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As you can tell I'm lost and it's killing my business. Unfortunately I sell lingerie and as you probably know that's a pretty competitive area on the net. I have read much of what has been written here and I'm trying to decipher it. Most of the regulars here, and Brett, of course, seem to really know what you're doing. I'd appreciate any direction I can get from you guys!!
TIA - Jill
First, are you still listed at all? The reason I ask, I read of one lingerie site that had a few partially nude "artsy" (according to them) shots that got them in trouble as an "adult" site using bait & switch techniques.
re: link popularity --yes, that's incoming from other sites, but what Brett terms as "cross-linking," i.e., intrasite is important as well. Also, check out the Buddy Link section.
re I used to have a good grip on the SE's
Now that can be a problem (it was for me), are there any Neanderthal SEO fossils left in the site? White text on white backgrounds, that kind of stuff? Were there any there when you noticed you were falling in rank? Or, are your competitors simply beating you in the rankings?
re: cross linking - you mean links within the site that link pages to each other? I know that sounds simplistic, but sometimes the term's meanings evade me. <G>
We checked the site to see if we had any fossil pages, but I think we cleaned them all up some time ago. Yes, our competition is kicking our butts at this point. Unfortunately many adult sites use this term too and that makes it even harder to get a high listing legitimately. Thanks for the info.
re: it's killing my business
This implies that you once HAD web business. If so, what search parameters brought them in?
re: Yes, our competition is kicking our butts at this point.
Are they newer entries than your site? Or, were you once higher than they were?
I know that I need to optimize my site again and I have been working on it. I would think it would fit the theme theory because of the way the site is set up. I may need to put more text or key words or something on the front page, but I'm not totally sure. If you're interested in taking a peek let me know and I'll email the url.
Don't give up just yet! Cindy and I are from the old school of search engine promo - and what we have done has worked very well. I don't know anything about themes and may never. If a theme is (don't clutter your site with but one subject) then I agree completely. But if it's about fluffy "so called" content littered pages that strive to fool spiders into thinking they're of some value, I don't agree. Sometimes those pages are built well and so they work well.
You can rest assured the real pages are all keyword stuffed with lots of alt tags and comment tags, becuase that's what still works in all the Inktomi products and in AltaVista (though you can't submit them to AV anymore - they have to be either older already indexed pages or the spider has to find them own it's own).
At one point we started to investigate the themes thing and we're planning big changes but we woke up and realized we had over 600 pages ranking in the top ten for extremely competitive keywords and such a change would be the kiss of death.
Your competitor would not be cloaking if they were using a theme based site - there would be no reason to.
Cindy and I will be more than happy to share with you what we do and how we do it - "please e-mail us". (Call me strange but I would guess that the search engines get their best ideas from good forums like Brett's.)
About the link popularity thing. We have three sites that are all opt for the same keywords (leading to different locations) one has a lot of good incoming links thanks to Buddy Links, the other two don't have any and they are always grouped together in the search engines. The links may provide lots of spider trails back to your site but I can't see with our sites where the linked vs. not linked have ranked any different.
Brett's idea of inner linking is great... (a page on your site what has no links coming to it from your site may be viewed by SE's as spam or low value)
E-mail us!!! (and, no we're not trying to get your business, I promise. We're swamped now)