Maxmillian's Gold: The Basics of Search
Engine Optimization and Attracting Customers

Written by: Ronald J. Saunders

Web Site:  
MaxmillianSoft Software


A report released in March of 2005 indicated that the search
engines are being used between 2 to 3.5 billion times per day
to find information online.

If you run a business online, this information should be very
important to your understanding of what it will take for you to
succeed online.

Of course, the people using the search engines are on the hunt
for some kind of specific information. At their favorite search
engine, they type in their specific search query and hit Enter.


According to, from December of
2004, search specific search engine results were derived from:

Google - 35%
Yahoo - 32%
MSN - 16%
AOL - 9%
Excite - 4%
AskJeeves - 2%
Others - 2%

These results are consistent with other search engine statistics
found on the Internet. Far and away Google and Yahoo are the top
two search engines that deliver results, followed by MSN and AOL.
As you can see from these results, 98% of all search engine users
acquire their search results from the top 6 search engines.


As an online business owner, it is always our goal to make sure
that our site turns up in the top 20 search results for the
keyword phrases that will put our websites in the path of our
targeted customers.

It helps to be the site that your potential customers will reach
when they are looking for your types of goods and services. As an
online business owner, you must strive to reach these customers
and to strike while your product or service is large in the minds
of your potential clients.

You must remember, you are competing with thousands of other
websites who want to serve the same customers that you want to
serve. Yet, the average search engine user will only look at
the first twenty results that the search engines give them.

Forget thinking about the *of 8,256 results* on the search
results page of the search engine. This only shows you how steep
the competition is for your chosen keywords and keyword phrases.

Page one is often *1-10 of 8,256 results* and page two is *11-20
of 8,256 results.* Most searchers will only look at page one and
two, and then they will type in a new search keyword phrase to
narrow the search more specifically.


There are actually many methods that you can incorporate into
your website design that will help draw additional traffic to
your website through the search engine company websites. This
is what is referred to as Search Engine Optimization. Following
are some of the methods used to drive this traffic to your


Many years ago, there was a movement afoot to provide search
engine specific information on every web page. This tool is
called Meta Tags.

For a time, there was a rise in the number of Meta Search
Engines, but many of those have since fallen by the wayside.

There was so much abuse by website owners that many search engine
companies and searchers realized that they could not trust the
results being generated by the important Keyword and Description
Meta tags.

Today, there are very few engines that use the full-range of
Meta Tags in their search results. One such engine that does
is the Denmark based search company:
According to the Alexa data, this is the 22nd largest search
engine in terms of actual usage.

While the overall importance of Meta Tags has been diminished,
several tags are still viable and important to the search engine
companies. And, some of the smaller search engines still use the
full range of available Meta Tags. If you decide to pursue some
of the traffic available through some of the smaller search
engines, then a good overall tutorial on Meta Tags can be found

The only Meta Tags that have actually stood the test of time
are as follows:

[meta name=*CONTENT-LANGUAGE* content=*En*]
[meta name=*CONTENT-TYPE* content=*text/html*]
[meta name=*RATING* content=*General*]
[meta name=*ROBOTS* content=*index,follow*]
[meta name=*EXPIRES* content=*Mon, 08 May 2006 19:58:02 GMT*]
[meta name=*REVISIT-AFTER* content=*3 days*]
[meta name=*MSSmartTagsPreventParsing* content=*TRUE*]

*Robots* is important to because it tells the search engine
spiders whether or not they can spider the page they are

The *Expires* tag is only for web pages that contain
*time-sensitive* data on them. For example, if your web page
describes an event that will occur on May 8, 2006, then it does
not make much sense to make the event information available past
the event date. By using the *Expires* tag, you can tell the
search engine spiders to remove the page from their database
on your specified date.

Conversely, if you have a page that changes its content on
a regular basis, then your *Revisit-After* Meta Tag can be
extremely useful as well. It will tell the search engine
spiders how often they should revisit your site to find
new, updated information.

The *MSSmartTagsPreventParsing* is very important to most of
us who are interested in using our websites for profit. In an
upgrade of MS Internet Explorer a couple of years back,
Microsoft built an additional tag into the coding. Unless the
*MSSmartTagsPreventParsing* tag is set to TRUE, then Internet
Explorer will place additional links on specific keywords
inside of your pages.

This was actually pretty controversial when it came out because
Microsoft is inserting links into our websites that we did not
place there ourselves. They are in effect hijacking our web


The Title Tag is the specific HTML that places your page title
at the very tip-top of your browser window. It is also harnessed
by all of the search engines as the definitive title of the page
being referenced.

Many people fail to include a solid and useful title tag for the
page they have built. Yet, it is so very easy to do:

[TITLE]Good Title Tags Will Convince the Reader to Visit[/TITLE]

I still do include the Meta Title Tag religiously in all of my
website pages. [META NAME=*title* CONTENT=*My Page Title*]

Most search engines only use the first 65 characters of the
Title in their actual results. If you use a title of more than
65 characters, then you are generally wasting your time and
file size.


We have learned that most search engines do not use the
Description Meta Tag. Even still, the search engines need
a description to place with your webpages.

The various search engines use different methods for acquiring a
page description. Some still use the Description meta, so I use
it anyway just to cover all of the search engine possibilities.

The search engines generally only use the first 138 characters
of the decoded description to present to their readers. As such,
the first 138 characters is the most valuable real estate on
your webpage. These first 138 characters will often serve as
the only reason someone decides to visit your webpage.

Some search companies grab any comment tags in the header of
your pages. This is why we always include the comment tags on
our pages that look like this:

[!-- Here is my page description again. --]

For those search companies that use neither of the above listed
methods to acquire a description for your webpage, you should
try to make sure that the first 138 characters of pure text on
your webpage demonstrate a solid sales message to the search
engine users.


In the end, our only goal is to bring as many potential visitors
to your website as possible. And the way to do that is to provide
your users the information they are searching for.

Be sure to provide the actual words in your pages that your
clients are using to search the web, be sure you do it in a way
that will put your site in the top 20 search results, and do it
in a way that will actually attract the attention and mouse
click of the person doing the search.

When you have accomplished these three very basic tasks, then
you will not need to devote much more time to the construct of
your website. Instead, you will be making enough money that you
might just find yourself sitting on the beach over your weekends.



All articles in the Maxmillian*s Gold Series are written by:
Ronald. J. Saunders, owner of

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