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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.)

 

bears5122




msg:66103
 6:30 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nice work. Look forward to seeing your other tests.

webdude




msg:66104
 8:26 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

When you say special keyword, what are you talking about. If it is so special that it returns just your site, you are effectively just ranking your pages against themselves.

sean




msg:66105
 10:41 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

just ranking your pages against themselves

Huh?

That is precisely the point of this type of experiment, to keep other results from contaminating your petri dish...

Idaho




msg:66106
 11:34 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is very interesting. Why is "word.html" listed twice; both as number 3 and as number 21? Am I reading your results correctly?

Jesse_Smith




msg:66107
 11:38 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know if it would contaminate it, but if you used a keyword that was on other domains, it would be harder to find the test files, unless you searched by domain. It's just the easiest to do when you use a unique 'word' that only brings up your test URLs.

[edited by: Jesse_Smith at 11:46 pm (utc) on Aug. 11, 2004]

Jesse_Smith




msg:66108
 11:43 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I can't edit it but...

First listed word.html

URL, H2, meta tags, keywords and description. word.html

Near the bottom.

ONLY in URL. word.shtml

Patrick Taylor




msg:66109
 12:08 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nice work. Look forward to seeing your other tests.

Ditto.

I find underlines that aren't links really annoying - hopefully this wouldn't be encouraged by Google.

Krapulator




msg:66110
 12:16 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Were you using <b> and <i> or <strong> and <em>?

Jesse_Smith




msg:66111
 12:36 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

<B> and <I>

I'm going to do a few more tests like this just to see if it's just luck that they come up in this order. If they come up in about the same order, then we know what to do to optimize! Most of my sites use just <H3>!

Hollywood




msg:66112
 1:29 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Does anyone think this makes any dif. below?

Were you using <b> and <i> or <strong> and <em>?

longen




msg:66113
 11:02 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>So the ultimate optimizing may be file name, H1, bold, underline, and italics, then meta tags. The more the better.<<

I agree with the first part, but not with "The more the better." There is the rule that says that if you emphasine everything - nothing is emphasised.
I use <h1,2,3> on thousands of pages but only occasional b,i, on any one page.

I don't see Google having a problem with <h's> since they are a esential part of the structure of web pages, designed long before google was born.

neo_brown




msg:66114
 12:13 pm on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google may not have a problem with pages that contain H tags but it may well have a problem with the content of the H tags just as it may have a problem with the text content of your page.
Interesting experiment, though I agree with a previous poster in the sense that you may not get the same kinds of results if you are aiming at competetive phrases. Useful all the same though

Gory




msg:66115
 1:30 pm on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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 can't agree with the above. According to my observations, On-page factors per se are only effective with not very competitive search terms. For highly competitive markets backlinks and anchor text make the difference.

webdude




msg:66116
 5:55 pm on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)



Huh?

That is precisely the point of this type of experiment, to keep other results from contaminating your petri dish...

I was refering to his comment...


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!

How can you use these results in a real-world scenario? What he is doing may give the results of how to display and rank unique text, but not how to rank with others. PR and backlinks are two of the determining factors for this. If you take some of the factors in determining page rank and throw out the others, the test is a moot point.

However, if you are using the experiment to just see the value that the G places on text and file layout, then maybe he has a point.

Jesse_Smith




msg:66117
 2:02 am on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)


However, if you are using the experiment to just see the value that the G places on text and file layout, then maybe he has a point.

That's exactly what it's for.


This experiment does not seem to take into acount over optimisation.
Of course h1,bold,underline italic on anchors text king. Many of us were doing this, pre November.
DO it through your site, and risk overopmisation penalties.

What's your definition of over optimisation? Google won't even ban spam sites, so why do you think it would do anything just because a header has a few extra HTML tags? What did it do last November?

Searching for any of the other two special words in the files bring up 31 pages vs. 21 from the main keyword. This does show where the back-link page is in the list...

h1, bold and underline and italics
h3, italics and underline
Unique keywords ONLY in bold tags
h1, bold and italics
h1, bold and underline
h2 and underline
h2 and italics
H3, bold and underline and italics
H4
h3, bold and underline
H3
h2 and bold
Unique keywords ONLY in H1 tags
h1 and italics
seven back-links on a PR 6 site ***********
word-word.html and H1
word_word.html and H1
word.htm, meta desc and keywords
word.html, H2, meta tags
h1, italics and underline
h1 and bold
h1 and underline
content and keywords
content keywords desc
content and meta description
content
meta keywords only
meta-description
word_word.html
word-word.html
word.html

One reason some didn't show up for the main keyword was because it was only in the meta tags, and the back-link didn't show up cause that only had the word as a back-link and not in the file. So it's official, Google doesn't look at meta tags if it's not a framed page, er didn't we allready know that?!

