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Free Information on how to improve your Search Engine Rankings
By Jim Dicken Owner FGHP.com

I do not claim to be an expert on Search Engine Rankings. However my site has ranked at or near the top on most search engines now for several years. So I decided to post information about how I got there and how I keep my site there for Fishing Guides and other Fishing Businesses.

The first thing I learned is that the title of your site, that shows on the Search Engines needs to include at least one set of key words. For Fishing Guides Home Page it is in the title.. Fishing Guides... for other sites it can be a challenge since your business name may not have the words you need in the title. The easiest way for people to find your site is simply to post the location in the Title Bar. If for instance you are on Lake Winnebago, you could use your business name and then the words "On Lake Winnebago" in the Title after that.. OR if you are less concerned about having the identity and more concerned with traffic you can use use "Lake Winnebago" - Busters Fishing Charters"  (Example)

Here is the Meta Tag for Fishing Guides Home Page's Title:
<TITLE>Fishing Guides Home Page - Fishing Charters, Fishing Trip Information, Fishing Guides.</TITLE>

While meta tags are the mainstay, the text on the page MUST Support the Meta Tags. Old info was that the first text on a page was the target of spiders. Now that spiders are more sophisticated that may not be the case but I try to put the best keywords right at the top of the page any way. Notice on any state page that the State Followed by Fishing Guides is the text with a banner then followed by more text.

Banners are not viewed by the spider but the <AltText> telling what the picture is about is picked up by spiders.  Depending on your brand of html editor you can simply left click any image and add text to indicate what the picture is about. In the case of a banner you can install keywords. This will be picked up by the spiders.

Another tip I have is that when you are looking for Text Links or trading banners is to get specific key words added to the Alt Text and point the link to your site. The fact that your site is linked to by those keywords will give you more power with the search engines. One supposition is that if your website appears with a link to say..
Lake Winnebago that the search spiders are giving your site those key words. The more often that type of link appears the better you rank for ":Lake Winnebago"

Other Meta Tags are also important.
<meta name="keywords" content="fishing, fishing guides, fishing trip, fishing links, fishing charters, Ice Fishing, Ice fishing guides, Lake Erie Fishing, fishing trip information, fishing outfitters, Canada fishing guides">
<META name="Description" content="Fishing Guide's and Charters for all 50 States, Canada and many countries. Fishing Trip Links for Regulations, Licensing, Hotels, Motels, and Saltwater Fishing Charters">
<META http-equiv="PICS-Label" content='(PICS-1.1 "http://www.classify.org/safesurf/" l gen true for "http://www.1fghp.com" r (SS~~000 1 SS~~004 1))'> (This is a Safe Surf code for Parental Guidance)
<META name="Keyphrases" content="Fishing guides, Fishing Charters, saltwater fishing guides, fishing trip information, Fishing Trip, saltwater fishing reports, saltwater message board, fishing reports, deep sea fishing charters, fishing regulations, fishing license, licenscing, fishing clubs, bass fishing clubs">
<META http-equiv="Cache-Control" content="no-cache">
<META http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<META name="Location" content="global">
<META name="Classification" content="Recreation, Outdoors, Fishing, Guides and Charters"> ( here you can add a specific location after Guides and Charters.. like your state and or your lake)
<META NAME="robots" content="index,follow">
<meta name="GOOGLEBOT" content="index,follow">
<META NAME="revisit-after" CONTENT="14 days">
<META name="Rating" content="General">
<META name="Revisit" content="15">
<META name="verify-v1" content="I71tjy70Ng90qZpPxglFUkeyCkClX6sce1v7rfLQxNs=" />
<META name="Author" content="Jim Dicken - JimD072@aol.com - http://www.fghp.com">

This is how I set up my Meta Tags. The one meta tag in bold is a tag that most sites do not use. That tag will tell computers not to cache your site and to draw the site FRESH each time. This helps you in 2 ways. Old Pages are not reloaded if the person is coming back.. They may miss changes you made. If you are in a Banner Exchange or a Ranking Board the cacheing of images is less frequent and increases your UNIQUE hit count.

