Web Developer Help Search Engine Optimization Project

This page's purpose is to climb search engine ranking pages for the term web developer help as far as possible. Most of the search engine optimization techniques used on this page are simple on-page optimization tasks that should be done with all pages that are to be SEOd. I picked the search term web developer help because it has over 6 million results in the Google search. I am hoping to eventually make it within the top 10 results on Google, Yahoo and MSN.

The secondary purpose for this "web developer help" search engine optimization project is to do some tests to see what techniques work for the Google, Yahoo! and MSN search engines when they display their search results. In order to do these SEO tests, something on this page is changed and the ranking positions are monitored in the search engines. Some tests may be used more than once in order to test for changes in the search engines and to see if other tests effect them.

When I run out of ideas for on-page optimization techniques, I will start trying some off-site methods and see what happens from there. I am unsure of how inbound links (IBL) effect the rankings on each of these engines, so I will try to monitor that as well as the number if organic links increase. If you want to link to this page, please use the anchor text "Web Developer Help" or just the URL of the page.

You may view the current rankings of this page by checking the search engines themselves (links below). One import thing to note is that the content of this page has not been altered for a number of years.

Note: This page was first added to this website on August 2, 2004. It has gone nearly untouched for a decade. There was a URL change involved in March of 2013 (with a new site design). A year after, Google had dropped this to page 4 in their results, but Bing and Yahoo still have had listed on their first pages.

Basic Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization & Web Coding

The search engine optimization techniques that I use are directly related to on-page optimization. By far, the best results I have had seem to be directly related to the HTML coding that is used. If you take a peek at this page's code, you will notice that almost all of the code is actually the content on this page.

By moving much of the web page design into CSS files, I am able to produce lean, logical HTML. I don't know if this is a noise/content matter, a W3C validated matter, a document flow matter or simply the tags I decide to use and how I use them. In any case, I've been having great results on sites that I keep the HTML clean and logical. All CSS definitions and JavaScript routines are stored in external files since search engines and text browsers shouldn't be forced to parse all that code.

Incoming Anchor Text & the Document Title

The text used for a hyperlink is referred to as "anchor text." Anchor text and page titles seem to be a very large topic for search engine optimization. All that you really need to worry about is:

  • that the targeted phrase is in the document's TITLE tag, but not over-used
  • that when people link to the page that they use the targeted phrase within the link text

Using Meta Tags: Description & Keywords

Other basic search engine optimization include using meta tags. The meta description tag has been used by many search engines to display in their search result pages. In my experience, the only benefit you gain from this is that your listing in the search engine result pages looks a bit more tidy than the ones that have excerpts of the content.

The use of the keyword meta tag always seems to be under debate. Some people say that they aren't used by search engines anymore, some say that they are a key component to your page's ranking, and still others say that the keywords meta tag is used, but doesn't effect the ranking positions much. You can draw your own conclusions on this. I used to be sure that the keyword meta tags weren't used at all by the major search engines. However, recently I have begun to think that both Yahoo! and MSN take the keywords into consideration when displaying the search results.

Optimizing Page Content & Getting Organic Links

The best way to optimize your web page is to write unique page content (or text/copy). Your copy should be directed at an actual human visitor rather than trying to trick search engines into giving you a higher ranking. I've been asked about this method many times, and the reasoning behind it is simple. A well-written page of copy is to the point, doesn't stray from the topic and doesn't use vocabulary that isn't suitable for the intended audience. If your page copy is easy to understand by someone not in the loop, then you will have a better change to get others to link to your page without having to request for it.

This type of link is known as an "organic link." This term is likely used because links of this type seem to grow for your web page as if they were roots. As more people read your page, more may link to it if they find the content useful. These links help with search engines greatly. The more of these links you have, your status as an authoritive source on the topic increases, driving more people to read your site. In most cases, this cycle continues until the information becomes outdated, obsolete or the page has been removed.

When writing your copy, be sure that you do use your targetted words or phrases within it. However, don't risk your page reading like a machine wrote it! Write the entire page with feeling. Then go back and read it. Did you forget to use your terms? If so, add them in here and there where they don't disrupt the mood, style or flow of the piece. If you read your copy and feel that you have too many instances of your targetted phrase, remove some of them. If you are unsure what to think, have an outisde source read it and tell you what they think of it. Repeating your targetted phrase too many times may have disasterous results on your search engine ranking. However, you do want to be sure that search engines realize what your page is about.

Using Headings

Always use headings in your page content! I don't mean make the font bigger and change the color - I mean use the actual HTML tags for headings. Search engines and text browsers use these HTML tags to separate sections of content. Be sure that the headings you use relate to the copy that will follow them. It is often a good idea to include your targetted search term within heading tags as well. However, in some cases it just may not work that way. For instance, would you still be reading this page if all the headings had the phrase "web developer help" in them? Not likely.

Logical Use Of HTML Heading Tags

One last point about heading tags... Use them in an outline flow style. That is, don't have five H1 headings, no H2 headings and three H3 headings. Make sure that they flow correctly. Have a single H1 heading (sometimes a second or third one are appropriate), with H2 headings beneath them, and possibly H3, H4, H5 and H6 headings beneath each of those. Keep them in order, don't have a H5 heading that is directly above an H4 heading. Keep it logical, the lower the number of the heading, the more strength it should hold relative to the others used inside your page content.