I'm also working on a much bigger test, a 90 file test, 10 different tests for each of the kinds of files...

h1
h1 and content
h1, bold, and content
h1, italics, and content
h1, underline, and content
h1, bold, underline, and content
h1, bold, italics, and content
h1, italics, underline, and content
h1, bold, and underline, italics, and content

then the results can be compaired with each other.

nippi




msg:66118
 2:47 am on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Last novemeber, I was managing 30 sites.

5 were overoptimised for target keywords

eg

widgets in bold, links on page, keyword stuffed yada yada.

All those 5 sites tanked, the 25 natural sites did not.

I removed the overoptimising on 4 out of 5, only the one I did not deoptimise staid lost.

What I am saying is your experiment is not worth much as it tells us nothing new. Your test seems to say we can put ALL text on page inside <h1> bold, underline italic text to maximise rankigns for every possible word?

Jesse_Smith




msg:66119
 4:10 am on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)


widgets in bold, links on page, keyword stuffed yada yada.

Your test seems to say we can put ALL text on page inside <h1> bold, underline italic text to maximise rankigns for every possible word?

No, only the header. In the test, no more than three words were coverd with the header code, and in the content the keyword only showed up once instead of being stuffed every where. If Google dumps a site just for adding a few tags to the header, there on crack! The only link there was was a 'Home' link linking to the main test page.

Patrick Taylor




msg:66120
 4:12 am on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the heads up but personally i wouldn't have told anyone

I presume you're saying you keep your own findings to yourself. Fair enough, but expect to find a different attitude on a forum like this one.

MHes




msg:66121
 8:07 am on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Jesse_Smith

I'm sorry, you're tests are flawed. There are so many reasons why, that it is difficult to know where to start and as I do, I instantly lose the will to live.

Apart from the obvious constant algo tweeks that make your conclusions today, worthless tomorrow, the fact is that Google and the web is primarily based on links... a small matter you sweep aside.

What about these factors concerning your test.

1) Relationship of broad match words. Hiltop will not trigger if a nonsense word is used, and likewise other filters possibly applied to h1 etc. will probably not be activated.
2) Relationship of number of occurances of keyword, used in h1 etc. to the number of occurances in normal text.
3) Position of keyword within normal text throughout the page.
4) Occurance of keyword in title tag may trigger a whole new set of rules. Likewise, different combinations may trigger different rules.
5) Occurance of keyword in h1 but not in any anchor text out.
6) Overall word count and keyword density
7) Relationship between several pages on a domain all heavily focused on one keyword. On one page the h1 may be being ignored because several other pages use it, Google may have a duplicate content issue with your pages and be ignoring many of your test factors on one page and not another.
8) Word proximity within the tags, in combination with use of bold, word count and keyword postion throughout the document.

etc. etc.

Comments like "So it's official, Google doesn't look at meta tags if it's not a framed page, er didn't we allready know that?! " are just not true. You can never be so sure. Do they use them if the page is framed? I don't think so, but who knows. Do they use the keyword tag if the keyword is also in bold and h1 and links in? Do they use them if the word is in a noframes tag? They might... despite current theories to the contrary. The variations are too infinite to be so sure, nothing is official, we just have small snippets of observation for a particular example, which may not apply elsewhere with different circumstances.

Google's overall algo is probably amazingly simple, but within that simplicity is immense subtlety and complexity generated by factors in combination. You would have to do 10,000 test pages to even start making definitive conclusions, but even then, they would be based on test pages within the same domain and for a nonsense word, a huge factor that could isolate the conclusions to only that scenario.

The google algo is trying to find quality content which is relevant for a search word/phrase from a range of domains. On page factors will be related to links in from other sites and internally. They cannot be isolated.

