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It's not my intention to boast - far from it! But, it came as a
pleasant surprise to me recently when I managed to achieve what
most people say is impossible: get on page one of Yahoo/Google
and Altavista *and* get top position for my keywords, both on my
I didn't use any tricks, I have no hidden links - in fact I have
almost no links to speak of - I didn't stuff my metatags or ALT
parameters with junk, and I didn't generate hundreds of gateway
The most important thing I did was to develop a unique product
for a particular niche.
And, I did that only after researching the net and making sure
that nobody else had the same thing. There *are* some similar
products, but none with the exact same features. Hence, my
particular product *is* unique. It took a long time to develop
(three years), but it was a laborious task (the product will
*never* be finished really, and it is now my task to maintain
With the product ready, I then designed and coded the web pages,
building an entire domain around this one complete idea. I
didn't want any extraneous issues or offers to detract from the
domain's raison d'etre; I would use *other* domains to promote
my affiliate programs and other products.
The design is simple to the point of Spartan; the coding is so
basic, a beginner could do it easily. Just as well, as my
However, I wanted *nothing* to get in the way of my message and
what I wanted to market.
Before developing the code, I wrote out my sales letter in Word,
doing the layout as I wrote, working out the headlines, and
getting the look and feel of my page the way I wanted, before I
converted it to HTML.
When the sales letter and basic coding was done, I then turned
to the TITLE, DESCRIPTION and KEYWORDS within the HTML code.
There has been a lot written about those three and no doubt
there will continue to be much said. I don't profess to be
expert at all, but I do know this:
(1) The TITLE must be relevant and must make linguistic and
logical sense when read by a human. If it contains two or three
powerful keywords, so much the better. TITLE length, I think,
should adhere to that required by Yahoo.
(2) The DESCRIPTION must be relevant also and should contain
your most powerful keywords, but should not merely repeat your
title. Similarly, its length should not exceed that required by
Yahoo. The very first headline of the sales letter should be
*exactly* the same as the DESCRIPTION.
(3) The KEYWORDS used must appear in the sales letter, but only
in a certain ratio to the total words on a page. Depending upon
who you read, that ratio can vary from 3% to 10% (my home page
for this product has about a 4% ratio). Also, from material I've
read, opinion is roughly split 50/50 about whether keywords
should be in upper or lower case. I've opted to use all upper
case, separated by commas with no spaces.
I spent a lot of time getting the title, description and first
headline right and went through many variations before I
stopped. (But, I don't have to stop - they can be modified any
time at all I choose.) Only when I had finished *that* process
though, did I then develop my final keyword list.
Each page for the website was treated in the same way. But,
although each page - and there are only eleven - is thematically
similar, the TITLE, DESCRIPTION, KEYWORDS and first headline are
all different (content for each page is different also, of
course!). By doing so, I ensure that I can submit all pages
individually, should I choose, without being accused of spamming
the search engines (although, with only 11 pages, that was not
When all was done, I submitted the site
(http://rogersreference.com) to all of the majors manually i.e.
the top ten, which includes Yahoo, Google and Altavista, on Oct
17th, and made a note to search the SEs in a few weeks. (I used
an automated service to submit to hundreds of other SEs). When I
checked the above three on November 20th, there I was - page 1,
number 1. You could've knocked me down with a feather! And, I
haven't paid a cent yet to be included in any directory or
The site is not yet indexed in Yahoo, but I'm hoping that will
happen in a little while. Anyway, I'm not complaining!
SUMMARY: Perhaps the most important lesson I've learnt is that a
unique product or idea for a niche category or market is
crucial, being the sine qua non for high ranking. This, I think,
cannot be stressed too strongly.
Secondly, the whole domain was developed with the KISS principle
as paramount. The people who read through the domain will be
interested in *only* what I have to *say* and will judge it
accordingly. And, that's how it should be. (Other products
however would benefit from more page embellishment e.g. fancy
video games, animation software, photography, art and such like.)
And, finally, I've given the search engines and directories what
they want: content rich web pages in a specific niche, directed
to targeted, interested people. And, isn't that how it should be
If you're interested in finding my ebook product, go to one of
the above and punch in 'homonym+dictionary' or
'homonym+homophone' in the search box.
Now, here's the BIG bonus: search results for the above also
include a link to another of my domains, sometimes on the same
page. Now that's icing worth waiting for!
About the author:
Roger Burke has been involved with computers since 1967, and has
managed to break quite a few, over the years. He, and his wife
Sherry, are now actively engaged in online self-publishing and
promoting specific affiliate programs at
http://online-wealth.com . If you have any comments or questions
about this article, please send emails to
mailto:email@example.com . Copyright 2001,
Online-Wealth. All rights reserved.