Of course the keywords and phrases you use should be targeted to your website and to your area of expertise.
As for how to rank higher.. look for links and lots of them. However try to find links with a PR rank of 4 or better to raise your PR on Google. Google of course is the mother of all search engines with around 50 to 60% of the market. Obtain the Google Toolbar HERE: This toolbar will have a PR bar on it showing the PR rank of any site you visit. OR use the handy links in the bar to the right.

logo and yellow text

Paying for SEO Assistance: There is no way for any company to get you to the top of Google, Yahoo, AOL or MSN. I don't care what they say, I have been at the top for too many years and if you could do it by adding code or links then my site would not have been at the top for so long. IF they could do this then everyone would be at the top... of each category. SEO is a Link Popularity Contest. In my humble but CORRECT opinion 99% of the companies that provide these services are doing so in a manner that is just shy of FRAUD. Paying for ranking on other than a Pay Per Click Search engine is Ill Advised at best and a waste of money at the least. The sites that are at the top did it by hard work and determination. The only way to get more business without better search engine ranking is to work to get your name out. Write Articles, Buy Search Terms on Google Adwords, on Yahoo, and on MSN if you must have more business, but beware of bidding too much because your competitors WILL click your links to deplete your advertising dollars. This is one of the little known dirty facts of Pay Per Click and why I have just about stopped all Pay Per Click advertising.  You can purchase links from sites like
www.Text-Link-Ads.com which will increase traffic, OR increase the power of your sites Google Ranking.Text-Link-Ads does have links from sites that can provide you traffic.

Below is an opportunity for some FREE Publicity for your business.Get yourself, your company or your client a little well-earned national publicity! Field & Stream Radio is always looking for brief tips, advice and insights from professionals. Whether it’s hunting, angling, camping or simply buying that new pair of boots, if you have something useful to our 2.9 million listeners, we’ve got room for it on the show.
Simply call our toll-free number: 1-800-7-RADIO-2; press “4” and leave your 25 to 35-second tip. Don’t forget to introduce yourself, your affiliation, and a website address.

2 Great Articles I recieved in an Email from SEO News

below are the 4 most important search engine optimization ranking factors, in accordance with the experts' consensus views.

Keywords that Appear in the Title

Using the correct keywords when crafting the title tag of a page is of extreme importance. It does not only promote higher rankings, it also helps with the click-through from the SE listings to the destination page. It is of lesser value to be listed high in the results without receiving that many clicks. The ultimate purpose is to gain as many targeted visitors to your site as possible.

The keywords that were used by the searcher are bolded in the results of the search. When the right keyphrase of the page title is bolded, it gives the listing a higher opportuníty of being seen and receiving a click. Nevertheless, highlighted keywords are not the only thing to think about when writing the page title tag.

Lots of additional clicks can be attained from a smartly written page title tag, especially when it invites the searcher to click. It is better to attract a hundred clicks from position number five with an eye-catching title tag than fifty clicks from position number three with a badly written title tag, correct?
Anchor Text used by Inbound Links

The anchor text that is employed in the link that points to your web site from an external site counts a lot in the search engine algorithms to figure out what your site is all about. Additionally, what your site is all about defines to a large extent what keywords it will rank for in the search results.

If you can influence in any way the anchor text that other web sites employ when they link to you, then it's an extremely prudent way of investing your time.

A larger number of external sites that have links to your site employing a certain set of keywords, or alternate versions of that keyword, will prompt the SE's to more readily compute that your site is all about that specific keyphrase.

It's far more advantageous if the content of the destination page on your site contains that particular keyword and phrases similar in meaning.

The Universal Link Popularity of Your Site

Search engines figure out the relative importance of a site from the volume of hyperlinks that point to the web site. They include both quality of hyperlinks and quantity of the hyperlinks.

The more different web sites that have links to your web site, the higher the SE's will calculate the deemed importance of your site.

Link building is a never-ending process. One can't ever have a sufficient number of backlinks pointing to your site. It's true that it is possible to build links too fast and that can raise some alerts in the algorithms of the search engines. But, if it's done as an ongoing effort with a long-term outlook, every backlink deserves the resources spent in acquiring it. They all add up to an improved deemed importance of your web site.

Link Popularity in the Site's Internal Link Structure

The fact is that some of your web pages will get more external links than others. Those that do not get a lot of external links could be the actual money pages that you would wish to rank well in the SE indexes.

The internal linking structure, in addition to the anchor text employed in the internal links, is the way to disperse PageRank inside your site.

Some search engine optimization professionals say that an internal link to a page has the same value as a link from an external page. That doesn't mean the site will rank with nothing more than internal links. What it means is that you could cause a page to be ranked by having internal links pointing to it even though it does not have lots of external links, on the condition that the remainder of the web site has acquired enough trust from external links.

