About Shari Thurow

Shari Thurow is Marketing Director at Grantastic Designs, Inc., a full-service search engine marketing, web and graphic design firm. This article is excerpted from her book, Search Engine Visibility (http://www.searchenginesbook.com) published in January 2003 by New Riders Publishing Co. Shari can be reached at shari@grantasticdesigns.com.

Shari Thurow Answers SEO Questions: Click Here For Free Answers
Cross-Linking and Search Engine Optimization
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Web site designers and developers should know how to create search-engine friendly design templates. However, most Web developers seem to think that if they create a text-link site navigation scheme, then a Web site is automatically search-engine friendly.

Web Design Templates and Search Engine Optimization
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Reader Question: Our Web developer uses page templates for our Web site. I am worried that “code bloat” and other template issues might interfere with our search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Are Web page templates good or bad for search engine optimization?

Breadcrumb (contextual) Links and Search Engine Optimization
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Reader Question: I am confused about breadcrumb links both from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective and a usability perspective. Usability experts often say not to use them, but a lot of SEO experts recommend using them. So who is right? Should I use them or shouldn’t I?

Successful Link Development Tips and Guidelines
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Reader Question: I often get emails from search engine marketing companies who claim that they can get high-quality links pointing to my Web site. They usually mention a PageRank (PR) of 7 to 9. Since my site needs more link popularity, I am tempted to give it a try. Will subscribing to this program help my site’s link popularity?

Contextual Advertising: Facts, Myths, and Misconceptions Part 1
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Reader Question: I have newsletter articles and a forum on my Web site. Since I often have focused content on these pages, I thought that contextual ads might be a good way to supplement income from my site. Is this a good idea? What types of contextual advertising programs are available?

How to Determine if your Site is Banned in Google
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Reader question: I think my site has been banned in google. It used to have all of these top positions for the past three years, and it suddenly disappeared. Can you help?

Search Engine Spider, Index, and Ranking
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Reader question: I think my site has been banned in Google. It used to have all of these top positions for the past three years, and it suddenly disappeared. Can you help?

Keyword Repetition for Search Engine Optimization
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Reader Question: I remember reading in other articles about keyword usage rules that a particular keyword (in this case “asthma”) should not be used more than three times on one page. I read it a year or two ago, so I don’t remember the source. Is this restriction no longer valid? Can you repeat “asthma” in many phrases, as long as the phrases are different?

Word count and search engine optimization
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Reader question: Is it really important for search engine visibility to have my own domain name? Also, would it be better for my site to have four pages (total) instead of three? I want to use the content on two pages for my home page. I heard that the home page should at least contain 400 words so that it is more attractive to the search engines.

Getting Flash Sites Ranked in Search Engines
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Reader Question: What would be the best approach to make a whole Flash Web site indexable for search engines? I have thought of generating a database driven, artificial HTML structure-hierarchy with the right meta tags and content which would redirect the user to the appropriate Flash page/content.

Absolute vs. Relative Links: Which is Better for the Search Engines?
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Reader question: What type of link is better for getting search engine rankings: an absolute or a relative link?

Optimize Your Entire Site For The Search Engines
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Reader question:
I read somewhere that every single page on a Web site should be optimized for the search engines. I do not have the time to optimize my entire database-driven site, but my site still relies on search engine traffic for business. If people do not have the time or the budget, what are the best optimization strategies to implement? What do you consider the minimum number of pages to optimize?

Web Site Architecture and Search Engines Part 1
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Reader question: I hear search engine marketers talk about site architecture all of the time and how important it is for search engine optimization. What exactly is site architecture and how should I be implementing it on my Web site?

Web Site Architecture and Search Engines Part 2
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Reader question: I hear search engine marketers talk about site architecture all of the time and how important it is for search engine optimization. What exactly is site architecture and how should I be implementing it on my Web site?

Disabling Google and Other Search Engines From Crawling a Site
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Reader question: I have a online database of horror movies, and I have a good Google rank. In my traffic logs I noted the last month a really growing of the bandwidth: one of the most important browsers of the server logs is Googlebot, so this traffic was generated for the spidering engine of Google. I have the 20 Gb bandwidth limit and I don’t want to pay for excess, so I disable Google into my Web site. My question is:

The Myth of Permanent Search Engine Positions

Reader question: I’ve just redesigned a Web site – the original was poorly designed and broke all the rules on meta tags etc. – but has great ranking on Yahoo, Google and AltaVista. How do I ensure that the new site retains the original’s ranking?

URL Structure and Search Engine Optimization
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Reader Question: I just came across your article in WebProNews on keyword registration and found it very helpful. The article also stated that you might answer other SEO questions, so here goes: We are a stock illustration agency and our site is programmed in a Mac environment and served on a WebStar server. Because of our heavy lasso coding, we must use the tag “.lasso” on most of our pages. Does this negatively affect our search engine rankings, and so, is there way to work more effectively with the situation? Any input would be most appreciated.

Keyword Research for Search Engine Visibility
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Reader Question: I am a member of a group of small B&B’s (bed and breakfasts) who are planning to develop a “brand” for our district [something along the lines of “country hospitality on the coast”] We are interested in finding out what key phrases would be the most popular search terms used by our potential guests. We’ve collected customer profile data on our existing guests to establish the demographics of the target markets that we are aiming for. Now we would like to determine the best key phrases before registering a business name and deciding on a Web site URL etc. I’ve tested WebPosition Gold 2 but it only seems to operate with an existing site. Is there a way to do this with WP Gold 2 or is there another tool for this purpose?

Location of Global Navigation for Optimal Search Engine Indexing
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Reader Question: I’ve been told that I should put my navbar (navigation bar) on the right side of my Web site (or use a table trick to get the same effect) so search engine spiders will read my title and text first, and the navbar last. Is that necessary for optimum search engine positioning?

Dissecting Search Engine Result Pages
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Reader question: I have never paid for a listing in any search engine and want to know why my site appears in both LookSmart and Mamma. I have also never submitted to AOL and MSN but notice it is also included? My question is how come?

Understanding Search Engine Results Pages
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Question: Since registering with LookSmart and paying $400 for the link, we have had significantly less enquiries than before we paid for the listing.
We manufacture a woodburning machine, which we have sold throughout Australia and overseas. We feel that we made the wrong decision to pay for the listing and your advice would be appreciated.

Registering a Web Site with Keyword Phrases
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Reader Question: How can I be sure that my search engine marketing firm registered my site with a particular keyword phrase?

Getting Your Web Site Listed in the Google Index
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Reader Question: I have submitted my site to the major search engines including Google and DMOZ (Open Directory Project). I’m not getting much traffic to my site and believe this is largely because the site can’t be found on Google. We’ve used the proper meta tags, meta-description and header bar, even the home page body is keyword rich. I’ve been busy getting links to the site from other relevant sites.

SEO Corner – Keyword-rich URLs and search engine visibility (Part 2)

Reader question: I still want some more clarification on keyword-rich URLs and search engine visibility. We are an Outdoor Gear/Sporting Goods website with the generic URL outdoorworld.biz I gather from your article that breaking our Web site navigation into different categories such as: