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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Optimizing Website Search Rankings
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09/25/2007 10:28:44 AM · #1
Hey all you geek gurus.....

I finally have Google finding my website on page one with many of my search terms (though not all of them yet), but Yahoo can't seem to find me at all until I get REALLY specific. I've redone my keywords again & again, change my content frequently, have referral links coming from lots of directions, etc..... what can I do to make Yahoo find me???
09/25/2007 10:44:39 AM · #2
yodle ?


09/25/2007 11:22:32 AM · #3
Originally posted by soup:

yodle ?


They look expensive! :/
09/25/2007 11:32:48 AM · #4
well this might be cheaper then...

//www.yodelcourse.com/
09/25/2007 02:33:12 PM · #5
I would suggest building a "sitemap" ( //sitemaps.org/) and submitting that to google and yahoo.
09/25/2007 03:07:17 PM · #6
Originally posted by Kaveran:

I would suggest building a "sitemap" ( //sitemaps.org/) and submitting that to google and yahoo.


Now THAT is a good idea! Thanks! :)
09/25/2007 03:19:17 PM · #7
If you do a google search, I think you will find that there are some sites that can generate them for you. If your site is fairly dynamic it works real well to build a script that when accessed builds the sitemap on the fly, that way when accessed its always up to date.

PHP works great for this type of thing and most web servers support it.
10/29/2007 11:51:26 AM · #8
Hi there,

One thing i noticed straight away is your meta data.

You have loads of keywords on most pages but you don't use the meta description properly.

Meta keywords are not valued by any of the big search engines anymore (google, yahoo, msn), in fact, google is now thought to penalise you for having more than 20..... I wouldn't spend time creating more than 5 or so per page.

The meta description is more important, this is usually what you se coming up as a description of your site under your page title in the search results.

Ideal solution is having the page title, meta description and content all related to each other and in readable text rather than a list of keywords,

ie. For the title: Penrod Studios | Family Portrait and pet Photography. meta description: Portrait and wedding photography from Cindi Penrod. View our gallery for available services.

Take a look at the results of any search in google, your title and description should be no longer than google displays in its results.

The most important part is the content, make sure your keywords are mentioned enough and bear in mind that if you cannot highlight text letter by letter, a search engine won't see it.

Also, bear in mind it does take time. One way to see the last time a search engine looked at your site is to select the 'cached' version at the bottom of the google result. This will have the last date that google re-indexed your site.

S.
10/30/2007 12:40:26 AM · #9
All this optimization is bunk IMO. And whose to say it matter much anyway?
Why do I say that?

I google several phrases to see where, if anywhere, my site comes up. Hmm, starting one day last week I was on the FIRST PAGE of results! Hot Damn! As my 3 year old once said " Hey daddy, let me see a hot damn!"

Well, show me the hot damn. I've gotten no more calls or inquiries. Hmm...I should, right?

I google, and my name/site and comes up 3 times (as part of other sites, mostly gateway/index sites) plus the native site. I also look to see who/what else comes up.

I've changed NOTHING (meta wise, submission wise) in well over a year.
I do submit links to every one of those index/gateway sites, and I update my site monthly at least.

Nothing else. I am moving up the google awareness ladder anyway. And it don't seem to matter.

IMO, the bigger question is - what are my potential clients googling? Wedding photographer or photography? A state? A city? A county?

I live in Beaver, pa. google beaver wedding photographers and you get mostly beaver oregon I think...some other state. or beaver, ohio (300 miles away).

What are the listings at the top 'local business listings'? with a map? I'm not on there, and often I get businesses that are out of business. I looked this time and see 20 businesses - I know of 2 -the rest are unknown to me...so where is google getting this info? Why are these photogs not anywhere else (as in the knot or any other wedding site or bridal show?)

google "beaver county wedding photographer" and today I come up #4! The meta desscription ... i have no clue where it came from..it's there, but it ain't mine! It fits, but it's not mine. The page/site of mine it's pulling up is old - the cached version shows a MAY special...5 months old.

So why is a very old (in 'net terms) site moving UP the rankings? Weird.

I never check anything but google...checked yahoo. same search as above...my wedding page comes up #3 on the first page. Neat. And it's the current page (update last week)! My index page as 5 and my pets page as 10. and some of the index sites i'm on are on that page too.

Not that the phone is ringing off the hook...so what are brides typing in to the search engines?

Message edited by author 2007-10-30 00:44:11.
10/30/2007 01:02:12 AM · #10
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

All this optimization is bunk IMO. And whose to say it matter much anyway?
Why do I say that?

I google several phrases to see where, if anywhere, my site comes up. Hmm, starting one day last week I was on the FIRST PAGE of results! Hot Damn! As my 3 year old once said " Hey daddy, let me see a hot damn!"

Well, show me the hot damn. I've gotten no more calls or inquiries. Hmm...I should, right?



Not if you are placing high for the wrong keywords.

