Monday, 11 March 2002
How does a site
get a high ranking
in search engines?

1. Offer something interesting

Offer useful content, something that interests a lot of people. Offer the reader information
Example, SUMit offers:
  • for which you'd like to be found,
  • related to your product,
  • which does not cost you revenue, yet benefits your visitors.
Don't be afraid to provide links to external sites. Web sites like Yahoo! are popular because of external links. Good external links demonstrate that you as supplier know how to get around on the Internet.

2. Get linked

The most popular search engine, Google, uses links to your web site as a important factor in ranking your page (google.com/technnology). Google concludes that your site is valuable if other people have taken the trouble to link to it. The more popular the source of the link, the higher your page ranking (webworkshop.net/pagerank...). Other search engines such as the Dutch kobala.nl have started to use the same principle.


  • Make sure your web site has a link from Open Directory Project (dmoz.org), the Yellow Pages, portal pages, your digital city (www.ddsgouda.nl/...), etc.
  • Keep URL's simple, encouraging easy links.
  • Embrace deep links useit.com/... from customers, business-partners, enthusiastic visitors, etc.
  • Avoid link rot to your site. Keep old pages for ever. Maintain the directory structure. A broken link TO your page is a missed opportunity to stay high in search engine rankings.

3. Optimise Key words

Put keywords in the URL, the title, the description, headers and the links to your site.
HTML tag Bad Good
URL en200103.html planning.html
<title> Welcome to the SUMit homepage SUMit: tailor made software, Java & Smalltalk
<META NAME="DESCRIPTION""> Missing meta tag <META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="Why trouble yourself with roster planning? Have the roster generator do the work for you with just click...">
link text TO your site See SUMit for duty roster software. See SUMit for rule based duty roster software.

Tip: Read the article on Google ranking mechanisms at .../googlebombs.htm.


4. Create short pages

Bad Good
A keyword drowns in a long piece of text with lots and lots of sentences. Not only are long narratives a threshold for your readers, who will have trouble finding the page that interests them and who will probably just hit the back button on their way to another web site, search engines also hardly assign value to keywords in long texts. In short texts every word really counts.
Tip: Five short pages are better than one long one.

5. Open all doors

Every page of your web site may be the first one to a visitor.

Forget the illusion that visitors enter on your home page, carefully study the complete range of products and services and click their way to the right page along your so ever-so-nicely predefined path.

Most visitors enter via a deep link from a search engine or other web site. So, optimise every single page of your web site.

Tip: Avoid frames useit.com/.... Frames hamper the creation of deep links.

Tip: Stay low on technology. Google does not crawl through links that are programmed in Javascript or Java applets. Use the lynxviewer at delorie.com/web/lynxview... to get an idea of the Google perception of your site.

Till next week,