you
I hope this helps answer your question. And thanks again for asking
for my input. I enjoy our exchanges!
Clarification of Answer by
03 Apr 2004 20:48 PST
Well, I'm sorry we're talking "former" when it comes to the main
squeeze department. Isn't it always the case to feel comfortable
enough to mention it and then feel a trifle foolish when it seems a
faux pas? Color me blushing, and if it was uncomfortable, make it
Interesting stats ... but they sort of go with current SERPs rankings, don't they?
And you'd be hard-pressed to convince me there is a better SE than
Google. Mostly because of the number of *relevant* sites I can find in
my (literally) dozens of searches performed daily.
I use Google for three types of searches, and while I am more familiar
with search engines than many out there, I would suggest the purposes
for which I use it are pretty much what everyone else does, too:
1. Information ... that is just to find information about
a particular subject.
2. Location ... in finding a specific website (say for a
retailer or manufacturer) - not necessarily someone's
3. To buy something ... which is pretty straight forward.
Anyway, I'd say that's pretty much the same reason others search the
web and why ranking in Google is important.
Surprisingly, I've had SEO clients I've helped to first page listings
who realize that by the time they get the sites put together to get
there, it's no longer crucial they be there. They get as much traffic
from ranking further in the search results as they do from the first
page results, which I think gives some credence to theories I've seen
propounded by those unitiated with the scramble for higher rankings
that ... the first pages don't always have the best information!
Imagine that! The ordinary searcher, without understanding the 'whys'
has realized that for some reason those at the top aren't always the
Remember to keep the three elements and you should be in good shape
with any search engine:
1. Relevant content;
2. Links TO the site (outside links); and
3. Good HTML.
That's been Google's and the legitimate SEO's tune from the beginning,
and ultimately, despite others' tries at gaming the system, continues
Oh yes, let's not forget time. It doesn't happen overnight. Hanging in
there and working at it takes an investment in time and smarts.
Thanks for sharing the information, it is interesting indeed. Don't
count on the newer engines trying to catch up to Google to not be
changing and improving their own algorithms as well. And the last
conference on Search Engines, the others still said if you design to
Google's standards it helps across the board.
That should be telling us something.
Ummm, again - if I hit a nerve, forgive me. But at least it shows that
I remembered you? [Going to the second string weaker excuses now ;) ]