Bonnie -- and all with web sites

Anitra Again (anitra@speakeasy.org)
Fri, 6 Feb 1998 09:42:57 -0800 (PST)


My next catch-up projects is getting the links updated at all my
websites.

I have a pointer to Tedrico's page, HPN, and Bonnie's original "We Are
You" project, as well as Morgan Brown's site, are part of the Activist
Art webring.

I am going to add Bonnie's new pages, and I will appreciate reminders
of anything else that has sprung up while my back was turned! :)

Taking a closer look at the sites that I know of so far, I have some
search-engine-geek advice available.  It is to all our interests that
any site promoting greater understanding of homelessness rank high in
the search engines.  I'll post general tips here, and would everybody
please email me for any further details or help.

1) Take a look at the source code on my page
http://www.speakeasy.org/~anitra, or Tedrico's page, for examples of
the use of META tags.  The most important to search engines are
"description" and "keywords".

2) Spend some time determining at least twenty, and preferably fifty,
words that are important in the content of your page, or directly
relate to it.  Homelessness, poetry, poets, poems, compassion,
stereotypes, stereotype-busting, justice -- you can continue to add to
it as time goes on.

3) The major search engines ignore capitals.  Homeless, homeless,
HOMELESS are all the same word to them.  They also disregard commas,
and see everything as individual words.  Words may register as phrases
if they are arranged in a meaningful sequence.

4) Search engines are becoming increasingly sensitive to being
spammed.  Most will reject your entry if you have a word repeated more
than three times in the keywords tag.  This includes "homeless rights,
homeless writers, homeless poets, homeless-bashing, homeless
shelters".  That would register as five occurrences of the word
"homeless" and trigger the "spam filter" on the search engine.

5) Arrange your keywords, trying to create meaningful sequences, and
also focusing the most important keywords up front.  Some automated
search submission services will use only the first six words, some
engines will use the first twenty, some will use all.  Expert advice
is to limit to 200 characters -- and use everything right up to that
point.

6) Once you have your key words -- repeat them!  Use key words in your
title, in the content of your page -- especially the first few
paragraphs of your index page -- in the ALT tags on your images.
Condensing your language and using powerful and specific words was
never more important than in the first page of your website.  But when
it comes to your English teacher's urging to never repeat words, try
to ignore it. :)

The pages I have looked at so far all have such excellent and relevant
content that they should rank much higher in the search engines than
they do right now.  For that matter, StreetWrites should rank
higher. :)  I'm willing to do whatever I can to help us all move up.

In other news, my Activist Art site, Singing Bears, has won the Tripod
Activist Pod Best of Pod Award.  The science fiction fan in me is
amused by getting an award for being a Pod Person. :)  The more
accurate explanation of pods: Tripod has set up sub-communities by
interest.  These are called Pods -- evidently there weren't enough sf
fans on staff to point out the unfortunate connotations.  Every two
weeks each pod picks a member site as Best of Pod, and Singing Bears
is the current choice.

This should bring some extra attention and traffic to the Singing
Bears site and the other sites in the Activist Art ring.  I'd like to
use this occasion to ask again for any relevant sites -- including
both of Bonnie's new ones -- to link up.  The Singing Bears address is
http://members.tripod.com/~SingingBear

___________________
WRITE ON! -- Anitra
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