010716.html | WebReference


((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) July 16, 2001


This newsletter is sponsored by: Instantis, Inc. FlashKit Australia 2001 802.11-Planet.com FlashKit.com __________________________________________________________________

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This week we review Fredrick Marckini's new book, "Search Engine Positioning." Get the inside story on how you can raise your ranking in the major engines and garner more qualified traffic. Peter's got yet another iteration of his cascading menus, and Wendy shows you how to make your photos pop for the Web.

New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. DHTML: Hierarchical Menus: Version 4.0.13 2. GRAPHICS: Web Photos that Pop 3. FEATURE: Improving Performance with mod_perl: Part 3 4. BOOK REVIEW: Search Engine Positioning 5. NEW LINKS: JavaScript Resources

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Spread the word! Feel free to send a copy of this newsletter to your friends and colleagues, and while you're at it, snap a link to WebReference.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. DHTML LAB: Hierarchical Menus: Version 4.0.13

New features, fixes, and friendly improvements highlight the latest release of our DHTML menuing script. Grab the latest revisions and learn what a big difference a little comma can make in this discussion of Hiermenus v4.0.13. By Peter Belesis.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. PRODUCTION GRAPHICS: Web Photos that Pop

You can't expect to add life to your Web page by using lifeless photos. Convert your pics from muddled messes to eye-catching attention-grabbers using only a few simple techniques. Wendy Peck shows the way.


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. FEATURE: Improving Performance with mod_perl: Part 3

In our final excerpt from Chapter 3 of "MySQL and Perl for the Web," we learn how to write scripts that work properly with mod_perl. Variable scoping, initialization, and script caching are all potential pitfalls; and author Paul DuBois shows us the correct methods. From New Riders.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. BOOK REVIEW: Search Engine Positioning

As the Web grows by an estimated 6 million documents a day and with search engines indexing less than half the Web, making sure your site is easily found is imperative. Fredrick Marckini's new book "Search Engine Positioning" shows you how.

Search Engine Positioning (SEP) uses strategic keyword selection and placement throughout your pages' HTML to achieve high rankings in search results. In effect, you are creating tempting spider food for the various arachnids search engines use to crawl the Web.

Marckini, founder and CEO of iProspect.com and one of the pioneers in SEP, aims the book directly at SEP professionals and webmasters who want to learn the latest techniques. His goal is to legitimize SEP as its own discipline and to create "a compendium of information for the aspiring search engine professional." He aims "to provide information needed to 'top the charts' and attain top 10 to 30 rankings."

SEP, otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), has its share of shady practitioners that practice what is known as "spamdexing." Marckini is not one of them. He travels the high road, emphasizing responsible SEP to "amplify" your key phrases within your pages.

At WebReference we can attest to the effectiveness of responsible SEP that Marckini advocates. After taking Danny Sullivan's "Search Engine Bootcamp," a private tutorial for Internet.com staff, we brainstormed our top keyword phrases, found their frequency of use, crafted catchy descriptions and titles, and placed them within our TITLE and META tags of WebRef's home page and key gateway pages. After resubmitting these pages to the major search engines and directories the effect was dramatic. Our referrals from search engines rose substantially. Having lots of backlinks didn't hurt either with engines that use popularity to rank relevance.

Marckini's book goes deeper than this. The basic strategy is to weave keyword themes throughout your key pages, using your TITLE tag, keyword and description META tags, headlines, the first and last 25 words, links, ALT tags, file names, and best of all domain names. Marckini shows that SEP is an ongoing process, not a one- time thing, as search engines and rankings change constantly. However, we found that even a one-time keyword makeover has a long-lasting effect.

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Marckini's 553-page book covers the entire spectrum of SEP and has a number of interesting tidbits ranging from search engine history, choosing keywords and domain names, through actual case studies and the future of SEP.

In addition to meta-tagging your key pages, the author covers gateway, informational, hallway, and cloaked pages. Separate keyword-rich domains can be used to drive traffic to your site, although some search engines would consider this spam. Try a search on "search engine optimization" to see what I mean:


The author also recommends using full keywords, not abbreviations, within your file names, and emphasizing unique phrases over common phrases within your pages to achieve higher relevance.

Web design is an often overlooked aspect of amateur SEP. Search engines favor simple HTML markup, with keywords in the first 3K of your page. Using linked CSS for layout and presentation, and/or cleverly formatted tables that push your keyword-rich content towards the top (before your nav bars) will help achieve higher rankings.

The chapter titles give an idea of the scope of this book.

1. The History of Search Engines and Search Engine Positioning 2. The Case for Search Engine Positioning 3. Understanding Search Referrals and Traffic 4. Choosing the Right Keywords, in the Right Combinations 5. Factors That Greatly Affect Your Relevancy in Spider-Based Search Engines 6. META Tags, Metadata, and Where to Place Keywords 7. Domain Name Selection 8. Submitting Your Site 9. Spamdexing and Other Unhealthy Habits 10. Search Engine Positioning Begins with Web Site Design 11. The Engines (Yahoo!, About.com, AltaVisa, ... some 21 top engine facts) 34. Submitting and Rank-Checking Tools 35. Building Informational Pages 36. Assessing Your Performance 37. Buying Advertising on Search Engines 38. The Sociology of Cloaking 39. Case Studies 40. The Future of Search Engine Positioning

Show Chapter 39 to your skeptical boss. It charts in dramatic fashion the effect of SEP on keyword ranking, search engine referrals, and brand awareness. In fact, studies have shown that users are five times more likely to buy when they arrive at your site through a search engine than through a banner ad.

In short Marckini shows you what to do to raise your rankings, and what not to do to avoid banishment. The author takes his own medicine, liberally sprinkling iProspect.com throughout the book. Recommended.

Search Engine Positioning: Grow your Web site traffic by achieving top 10 search engine rankings By Fredrick Marckini Wordware, $49.95 CD-ROM (PC) ISBN: 1-55622-804-X

http://www.iprospect.com http://www.wordware.com

http://www.webreference.com/new/010719.html#iv - Interview, Pt. I http://www.webreference.com/new/010726.html#iv - Interview, Pt. 2 /-------------------------------------------------------------------\ ** FlashKit Fall 2001 Developer's Conference Hits the U.S.** October 15-17th 2001- LA Convention Center- Los Angeles, CA Attend Flash Kit Fall 2001 and gain hands-on knowledge and business insights from expert speakers and gurus. From budding young designers to marketing professionals looking for creative new ideas, you need to be a part of this event! Register by Sept. 26th and Save! http://seminars.internet.com/flash/la01/index.html


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. JavaScript Resources

Having trouble finding that last bit of JavaScript information you need to perfect your page, deliver your DHTML, or secure your syntax? Get your scripts in order using our handy list of JavaScript resources.


That's it for this week, see you next time.

Scott Clark Managing Editor, WebReference.com sclark@internet.com

Dan Ragle Assistant Editor, WebReference.com dragle@internet.com

Andrew King Newsletter Editor, WebReference.com aking@internet.com

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