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H1, Bold, Underline and Italics are King!
Result of an optimizing test.
Jesse_Smith




msg:66102
 4:21 am on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

A few months ago I made a bunch of files with a special keyword in each file in a different way. Here's the results, with listing #1 first, then 2, then 3....

h1, bold, underline and italics
word.htm, meta desc and keywords
word.html
h3, italics and underline
h1, bold and italics
h1, bold and underline
h2 and underline
h2 and italics
H3, bold and underline and italics
h3, bold and underline
h2 and bold
word-word.htm and H1
Unique keywords ONLY in bold tags
h1, italics and underline
h1 and bold
h1 and underline
content and meta description
content
H1
word-word.html
word.html

I also had a URL with seven back-links on a PR 6 site and that URL didn't even get indexed. That URL got a PR of 4.

So the ultimate optimizing may be file name, H1, bold, underline, and italics, then meta tags. The more the better. Who cares about a PR and back-links!

I've just strated another test to see what is best,

key-word.html
key_word.html
key/word
or
keyword.html

two files for each (with and with out the keywords in the link to the file.)

 

bigjohnt




msg:66132
 4:00 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

I take it you are aware that Google randomise results that are very close togehter in raw ranking value then?

I am. And I find it particularly annoying. 'Specially when about to show a client where we are, and seeing it change well before "the dance" begins.
I've resorted to dated screenshots to avoid "mishaps"

WebDon




msg:66133
 4:52 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

I take it you are aware that Google randomise results that are very close togehter in raw ranking value then?

I wasn't aware of that. But it explains a few things. Thanks for that tidbit!

funandgames




msg:66134
 5:13 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

I did a similar experiment about one year ago with eight variables on an obscure keyword phrase. There were 256 combinations in all. I use this 'secret' keyword to see what Google is doing with each update and update my pages and find it works 95% of the time. This eventually led me to 'de-optimize' hundreds of pages and I even made a post about it.

[webmasterworld.com...]

snipped

This results of this experiment made my company's income increase by nearly 20 fold.

snipped

[edited by: DaveAtIFG at 3:44 am (utc) on Aug. 14, 2004]
[edit reason] Off topic [/edit]

iProgram




msg:66135
 5:16 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

How many people will modify their pages with 'h1, bold and underline and italics'? Will you do this now?

JudgeJeffries




msg:66136
 5:28 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

I though everyone already used 'h1, bold and underline and italics' for decent position or is it just me that uses WPG.
Shame that not everyone here tells the truth about these matters.

JuniorOptimizer




msg:66137
 5:31 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Funandgames, go ahead and post some info. I for one would love to hear it.

tantalus




msg:66138
 5:55 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Funandgames, go ahead and post some info. I for one would love to hear it."

Please don't, not because of plunderers but because Google will go and plunder it for their next algo tweak

bekyed




msg:66139
 7:04 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi,

So what about h2's - are these ok to use with both main keywords in?

Bek

Jesse_Smith




msg:66140
 7:17 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

:::Please don't

The real reason you don't want results posted is two words 'trade secrets'. You don't want your competition to get any more tricks to geting to the top. Luckly I'm no SEO, there for I can make the info public with out losing business!

:::How many people will modify their pages with 'h1, bold and underline and italics'? Will you do this now?

Not just yet. After I got results of the bigger tests then I'll try it if they show the same results and let you know as soon as Google has a spasm over my adding a few extra HTML tags.

One other test that I created at the request of another member is testing

<H1><IMG SRC="URL" alt="KEYWORD"></H1>

vs.

<IMG SRC="URL" alt="KEYWORD">

also 10 tests for this, each with it's own keyword.

If any one has any ideas for more tests, let me know!

webdude




msg:66141
 7:26 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

I take it you are aware that Google randomise results that are very close togehter in raw ranking value then?

Yes, I am aware of this, however, the sites I have that are #1 do not randomize. They stay #1 for very competative key phrases (1,120,000 results). The others that are on page 2 to 20 randomize almost daily. The #1 sites have been there for almost 4 years (except for Florida in which they dropped for about a month but came back).

shanbr




msg:66142
 9:25 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

thanks Jesse for all your posts.

Through this past year, you have been extremely helpful for my business with all the advice you have given.

I love to hear little secrets as most people do not share the information they come accross.

It takes a big person to share such info to competitors.

I already used the headers with my sites and they dropped out of google lately.

