Clarification of Answer by
26 Aug 2002 14:04 PDT
You were actually ranked #4 when I tried it:
The top return
has a page rank (4),repeats "andrew weyth" three times in the text and
"wyeth" a 4th, has "Andrew Weyth" in the title, and links a photo of
"Bradford House". While you would beat them on a simple title duel,
they have more than enough good content to get them in the running
where the page rank can trump you.
only has "andrew weyth" and "bradford house" once each, but that's
enough to get them in the running for our search phrase, and their
page rank is 5. This page also features very limited text, and none of
the key words we're looking for are in the Meta Tags, so it's an
excellent example of a good page rank paying off.
has "Andrew Weyth" in the title, the exact "Andrew Wyeth Bradford
House" in a picture link, and many other "weyth's" including in
keyword tags. However, it's page rank is only 3. However, if you
search in quotes, this is the only page to beat you, since they
include the exact phrase, and have a page rank.
What we are seeing is that page rank does make a difference, but only
when the pages have already been vetted by Google's basic sorting
algorithms. I probably took a shortcut when I used the word "esoteric"
to describe pages for which the title tag beats all. For example, look
at the #10 result,
They have Weyth in the title, "Bradford House" repeated three time for
picture links for different sizes. Where they fail our criteria is not
having "Andrew" in the text, although it repeats many times in the
underlying HTML in ALT tags for the pictures. They also have a page
rank (2) yet you beat them handily. The 5 other rankers in the top 10
include two 3's, 2 4's, and a 5. The page immediately after you has
everything required to compete for #1 in this search, except the title
I guess I'm relying quite a bit on personal experience when I say
Google overweights the title tag. I've seen dozens of instances where
simply changing the title of a page causes it to leap from off the
charts to #1 FOR A PARTICULAR SEARCH PHRASE, or at least make the top
5 if there isn't serious competition. You aren't alone in questioning
this logic, I'd be lying if I told you this was the majority position
of SEO world, it's just one of several core approaches.
It's not a spamming technique, it's a question of proper labeling.
But, if you're in a category, like "Build a PC" where there are
hundred of ranked sites that have "Build a PC" right in the title, you
aren't going to get anywhere with a change of title tag unless you can
come up with a longer title containing something people might search
on, like "Build a Solar Powered PC." Even without quotes, this search
ignores all "Build a PC" pages that don't include solar power, so if
you actually wanted to build a site that got in the top five for this
search, you could easily do it.
The power of the title tag is to make you a biggish fish in a smallish
pond. While Andrew Weyth, for example, is a famous artist with many
pages mentioning him, very few do so in the title like you do, so you
reap the benefit.