Doorway Pages are Dead

Doorway Pages are Dead

Subject Line: TWM Release – Doorway Pages are Dead

The Write Market Release
Vol 2. Issue 5
Doorway Pages are Dead

CONTENTS IN THIS ISSUE:
1. Editor’s Remarks
2. Getting Ranks in the Search Engines – Part III
a) Keywords
b) Themes
c) What are Doorway Pages?
d) How to Use Keywords to Make Doorways and Themes
e) AltaVista
4. What’s New at The Write Market
5. Get Your Ad in TWM’s Release!
6. Administrative Information

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EDITOR’S REMARKS

Welcome all new subscribers!

This month, we’re really going to delve into the nitty-gritty of Search Engine Positioning. This is a long issue – but contains much usable info. So, hold onto your hats…

If you come to a basic understanding of the concepts in this issue – you will understand Search Engine Positioning. You will also realize that at a base level it is not difficult; it just takes time (several months of time!)

It used to be that appropriate “keyword frequency” or “keyword density” was all you needed to get your pages ranking in the search engines.

However, as spammers get smarter, search engine technology also gets smarter. Now, there are many variables involved in getting your pages to rank well. Still, keyword frequency is the most easily manipulated variable when trying to get ranks in the engines.

Along with the discussion of keyword frequency, the subject of “Doorway Pages” inevitably rears its ugly head. Also, I feel this is a good time to tell you about “Themes” because themes are really all about keyword usage.

Finally, we’ve dug up quite a bit of information on AltaVista and provided you with the resources where we found that information.

Next month we’ll cover the engines and directories that you can pay to get into, including the ever elusive Yahoo!

Write on,
Renee Kennedy
[email protected]

PS: The 3 freshest and most popular Search Engines – in the truest meaning of the words “search engine” – are AltaVista, Google, and Inktomi. These three engines, will go to the 3 major directories to look for new websites. The three biggest directories are Yahoo, Looksmart and ODP.

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KEYWORDS

Keyword: Words that people type into a search engine to find web sites that relate to that keyword.

Keyword Phrase: Two or three words in a string. Some examples – “educational toys,” “children’s books,” “wooden boats.” Generally, a noun (person place or thing) and one or two adjectives (words that describe the noun).

Keyword Proximity: When two or three keywords are placed together and how close they are together. For instance – “educational books” v. “educational children’s books” v. “educational children’s monster books” You would want words to be placed together when you think that people would type them into a search engine exactly that way – a keyword phrase.

Keyword Frequency: (Also termed “Keyword Density.”) The amount of times a keyword or keyword phrase appears in the text of a web page (can also include the keyword in the title, meta tags, and alt tags.) I will refer to this as a percentage. Keyword/Total Words in Text=3% or Keyword/Total Words in Text, Title and Tags=5%

Here are two tools you can play around with to calculate your keyword frequency:
http://www.keywordcount.com
http://www.searchengineworld.com/cgi-bin/kwda.cgi

This is my favorite tool for finding appropriate keywords (besides just using my brain.)
http://inventory.go2.com/inventory/Search_Suggestion.jhtml

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THEMES

Themes are a group of webpages on a website that surround a basic idea, motif, notion, concept – however you choose to say it. You may have 10 or more keywords or keyword phrases that relate to your theme. For instance – “children’s books,” “educational toys,” “wooden boats,” “electric trains,” “puzzles and games” – could build to the theme “Children’s Toys.” When building your website, always keep your “theme” in mind and build around that theme using keywords for each web page that enhance and support the theme.

Some facets of themes:
1. a lot of content spread over several pages will help you more in engines than a lot of content on one page.
2. your top keywords should be represented on separate pages on your domain.
3. you should work keywords into a menu or directory so that they are present on every page. For instance:

children’s books : educational toys : wooden boats : electric trains

If these were your top keyword phrases and you wanted them on every page, you include them in text links at the bottom of each page. This will also help the search engine spiders find all of your pages.

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WHAT ARE DOORWAY PAGES?

Doorway pages are also termed “hallway pages,” “gateway pages,” “entry pages,” “leader pages,” and “bridge pages.”

They are an “entrance” into your web site. It is a web page specifically written for a certain search engine. For instance, many people use doorway pages to get their site into Alta Vista. They create separate pages with specific words and tags in them, specifically designed for Alta Vista.

Other things that may qualify a doorway page:

1. A page with a string of keywords – a list of keywords – no true, recognizable content.
2. Pages hosted on a server that is not where your website is located. These pages are “optimized” to get ranks in the search engines and then direct people to your website. (Generally, this is done by a Search Engine Optimization Specialist that would charge you for the work and host your pages on his/her server.)

3. Pages that may be located on the same domain as your website. They will lead people from a search engine to your home page.
4. A page that is optimized for specific keywords – with recognizable content in complete sentences.

You ***don’t*** want to get involved in #1 or #2. It is #3 and #4 that we will concentrate on in the rest of this issue.

The title of this issue is “Doorway Pages are Dead” – why did we say that? Because hundreds of pages with strings of keywords or pages that use tricks like hidden text are bound to do one thing for your site – get it banned from the search engines. In fact, free servers like Geocities, Freeserve and others are now banned from some search engines because people spammed the engines with hundreds of doorway pages that were served on those domains. This means that honest sites hosted on Geocities cannot get into some search engines because that whole domain is banned.

From now on, when we refer to Doorways – we simply mean an entry to your site from a search engine.

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The Write Market recommends this program because we use it and it works. It does everything – tracks your keywords in all the important engines, tracks your ranks, and tracks your hits. There is no other program that does it so user friendly as WebPosition Gold.

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HOW TO USE KEYWORDS TO MAKE
DOORWAYS AND THEMES

Below, we will outline the steps that you need to take in order to create theme oriented doorway pages. Knowing what to do is simple, implementing it will take time.