However, using the underlines etc. was something I did not do so this new idea may do well. Doesn't hurt in trying :)

Thanks again.

ogletree




msg:66143
 9:38 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is not anything new
Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone [webmasterworld.com]

F) Density, position, yada...
Simple old fashioned seo from the ground up.
Use the keyword once in title, once in description tag, once in a heading, once in the url, once in bold, once in italic, once high on the page, and hit the density between 5 and 20% (don't fret about it). Use good sentences and speel check it ;-) Spell checking is becoming important as se's are moving to auto correction during searches. There is no longer a reason to look like you can't spell (unless you really are phonetically challenged).

goodroi




msg:66144
 9:41 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Talking about the level of importance of h1, bold, etc. is nice but it has been well covered. As someone earlier posted "i thought everyone was already doing this." I thank you for all your effort and good spirit in putting this together put I don't see any new and actionable information in this thread. Forgive me if I am missing something here.

centrifugal




msg:66145
 3:49 am on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Forgive me if I am missing something here.

Your not missing anything. As much as I wish it was true, these things do not work with all sites, especially mine.

Im a little surprised such a thread made front page, especially from one man's test.
My own tests show quite different results.

Jesse_Smith




msg:66146
 5:28 am on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)


Im a little surprised such a thread made front page, especially from one man's test.
My own tests show quite different results.

So am I! This test is small compaired to my next ones! About 120 files total in the ones I'm currently waiting to be indexed. Post your own test results and we can compair them.

Disclaimer: I take back the 'Who cares about a PR and back-links!' quote! I made that quote before I tried entering a search with one of the other keywords that was on the file and not only in the back-link. Only being in the back link means it's not in the file so the file doesn't show up in the search, instead the pages providing the back-links showed up! Yes, back-links and PR help!

MHes




msg:66147
 8:36 am on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

There are plenty of examples of number 1 positions being achieved by 'this term is only found in links pointing to this site'

Underneath these are sites with H1, bold etc. etc.

The types of 'links in' dictate how the onpage stuff is evaluated, thus making these tests pointless.

Sharing knowledge and doing tests is great, but they have to accommodate the big picture. You cannot isolate factors. The fact that these pages have new content and are fresh will also play a part, with new rules kicking in with time.

The tactic of using h1 etc. is sound, and if you use them well, you will probably increase your ranking... but not for the conclusions made here, but because of a combination of other related factors.

Its like concluding the world is black and white, because you haven't turned the lights on.... without light you don't see any colour. Likewise, without links, you don't see the true effect of on page optimisation.

internetheaven




msg:66148
 11:16 am on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

A few months ago I made a bunch of files with a special keyword in each file in a different way. Here's the results, with listing #1 first, then 2, then 3....

I've done the same thing over a period of two years and the results vary from update to update. Sometimes certain things are ranked higher, then a few months later it switches.

This doesn't really give us anything we didn't already know, basic optimization is always necessary and I think your statements could be misleading to new webmasters because although H1's, Bold's etc are the flavour of the month webmasters need to cover all bases, not just focus on what is popular this particular month.

Anyway, anchor text overules the above SEO techniques. You can miss out all the on-page optimization stuff you read here and still get to No.1 so your test only shows how to improve ranking if all of your competitors don't do the same and have anchor text.

rytis




msg:66149
 11:24 am on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for generously sharing, but such isolated from real world experiments really don't have any value. Like fine-tuning your running technique on moon, and then trying to win race on earth.

R

designhaus




msg:66150
 11:30 am on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

thanks for sharing Jesse_Smith. This is a suspicion i have had for ages. Thank you! I look forward to any further tests you make.

nuevojefe




msg:66151
 7:21 pm on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Jesse,

Thanks for being willing to share. Even if some aspects may be flawed, (as is nearly unavoidable with small sample tests) this is a great way to bring out others experiences and suggestions.

MHes,

Your points are well made. Can you suggest any tests that may be a better use of Jesse's time? He seems to be willing to test and report results, an asset which we may as well focus in the best possible direction.

MHes




msg:66152
 10:05 am on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi nuevojefe

I agree that Jesse's tests provoke good debate and this is very thought provoking. However, I cannot see how these tests are useful. We know that Googlebot is, in effect, reading a page like a user, taking note of emphasised text etc. This is nothing new and, quite frankly, obvious. In the past the more you 'shouted' a keyword on the page the more googlebot took notice. But, spamming forced googlebot to increase the importance of the relationship to off page factors. This is via links. Links out and in play a part in the evaluation of onpage content. The idea that you can remove all off page factors and determine the best on page optimisation sounds credible, but I don't think it works unless you know the following:

1) Fresh content and its effects.
2) Stability of algo
3) Random ranking for similar content
4) Duplication
5) Different rules if links in match the keyword or theme.

The overriding problem I have with the test is how hilltop works. My understanding is that hilltop is applied if sufficient data and competing sites are available for the search results to be further annalysed . This suggests that a further set of rules kicks in, otherwise a more basic ranking system is applied. In Jesse's test's, the search results are limited to a nonsense phrase and no outside influence, thus giving google very little to work with. It thus ranks on very simple on page factors. The assumption that these onpage factors that are giving isolated pages good ranking will help when you introduce off page factors is not proven and a huge leap of faith. One off site 'link in' with the keyword matching a certain keyword density may outweigh the "H1, Bold, Underline and Italics" with no links in. It could be argued that if another site has one link in and only the keyword in h1, it will beat a site with one link in and "H1, Bold, Underline and Italics" because this may trip a spam filter. Therefore Jesse's tests work in isolation, but with links in will get you a penalty.

