Q. Where can I find the ranking of search engines?

A. Some of the latest stats on search engine user frequencies are done by Nielsen NetRatings. In his July 14 article “Neilson NetRatings Search Engine Ratings” Danny Sullivan, Editor of SearchEngineWatch discusses the June 2004 results.

Q. Is it possible to “infect” a search engine?

A. As Jim Hedger, StepForth Senior SEO, reported in a July 28 news article Google, Yahoo, Lycos and AltaVista went weird, evidently. “They were all temporarily offline across much of the globe on Monday following a massive direct assault from the MyDoom.O worm virus. Effectively creating a denial of service (DOS) attack, MyDoom.O prevented search results from being displayed across most of Canada, the United States, UK, Europe and Asia.

Q. I am trying to find the Alexa address that will show how often a particular search term is used.

A. Owned by Amazon.com, Alexa uses the Google index for its searches. Alexa offers information on site traffic and links. You can find data on such topics as traffic ranking, links to related sites and back link statistics. It also allows for keyword searching. Check out their free toolbar. You can find it at: www.alexa.com

Q. My understanding is that keyword suggestion tools provide only a listing of the number of times someone has come to that particular address and searched for that term. Do they indicate if there is any connection to the number of times a phrase is searched on all search engines?

A. Keyword suggestion tools vary in the manner of how and where they collect information. They can provide results on how often keywords are used as search terms. It is important to note these tools may utilize a particular search engine. As can be expected several programs use either Google or Yahoo. The end result is called ‘search term popularity’ or ‘keyword effectiveness index’.

When researching keywords there are three main factors that must be considered:

· the number of searches for each phrase,

· the targeted nature of a specific phrase, and

· the competition for that phrase online.

The number of searches will indicate the amount of traffic you will get from top placement. Generally speaking, any phrase with more than 100 – 150 searches per day is considered relatively highly searched. That said one must also consider how targeted a phrase is. An untargeted or general phrase with 200 searches per day may be less valuable that a targeted phrase with only 30 searches per day. Armed with this information we must then look at the competition. If a phrase with 150 searches per day has a very high competition level but a phrase with only 10 searches per day has a low competition level, the less competitive phrase may produce a better return on investment.

Q. My current site is written in MS FrontPage, has keywords repeating too often on each page, and the pages are not as relevant as they could be. Now, I have an entirely new site with the pages designed in Dreamweaver. I can’t afford to spend too much money, but need to get this done quickly. What would be the best way to take the text from my current web pages and rewrite each page, using correct SEO technique not repeating keywords too often, and as well, keeping the pages strictly on topic?

A. As you seem to be familiar with web design, hire an SEO company on a consultancy basis to assist you in optimizing your website. Find an SEO company with a solid track record, is respected within the industry, has longevity, and has a published code of ethics. (To view StepForth’s SEO Code of Ethics please click on https://www.stepforth.com/about/our-seo-ethics/)