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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Is ALT Text Important with Search Engine Optimization?

I have recently read an article by acclaimed SEO Expert Robin Nobles on the subject of ALT text. As always, Robin has given us the facts but tempered them with reason. You can find an excerpt below and a link to the full article below.

How Important is ALT Text in Search Engine Optimization?
By Robin Nobles (c) 2005

For years, search engine optimizers have included their
important keyword phrases in ALT text for images, feeling
confident that many of the search engines considered the
contents of ALT text when determining relevancy.

The big question is, has this changed?

Yes . . .

None of the Major Engines Considers ALT Text When Determining

According to research by expert SEO researcher Jerry West of
WebMarketingNow ( and Search
Engine Academy (, at the
present time, none of the "Big Three" search engines (Google,
Yahoo!, nor MSN), considers ALT text when determining relevancy.

West explains, "Over the last six months, we have seen a trend on
our testing servers that shows that using ALT text for SEO
purposes has not only diminished, but adversely affects the
rankings in the SERPs. It is clear that search engines continue
to catch up to "SEO tricks" that are intended to improve search
engine ranking while damaging the visitor experience. The
American Disabilities Act (ADA) has strict guidelines as to what
your site needs to contain in order to be ADA compliant. I
garantee you, they do not look favorably at ALT text that has
been keyword stuffed.

Read the Full Article

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Keyword Density - How Much Is Too Much?

Keyword Density or Frequency

A lot of experts think around 3 to 10 times per 100 words on
your page is enough. I prefer around 1 to 2 keywords or phrases with
a 8 to 12 percentage of the total page.

A good rule of thumb when creating your optimized page is to read the content out
loud. Have someone else listen if it helps. If it "sounds" like you have forced too many instances of the
keyword phrase or you are obsessed with whatever you pages about, chances are good that you need to remove a few or better yet, use other ways to say the same thing.

There are basically two main aspects of keyword optimization. First,
you want to select optimal keywords to target in your web pages.
Second, you want to include these keywords in an optimal manner to
show the search engines that your pages are relevant to the keywords.

Almost all major search engines gives weight to words located toward
the top of your page. So it is a good idea to place your keyword
phrase at the top of your page in a useful way and keep marketing in
mind as you structure this opening paragraph.

Keep in mind that people will be reading your page. Real people, not just spiders, so make the content viable and market to your customers.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Keyword Selection and Analysis Tools

Here are some tools we use when researching relevant and targeted keywords and phrases for our clients.

Look for the top 20 to 30 of the collection. Please note that the count may differ with various websites
since the amounts of search traffic they get vary. So take the count
results from only a single site.

Overture tool Pages


Wordtracker tool [recommended]Pages

Google Sandbox ToolPages


Espotting ToolPages<

Related Pages


After using these tools we begin to figure out the level of competition and amount of effort needed to rank you site for the keywords you have chosen. How much time and attention your competitors have put into their SEO efforts also fits into the equation.