Galatia, Inc.

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Search Engine Primer


Search Engine Concepts & Terminology

  • Search Engine: Used generally to mean any site which allows Internet users to find information on the Net, especially the Web. A more specific definition is one of these sites which uses a robotic "crawler" to index Web pages and other page data. Most search sites fall under both categories; the primary exception is Yahoo!, which is indexed by human beings.
  • Keywords: Any word which captures all or part of the essence of a document's content. Also, the words which are likely to be searched for by users of search engines, in their efforts to identify relevant documents.
  • Relevancy: When a search engine user enters a keyword or keyphrase to find, the engine must sift through its database of documents to determine which documents are most relevant to the keyword or keyphrase in question.
  • Keyword Density: One of the primary measurements used by search engines to determine a document's relevancy in relation to specific words or phrases. The higher the percentage of a document's content consists of a specific term, the more relevant it is likely to be to that term.
  • Keyword Location: Another major measurement of relevancy. Documents with a specific term in the title, for example, are considered more relevant to that topic than those which do not.

Search Engine Do's and Don't's

  • DO Identify the objectives of your web site within the context of your greater business plan.
  • DO Exercise great care in selecting your keywords.
  • DO Consult other people, especially clients, about what your keywords should be.
  • DO Research your "competition" regarding their keywords and techniques, and emulate them where appropriate.
  • DO Build a well-designed page in every sense of the term. This accomplishes two things. First, users who reach you through the search engines will find your site useful and enjoyable. Second, since Yahoo! has humans looking at your site, you're more likely to get a positive review -- and maybe even a little pair of sunglasses -- and thus more visitors from the single most-used search device on the Internet (45% of all users according to recent surveys).
  • DO Use your most critical keywords in your HTML titles.
    <TITLE>Galatia Performance Inc. : Turbochargers, Superchargers, Intercoolers, Waste Gates, Etc.</TITLE>
  • DO Use keyword and description <META> tags, but always beneath the <TITLE>. Keep the description under 250 characters max, and under 150 characters if possible.
    <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="turbochargers, turbos, superchargers, intercoolers, waste gates, forced induction, automotive performance upgrades, automotive aftermarket, high performance engines, turbines, blowers, blow-off valves">
    <META NAME="description" CONTENT="Galatia Performance manufactures and installs quality forced induction systems for racing and high performance automobiles, including turbochargers, superchargers and related equipment.">
  • DO Use headlines instead of large font tags.
    <H2>Welcome to Galatia Performance: Your #1 Source for Turbocharger & Supercharger Systems</H2>
  • DO Include the <ALT> attribute for all images, but keep them short for users of Netscape in Windows (in which the <ALT> content pops up when the cursor is placed over the image).
    <IMG SRC="dyno.gif" WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="144" BORDER="0" ALIGN="right" ALT="Pump up your horsepower with an intercooled turbo">
  • DO Use <NOFRAMES> or provide an unframed alternative to framed pages.
  • DO Use the "phantom pixel", but make sure you keep it out of the way. This is a 1-pixel by 1-pixel GIF with transparency, which allows you to enrich the <ALT> tag with lots of keywords, since the odds of a Windows Netscape user locating it are slim to none. Just to be sure, put it at the bottom of the page, or some place where the odds of a user encountering it are even lower.
    <IMG SRC="phantom.gif" WIDTH="1" HEIGHT="1" BORDER="0" ALIGN="right" ALT="turbochargers, turbos, superchargers, intercoolers, waste gates, forced induction, automotive performance upgrades, automotive aftermarket, high performance engines, turbines, blowers, blow-off valves">
  • DO Manually submit your top several pages to the top eight or nine search engines, and resubmit whenever your site changes. Those search engines include:
  • DO Continue to monitor your site's "rankings" in various keyword and keyphrase searches with the help of tool like Position Agent or Rank This!.

  • DON'T Waste most of your valuable time trying to stay on top of the search engines. Let the professionals like Galatia do the legwork. You can benefit from their experience by signing up for a newsletter such as Danny Sullivan's excellent service at Search Engine Watch.
  • DON'T Waste the rest of your valuable time refining your pages in order to move up a couple of spots in the "rankings" on a search engine. That time would best be spent creating a drop-dead awesome site or implementing other equally important aspects of your business/marketing strategy. The 80/20 rule holds here.
  • DON'T Blatantly "spamdex" or "keyword stuff". Words repeated over and over, especially in the same tag, will get your site penalized or even banned from most search engines.
  • DON'T Try to "spamdex" by using invisible text (text the same color as the background). Some search engines look for this and will penalize your site for it.
  • DON'T Include keywords blatantly unrelated to your content in an effort to pull in anyone and everyone to your site. Not only is it counterproductive, loading your server with pissed-off users, but it can get you banned from the search engine listings. Permanently.
  • DON'T Waste your money on auto-submission services. Some work, some don't. Regardless, manually submitting your pages to eight search engines doesn't take very long. If you must pay someone else to do it, pay a little more to someone you trust will do it right. Unless your web site isn't important enough to submit anyway.
  • DON'T Use "redirect" or "refresh" pages solely to boost your keyword relevancy. A few search engines are now penalizing for this practice.
  • DON'T Submit multiple URL's of the same page (your index page, for instance). True, this will give you two or more spots in the search engines' listings. But they will be listed together, and the only real effect will be knocking other sites down the rankings. Which doesn't help you so much as it hurts others. Which is unethical.
  • DON'T Submit a bogus (poorly designed) page as your competitor's URL or engage in other clearly unethical behavior. What goes around comes around. . .

Galatia Web Services, Inc. 1153 Bordeaux Dr. Suite 202 Sunnyvale, CA 94089
(408) 743-9000 voice, (408) 743-9009 fax, email

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