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Example: Instrumenting http://www.ProfessorF.com

Let's instrument our sample hacker phrases site (http://www.ProfessorF.com) for both a high ranking and good listing in search engines, particularly for the term hacker and for users looking for hacker-related content.

Choosing a Good Title

The current title for our sample hacker sayings site is "Professor F's IT-Forum" (see Figure 4). If a user saw that title in a search engine listing, he or she probably wouldn't be compelled to click the link and visit the site. A good title should at least describe the interesting or valuable content that the user will get from visiting your site. Listing 4 shows a better title for our site.

Figure 4 ProfessorF.com, prior to instrumenting it for search engines.

Listing 4 - Better Title for ProfessorF.com

<TITLE>ProfessorF--Hacker Sayings, Witty Hacker Comebacks,
Hacker Verbiage, Hacker Culture, Hacker History</TITLE>

Next, we instrument the site for a good description.

Improving the Description

Currently, ProfessorF.com doesn't have a description. In general, I like making the description similar to the title, as shown in Listing 5.

Listing 5 - <META> Tag for the Description

<META NAME="description" content="Everything you need to know about
hacker culture including: hacker sayings, witty hacker comebacks,
hacker verbiage, and hacker history."></META>

Instrumenting for High Rankings

Finally, we instrument the site to increase the probability that it will rank high for the keyword hacker. This is a two-step method, as described in the following sections.

Step 1: Adding Keywords in the <META> Tag

Suppose we want ProfessorF.com to come up whenever a user types any of these words into a search engine: hacker, hacker sayings, hacker phrases, hacker comebacks, hacker verbiage, hacker culture, hacker history. First, we need to add those keywords in the <META NAME="keywords"...> tag. One way to write the <META> tag is shown in Listing 6.

Listing 6 - <META> Tag for the Keywords

<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="hacker sayings, hacker phrases, hacker,
hacker comebacks, hacker verbiage, hacker culture, hacker history">
</META>

To increase the density of these keywords, we really ought to repeat the list three times, but for brevity's sake we'll keep it as is.

The final step is to instrument the content of the pages on your site so that they contain the keywords as well.

Step 2: Mentioning the Keywords in the Pages

The easiest and most natural-looking way to increase the density of keywords in your pages is to have an introductory paragraph on every page that describes the content on that page. In that paragraph, try to fit in all the keywords. For example, the front page for ProfessorF.com currently has the introductory paragraph shown in Listing 7.

Listing 7 - Introductory Paragraph: Very Few Keywords

Welcome to <B>Professor F . com</B>--a repository of hacker culture
and a forum for discussing I.T. issues. Our mission is to correct the
negative, misportrayal of the hacker by the media. So, you won't find
anything about breaking into computers on this site. Instead, you'll
find something much more valuable--the truth. Enjoy!

Except for hacker culture and the word hacker, none of the other keywords are included in this paragraph. But we can rewrite the paragraph so that it contains all the keywords, as shown in Listing 8.

Listing 8 - Introductory Paragraph: All Keywords Included

Welcome to <B>Professor F . com</B>--a repository of hacker culture.
Inside you'll find all things related to the hacker culture including:
hacker sayings, hacker phrases, witty hacker comebacks, all sorts of
hacker verbiage, and a brief history on hackers. Our mission is to
correct the negative, misportrayal of the hacker by the media. So,
you won't find anything about breaking into computers on this site.
Instead, you'll find something much more valuable--the truth. Enjoy!

To complete our instrumentation, we add the <TITLE> and <META> tags listed above to the <HEAD> section of every page on ProfessorF.com, and add an introductory paragraph to every page. Instead of boring you with all the cutting-and-pasting details, I'll assume you know how to do this. So, after adding the changes, ProfessorF.com looks like Figure 5.

Figure 5 ProfessorF.com instrumented for search engines.

We're ready to submit the site to a search engine.

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