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robertsaunders
02-04-2006, 10:02 PM
I have designed a website for a friend: http://elenadearden.com

It ranks reasonably well on MSN search but for some reason its google rating is terrible. I am wondering if this might be because of some mistake I may have made with the code.

Even if I type "Elena Dearden" into the search engine it doesn't bring up her site.

Can anyone make any suggestions as to why this might be, or what I might do to improve its rating?

Would be most grateful for any advice.

Thanks

Rob

ddadmin
02-05-2006, 04:31 AM
SEO (search engine optimizing) is a very elusive and constantly changing game. There isn't any magic answer to ranking well, but there are a few basic things you can improve. Firstly, I'd try and clean up the source code to make it easier for search engines to make out your content. For example, you're using a massive amount of HTML just to render your side menu links:


<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" height="59">
<tr>
<td bgcolor="#FFFFEE" width="1"><img src="pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0"></td>
<td bgcolor="#FEFAC9" width="90" align="center"><a class="navbar" href="index.htm">HOME</a></td>
<td bgcolor="#C9C594" width="1"><img src="pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0"></td>
<td bgcolor="#FFFFEE" width="1"><img src="pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0"></td>
<td bgcolor="#FEFAC9" width="117" align="center"><a class="navbar" href="contact.htm">CONTACT</a></td>
<td bgcolor="#C9C594" width="1"><img src="pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0"></td>
<td bgcolor="#FFFFEE" width="1"><img src="pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0"></td>
<td bgcolor="#FEFAC9" width="120" align="center"><a class="navbar" href="services.htm">SERVICES</a></td>
<td bgcolor="#C9C594" width="1"><img src="pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0"></td>
<td bgcolor="#FFFFEE" width="1"><img src="pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0"></td>
<td bgcolor="#FEFAC9" width="90" align="center"><a class="navbar" href="cv.htm">CV</a></td>
<td bgcolor="#C9C594" width="1"><img src="pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0"></td>
<td bgcolor="#FFFFEE" width="1"><img src="pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0"></td>
<td bgcolor="#FEFAC9" width="106" align="center"><a class="navbar" href="rates.htm">RATES</a></td>
<td bgcolor="#C9C594" width="1"><img src="pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0"></td>
</tr></table>

That's a lot of code for something so simple. I'd remove all of the the table and cells, and use DIVs and CSS instead. That should cut that code block down to 10% or even less of the original's size. Also, use header tags (ie: h1) when appropriate on your page.

The other thing is basically just to put up useful content on your site and try and build up link exchanges with other sites in your field. My approach is very simple- I just worry about my site, and let the search engines figure out what's best on their own.

robertsaunders
02-08-2006, 12:32 AM
Thanks for your reply. I will have a look at the code and see what I can do to tidy it up.

But I've just had another thought - is it possible that linking to the site from this forum could have had a negative effect. I know that on my own site I have terrible problems with spammers using my guestbook, so I'm wondering if google might interpret the 2 links Ive put on this forum as SPAM?

That might also explain why when I first registered the site it had a better rating than it does now, even though the hits have steadily increased each month.

Any thoughts?

ddadmin
02-08-2006, 11:19 AM
Hmmm I don't see how posting a link on these forums can in anyway negatively impact your Google ranking. The only time linking can be bad is if it's posted on a Google blacklisted site, which DD isn't.

mrhinc
02-15-2006, 03:31 AM
I looked at the site you referred to and noticed a couple of things.

You can use the womans name more than once in the "title"
ie. Elena Dearden interpereter, Elena Dearden foreign languages, Elena Dearden speaking Russian, etc. Repeat her name often in the tiltle....preview the page and try saving it. When you've got toooo long a title...it won't "save as"....remove words until it will "save as"

Follow the "title" with "keywords". You don't have "Elena Dearden" in the keywords anywhere.

Follow the keywords with the "description". Again...use her name often.

Remove this.... <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="EN-GB"> You don't need it.

So after "<html><Head> it's "title" line...."keywords"...."description".
There are no guarantees......but this is a good start.
Also...do searches using "Google" and watch for "Directories" that appear on the first or second page. Whereever possible add her site to the directory if it's free...most are. Now the google search will find that directory easily...and probably the womans name!!!

Good luck!

Twey
02-15-2006, 11:22 AM
Remove this.... <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="EN-GB"> You don't need it.
($:~) telnet elenadearden.com 80
Trying 66.96.240.21...
Connected to elenadearden.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
HEAD / HTTP/1.1
Host: elenadearden.com

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Age: 1
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 11:20:12 GMT
Content-Length: 5298
Content-Type: text/html
Server: Apache/1.3.34 (Unix) mod_auth_passthrough/1.8 mod_log_bytes/1.2 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 mod_ssl/2.8.25 OpenSSL/0.9.7a PHP-CGI/0.1b
Last-Modified: Wed, 08 Feb 2006 14:59:17 GMT
ETag: "d20048-14b2-43ea0745"
As you can see, his server doesn't send the "Content-Language" header or a charset in "Content-Type." While the ideal solution would be to cause the server to do so, meta tags to the same effect are better than nothing.

robertsaunders
03-23-2006, 06:39 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. For some reason I didn't receive notification of them which is why it's taken me a while to reply. Without the bit of code you suggest deleting people were telling me that some of the characters were appearing incorrectly on their computers - in fact I think it may have been someone in this forum who suggested that I add the code.

Thanks again for your advice.

Rob