These type of tests are very dangerous if applied to the 'real world'. Google is in the business of detecting spammy optimisation and I could do tests which, with a nonsense word at a density of 90% would out rank a page with a density of 5%. If I then applied that to a real keyword where there is competition and got some links in I'm sure I would be beaten by a site with comparable links in and a keyword density of 5%. The reason for this is that Google now has real choice, rather than being forced to rank a very narrow range of pages all on the same ip.

It is impossible to do tests when you are giving google only a few limited factors to work with. Take this example, with the keyword 'widgets' only in these tags:

On page factors have the following importance with no matching keyword links in:

H1 = 5 points
Bold = 4 points
Italics = 3 points
7% Keyword density = 2
Total = 14

Now, if there is a link in with the exact keyword:

H1 = ignored (spam filter - because keyword anchor text matches H1 exactly)
Bold =ignored (spam filter)
Italics = ignored (spam filter)
7% Keyword density = 8 points
Total=8

Now change the link in to have a 50% match to the keyword e.g. "New widgets" and less tags

H1 = 10 points
Bold = none present
Italics = None present
7% Keyword density = 10 points
Total = 20

So, the page with only H1 and a good keyword density wins outright.

If the keyword in the 'link in' is an exact match with H1, Bold, Underline and Italics then all these tags may be ignored, making Jesse's conclusions possibly completely wrong. "Hold on" I hear you cry, but this could be an innocent application of page design..... tough, Google may know that 90% of seo's use this combination and their pages are low quality, therefore despite losing some innocent pages, overall their serps are better by not ranking a page with all these tags + more than 50% exact 'link in' matches . A nonsense phrase being a brandname could suffer because of this, but often they are the only sites with this keyword, so even a low score will make them number 1. Also, if the brandname/nonsense word is in the title tag or the domain name, this may have an important overiding effect. There are just so many variables it is impossible to know.

Can you do tests for Google?.... No, because you cannot isolate and have a controled stable environment. You need to include links from a range of sites, that have their own links in and unique properties, which will effect yours and the way your onpage optimisation is evaluated. Otherwise, its like trying to test a car without petrol.

bekyed




msg:66153
 12:38 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Very well said MHes.

This is exactly what we do to rank our sites higher, new sites can rank perfecty well with no or few links and good on page optimisation.

Bek.

nuevojefe




msg:66154
 7:07 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

MHes,

I agree that unfortunately it's somewhat futile to run tests like these. Every factor you add in increases exponentially the unlikelihood that you'll be able to pinpoint its true effect.

With the duplicate detection in affect it makes it impossible to really test slight differences anymore.

It's much more fruitful to conduct individual tweaks to individual pages as in the real world each page has its 100 factors ranked based on its own unique content/links/etc.

nuevojefe




msg:66155
 7:09 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would also add that testing which factors are present in the top results for a competitive term and producing statistical results is more likely to produce a better formula.

Combining analysis of on-page factors and off-page factors including link popularity and link popularity of the linking pages/sites, etc would produce a more factual model of what's working in the real world.

Jesse_Smith




msg:66156
 4:18 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

More test results are in.....

10 H1 tests.

Only thing that didn't change a lot here was
H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content is #1 in all but one of the tests.

H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content
H1 and content
Content
H1, Underlined, and Content
H1, Bold, Italics, and Content
H1, Bold, and Content
H1, Underline, Italics, and Content
H1, Bold, Underlined, and Content

H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content
H1, Bold, and Content
Content
H1, Italics, and Content
H1 and content
H1, Bold, Italics, and Content
H1, Underlined, and Content
H1, Underline, Italics, and Content
H1, Bold, Underlined, and Content

H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content
H1, Bold, and Content
H1, Underline, Italics, and Content
H1, Bold, Underlined, and Content
H1, Bold, Italics, and Content
H1, Italics, and Content
H1, Underlined, and Content
H1 and content
Content

H1, Bold, and Content
H1, Italics, and Content
H1, Underline, Italics, and Content
H1 and content
H1, Bold, Underlined, and Content
H1, Bold, Italics, and Content
H1, Underlined, and Content
Content

H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content
H1, Underlined, and Content
H1, Underline, Italics, and Content
H1, Italics, and Content
Content
H1, Bold, Underlined, and Content
H1, Bold, Italics, and Content
H1, Bold, and Content
H1 and content

H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content
H1, Bold, and Content
Content
H1, Bold, Italics, and Content
H1, Bold, Underlined, and Content
H1, Italics, and Content
H1, Underline, Italics, and Content
H1, Underlined, and Content
H1 and content

