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How Google gets away
with no keywords
on its own web site

Elizabeth White






Can it be the old adage of who you know?





Keywords are the key to search engines -- or so we've been told. After completing a massive and complex matrix of keywords for a client's web site, I began to wonder. What keywords did the most popular search engine, Google, use? The answer, none.

It doesn't seem quite fair does it? While the rest of us toil over which keywords would bring us the most traffic to our sites, Google is quietly sitting there getting millions of hits a day. You can also check Yahoo! and MSN Search. They too don't provide any keywords or metatags either.

Metatags is HTML coding that doesn't effect how a page displays, but tell about who created the page, what the page is about and keywords that represent the page's content. You can check a web page's meta tags by selecting View, and then Source from a browser's toolbar.

So what is going on here? Have the search engine companies joined forces to make everyone else play by different rules than them?

No web site can be an island

To Google's credit, they do state in submission FAQs that the more you are linked to or that link to you, the better changes you have of being listed high in the search results. So we can all be a little higher in the search engines if we reach out to our fellow web sites and add some links. It does make sense. If I was to look for a dog grooming business. I would look for one nearby my house. If a dog groomer is part of their Chamber of Commerce, or listed in on other local web sites. I would be more likely to get a listing back that I wanted.

A thousand words are better than a picture

Another thing that the search engines are doing is to put more credence in what a page actually says -- the words you read on a page. This is bad news for the web graphic companies that specialize in making a web page look nice, like a brochure. They slice up a web page like puzzle pieces which makes no sense to a search engine spider. All the spider sees is code for images. The search engine spider can't see that an image has words on it. When redoing you web site to get higher in the search engines, write more and have your web developer type in the words and not convert the words to an image.

You've got to want to get into the game

A simple mistake that people often overlook is actually submitting their web site to the search engines. All of the major search engines have an easy way to submit your web site. Usually all it takes is entering the web address (like www.experienced-designs.com). Keep in mind this free and easy way comes at a price. Your site is put in a queue and at designated times of a month a search engine will go to the queue and take a few off the list to go an index. There are other options to pay to submit your site directly to a search engine's indexer. These are a pretty good bet and will keep your site from waiting to be indexed. Beware of those site submitters which promise to get you listed with a thousand search engines. People are creatures of habit and probably pick a search engine they like and stick with it. Go with the submitters that promise to get you listed with the top search engines: Google, Yahooo, MSN, etc., these are the places where the majority of your audience will be typing in their key words.

So the key, as demonstrated by the search engines is not in the keywords, but in the words on the page. And Google's lack of words, we'll we can only assume they have a bigger budget for marketing and paying premiums to get listed in the other search engines or perhaps its a "gentleman's agreement" that when you type Google in Yahoo's search field that it would only behoove Yahoo to display Google's web address and vice versa.

Elizabeth White is the Director of Interactive Marketing at Experienced Design, an internet business solutions company focused on helping its clients maximize the internet to its full potential.

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