Teoma Ranking Tips

    February 10, 2003

Teoma Ranking Tips
First of all, I will say that the same “optimization” techniques we use for every search engine will apply to Teoma, too. Optimizing each web page for the specific search terms involved is a simple exercise. Beyond that, Teoma presents some interesting challenges and opportunities.

Keyword Research:Teoma’s definition of “related subjects” will have an impact on how you handle keyword research and positioning your site. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Because searchers will be able to “refine” their search, every page that targets a single search term must also include several of the related terms in prominent positions. That was important, so read it again!
  • Why that was important: If your site shows up on a search, but disappears when the search is refined, you lose. If your site is not highly ranked for the first search, but jumps up to the top when the search is “refined,” you win.
  • If your site uses a consistent, theme-based linking structure, it is reasonable to assume that each page will contribute more to how the other related pages are ranked. Teoma doesn’t say “a community of sites,” they say “pages.”

If you already have content that is optimized for each of your primary search terms, it makes sense to include Teoma’s related terms on those pages. As you add content, it makes sense to optimize the new content for terms that are related to your primary search terms.
Teoma’s “refinements” offer great suggestions for the next step in a search. They also offer excellent suggestions for related subjects that you may want to consider as you add more content to your site. If searchers find these subjects related, your visitors will too, and everybody wins.

Unlike any other search engine, Teoma will encourage websites to become better organized and more useful, by providing a “surfer approved” measurement of what subjects are the most important to searchers. The breadth of a subject or theme will be defined by the refinements that searchers choose to click on.

Off The Page Factors, Or “Establishing Authority”
You might be able to fake link popularity. If you are unscrupulous enough, you can even do a lot of things that will give you an undeserved boost in PageRank on Google. You will have a very hard time if you try to fake “authority.”

This is because authority is established by a community of related web pages – the more authoritative pages will tend to link to each other, and those pages most frequently cited (linked) by the established subject-specific authorities will rank better for searches on a given subject.

So, how do you establish authority? I will assume, for the moment, that your website actually merits consideration as an authority, at least a minor authority, on some subject. This means that you have either content that is of sufficient quality, or products and services of sufficient quality, that other quality sites will feel like linking to you.

On the positive side, it will be a relatively simple matter to determine which sites are Teoma’s top “authorities” for a given subject. Just search Teoma for your primary search terms, and look at the top ranking sites. The higher their ranking, the greater their authority, more or less.

Once you’ve established links from the top-ranking sites for your primary search terms, you can move on to the top authorities for related subjects, as shown by Teoma’s suggested search “refinements.” It should not surprise you that many of the same sites will turn up on related searches as well.

So, what can you do if your site doesn’t quite rate as a giant authority? The same advice I have already given you on positioning still applies. Find the biggest small pond that you can be a big fish in, then dive into it. Get the other fish in your pond to link to you, or at least the healthy fish. Then grow your content and other offerings organically, following a consistent theme. Eventually, the fish in the bigger ponds will learn to respect you.

The more broadly you develop your site’s offerings, and the more you get “linked into” the community of related websites, the better your site will perform on Teoma search. Traditional website promotion still works, and it’s still important to “get the word out” beyond the search engines.

If you sell products, this means that you should seek out the independent voices in that community and get your stuff reviewed. If you have content, find others with content and link up. If you have industry news, make a headline feed and get it syndicated as widely as possible. Get the word out about your site!

I wish you success…

Dan Thies is a well-known writer and teacher on search engine marketing. He offers consulting, training, and coaching for webmasters, business owners, SEO/SEM consultants, and other marketing professionals through his company, SEO Research Labs. His next online class will be a link building clinic beginning March 22