Friday, July 9, 2010

Ranking up

by Nathan Stout

The According To Whim 2010 Ranking Up Project brought to you by Axe... no not really. It would be nice if we had sponsors. Did you know we tried to get Dr. Pepper to officially sponsor Season 2 of According To Whim? I submitted the proposal, and they never got back with us. If you notice in the credits for Season 2 it says, "thanks to Dr. Pepper for their sponsorship... not." True story.

Anyway, Chris likes fame. Not "Fame" the movie (well I don't know about that) but he likes fame (in some form or fashion). Chris wants all of us to be famous in some way or other. One way to do that is to get noticed. If you read his last post, he talked about searching (or 'Googling') himself. He was disappointed at the results he came back with. I must agree with him that he should be higher up on the lists by default. Even without all the extra tuning I am trying to do to get his name up higher on search engines, his name is ALREADY plastered over so many videos and web pages from all the stuff that already exists.

There has to be a key to getting higher on search engines. Now, I know all about spiders and scanners and the like. At one point in late 2008, I bought a web optimizer subscription for According To Whim.Com from my host (GoDaddy) and did everything they suggested to get ranked higher. I still don't think it worked all that well. I think the search engines keep some of the secrets to themselves.

For instance, Chris' name is mentioned in most of the videos that he is in (that are up on YouTube). This doesn't seem to have caught the notice of Yahoo!'s video search. So I am going to guess that YouTube tags are not revel ant when it comes to Yahoo!'s video search.
Now, Chris is also mentioned quite a bit on the site. His full name is not everywhere but it is in several places. What do search engine spiders look for EXACTLY? Do they look for so many instances of a keyword? Do they look in HTML page descriptions, or keywords? I am guessing not so much since his full name is in most of the page's keywords and descriptions. Even if it does use that info, there must be some magic formula for the page to get ranked higher like:

If SPECIFICWORD is in the title and description as well as printed more than X amount of times on the page (but not to exceed Y amount of time) and SPECIFICWORD is also in the description of alt text image descriptions then this page will move up Z number of ranks.

It's probably something like that.
Whatever the heck it is, the Chris McGinty: Guitar Player must have it spot on. Here's the only problem with that though, Chris McGinty (Guitar Player) is getting to the top of video searches from his YoutTube video on Google, so there is no web page to do all that complicated calculations with. His name is NOT in the title, he isn't even the lead singer or whatever of the band he is in. His name is mentioned twice on the YouTube page; in the description and in the tags. It can't be longevity of the video either because Chris (our Chris) has had videos on YouTube for MANY years and this one has only been up since last year. It can't be views either because that video only has 242 views.

There is a conspiracy going on here...

So what it the magic to getting higher rankings (or is it lower)? I have tried to tag as much as I can (with revel ant tags) and put descriptions everywhere I could think of, it just doesn't seem to be working all that well.
After Chris and I talked about getting more noticed I went to the website and started adding Chris' name with tags and keywords and descriptions. I focused on the last picture shoot we did. You can see the pictures here. I did several things to really load this page with Chris' name.
  1. I added his name in the Title.
  2. I added his name to the description of the page (in the HTML code).
  3. I added his name to the keywords of the page (in the HTML code).
  4. I added his name (as well as other tags) to the 'alt text' to every image on the page (in the HTML code).
  5. I took the images themselves into Adobe Photoshop and added his name to the information part of each of the Jpeg files.
  6. I took the actual name of each of the Jpegs and renamed them using his name in various formats (like chris_mcginty or chrismcginty).

I don't think I could actually do any more other than start typing his name over and over at the bottom of the page. Search engines take 24-48 hours to 'see' changes on the web and after that time I did some more searches and NONE of the new images are showing on Google or Yahoo! searches. I will give it until next week to see if any of them show up.

One final note for page ranking that I have read about is page linking. Basically the more links to your pages the higher in rank you go. So a page that has a link from this blog is lower than a page that has 100 links pointing to it. The only way I can think to alter this is to apart of some sort of link exchange.

Peace out.

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