10 Search Engine Marketing Myths Debunked
By Kalena Jordan (c) 2007
In this article, I'm going to try and debunk a few myths floating around the Internet about what's required to get your site visible in search engines. Here goes:

Myth 1 - You need to buy a domain with keywords in it

I'm sure you've seen them, domains like: www.paris-hilton-pink-diamond-dog-collars.com. For some weird reason, webmasters seem to think that they need to have a keyword-stuffed domain to do well in the search engines, the more hyphens the better. Well it just isn't true.

In fact, Google sp@m evangelist Matt Cutts is known for warning against using over-stuffed keyword domains. If you have a look at one of the last sentences of this post of his he talks about possibly attracting Google's attention with keyword-filled domains and gives an (excessive) example. Could he be hinting that using ultra-keyworded domains may trip a filter of some kind? I think so.

Myth 2 - You need to submit your site to 1000 search engines and directories

Ok, I don't know who started this silly rumor but it's nevër been true. Latest figures from Nielsen/NetRatings show that over 95% of the search market share is dominated by the top 5 search engines: Google, Yahoo, MSN/Live Search, AOL and Ask. As long as your site is found in these engines, you can rest assured you've covered the main bases. Despite this, I still get emails offering to submit my sites to the "most popular" 1000 search engines.

Myth 3 - You need to stuff keywords into as many areas of your site as possible

I like to think this rumor was started by the same idiot who started 1). It's correct that search engines actively seek to match your site content with search queries, but stuffing the same keywords over and over into your site code via visible or invisible text DOES NOT automatically make your site relevant for searches containing those keywords. It's more likely to trip sp@m filters and earn your site a ranking suppression. In fact, you might as well hold up a big red flag to Googlebot that says "COME AND GET ME".

Myth 4 - Your site has to be flat HTML

Wrong again. A few years ago, search engines had difficulty indexing sites that were built using dynamically-generated pages or pages with multiple parameters in their URLs. So the recommendatíon by SEO experts at the time was to use flat HTML pages or convert existing pages into HTML and/or use mod_rewrite to convert dynamic URLs into flat ones. However the search engines have all become better at indexing dynamic site content now and also provide a universal sitemap protocol to enable webmasters to ensure all their pages are submitted and indexed.

Myth 5 - You have to swap links with as many sites as possible

I'd like to strap whoever started this story to a couch and make them watch re-runs of The Golden Girls for a whole year. Because this is probably the most persistent and frustrating myth there is about search engine marketing and it's one of my pet peeves. I am bombarded daily with emails from webmasters who tell me it's "...extremely valuable to swap links to boost your Google PageRank" or who tell me I should form 3 way reciprocal link partnerships because it "...will help boost the link popularity of our sites in a way that is undetectable to Google". Excuse my French, but that's Bollocks!

Reciprocal links are pretty much worthless for search engine value these days. In-bound one way links from high quality sites are much more valuable from a search engine relevancy perspective. If you are going to seek out reciprocal links, for heaven's sake, swap links with sites that provide related or complementary content to yours! What's the point offering your site visitors a link if it doesn't relate to what they are seeking on your own site? Don't seek out links based on perceived search engine value. Swap links because they provide traffíc to your site or valuable resources to visitors of your own site. If you base your linking strategy on search engines alone, you'll end up with a Free For All link farm that search engine staff will mock as they slap a ranking penalty on it.

Myth 6 - You have to buy an existing domain to be successful

This myth started shortly after Google began "sandboxing" new sites for a period of time before releasing them into the main index. The phenomenon became known as the aging delay. Webmasters were stumped when they couldn't find their pages listed for any keywords in Google for months at a time and when learning of the sandbox effect, some decided that purchasing an existing domain could help them avoid the sandbox altogether.

A similar rumor suggested that purchasing a domain with a high Google PageRank would automatically transfer the PageRank and traffíc to any new site built on the existing domain. Neither of these assumptions is true. Hindsight has shown us that the sandbox does not actually exist, merely that Google has become a little more picky about which sites to feature in their main index versus the supplemental index and older, better linked sites have a better chance than brand new ones with no link reputation.

As for purchasing existing domains, this can actually backfire on webmasters because Google's latest algorithm looks closely at domain registration details and if a domain has changed hands too many times or has had dodgy content in the past, it could attract suppression filters until the newest version of the site has built up some trust-rank.

