Wednesday, June 12, 2024

How to Rank High in the Search Engines: An Interview with Robin Nobles

One of the best ways to build traffic is to improve your search engine rankings. I learned my tricks from one of the best, Robin Nobles, the Director of Training for the The Academy of Web Specialists

Robin is one of the leading authorities on search engine positioning. I feel very privileged to offer you this exclusive information on the secrets to search engine positioning.


Q: Robin, what criteria do search engines use to determine how to rank web sites?

A: Each search engine is different and has a different set of likes and dislikes. What works for one engine doesn’t necessarily work for another. However, there are some standard criteria that are fairly important across the board.

1. Having your important keyword phrase early in your title tag is very important.

2. For the engines that consider META description tags when determining relevancy, it’s generally a good idea to utilize your important keyword phrase in that tag as well.

3. Make good use of headline tags, and be sure to begin the body text with your keyword phrase and sprinkle it throughout the text.

4. Your body text should be similar to an article about your important keyword phrase, meaning that it needs to be content rich.

5. Link popularity is a major issue these days, and sites that are important enough to have related links pointing back to them are given boosts in relevancy/ranking.

6.If an engine has a connected directory, getting in that directory can mean a boost in relevancy in the index, in many cases.


Q. How can people determine their web site ranking for certain keywords?

A: Go to the search engines and search for your keyword phrase. Go through the first five pages of results to see if you’re listed. Of course, if you don’t find your page in those 50 results, your site could be #359, or it could not be in the index at all. An easier way to check your ranking is through software programs. Swiss Army Knife, WebPosition Gold or Top Dog are excellent programs for determining your ranking.


Q: What are some different ways that people can use keywords in their web sites?

A: Here are several to consider:

1. In the title tag
2. In the description tag
3. In the header tag
4. In your link tags
5. In your alt tags
6. In your comment tags
7. In the font tag
8. In page names
9. In the body copy
10.In image names
11.In style tags
12.In domain names
13.In keyword META tags
14. In a noframes tag even if you aren’t using frames
15. In background images
16. In META author tag (for HotBot anyway)


Q: What are some other tricks people could do to improve their rankings in the search engines?

A: Choose the best and most effective keywords for each page of your site. Optimize each page for 1 or 2 keyword phrases only.

1. Write captivating titles and descriptions
2. Try not to utilize frames, dynamic content, or lengthy JavaScript
3. Create content-rich information pages (doorways into your site)
4. Submit all the pages of your site to the search engines for those engines that allow you to do so
5. Get new links to your site, and add related outgoing links as well. 6. Add hidden links on the main page of your site to all important pages in your site, including your doorway pages.
7. Use a site map, again with visible or hidden links to all of your important pages. (The idea here is to put your pages in front of the engines in every way that you can!)
8. Make sure that your important keyword-containing tags and text are toward the top of the page. Any technique that pushes the keyword-containing tags or text further down on the page is detrimental to search engine rankings.
9. Monitor what your competition is doing.


Q: Some people believe that frequent submission of your site to the search engines can improve your rankings. . . What is your take on this?

A: With some engines, that’s okay. With others, it isn’t. With AltaVista and GO/InfoSeek, I wouldn’t recommend resubmitting the pages unless you absolutely have to. Both of those engines tend to place more relevancy on pages that have been in their index for a while and for pages that the spiders find, versus pages that have been submitted. Submitting too frequently to those engines can actually hurt your rankings. With other engines, like Excite, it’s a good idea to submit every two weeks.


Q: There are so many search engines. Which ones do you consider the BIG ones that people should focus on?

A: Yahoo! (which is a directory, not a search engine)
– Open Directory Project (again, this is a directory, not a search engine)
– HotBot
– Excite
– AltaVista
– Lycos
– GO/InfoSeek
– Google
– Northern Light
– Snap
– Ask Jeeves is gaining in popularity, and so is LookSmart.


Q: What are your favorite resources for keeping up with What’s new in the Search Engines?

A: Planet Ocean and Search Engine Watch


Q: Where can people learn more about how to improve their rankings?

A: The Academy of Web Specialists offers online beginning and advanced search engine positioning courses that teach students how to improve their search engine rankings.

Our beginning course teaches the basic “how to” information for getting your site ranked high in the engines. The advanced class picks up from there and covers 33 engines and directories in an extensive 10-lesson course.

We’ve recently opened a series of courses that are taught by international instructors. Currently, we offer our beginning course with instructors in Spanish, Swedish, French, Russian, and Chinese. We’ll be adding German and Italian soon.

We also offer a basic e-commerce tactics course, and we have numerous courses in development, such as web security, HTML for accessibility issues, advanced e-commerce, online marketing, and more. For more information, see:, or write to

** THANKS so Robin for giving us this inside information on the secrets of search engine positioning. **

Kristie Tamsevicius, is the author of “I Love My Life: A Mom’s Guide to Working from Home”! Thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs have used her step-by-step home business system to earn money working from home. Get a free ecourse Home Business Success Secrets at

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