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LinkExchange Daily Digest
Moderated Discussion List

"Effective Online Advertising"
List Moderator: Adam Audette
Supported by: LinkExchange

DATE 01/18/00 Digest #752

-=Log Analysis=-
~ Rod Aries

"Here a few things you can tell from your logs..."

From: Rod Aries <>
Subject: Re: Keyword sequencing, paid search engines A few odds and ends:

- Keyword Order Significance -

Mike Ramsey, LED 883:
Here's my question: does it matter what order I position these words? I currently put them in alphabetical order, for lack of a better plan. Is there a "better" way? 

I will assume you are addressing the meta keyword tag. The order of your keywords does matter. It is like having a baseball team and batting people randomly, versus putting your best batters at the top of the line-up. Here is one of the reasons why: Some engines only index X number of characters, so if your most important keyword is "wireless" and you have it in alpha order, your best keyword may not get indexed. 

BUT, more importantly than keyword sequencing in the meta keyword tag, is the meta title. Gotta have that keyword within the first 3 words, no if's and's or but's. And even more importantly, is where you place your keywords with the visible text of your web page. And even more importantly, the keyword count, keyword sequencing and keyword proximity within the body and the correlation between keywords found in meta tags and found in the body...

- Use Paid Search Engines To Market Test -

Marsha Kopan, LED 879:

Which search engines/directories play the keyword bidding game? I'll avoid those. Seems like the only one winning in this are the SE's & directories.

Here is a way I recommend our clients to test their product/site, especially when a potential client brings a product to us that I don't think will sell. I have them sign up at and for 1-2 weeks be the high bidder for their most important words. They will get traffic and it will tell them if their site is working and if they have a viable product.

This is the most cost effective "Beta test" / "market survey" you can possibly do.

- Evaluating SEO Services -

Terri Edmonston, LED 882:

I've been looking into Search Engine Optimization services, and trying to understand if paying for these services is worth it, or if I should do all of our site's SEO in-house.

SEO services are generally worth it if you have a high ticket (or high volume) item to sell. There are just so many web pages on the net now that, quite frankly, it is almost as hard to get ranking for something like "surfboards" (Altavista found 36,240 web pages) as it is for "term life insurance" (Altavista found 32,800 web pages).

Although I like to surf, my life insurance clients pay me a lot more than my surfboard clients. As you can imagine, the competition for life insurance is fierce, much stiffer than for surfboards. And it takes about the same amount of time and effort and research and analysis and... well, it just makes sense to do the work for clients that will benefit the most financially.

In order to evaluate SEO companies, ask for copies of rankings from existing clients, and be sure the rankings are less than 30 days old. Things change fast in the SEO world. 

In example: YESTERDAY Altavista has just changed to the Looksmart database...

"LookSmart pays portals to use its service"

Here is a quick way to test the effectiveness of the companies you are evaluating. Search for the phrase search engine optimization across the major engines. Make a copy of the top ten of each result and then see who is in the most often. Use that for your starting point.

ALSO, when looking at the performance of the various SEO companies, be sure to look at the actual keywords ranked. #1 rankings for phrases like "The best home loan in Encinitas" or "special life insurance rates for seniors" are unlikely to be searched for by many humans. Ask to see the tough words and evaluate SEO effectiveness on their ability to get difficult phrases ranked.

At your service,
Rod Aries 

How To Internet Your Business

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