[thelist] "spamminess" site check - realtymort.com

James evolt at reather.net
Wed Dec 10 06:58:36 CST 2003

Stephen Rider wrote:
> The boss-man is absolutely driven to raise the rankings in search
> engines (I explained to him that Google's entire business model
> depends on web coders not being able to directly manipulate the
> rankings, but he doesn't want to hear it...), so he keeps insisting
> that I keep tweaking word order in Title tags and such, in a vain
> attempt to find the perfect "keyword" optimization.
> I thought the site was well done in terms of readabiloity to search
> engines and such, and I'm not doing anything blatantly "spammy",
>   AFAIK. Am I missing something?  Is there something I'm doing
> horribly wrong here?

Have you checked at
http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/ to see what
variations on keywords people search for?

> Notes:
> 1) The Site Map is brand-spanking new (as in, "yesterday"), so that's
> not part of the issue.  I added that in attempt to alleviate the
> problem.  Bad move or good move?
> 2) There are two domains pointing to the same site, so that may be
> part of the problem (but wasn't before).
> <http://www.aptrentals.com/> goes to the same site.

This could be a big problem.  Unless you're prepared to have substantially
different content on the two sites, you need to set things up so that a
visitor to http://www.aptrentals.com/ gets *redirected* (i.e. a 301 or 302
redirect) to www.realtymort.com/ - you can't just serve exactly the same
content for the two domains and expect Google not to mind :-)

> 3) The words "Chicago Apartments" was recently added to the beginning
> of all page titles... not sure if this is the problem or not, just an
> FYI.  Doesn't seem to be too terrible of a crime, but slightly
> "spammy"

IMHO your page titles are way too long, and your company name should only be
mentioned in a few of them.  Your home page is already #1 in Google for
searches of your company name, so you should remove it from all the internal
pages - it's not doing any good there, it's just diluting the impact of your
keywords.  http://www.google.com/search?q=realty+and+mortgage+co

Take, for instance, your page at
http://www.realtymort.com/listings/nearnorth.htm which has <title>Realty
&amp; Mortgage Co. - Listings of Apartments for Rent in Chicago's Near North
Side</title>.  Checking with
http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion, we find that the
most common searchs are "apartment chicago" (~10000 searches), "apartment in
chicago" (~2300 searches), "chicago apartment for rent" (~2000 searches).
So, are the most important keywords for your page really "Realty & Mortgage
Co" (important keywords at the start of the <title> tag)?  If it were my
page, I'd probably try <title>Chicago Near North Side Apartment</title> or
even <title>Chicago Near North Side Apartment List</title> if you're
determined to be gramatically correct :-)   If you really must, put your
company name on the end like this: <title>Chicago Near North Side Apartment
List - Realty & Mortgage Co</title>

Also, get yourself a free Google API key
and then register for free keyword tracking at

Also, consider better/different text navigation for your pages.  A site map
will perhaps help, but each page could/should have breadcrumbs i.e. <a
href="parentpage">parentpage's keywords</a> and <a
href="childrenpages">childrenpages' keywords</a> tags.  That way you make
sure each page has incoming text links with relevant keywords.  If your site
is database driven, this is dead easy to set up.

Just my $0.02, but perhaps this is a start!


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