[thelist] Search Engine Placement

Joshua Olson joshua at waetech.com
Thu Sep 18 10:59:17 CDT 2003

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "rudy" <rudy937 at rogers.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2003 11:28 AM

> successfule search engine placement can be
> summarized in three simple rules:
> 1. have good content
> 2. use semantic markup
> 3. get reputable sites to link to you


While I agree with you on a high level, I want to change the ordering a bit.

1.  have good content
2.  get reputable sites to link to you
3.  use semantic markup

Here's why.

Content is still king.  Search engines (ala google) are best suited to
search large volumes of text because of their search algorithms where word
placement is important.  Semantic markup is not weighed as heavy in search
engines.  I agree with you that proper markup is good--at least a little
bit--but maybe not for the same reason.

I think semantic markup is good because it creates a better content to html
ratio.  The content is less likely to have intermixed html garbage and is
more likely to be  in the proper order, and therefore the searches will be
more relevant.

Google places a lot of weight on inbound links and that is more important
that semantic markup.  The markup will have it's place in future search
engines as web pages are used for knowledge representation instead of just
user interfaces.  You can read a lot more about this in:


Here's my example of why I think that content and inbound links are most

I built a sample menu for a client.  I wanted to show it wrapping over
content so I grabbed a couple articles off of news.com to put in the body of
the page.  Somehow, google managed to index the page.  Probably through


I still get hits on this page daily even though it's non-existent and the
HTML markup was pretty shabby.  Basically, the content was good (because I
lifted it) and it got a good link from evolt from this list's archives.

A rule of thumb that I saw was to add a typed single-page documents worth of
content every day and your site will move up in the page rankings.  More
sites will link to your good content (eventually) and that'll help too.  If
your site enjoys a niche without a lot of saturation that'll help as well.
In other words, if your site is all about the breed of dog known as a
labradoodle (a cross between a Labrador and a poodle) then your site is
likely to be #1 fairly quickly if you add fresh content daily.  If you site
is a tech news site or about cars (or any other over saturated market), then
good luck!


Joshua Olson
Web Application Engineer
WAE Tech Inc.

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