Originally posted by Prof_Fate:


I google, and my name/site and comes up 3 times (as part of other sites, mostly gateway/index sites) plus the native site. I also look to see who/what else comes up.

I've changed NOTHING (meta wise, submission wise) in well over a year.
I do submit links to every one of those index/gateway sites, and I update my site monthly at least.

Nothing else. I am moving up the google awareness ladder anyway. And it don't seem to matter.



Google likes active content and the fact that yours changes frequently is a good thing. Google also likes what is called authoritative sites that is sites that have a lot of popularity usually due to other sites linking to them naturally. For example, other sites who decided to link you because they liked your content or service. Sites that seem to exist only to provide a link to someone else aren't as valued so those links don't help you much. Just like your business is mostly based on word of mouth so how the internet works but again it has to be natural. There are those who can do it artificially and do it successfully but it's no guarantee.

Originally posted by Prof_Fate:


IMO, the bigger question is - what are my potential clients googling? Wedding photographer or photography? A state? A city? A county?

I live in Beaver, pa. google beaver wedding photographers and you get mostly beaver oregon I think...some other state. or beaver, ohio (300 miles away).


Chances are they are doing what you just did. Although the less internet savy will probably just start out with something generic like "wedding photographer" and go from there. Ideally you want to be optimized for the keywords that will generate targeted traffic that is if you do service only in Beaver PA and surrounding areas then target just those keywords. However, I suspect you'd probably would do business anywhere if the pay is good so you could target keywords of other cities that have a greater population or target generic keywords but that's harder since you'd be competiting with more sites.

Originally posted by Prof_Fate:


What are the listings at the top 'local business listings'? with a map? I'm not on there, and often I get businesses that are out of business. I looked this time and see 20 businesses - I know of 2 -the rest are unknown to me...so where is google getting this info? Why are these photogs not anywhere else (as in the knot or any other wedding site or bridal show?)

google "beaver county wedding photographer" and today I come up #4! The meta desscription ... i have no clue where it came from..it's there, but it ain't mine! It fits, but it's not mine. The page/site of mine it's pulling up is old - the cached version shows a MAY special...5 months old.

So why is a very old (in 'net terms) site moving UP the rankings? Weird.

I never check anything but google...checked yahoo. same search as above...my wedding page comes up #3 on the first page. Neat. And it's the current page (update last week)! My index page as 5 and my pets page as 10. and some of the index sites i'm on are on that page too.

Not that the phone is ringing off the hook...so what are brides typing in to the search engines?


You need to add your business in the Google Local Business section. Just go to Google Maps. There is a link there called "add or edit your business" on the left side of the map. Btw, "beaver county wedding photographer" probably isn't something many people use to search although it is a keyword related to your business so it helps that you rank there.
10/30/2007 09:04:48 AM · #11
For a photog that services a realatively small market, web site rankings arent abig deal. For sites that offer information to the masses however it can be very important and make them a lot of money.
10/30/2007 09:26:52 AM · #12
Originally posted by Kaveran:

For a photog that services a realatively small market, web site rankings arent abig deal. For sites that offer information to the masses however it can be very important and make them a lot of money.


I kind of agree with this but it is worthwhile putting a bit of time in to optimise your site (even a small site), especially for Google.

Here's why:

Google looks at where a searcher is geographically by checking their computers IP address. If you were to type in 'wedding photographer' Google should provide you with results from companies based near you which is hugely important to small businesses.

In theory, with two sites that are exactly the same, the one based closer to you should appear higher (for certain searches)as it is more relevant to you.
10/30/2007 09:36:03 AM · #13
here's what i tell my students:

meta data is fine, but mostly deprecated. search engines are actually looking at the content of your site.

when you Google something, what comes up with the result? the title of the page, and the specific bit of content from the page that the engine thinks matches your search.

in your case, cindi, the word "photography" never appears in plain text anywhere on the home page of your site. it's in the header (which is a graphic that the search engines can't read -- and doesn't have an ALT tag that the engines can read either), but nowhere else on the actual page.

and, also, i hate it when places have a MAILTO: link in their main navigation, like you do on your Contact link. have that go to a page that gives users a number of ways to contact you. sure, your contact info is in the footer. but people might want to pick up the phone and call you immediately and if the Contact link doesn't give those people what they're looking for you stand a very good chance of losing them.

just my thoughts.
10/31/2007 01:37:15 PM · #14
Originally posted by muckpond:


and, also, i hate it when places have a MAILTO: link in their main navigation, like you do on your Contact link.


Not to mention mailto links are easily parsed by bots/spiders and before you know it you will be on the reciving nd of more spam than you know what to do with.

A good script and web form to handle e-mail contacts is the desired method in my book.
10/31/2007 02:32:52 PM · #15
Thanks for the tips, guys. I'm making a list to chat with my 'web master' about. Some of these things I can do myself, but not everything.
11/10/2007 11:21:33 PM · #16
when you get tired of all the run around let me know and I'll get you listed top ten on yahoo. psart
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