1. Choose ten or so keywords or keyword phrases that relate to a theme, as discussed above.

2. Write a separate web page for each keyword. Write the pages with the content in mind. Think about what people would want to find if they typed your keyword into a search engine. Try to write that information into your content. For instance, if I’m trying to write content for “wooden trains,” I might write a little about the history of wooden trains. Then if I’m trying to sell them, I would include the benefits of buying my wooden trains, a description of the wooden trains I am selling (their features), possibly pictures of them, and a link to my order page. At this point, don’t worry about keyword frequency or total number of words on the page. At this point, you are only trying to get some content on your page.

3. Pick a search engine. Each page will act as a doorway from that search engine to your website. Learn everything you can about what that engine will use to boost ranks. To start, you may want to use the information we have collected for AltaVista. For other search engines, here is a starting point: http://www.thewritemarket.com/search/specifics1.htm we recommend keeping a notebook with a page or two for each search engine. Every time you learn of a new strategy for a particular engine, write it down in your notebook.

4. You will need to know what a title and meta tags are – go here if you need help: http://www.thewritemarket.com/search/metatags.htm

  1. Write the keyword at least once in your title. Some engines will allow you to use it more than once. However, if you are unsure, then only use it once. Try to use it as close to the beginning of the title as you can. Keep the title around 100 characters. Make your title readable. Write a complete sentence. Don’t capitalize every letter of every word.
    Here’s an example for the keyword “wooden trains”:
    “Old fashioned wooden trains will delight your child.”
  2. Write your keyword at least once in the description tag. Try to make your description as interesting as possible. Keep around 150 characters. Remember, we discussed Click Popularity last month, your description and title can be very important in having your website achieve a high click popularity.
    Example:
    “Remember those old wooden pull toys? They’re back! Your child will have hours of fun playing with our 3 foot wooden trains!”
  3. Write your keyword various ways in the keywords tag, don’t use any individual word more than 3 times:
    “wooden trains, wooden, trains, trains wooden”

5. Keyword frequency in the text is the most important element. Analyze the top 5 sites for your keyword in the engine you’re optimizing for and see what kind of frequency they are using. (Use the tools that were mentioned in the “KEYWORDS” article above.) The keyword frequency may vary greatly on all five sites. Try to find an “average”. Now go back to your pages and rewrite for the keyword frequency. Usually, you can just change a few words to achieve the frequency you need.

6. Tips:

  1. Remember, there are other variables at play, here. The above is only accounting for the variables “title”, “description”, “keyword tag” and “keyword frequency.” If you’ve optimized your page similarly to other pages that rank well, yet you are not ranking well, then other variables are most likely the cause.
  2. Other variables – Link Popularity, Click Popularity, Listings in Online Directories, Paying for placement.
  3. Try first for less competitive keywords, a little success with these will give you more confidence to tackle the harder words. It’s easy to get into an engine on a four keyword phrase, it’s harder to get in on a two keyword phrase, especially if the engine considers those two words to be one word.

7. Submit your pages individually, by hand, to the search engine.

8. Wait about 6 weeks! Then check for your site and specifically your keywords.

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ALTAVISTA

Here is some knowledge that we’ve collected about AltaVista. Do with it what you will! We also have a list of resources at the bottom of this article where you can do your own research.

1. Algorithms: AltaVista may rotate algorithms, that is, they may use one algorithm one day and a totally different algo the next day. This may cause your site’s rank to go up and down depending on the algo they use.

2. Themes: AltaVista is said to use themes to rank pages.

3. A “Keyword Phrase” v. “Keyword”: Sometimes two words – or a phrase – is considered one word by AV. To figure this out, type in your phrase in the search box and look at the bottom of the results page.

For instance, if we typed in: wooden boats at the bottom of the search results you see: “word count: wooden boats: 17579”

Versus typing in: monster books “word count: monster: 1804714; books: 40061127”

AV considers “wooden boats” as one word. AV considers “monster books” as two separate words.

4. Submission: You can safely submit up to 5 pages a day.

5. Updates: Lately, they’ve been doing weekly updates each Monday.

6. Link Popularity: AV definitely uses link popularity in their algorithms. New info suggests that even outbound links can help. Use the search phrase in outbound links, link to sites with similar content.

7. Title: You must use the search phrase or word at least once in the title – once is enough. AV is case sensitive and usage sensitive, so only use one version of the word – “boats” is enough for one page, use “boat” and “boating” on another page. Worse would be using “Boats” and “boats”. Title will give a boost to your ranks.

8. Alt Tags: Use alt tags in your image if you need to add a greater keyword frequency of your search phrase.

9. Meta Tags: AV supports both description and keywords tag but does not use them to boost for rank. (Although to be on the safe side, you should always use a description and keywords tag.)

10. Age: The older the page in AltaVista, the better luck you will have optimizing it. Have patience, if you’ve tweaked your pages and they are in AltaVista, wait it out for a few months.

11. Resources:
http://www.searchenginewatch.com
http://www.searchengineforums.com
http://www.searchengineworld.com
http://www.adventive.com/ (i-search digest)

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WHAT’S NEW AT THE WRITE MARKET

Let me beg y’all to come and visit our discussion board: http://www.thewritemarket.com/discus/ we really do have a good time over there!

Updated the Search Engine Tutorial – if you haven’t read through this yet, you might want to: http://www.thewritemarket.com/intro.shtml However, it really needs to be revamped, possibly next month – so look forward to that, too.

Lots of new stuff in the resources section including a whole new page for Java Script resources: http://www.thewritemarket.com/resources/javascript.htm

Check out our newest design: http://www.mcgrathstudios.com/

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