Patrick Taylor




msg:66122
 9:42 am on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

MHes, I'm sure you're right in the big scheme of things, but I don't think it does any harm to conduct narrowly-defined micro experiments at the same time. It's all grist to the mill, as long as broader conclusions aren't wrongly extrapolated. Not all sites and pages are in highly competitive areas but ranking high is nonetheless important to the site owner. There are niche areas where the top listed sites have very low PR and comparatively few backlinks, so that maybe on-page factors become more important.

One could conduct an experiment to see what effect the ratio of content to markup has, or the placement of key content in relation to navigation bars, etc etc etc. It's all worth knowing within the context of the big picture - which for all I know is just how you paint it.

So I would say a controlled-type experiment is worth a go, and all credit to someone who takes the time to present the results for discussion, knowing criticism will surely follow. I've done a few minor tests from time to time - mainly in relation to whether Google indexes text in Flash files, and it has no big significance either way - it's just a small piece of extra knowledge one is able to add to the soup.

Regards,

Patrick

Jesse_Smith




msg:66123
 10:05 am on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

:::Do they use them if the page is framed? I don't think so, but who knows.

I've seen some of my own framed pages indexed and there Google used the meta description to describe the link. *Looks at one right now.* Google has the exact same description as the meta description tag has.

MHes




msg:66124
 10:55 am on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I've seen some of my own framed pages indexed and there Google used the meta description to describe the link. *Looks at one right now.* Google has the exact same description as the meta description tag has."

So... doesn't mean they use that text for ranking purposes.

HarryM




msg:66125
 10:57 am on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

I presume you're saying you keep your own findings to yourself. Fair enough, but expect to find a different attitude on a forum like this one.

True, but only partly. There are many here who are happy to share information (including me), but there are others reading these posts who are just looking for advantage. They don't share information, they plunder it.

If I thought I had really found the Google "magic formula" I would think twice about publishing it. Not through selfish reasons, but simply because my site could be spammed out of existence.

Unfortunately I have not discovered the magic formula so the contingency does not arise. :(

webdude




msg:66126
 12:45 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)


Unfortunately I have not discovered the magic formula so the contingency does not arise. :(

You may never find that formula. It is always changing. I have around 50 sites, several #1 for very competative key phrases. But I also have some sites in the 100s and 200s. I follow pretty much the same rules for all, yet I can't fathom why the differences.

I know, I know... backlinks are different, relational phrases and proximity, ya da ya da yayda are different. Even the sites are completely different. So what works for one does not necessarily work for another.

But it's kind of hard selling that to your clients when it is such a crap shoot. And that is the very first thing I tell them before I start working on their sites.

It's a crap shoot :-)

dillonstars




msg:66127
 1:24 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I find underlines that aren't links really annoying - hopefully this wouldn't be encouraged by Google"

Agreed, it looks ugly too

you could always add a style to remove the underlines:

u{text-decoration:none;}

paybacksa




msg:66128
 3:16 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's a crap shoot :-)

Yes, and in fact I do particularly well in craps (looking forward to Las Vegas).

Hard to argue against the *fact* that pass-line bets plus and 6/8 side bets gives you a position against a house with minimal advantage. Even a little bit of luck puts you on the profit side. If you add $1 hard bets on 6 and 8, which pay say 7:1, that "little bit of luck" is paying 7:1 to overcome the minimal house advantage.

Add a bit of intuition with regards to when a table is going sour, and when a table is rising, (let's say add a bit more luck), and you have a pretty good long term strategy for winning at craps.

Of course if you're consistently unlucky, you will consistently lose to the degree of that house advantage.

Personally, I do much better at Google than craps, so I don't think Google is quite like shooting craps yet. Even if it gets that bad, I suspect I will still play and win.

webdude




msg:66129
 3:28 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry, I have no idea what you are talking about. I guess I spoke too soon. I do not play craps. I do play google though :-)

esllou




msg:66130
 3:30 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

hey Jesse, boy you still haven't learnt the lesson about keeping quiet about things, have you?

The temptation to shout things (or sell mod_rewrite things) from the rooftops is big, isn't it?

You just keep diluting the mix. One day, you will cotton on.....

added: I have two "mini secrets" connected to my sites which I wouldn't sell or tell for all the rice in China and I am sure most other successful webmasters do too. Biting your tongue is one of the most important things on the net....mine is bloody and raw.

[edited by: esllou at 3:34 pm (utc) on Aug. 13, 2004]

TallTroll




msg:66131
 3:30 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> I do play google though :-)

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

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