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Increasing search results position
Buster42




msg:728073
 2:47 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a site that resells widgets for a widget manufacturer. My site usually appears on the first page of search results, usually between 6-8 depending on which G site. the site has a default page has a PR of 3.

I want to get higher up the results page(dont we all), I think postition #2 would be the best I could expect do against the widget manufacturer. #3 wouldn't be all that bad either.

So far, I have concentrated on refining the static content & KW optimisation using free kw & meta tag analyser tools.

What else could I do to improve my position?
TIA

 

SG_guy




msg:728074
 3:20 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Tried getting more inbound links to your site?

tedster




msg:728075
 3:22 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Completely agree. If you're already on page one just working with on-page factors, then boosting off-page factors would be the next step, and should bring good results.

Kufu




msg:728076
 3:59 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Links are the obvious answer. But you may still be able to improve your position with on-site changes. It is hard to determain what changes since we don't know what the site is, but here are a few things to consider:

- is your title too long?
- are you using <h> tags for your headings? You don't need to be using an H1 but <h> tags would be helpful.
Note: Do not use CSS to resize the <h> tag.
- start a couple of your content paragraphs with your keywords (don't overdo it). People say this doesn't help, but It does have a minor effect, and at this point in the game you need all the edge you can get.
- from the home page link off to a subpage with the exact keyword which you are trying to rank for.
- make sure that the secondary page being linked to has a title that starts with the same exact keyword.
- make sure your keyword is in the description of your page.

Hope this helps

Tastatura




msg:728077
 4:31 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Note: Do not use CSS to resize the <h> tag.

Why?

Storyman




msg:728078
 4:42 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

My understanding Google does NOT retrieve the CSS stylesheet. So...how is resizing <H> tags suppose to penalize? Sounds like a SE Myth in the making, but I'm open to rethinking the subject if a reasonable arguement is presented.

If the intent is to discourage someone from using <H> tags within <P> tags or <LI> tags, then I'd agree.

[edited by: Storyman at 4:48 am (utc) on Mar. 10, 2006]

mvandemar




msg:728079
 4:45 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

They don't. However, a good rule of thumb is "What will Google think if some devious competitor reports me as a spammer and looks at my site manually?". Avoid doing anything that looks underhanded.

-Michael

PS top 10 sites are much more likely to come under the attention of competitors in this way than sites further down.

tedster




msg:728080
 4:49 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've got to agree with the question Tastatura asked -- I've seen this advice around the web, but it just doesn't hold any water. There's nothing inherently underhanded about styling an <h1> tag.

At this point, I've been close to hundreds and hundreds of sites and analyzed many more. I am convinced (and never really doubted) this -- there is no problem with using CSS to style <h1>. CSS plus HTML is the most basic technology of the web page. A restriction like that would mean Google wants to reward the ugliest and most primitive sites possible. (That's not intended to be a trolling comment, btw.)

Of course, it's not a good idea to use CSS to create invisible <h1> tags (or permanenty invisible anything). Just use the <h1> element as it was intended to be used when the W3C included it in the spec -- it is the principle heading for the content that follows. And then use CSS to make them look good with the rest of the page.

mvandemar




msg:728081
 4:54 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree, nothing inherently wring with it. But if you use style to blend an H1 in with the rest of the tag, then obviously the only reason for the H1 was seo-minded. I'm not sure if this would be considered underhanded or not, I would just be cautious.

-Michael

Kufu




msg:728082
 4:55 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

styling an H tag is perfectly fine, you just don't want to reduce the size of an H tag. For example instead of using an H1 and then reducing the size with CSS, simply use a smaller H tag, say an H2. You won't get penalized for resizing an H tag, but you just wont get the benefit of an H tag if you are using CSS to make it smaller. If you are going to use an H1 but make is a 14px font using CSS then why not just use a 14px font? That is the logic behind why Google doesnt like to see resized H tags. If you want your H tag to look smaller, use a smaller H tag. :)

mvandemar




msg:728083
 5:01 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

That is the logic behind why Google doesnt like to see resized H tags

See, now, I never said that for sure, nor have I ever seen it mentioned by Google, GG, or Matt Cutts, although I may be wrong. You're posting this as fact, do you know for sure?

-Michael

tedster




msg:728084
 5:16 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you are going to use an H1 but make is a 14px font using CSS then why not just use a 14px font?

Because a 14px font is not a heading -- semantically, it's just text. By using an H1 tag you are embedding extra information in the html that says "this is the topic that follows". And that's why H1 tags help search engines determine what your page is relevant for.