H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content
H1, Bold, and Content
H1, Bold, Italics, and Content
H1, Bold, Underlined, and Content
H1, Underlined, and Content
H1, Underline, Italics, and Content
Content
H1, Italics, and Content
H1 and content

H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content
H1, Bold, and Content
H1, Underline, Italics, and Content
H1, Bold, Underlined, and Content
H1, Underlined, and Content
Content
H1, Italics, and Content
H1, Bold, Italics, and Content
H1 and content

H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content
H1, Underlined, and Content
H1, Bold, and Content
Content
H1 and content
H1, Bold, Underlined, and Content
H1, Underline, Italics, and Content
H1, Bold, Italics, and Content
H1, Italics, and Content

H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content
Content
H1, Bold, and Content
H1, Bold, Underlined, and Content
H1 and content
H1, Italics, and Content
H1, Underline, Italics, and Content
H1, Underlined, and Content
H1, Bold, Italics, and Content

Keyword in URL test. (I think I'll make some more of these tests.)

key/word
key_word.shtml
keyword.shtml
key-word.shtml

key/word
key_word.shtml
key-word.shtml
keyword.shtml
In text linking to page.

Keyword in alt test and H1.

<img SRC="URL" alt="keyword">

The keyword in alt does not get indexed by Google. 20 files were indexed and the keyword did not show up in the search, with or with out the <H1> before and after the image.

Raymond




msg:66157
 11:10 am on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry to be an idiot, but I had to ask.

When you say:

H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content
H1, Bold, and Content
Content
H1, Italics, and Content
H1 and content
H1, Bold, Italics, and Content
H1, Underlined, and Content
H1, Underline, Italics, and Content
H1, Bold, Underlined, and Content

Does it mean ALL of the above are included on the same page? Or you just mean:

Ranked #1) H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content
Ranked #2) H1, Bold, and Content
Ranked #3) Content
Ranked #4) H1, Italics, and Content
Ranked #5) H1 and content
Ranked #6) H1, Bold, Italics, and Content
Ranked #7) H1, Underlined, and Content
Ranked #8) H1, Underline, Italics, and Content
Ranked #9) H1, Bold, Underlined, and Content

Or you mean the tags are contained within the other tags, i.e. something like this?

<h1><b><u><i>content</i></u></b><h1>

I tried using 10 <h1> <b> <i> and <h3> with the same keyword on a test page, and that page was grounded. It started out on page 2, and resulted in page 6 after the changes.

Thanks Jesse.

Patrick Taylor




msg:66158
 11:15 am on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

<h1><b><u><i>content</i></u></b></h1>

It really won't work.

[edited by: Patrick_Taylor at 11:19 am (utc) on Sep. 2, 2004]

Raymond




msg:66159
 11:18 am on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I also found a site that is ranked #2 for a semi-competitive keyword. But that page DOES NOT contain any of that KEYWORD at all but in ALT text. The path to almost every single image on that page contains the "KEYWORD".

Patrick Taylor: hehe, yes. I was laughing as well when I wrote that. But using his method has put my test page from page 2 to page 6. So I thought I misunderstood him.

Namaste




msg:66160
 8:47 pm on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Raymond, he means Ranked 1, Ranked 2, Ranked 3 and so on.

MHes, I can't agree with you that spam filter is triggered when anchor text = H1 text. I have pages in google for years that prove this otheriwse.

I can also see that something has happened to page rank. Getting links from various sites is no longer helping me (atleast the PR number isn't changing). It's possible that it has plateaued.

This logically shows that all gains are now to be made using "in site" criteria, especially for niche keywords: widgets blue, widgets red, etc. So, JS' original post carries merit. And he is maintaining his results over several weeks.

I'm trying his method and will report back.

sheic




msg:66161
 11:09 pm on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi guys,

Do you think that G is treating these two lines as having same importance

(1) <h1>Title</h1>
(2) <h1 class="c1">Title</h1>

Or (2) will have less importance then (1) because there's a CSS class refered?

Thanks

Jesse_Smith




msg:66162
 5:33 am on Sep 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Like....


Ranked #1) H1, Bold, underline, italics, and Content
Ranked #2) H1, Bold, and Content
Ranked #3) Content
and so on.....


<h1><b><u><i>content</i></u></b></h1>

It really won't work.

None of the content had the codes. Only the header. It was like
<h1><b><u><i>Header</i></u></b></h1>

CONTENTCONTENTCONTENTCONTENTCONTENTCONTENTCONTENT
CONTENTCONTENTCONTENTCONTENTCONTENTCONTENTCONTENT
CONTENTCONTENTCONTENTCONTENTCONTENTCONTENTCONTENT

If any one wants the URL to all the tests, sticky me.

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