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An anecdote for those who still don't appreciate how important lots of good content is: the non-profit academic site (a .org) that I started a year and a half ago and that costs $15/month to run now has a PR of 7 and in its (admittedly narrow) niche it floats above the sites of several multi-million-dollar projects and foundations. Why? Because I was fortunate enough to be able to put up almost 200 pages of solid content I had written as a hard-copy newsletter for six years. Converted to HTML and cleanly interlinked, it is a framework around which I build new pages on related subjects.
Just for the sake of contributing, I've made considerable use of server side scripting. It's not for everyone, but for those who are good at it, adding little useful widgets can be helpful in gaining links if the widgets are a useful tool for giving the customer information that is not product related. It's worked very well for me in getting links to internal pages from an array of sites.
vitual hosting is still dicey. I don't trust the spiders or all se's to get it right Tool. It was just last fall that there was one major engine that had problems with virtual hosted sites.
3-4 levels deep isn't a good idea - se's like stuff close to root. Some see 4-5 levels deep and they decrease rankings by that much too. Why give them the opportunity to hurt you? No need - keep it close to home.
I split off a related thread over to here [webmasterworld.com]
Roger is right, it is all about content these days. Yes, it takes alot of work. The days of build it and they will come are history. It takes a lot of content to be both successful on your site and successful in the engines.
That's a nice recipe for success, and the balance seems about right, I have sites where I've done about half of what you list and they're about half as successful as they could be.
The multiplier effect of many pages is not mentioned often enough, and IMO the phrase: "You do NOT want and "all star" page that out performs the rest of your site. You want 50 pages that produce 1 referral each a day and do NOT want 1 page that produces 50 referrals a day." should be in bold, underlined and double the font.
Geesh, you're giving away the farm on that post, good show!
1) Go PPC
2) Go Bust
3) Lose market share
or worse still they could be taken over be AOL or Microsoft.
..virtual hosting is still dicey. I don't trust the spiders or all se's to get it right Tool. It was just last fall that there was one major engine that had problems with virtual hosted sites"
What engine was this Brett?
However IMHO i can't for the life of me think how any one could tell a virtual server to a dedicated server. I would wager that the majority of small to medium sized web design/marketing companies host all clients sites on one dedicated server with each client having a virtual site within that server! Meaning, that the engines who have problems with v servers would soon have to adapt to cope with v sites/servers.
This reminds me of the same Class C range scare. Everyone was under the impression that google penalised sites on the same class "c" IP range. When in fact common sense would tell us that the market for sites on the same range is massive with the majority of smaller web firms having at least 30 clients on the same server and Ip address.
Google would never be able to ban/penalise all these sites because their home page would go from .....
Google Searching 2,073,418,204 web pages
Google Searching 4,204 web pages :(
ducking for cover
>>Spell checking is becoming important as se's are moving to auto correction during searches.
I have some excellent positions for current misspels. French language sites use accents for correct spelling. Bur a lot of people for a lot of different reasons are not typing accents in a query. So we must be creative to purposefully include them in some parts of the site, not to loose those visitors. ( I don't care how challenged they can be as long they can write a check ) :)
>>There is no longer a reason to look like you can't spell
Hey Brett! why did you burst my bubble? Now you mean that the se CAN know that I can't spell?
What will happen then? (ha... bad memories from the old school days)
what you've posted is effectively a good basic foundation that will serve everyone extremely well. those that require more than this will need to work harder than this on every point you have made.
i found WmW last summer and followed some of the points being made. the first site i built following the advice here went straight into 11th place on google for a fairly competitive search term. minor modifications have lifted the site to 5th + 6th place on google and top ranking in almost every other search engine / directory. what works for google works just as well for other engines and directories!
i've gone back and rebuilt a couple of other sites following the advice from WmW and again, top (or near top) rankings have followed.
thanks guys :)
I keep pounding into my clients heads the benefits of periodic newsletters (the content of which could be turned into se food) but no one has time (or so they say). They want to rank for a single word that returns 5 Million results in Google but think that it can be done with a single short page
pat them on the head, smile sweetly, thank them for their business, wish them good luck, and move on to another client.
i have a client that offers advice and 'support' by email. he complains that some people ask him the same questions over and over again. i said if he does all this through open forums then search engines will pick it up and it can help with rankings, that repeat questions wouldn't happen and he would save himself time and effort. he won't have it. now he wonders why he is no longer a priority client and hasa 6 to 8 week wait before i start any further work for him.
>any one could tell a virtual server to a dedicated server
Not virtual "server" but rather virtual "host" where many domains are on the same ip address. Some spiders have historically had a hard time with http 1.1 and have not used "domain" http headers. There are also se's that run their own dns servers and are fraught with slow updates. eg: I don't trust them to get it right 100% of the time. It's not worth the risk.
>In 12 months time
If you have a team of content producers or old content to launch a site with, that is a whole other article. If we are talking one person to one domain site building, then 12 months is going to be what it takes with Google. There are no known workable short cuts that don't involve checkbook search engines.