Preface: only follow this if you are in 1999. After all, I suppose it is possible things could turn out entirely differently by 2014; who knows… InfoSeek could come back and rule once more (after Disney screws it up).
The year is 1999. The New Year (and potential Armageddon) is quickly approaching. You just built your first website and are hoping to get some sweet traffic from AltaVista. This new guy on the block, Google, has some potential, but I doubt he’ll make it; just another basement start up with limited potential. AltaVista will always be king. You want your share of traffic from those 250 million internet users out there – this number is sure to double in the next 20 years and you need to capitalize on this. In this article I am going to teach you how to get your website to dominate the search rankings in the new millennium.
The first step to SEO success is having the right domain name; yes you can have your very own and it is only $49 at Network Solutions! The right domain is one of the most important ranking factors. Short domain names are great for users to remember you, but long names with many keywords in them are better for search rankings and traffic. If you sell computers online, a domain such as www.computers-for-sale-buy-computers-online-computers.com would be fantastically effective and leaves no doubt in the site visitors name what you do.
Next you need to submit your website to the search engines, and submit it often. Make sure they know you are there. AltaVista will always be king, so submit there first but don’t forget about the other major players like Lycos, Hotbot and Excite (forget Google). Also, be sure to sign up for your LookSmart directory listing, at only $199 it is a total steal!
This is the core area for your SEO, and is critical for success; Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Keyword Meta Tags. These are the main areas that a search engine looks to determine your site rank. Be sure to have your target keyword in each of these areas at least 3 times but no more than 5 because you could look like a spammer. Your keyword Meta tag should be an extensive list of every possible target for your site that you deem relevant. Be sure to open up all your pages in FrontPage and update these items. It takes some time doing it one by one, but the results will be worth it.
Be sure to get your keyword targets on the page as much as possible. At least once a paragraph, but once every sentence is better. Include a target in every heading tag and be sure to bold and italicize some instances as well. To really capitalize on rankings and possibly obtain multiple top 10 listings create dozens of near identical pages that are heavily focused on your target phrases. If each of these pages are different, but very similar, and heavily optimized for your targets not only can you almost guarantee a top 10 ranking for one of them, you may also get multiple top 10 listings for each phrase!
Spam is bad and search engines don’t like it, but luckily they are not advanced enough (and likely never will be) to pick up on it! If you want your website to rank well for something irrelevant but highly likely to drive high traffic numbers, place keywords into comments in your code. Also consider placing white text on a white background on the page itself. People won’t see it, but the search engines will!
It is also important to know who is visiting your site. To get great data like the number of hits (not to be confused with visits) be sure to have either Webalizer or AWStats installed for your site. For the best tracking, install both. With Webalizer you can even see the traffic at an hourly level so you know what time of day your site is busiest! If you have a big budget there is also WebTrends but it is usually on high-end hosting accounts with over 200mb of traffic.
Having other websites link to your site can be great for helping increase traffic. There are also some rumours out there that back links may also help a little bit in the future with your search rankings. Luckily, getting more links is very easy. Here are some simple ways you can get great links to your website
- Guest books: Many people have guest books on their sites, simply leave a little message along with a link to your site
- Forums: Go to all your favorite forums and leave posts with links to your site. Be sure to have a link in your signature files as well!
- Link Lists/Directories: these sites allow you to enter your URL and they automatically link back to you. These are great and easy to find. Get as many of these as possible.
- Web Rings: Not everyone’s cup of tea as this is kind of like chain mail. You link to someone, then they link to someone, and so on, forming a big ring of links. Join a bunch of these.
- Reciprocal Links: This is fairly new, but the idea here is that someone will link to you if you link to them. Setup a page to put all your links on, and start trading like the end of the world is nigh! (after all, the millennium bug just might make it so)
- Comments: Online journals are becoming more and more popular. Some people are calling these “Blogs”, short for Weblogs, but I don’t imagine that will catch on. Some of these diaries allow readers to leave comments; check out blogger.com. Be sure to include your link, and comment often!
And there you have it, some sure-fire tips to help your site rank extremely well in 2000 and beyond! The new millennium will be an exciting time as your business grows with the boost from your new found traffic. Remember, optimize your website for the AltaVista Gods, not for your users, and you will be rewarded with what could be billions of hits!
Disclaimer: DO NOT FOLLOW THIS ADVICE! This article was written in 2014 as a humorous reflection of 1999. The techniques and suggestions noted in this article are not only heavily dated, but many would be considered SPAM today (and even then!). Following these suggestions today will almost certainly damage your search engine rankings and potentially get your site banned.