About Jill Whalen

Jill Whalen of High Rankings is an internationally recognized search engine optimization consultant and host of the free weekly High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter. She specializes in search engine optimization, SEO consultations and seminars. Jill's handbook, "The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines" teaches business owners how and where to place relevant keyword phrases on their Web sites so that they make sense to users and gain high rankings in the major search engines
Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and Keywords

Just when I finally stopped getting the dreaded “Do I need commas or no commas in my Meta keyword tag” question, there’s been a new stream of Meta tag questions being asked at the forum and in my email box.

Search Engines and Rollover Navigation
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Hi Jill,

If our navigation buttons are rollovers, I understand that search engines can’t follow the links. Do you recommend repeating them as text links at the bottom of the page or is this unnecessary?

Best regards,


Common-sense Search Engine Optimization

For years, when people thought about search engine optimization, in all likelihood, gateway pages, doorway pages or informational pages probably came to mind. If you’re a search engine optimization specialist, you’ve probably had clients requesting that you create these types of pages for them.

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

What is it about the phrase “search engine optimization” that makes people go crazy? Is it because the phrase itself doesn’t really make sense? As Bob Massa from SearchKing is fond of saying, we don’t optimize search engines, we optimize Web pages. So perhaps that’s part of the reason why people have a hard time agreeing on what SEO actually is.

Should You Pay For Inclusion?

Hello Jill, a quick question if your time permits:
I have read so many conflicting things about pay submissions to the likes of Yahoo, LookSmart, Teoma, Inktomi, and others. It is getting really expensive but we are considering doing it “just in case” it affects our rankings with engines.

Looking Ahead: The Future Of Search Marketing

I have a couple…ok three questions for you.

#1. What do you see in the future of the SEO marketing? My concern is that with everyone seemingly wanting to fatten their wallets with paid inclusion and PPC, that the search engines will drop the regular spidering and go with advertising. This would only make it impossible for the little guy to get good positioning. Will the Internet community “allow” for this to happen and just go along with it?

Making Sure Your Site is Crawler-friendly

I couldn’t find any “meaty” questions for this issue, so I thought I’d just talk generally about what makes a site “crawler-friendly.” I used to call this “search-engine-friendly” but my friend Mike Grehan convinced me that the more accurate phrase was “crawler-friendly” because it’s the search engine crawlers (or spiders) that your site needs to buddy-up to, as opposed to the search engine itself.

Expert Advice: Keywords Determined By Page Or Site?

Hi Jill,

I’m confused in general about some SEO stuff. I was beginning to think I understood and then someone threw a wrench into my thoughts.

All About Site Rank Fluctuations

Hi Jill,

I’m an avid reader of your newsletter and have gained much from your advice, for which I thank you very much. My question is one that I have not seen addressed, unless I somehow missed it.

Submitting to Inktomi + 5 More SEO Tips

Jill, I’ve been working on optimizing a site that is not a new site. It’s been a live site for quite some time. I was thinking of hand-submitting it to Inktomi, but realized MSN and Hotbot have already indexed it without me doing anything. Is it necessary to pay to have your site submitted if it has already been indexed for free? Is it possible that it will be dropped from Inktomi if you don’t pay to submit?

Thanks for your help,

Mary Beth

How to Optimize a Framed Site for High Rankings

Is Your Framed Site Doomed? Not Necessarily!

The question of whether or not to use frames when designing a Web site seems to be as old as time, or at least as old as frames themselves!

Paying for Inclusion in Directories and Search Engines

It seems that everywhere we turn these days, we are constantly hearing the phrases pay-per-inclusion (PPI) and pay-per-click (PPC). There are now a number of ways that the search engines and directories are collecting funds from people trying to get their Web sites listed. The most important thing to note when discussing this topic is that money spent on PPI programs goes solely towards getting your site into the search databases, and that’s it. You can pay them all you want, but PPI is not going to give you a higher ranking. Remember this before you fork over your hard-earned money.

Jill’s Search Engine Optimization Process

From: Michael Lawford
Hi there,

Something regarding SEO has been puzzling me for quite some time now. It seems to me that even though search engine algorithms are constantly changing, the methods we use are staying more or less the same. As far as I know it is a simple(ish) process of:

Fast Search and Transfer Engine!

Martin Schaedel, my search engine optimization colleague from Sweden, recently conducted a telephone interview with Stephen Baker, Director, Internet Business Unit of Fast Search & Transfer, and managed to come away with some very interesting and surprising tidbits for you. Take it away, Martin!