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You'll always find the most current information in the forums, but it is definitely a good idea to keep up with the newsletters.
I'll have to agree with James on his selections, I make it a point to always read both of those front to back. (if you subscibe to PO make sure you take a look at the unfair advantage book)
Here's a couple more with short critiques
aim-pro [aim-pro.com] Good info (I'm biased), but as of lately it's rarely sent out
market position [webposition.com] Geared mostly towards beginners, if you stay active in the forums then you'll know most of this stuff before the newsletter is ever sent out
se watch [searchenginewatch.com] similar to the marketposition newsletter, might be a tad more advanced
In a business that changes this fast, stick to the forum.
One time a big page with high density will rank well, and the next the small page. You have to build diverse pages and sites to do well in Alta over the long haul.
I am running under the 100pages of diverse html theory. I think it takes 100 pages to build a site today. Those hundred should stick to your core kw's and related phrases while spreading out the optimization across all of them. Have 10 pages in the 30k range with varying degrees of density. Have 10 pages with the kw in the title. Have 10 without it in the title. 10 more with it in the heading - 10 without. 10 with high density, 10 with low...etc.
Only that type of a site is going to survive the ups and downs (whims) of the algo. Better to have 100 pages that each pull 2 referrals a day, than have a 5 page site where each pulls 20 per day.
I've also found it very helpful to print out articles that I've found helpful, as well as printing out forum posts that have a lot of relevant info. The "printable version" option at these forums is a very user-considerate feature, too.
If you haven't already found it, here are some articles covering some basic principles that are a "must print":
It's all good, but pay special attention to the step by step tutor.
I'm very partial to crafts and gift type sites, and yours caught my eye - you have a wonderful diverse selection.
Can I ask if you were listed at AV under an individual keyword or a multi-word phrase?
Another question for you--can you use subdirectories where you're hosting? I ask because AV has been very kind to me with subdirectories on product-related sites.
I'm hosted by Yahoo!Store and I'm not sure what you mean by sub-directory, so I can't answer your 2nd ? . You may know if Yahoo!Store has this and that will tell you. Will you please let me know if you find out? Thanks.
PS: Thanks for your reply, too, Brett. Good info.
Our company has been representing clients for about two years now in SEO campaigns. We have found that our positions are only improving on AV. Submissions from 4 months ago has just been indexed. We're going with the theory that two databases are used on a periodic time schedule. When searching for positions, make sure its the same time of day for the most accurate results. data base 1 has the most indexed pages whilst, database 2 has older pages but positions alter depending on the data base in use.
This will explain fluctuations in positions and listed one minute, taken off another, listed again.
Some time back, pages of mine taking up prominent listings were being bulleted out of the database after 2 -3 weeks
Either a competitor reported them and they were axed (probable in a competative industry)
OR: A check of sorts was performed after a period and these pages did not conform - result: dropped.
The profile of the page was a single gateway domain targeted at a specific key term. very little link pop and not much content to rave about.