Playing the Search Engine Game with your Photo Galleries

vonnagy

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Hi All,

I've created a search engine tutorial that is tailored specifically for photographers with websites. Since I have been having trouble with html tags on this board, i've posted the tutorial on my website at: http://www.mark.nagy.com/search-engine-tutorial.html

Why try to get listed on search engine? So people can find your lovely photos of course!

Here are some of topics that I have planned to cover:

1 Getting Started: This will cover key concepts into preparing your website for the world wide web and search engines (finished)
2 Optimising your site:This will get into the nitty gritty about the technical aspects of producing a search engine friendly website. (not written yet)
3 Getting your site Listed: Now that you've got your super duper photo gallery web site done, its time to promote yourself on the web! (not written yet)
4 Final Notes on Search Engines: This will cover bits and bobs about different search engines, common mistakes, and attempt to cover any loose ends I may have missed during this tutorial.(not written yet)

Please provide feedback! If this is not useful to anyone on anyone on this board, I won't waste my time finishing it! If ten people respond that this is a useful tutorial, I will continue writing the rest!

To give you an idea of how search engine optimisation helped me, I targeted my website for "New Zealand Photos". So when a web surfer types in that keyphrase, I hope that my website turns up at near the top of the heap. If you you are on the top of the heap, you get more traffic into your website.

I was totally chuffed yesterday when I found out my keyphrase put me at the very top of
msnsearch!
With google.com, where competition is absolutely ferocious, I am ranked 25, but I believe I will have a better ranking again in few months.

Hope this helps!
Cheers!
 

Scott S

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I think the info you've got up there is great, and I definitely think you should keep going. You've got some great ideas that people just don't think about, and they make a difference.


A couple things... It's been a long while since I played the search engine game when building websites, but two other things may help in raising your ranking. (And maybe you just haven't written these down yet...)

The first is Meta Tags. How To Use HTML Meta Tags

Meta tags are not necessarily the killer way to increase ranking. Many search engines are smart enough to ignore too many meta tags, or repeated ones. In the old days it was easy to rank by using a word over and over again. Not so any more. Best to use phrases and word variants (photo and photos and photography and etc etc).

The other is Alt text for images. This can make a HUGE difference with places that search specifically for images, like Google or Lycos. Boost Your Search Engine Rank With ALT Tags. Another great thing about Alt tags is that some browsers will use the alt tag to do a "tooltip" popup when you hold the mouse over an image.

For both of the above, it's great that they're hidden from the user. You could add a full paragraph in an alt tag and the user will never know unless their browser supports the tooltip thing AND the hover the mouse over the image. But the search engines know that meta and alt tags are there.

Again, it's been a long time, but these tips still seem relevant.
 

terri

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Mark, since I am now seriously flirting with the idea of getting the web site built, I will need all the tips and extras I can get when it's done. Go for it, please! And thanks! :D
 
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vonnagy

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Meta tags are not necessarily the killer way to increase ranking. Many search engines are smart enough to ignore too many meta tags, or repeated ones. In the old days it was easy to rank by using a word over and over again.

Hi pretty spot on Scott S! thanks for sharing!

however metatags are still quite useful for certain search engines, infact you can achieve some pretty high rankings on MSN - if you know how to use them! Google ignores them, but like you said, you shouldn't ignore them because msn uses them. But i'll go over more of this in more in detail later on!

Alt Tags are definately useful - they only appear as a tooltip in internet explorer. They will appear in your image box if your image fails to load, which is a definate plus if your users have a slllooooooow connection.

Anyway, back to work now..
Cheers!
 

Scott S

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Google ignores them...

Hmmm. I didn't that Google ignores them completely. But then again it's been a while.

As to the tooltip thing, I actually had one pop up in Mozilla 1.4 today, and could have been a Java scriptlet or something.

Nope, it was under the img src tag, TITLE="blah blah" that was the popup. IE, Netscape, and Mozilla all pop it up, but only IE displayed it correctly.

It has been too long - I didn't even know that img src had a TITLE=
:)
 
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vonnagy

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Oh, to clarify that a bit, google ignores the the <meta keyword> tag. It uses the advanced PageRank algorithm - nothing to do with al gore's dancing ability ;)

title tags are cool. you can use them for anything!

Try them in URLs!
<a href="http://www.mark.nagy.com" title="New Zealand Photos by Mark Nagy">read this</a>

or how about bold and italic tags:
<b title="hahaha - made you look!">Mouse over this[/b]
<i title="You are not very good at following directions"> Don't Mouse Over me![/i]

I don't know what relevence they have in the search engine world
 

Scott S

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Don't Mouse Over me!
Damn, ya got me.

I don't know what relevence they have in the search engine world
Apparently not much. I googled by a picture title and a particular page was first choice. A keyword from the picture title and just about everything in the title didn't produce a hit at all. Searching for the Title terms significantly reduced the chance of finding that picture.

Title can be pretty cool. My lack of knowledge about it reminds me that I haven't written a web page since '96...
 

urameatball

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there's a LOT of good readings in 'searchengineworld.com'
They actually have a similated spider to see whether a typical search engine spider goes through everything on your site.

One key factor to google is CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT... Google loves websites that are filled with words... reviews and articles on particular topics usually get really high rankings because they tend to repeat keywords over and over all around the page. Google also loves new material... if you update your site with new articles regularly, google will keep coming back for more and more. Someone told me that last week so I decided to test his theory, I started typing up short pages of descriptions and little articles about local news every day and google now comes back every 6hrs to check up on new content. Back when I didn't update my site regularly, google would only come in maybe once every 2-4days.
I heard from guys with huge and very regularly updated websites get about 1GB of google spiders a day. And that's from only one website.

don't know much about other engines though.
 

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