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Q: Higher Listing for Cardiff Hotel website ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Higher Listing for Cardiff Hotel website
Category: Computers > Algorithms
Asked by: bluelake-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 07 Jan 2004 10:35 PST
Expires: 06 Feb 2004 10:35 PST
Question ID: 294076
Last year I started optimizing a website for a Cardiff Hotel: Understandably, my client wanted to be found
under "cardiff hotel". In November, they were in the top 20 but after
the "florida update", their site is around 500. I understand the
importance of relevant and appropriate incoming links -but can you
give me some advice on "on the page" changes I can make to improve
this listing please?
Subject: Re: Higher Listing for Cardiff Hotel website
Answered By: robertskelton-ga on 07 Jan 2004 20:22 PST
Hi there,

There are two main problems:

1) You have too many links that point to your site with the text
"Lincoln House Hotel - Cardiff"
2) The home page doesn't have any text

Florida Update
Two months ago, having a single phrase in every link to your site, and
using that same phrase in on-the-page optimizing, was an extremely
powerful strategy, albeit in a grey-area of Google's guideines.

With the Florida update there have been a huge number of sites
targeting commercial keywords drop out of the search results. Debate
is continuing, and an agreement on what has caused this is far from
being reached. I have been in discussions involving many experts in
the field, and this is my own take on what has happened:

1) Google uses the words in and around links to a page as a ranking factor

2) Either due to the introduction of stemming in the search results,
or just a general desire to make results more relevant, Google
introduced a filter to dampen the affect link text has on sites that
are using link text to influence search results

3) Link text works great for non-commercial sites, so the filter only
affects commercial keywords (possibly those that are bidded on in
Google Adwords)

4) The filter dampens the affect of all links pointing to a page,
internal or external

5) The filter only kicks in when it sees the same keyphrase repeated
over and over again

6) The filter might then also look for on-the-page optimizing for that
phrase, and possibly determine whether a page is being overly

7) Sites affected by the filter almost always drop a few hundred
spots. I think that this is because link text was the only factor
thathad them so high in the first place, but it could also be a set

Regarding your site, I found over 100 links pointing to it that use
the phrase "Lincoln House Hotel - Cardiff"

The culprit is the repeated set of links appearing on pages at Welsh
Golfing Holidays, like this page:

Because those links constitute the majority of all the point to your
site, Google will have decided that it is a deliberate attempt to rank
well due to keywords contained in the links. And therefore the filter
has kicked in, and your site has dropped hundreds of places.

Unfortunately, although asking that website (presumably you have some
relationship with them) to remove the links will stop the filter
kicking in (once Google re-indexes their site), it is highly likely
that those links were responsible for your high ranking in the first

To see the filter in action, go to this site and search for cardiff hotel

The first set of results are those that have been removed from the Top
100. You will notice that it's not just your site that has been
affected. The travel industry was one of the hardest hit.

On the page SEO
Most importantly, if links to your site are pointing to your homepage,
make sure the homepage has some content for Google to index.

Google does not index images, nor text contained within images. It
does take notice of image ALT tags, and the homepage is lacking them
as well.

Currently Google grabs descriptions from Open Directory for site, and
from your meta description tag. It uses the meta description tag,
because there is nothing else on the page to index

Cardiff Hotel - Lincoln House
The Lincoln House Hotel of Cardiff is a quiet, cozy, privately owned hotel
in Cardiff's city centre. It is full of Victorian charm and elegance. 
Description: Privately owned hotel in the city centre. Includes a
description of the facilities and the local area...
Category: Regional > Europe > ... > Accommodation > Hotels - 5k - Cached - Similar pages 

Including on the page text content is necessary for search engines.
Here's my advice:

1. Change the title to just Lincoln House Hotel Cardiff
2. Include at least two paragraphs of text. Use the phrase "cardiff
hotel" once in each paragraph. This text can appear below the images
you already have, and therefore "below the fold", and not affecting
the aesthetics too much
3. Above the text, use the <H1> heading tag around the words "Central
Cardiff Hotel", or something else that is short and includes "Cardiff
4. Add image ALT tags to each of the images on the page. For the
navigational images on the left and right, just use the text that the
images say
or the name of the page they lead to. For the central images, use the
text that appears, and for the picture of the hotel use "Lincoln House
Cardiff Hotel"

Focus and experiment
Focus your SEO attention on the homepage for your main search phrase.
Use the other pages of your site to do some SEO experimenting. Do for
each page as I outlined above, but for each page focus on a different,
short keyphrase, like "welsh tourism" or "cardiff attractions". Give
it a couple of months and if that page isn't getting any visitors via
Google, try different, less popular keywords.

And wait
Re-submit the links of the URLs that have changed to Google:

...and wait until the Google index reflects the changes

Best wishes,

Clarification of Answer by robertskelton-ga on 07 Jan 2004 20:55 PST
Big apologies!

I saw all those links at Welsh Golfing Holidays and just presumed they
were pointing to your site. My bad.

The problem is still the same (although it seems less fair) - too high
of a percentage of links to your site use the same keyphrase:

"Lincoln House Hotel - Cardiff";offset=40

Yes, it is a normal way to link to a site like yours. But Google is a
machine and it is just following rules. The only fix is to ask the
sites listed above to change the wording of the links, so that some
say just "Lincoln House", some "Lincoln House Hotel", some "Lincoln
House - Cardiff" and some "Lincoln House Hotel - Cardiff". And try and
make sure that no one phrase dominates links pointing to your site.
Subject: Re: Higher Listing for Cardiff Hotel website
From: leader-ga on 07 Jan 2004 19:08 PST
Hello bluelake-ga:

I advise you to direct this question to serenata-ga. To me, he is one
of the best, if not the best, researcher for these types of questions.
You can repost it by saying something like, 'For Serenata-ga' or
'Question for Serenata-ga'.


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