Why is it then when I search for my keywords that sites without the keywords come up before mine... I mean sites without good content, design or even the exact phrase I searched for come up before mine... I have tried to follow all of the rules.... but still my site is not listed as high as I would like... Is there anything that can be done to improve the ranking besides getting other sites to link to you?
Welcome to wmw, Kmax. Some pages rank for certain search terms because they appear in the text of links pointing to them. There were some recent threads with good tips for Google, you might want to go through and do some reading. It takes some study, and gradually rankings begin to improve.
Linking is part of it, but not the be-all-to-end-all system. The biggest thing you can do, is provide more content for Google. Follow good basic optimization when building the page. Let's say you are targetting the keyword "webmaster":
- in title once. "What is a Webmaster" - in url once. domain.com/webmaster.htm - in the heading <h2>Webmaster, a description</h2> - in the body high on page "A webmaster works 26 hour days..." - in italics once or twice "<i>Webmaster</i> is often a generic form of site administrator..." - in bold once or twice "If it breaks, they call the <b>webmaster</b>". - use the word once or twice in every paragraph, but don't over do the density and don't fixate on the density 5-15% is fine. - Make the page small. No larger than 15k including the html. - Use one or two links in the article to other sites that rank high for the keyword: (Webmasters often turn to the <a href="http://www.w3c.org">World Wide Web Consortium</a> for answers) - Use the word once in link text. <a href="http://www.webmasterworld.com">Webmaster News and Discussion</a> - Link to the page from some other high ranking page on your site (from the root index page, if you can afford it).
...move on to the next page and let the page grow by itself.
I'm fairly new to SEO (about 8 months). Your posting is the nearest thing I've seen to a decent, practical summary for straight HTML optimization. Thanks for the straight talking:) I have a demanding day job so little time to 'explore'. Are there any other really good, up-to-date summarized resources for SEO? - Simon