Myth 7 - You only need to optimize your META Tags

Back in 1996 when I first began optimizing web sites, no one knew anything about SEO and so even slight changes to a web site meant you could outrank your competitors. Simply optimizing the title tag of a page could bring on a Top 5 position in the SERPS. Adding keyword-rich META Description and META Keywords tags too pretty much guaranteed you a top spot. Now it's a completely different story. Most search engines don't even support the META Keywords Tag anymore and Danny Sullivan recently determined that Google's hasn't ever supported it.

You have to provide search engines more than optimized title and META tags if you want your pages ranked highly for related search queries. You need to optimize the copy on your pages, reduce code bloat, provide a logical navigation structure, have good link popularity, update your site regularly, have sticky content and make sure your site code validates, amongst other things. Despite this, many webmasters assume that if they add an optimized title and META tag to every page, their job is done. Not so! You've got to think bígger than that.

Myth 8 - Any traffíc is good traffíc

I received an email recently from an online ad agency that had developed what they thought was a knockout SEO tool that they wanted me to review. It was basically a membership site designed to generate traffíc via a voting and points system where you earn points for visiting sites and receiving visitors from the same network. As I explained to them, the concept merely builds false traffíc and fake link popularity, which goes against practically everything in Google's webmaster guidelines. It is also very open to manipulation and is, in my opinion, operating on flawed logic.

This mutual optimization idea has been tried before. It doesn't work because it only attracts the most aggressive clickers and the whole thing turns into a competition between 2 or 3 lazy webmasters who think traffíc at any cost/quality is the way to run an online business. It's not. Unqualified traffíc that's unlikely to convert to sales or sign-ups is only wasting valuable bandwidth and hostíng resources. Visitors that disappear from your site a few seconds after they arrive skew your site metrics and send a message to search engines that your site is not worth visiting. You want traffíc from qualified leads, loyal repeat visitors and new visitors via highly targeted search queries.

Myth 9 - If you're not found in Google, you're screwed

I said it recently and I'll say it again: Google is NOT the Internet. There are plenty of ways to market your web site online, so you shouldn't become discouraged if you can't seem to crack good results in Google. I know of plenty of sites that receive more referrals from Yahoo and MSN than Google and that's the way they like it. Bento Yum is proof that an e-commerce site doesn't need Google (or any of the 4 main search engines) to survive. Owner Jennifer Laycock has deliberately blocked search engine robots from the site to prove that an online business can thrive via word of mouth and social media buzz alone.

But even if you can't live without Google referrals, you need to have back-up traffíc channels in place. Don't rely too heavily on a single source for your traffíc. What if something happened tomorrow that stopped all your Google traffíc? Would your site survive? It should, if you're doing your job well. Keep adding good content to your site, update and submit your sitemaps regularly, seek out high quality back links and the traffíc will come.

Myth 10 - Search Engine Marketing is expensive

Not so. You can market a web site on a shoe-string budget or no budget at all! You don't need to spend thousands on SEO services or PPC advertising. Simply invest at least an hour per day learning how to optimize your web site for better search engine rankings, submitting it to relevant search engines and directories, adding fresh content, building up backward links and marketing it via social media networks such as Digg, Facebook, Del.icio.us etc.

Not sure where to start? Visit webmaster forums, read search marketing related blogs and sign up for related newsletters and you will soon learn everything you need to know about marketing your web site successfully.

About The Author
Article by Kalena Jordan, one of the first search engine optimization experts in Australia, who is well known and respected in the industry, particularly in the U.S. As well as running a daily
Search Engine Advice Column, Kalena manages Search Engine College - an online training institution offering instructor-led short courses and downloadable self-study courses in Search Engine Optimization and other Search Engine Marketing subjects.

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You can find link partners by typing in the URL of a competitor in order to find his links. This will help you to improve your sites ranking and link partner standing.
However, doing this is a bit of a two edged sword. The same can be done to your site.. and probably has by other competitors.

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FGHP.com is currently #1 on Google for Fishing Guides and for many State Fishing Guide listings.. we did that with no SEO help
other than some initial help from other webmasters when the site started.

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*Our Any Fish, Any Place, Any Time Guarantee:
1. We will find a guide if one exists on the body of water you want to fish.
2. We obviously can not find you a guide who can get you a Saltwater Fish in 
Freshwater and Vice Versa. Our Guarantee is this.. if you cant find a guide here
 on the site we will do all in our power to find a guide for you on the body of 
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IF you cant find a guide contact me for PERSONAL SERVICE:

 Jim Dicken
by e-mail by clicking on my name to the left.


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