You'll notice MarketPosition sports a new
look this month making it much easier to read and to navigate.
The newsletter is now delivered in an HTML format by default.
If your e-mail program cannot read this message in an attractive, two column format, then you may click the following link to receive it in the original text only format:
Our search engine marketing resource site, www.marketposition.com
has also undergone a makeover, providing you with free daily
search engine news, discussion forums, link popularity checking,
nearly five years of newsletter archives, and more.
As always, we'll continue to send you the same great search
engine news and optimization content each month as you have
become accustomed to. We hope you enjoy the new look and
are anxious to hear what you think.
Does Each Engine Obtain Its Results?
Back in the early days of the Web the source of search
engine results was relatively easy to decipher. If you did
a search on AltaVista, it returned results from AltaVista's
database. Easy enough right?
Today, AltaVista draws results from its own database plus
pay-per-click results from Overture and directory results
from LookSmart. AOL pulls results from Google AdWords, Inktomi,
and Open Directory. However, it was just a couple of months
ago that AOL derived its pay-per-click results from Overture
rather than from Google AdWords.
Since it's sometimes difficult to keep track of it all,
we decided to produce a simple chart that we hope will help
you understand search engine relationships better. We'll
do our best to keep the chart up to date as the engines
Be sure to bookmark the page and refer back to it as needed.
your Click-Throughs With Killer Title Tags
By Robin Nobles
As you probably know, the majority of engines place considerable
relevance on the HTML title tag, making it generally the
most important tag on your page.
You also probably know that title tags appear in the search
results for most of the major engines, making the tags even
more important. But, have you ever taken the time to learn
how to create killer title tags, tags that will boost click-throughs,
or traffic, to your site?
To make a point about how important
titles are, let's look at some sample search results. In a
search for "low cost life insurance" in one of the major
engines, here are some of the titles from the top ten results.
#1 worldwide travel insureance quotes!
Insurance Quotes Auto Home Health Life Business
Do any of those titles appeal to you? Notice that the first
example has a misspelled word, which doesn't elicit much
confidence in the site. The second example isn't even using
a title tag, which is why it's listed as "untitled."
The third example is simply a listing of capitalized keywords,
which isn't as easy to read.
Now, let's say that the next three titles on the page are:
Does your low cost life insurance policy give you the
coverage you need?
cost life insurance at a price that's right for you!
paying too much for "low" cost life insurance!
you skip over the first three listed titles to visit one
of the titles above?
is, if your title is more effective than sites that are
actually above you in the ranking, you may get the traffic
anyway, simply due to the effectiveness of your title tag.
offering something for free almost always improves response
rates. For example:
- 21 Ways to reduce your life
insurance costs for free
how the above title emphasizes a benefit (i.e., saving money)
while mentioning it is FREE. The "21 Ways" quickly
defines what they'll be getting to achieve the benefit.
Tips for Creating Killer Titles
look at some tips for creating killer title tags, and then
some mistakes that will cause your site to be passed over
in the search results.
compelling or "charged" words in your titles
that will draw the user in to your site. Examples are:
breakthrough, incredible, how-to, announcing, and revealing.
Avoid over-used words and adjectives.
the power of questions when creating title tags. When
you ask a question, you force the reader to stop and mentally
answer that question, which boosts your chances at a visit
to your site.
your important keyword phrase toward the beginning of
your title tag, but use the phrase in a way that will
pull in traffic.
the title with a capital letter, and then follow with
all lower-case letters. Why? It's easier to read than
titles with every word capitalized.
title tags as if they're advertisements for your online
business. Make them short, snappy, and easy to read.
your title in a way that makes the user believe that the
site will solve a problem or help the user in some way.
a sense of urgency in your title tags, when possible.
sure to use a title tag on every page of your site, and
make sure that the title tag is the first tag on your
Mistakes Made when Creating Titles
use just a series of keywords in your title tag. It's
unprofessional and difficult to read.
use complicated words in your title tag, unless those
words are commonplace to whoever would be visiting your
use all caps in your title tag. In other words, don't
yell at your potential visitors!
slap up a dull and boring title. Spend some time creating
an effective online marketing plug for your site.
use your keyword phrase more than once in your title tag.
use your company name in your title tag unless you use
your important keyword phrase as well.
use yellow page tactics when creating titles in an effort
to get to the top of the rankings. In other words, don't
add a "!!!" or "AAA" to the front
of your title to try to get higher in the alphabetical
order. It won't help you with the engines, and editors
at the directories won't allow the tactic anyway.
use passive verbs like is, was, and has. Try to use active,
exciting verbs like launch, catapult, and unleashes.
In Conclusion . . .
Create your title tags in such a way that they will serve
as an online marketing campaign for your site. Remember
that a well-written and effective title can make up for
a lower search engine ranking.
a lot of time on your title tags, and it ultimately will
pay off for you in renewed traffic to your site.
Nobles is Director of Training for the Academy of Web Specialists.