Same reason that a <cite> tag is better than <emphasis> if you are naming a book title -- html tags are a kind of informational mark-up.

Please trust me on this -- you have been misled. Help fight crazy seo rumors.

Kufu




msg:728085
 5:17 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

but you can simply use a smaller H tag, why a resized H1?

mvandemar




msg:728086
 5:20 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Help fight crazy seo rumors.

Ohhhh... do we get custom tags by our usernames here...? I want THAT one! :)

-Michael

mahoogle




msg:728087
 5:21 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have heard directly from Google that an H1 tag is recommended....this was a few years back, but it makes sense that it holds today.

Buster42




msg:728088
 5:27 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks people for your insightful comments!

Some points raised by Kufu are interesting...
Tag length, what is the rule of thumb?

Do Title, description, keyword tags have different max length are are they the same?

Keyword to content ratio, I've seen different tools recommend different %ages, some just give the %age with no guide. What is a "generally" accepted ratio?

What are your opinions on topic appreciated.

Kufu




msg:728089
 5:32 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Tag length

Title: 65 characters (spaces count)...note the number of characters in the titles of the search results before you start seeing the ellipses.

Keyword Tags: practically useless, but the number that I've seen most is 400 characters.

Description Tag: Note quite sure, haven't actually counted the number of characters in the descriptions that show up on Google, but maybe someone will do that and tell me too. :)
Rule of thumb: you probably don't want an essay in there; a sentense or two will do just fine.

Keyword / Content ration: Don't waste time on this, because you can find sites with very high and very low ratios and both rank equally well. No magic number.

Tastatura




msg:728090
 6:02 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

but you can simply use a smaller H tag, why a resized H1?

Because, in my opinion, you want to keep the importance (for the lack of better word) of the heading. As someone mentioned, there is a difference between font and a heading. Now I have no clue how much weight SEs put behind headings currently, however from document organizational standpoint, as well as possible (current/future) SEO prospective, I am using heading numbering as intended (and am using CSS only for styling, no black hat stuff). I am partially basing my argument/decision on this
There are six levels of headings in HTML with H1 as the most important and H6 as the least.

It is from:
[w3.org ]

Kufu




msg:728091
 6:11 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

The H1 is important becasue of its size (ha ha, size matters). If you notice the level of importance of the H tags is based on the size, so if an H1 is reduced is size , what would that logically mean? To me it seems that the importance of it as far as SEO is concerned is reduced.

Storyman




msg:728092
 6:24 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but it appears that SE's expect to see an <H1> followed later by <H2>. If all it sees is <H1> throughout the page they are likely to suspect you are trying something hookey.

Kufu, it isn't size, but importance. Think of when you made outlines for a term paper in high school. <H1> is the topic or root. Each level down is equivalent to the next lower <H> size. Also, it isn't logical to jump from <H1> to <H4>...I can't prove it but have read papers that SE spiders look for that kind of thing and take points off because of it.

CainIV




msg:728093
 6:30 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

You won't get penalized for resizing an H tag, but you just wont get the benefit of an H tag if you are using CSS to make it smaller.

How is it you know this speicifically? I have lots of sites ranking high for their main keywords, and most of them have styled h tags that are tagged smaller. You are teling me that Google will not give someone the benefit of *better* design instead of using the horrible looking standard H tag, at the expense of issues in ranking?

Highly unlikely.

Tastatura




msg:728094
 6:35 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

The H1 is important becasue of its size

Like I said I donít know how much weight/importance, about content, SEs put on headings. However more importantly what are headings, and what is the importance of headings?
Is it just to accentuate font size, or there is more to it? If it just font size then the discussion is mute.

If there are other attributes associated with headings, like structural organization (and hence importance about content), or something else, then there might be something to it.
For discussion sake, think about headings in more traditional document terms:
TITLE
1.0SUBTITLE
Ö
1.1 sub-subtitle
Ö.
1.1.1.1.1 subsubsubsubtitle

If you looked at the paper/document organized like this, and want to derive what content it contains, would you think that more accurate representation would be at looking at 1.0 Subtitle or 1.1.1.1.1 subsubsubsubtilte ; one can argue similar comparison to H1 and H5 tags here.

Kufu




msg:728095
 6:48 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

*better* design

SEs dont care about how nice your site looks. There are some very 'basic' looking sites that rank extremely well just because they have good content and links.

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