Robin has taught well over a thousand students in her online
and onsite search engine positioning courses during the
past several years. Her latest book Web Site Analysis and
Reporting, as well as her past book, Streetwise Maximize
Web Site Traffic, can be ordered through Amazon. Visit the
site to learn more about their search engine ranking
courses and products.
more tips on writing effective title tags, see the WebPosition
Gold Page Critic: http://www.webposition.com/product.htm
Why Some Sites Were Dropped from Google Recently
some buzz in the forums recently about sites being dropped
from Google for no apparent reason. Having a site dropped,
at least temporarily from an engine, is nothing new. However,
a higher than normal number of Webmasters last month reported
that their Web site had disappeared from Google.
an excerpt from an interview of a Google representative
in Planet Ocean's most recent report:
crawl engineers have looked into this pretty closely
and concluded that for the most part it's the normal
percentage of sites that happen to be unreachable
during our crawl. We did a faster-than-average crawl
this time, so that also left less time to attempt
re-fetches of pages that we couldn't retrieve the
first time. Our new crawl is at a more typical rate,
and we'll be boosting the retry attempts to make sure
that we get as many pages as we can.
the best of my knowledge, this is not a Google glitch
or bug, and it's definitely not a penalty. It's partly
people being more aware of Google, partly that we
crawled a little faster, but mostly just the normal
amount of sites not being up during a crawl. We've
got a list of domains on our end and we'll be checking
things, just to make sure that it's not a glitch on
our end. Webmasters can and should check their virtual
hosting to make sure everything resolves correctly,
and do spot checks to make sure their ISP is rock-solid.
in doubt, check our webmaster info at http://www.google.com/webmasters/2.html
to see other reasons that you might not be indexed.
Webmasters for country-level domains (e.g. google.fr
instead of google.com) should make sure that they've
submitted their root web page at http://www.google.com/addurl.html"
Ocean then went on to report that the customer inquiry that
prompted the interview e-mailed them exclaiming that their
site had recently re-appeared in Google. Therefore, the
lesson learned this month is the importance of having a
reliable and responsive hosting service!
do you tell how often your site may be down or whether it
responds slowly at times? People that can't get to your
site are often not going to be able to see your contact
information and tell you that your site is down. In addition,
the search engines will often drop a site that is down or
responds too slowly when they crawl it, as was the case
with so many sites in Google last month. The solution is
to use a Web site monitoring service.
monitoring service we have used successfully since last
year for all our domains is 1stWarning. The same company
that developed the HitsLink Traffic Analysis service produces
this monitoring service. They have a free version of the
monitoring tool that will automatically check your site's
status every 3 hours, 24 hrs a day. It will then give you
a graph showing when your site was responsive and unresponsive
throughout the day or during the month.
offer a paid option as well where it will monitor your site
as often as every two minutes and even e-mail or page you
when it is down for a designated period of time. How often
you want them to check your site depends on what value you
place on your site being up. Every two minutes may be overkill
for most businesses, but checking it every 5 or 15 minutes
often makes good sense.
not already stumbled across the service, you can find it
by simply going to the WebPosition
Traffic Analyzer page and then click the ToolShack link
near the top:
found 1stWarning particularly useful in comparing the reliability
of multiple hosting services. For example, we currently
monitor our eight most important domains, some of which
are at different hosts. 1stWarning will tell me what the
"Success Ratio" is for each domain (i.e., the
percentage of time the site was up) and the average response
time in milliseconds. I've chosen to have it check our sites
every five minutes and notify me whenever something goes
service also monitors other Web services like FTP, HTTPS,
and our POP e-mail service, which are all very important
to our business. HitsLink says that they maintain multiple
servers in different parts of the country to help avoid
false reporting. For example, you wouldn't want their connection
to go down and then have it falsely report that it was YOUR
Web site's connection that had a problem. So far I've not
caught it falsely reporting any downtime.
of what monitoring service you choose to use, I do recommend
that you implement some kind of mechanism to continually
monitor your host's or your dedicated server's responsiveness
and performance. Most hosting services don't like to inform
you when they are having service interruptions and often-times
they don't even seem to be aware until someone tells them.
Every time your site is down or responds slowly, that costs
you money. So be sure to find a reliable host and keep an
eye on them!
Thanks go to Planet Ocean for graciously supplying us with
a copy of their recent interview with Google. Planet Ocean
puts out a monthly
report regarding search engine marketing along with
a comprehensive book on the topic.
Lawsuit Filed Against LookSmart Seeks Class-Action
to a June
4th CNET article, a lawsuit has now been filed against
LookSmart on charges of fraud and breach of contract. The
lawsuit seeks to bring in other LookSmart customers who
believe they were mislead and deceived by LookSmart's policies
in order to achieve class-action status. The plaintiff's
attorney, Jeffrey Fazio of Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft
has said that they are already getting flooded with requests
from interested parties.
learn what all the recent uproar is about, see last month's
Infuriates Customers with New Pricing Model."
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Last month we talked about several important topics including:
Infuriates Customers with New Pricing Model
Smart is it to Still Consider LookSmart?
to Get a FREE Listing in LookSmart
AdWords Replaces Overture as PPC Provider on AOL
of a PPC Bid Manager
If you missed these or other key discussions, you can find
the back issues at:
Inc. produces several products, including WebPosition,
the first software program to report your search positions
on the major search engines and to help you improve those
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Need Help Finding the Right Keywords?
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"I've evaluated the accredited courses by the Academy of Web Specialists...their resource library is updated continually and worth the price of the course by itself. I was surprised to see many tips that I'd never seen published anywhere else."
It's 2002 and the landscape has dramatically changed. Not only must you optimize correctly to get good ranking, you also need to avoid spamming the search engines or risk being dropped. Let Robin Nobles of the Academy of Web Specialists show you to the way.
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