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Please help! Search engine ranking and font size

I have designed a site for a client, but they have hired an internet
marketing person to incrase their search engine ranking and traffic.
He wants to put extra-large fonts on every page which will make the
design looks a bit rediculous. He also said that the big text cannot
be hidden. I am just trying to find a compromise. Here are the
questions:

(1) Is it true that a page with an <H1> tag and very big font size
will make a search engine *think* that there is more importance
attached and therefore will generate a higher ranking for the page or
site?

(2) If the above is true, can I hide this line so it doesn't actually
appear on the page visually but it is on the page, such as using a
comment tag?

(3) Are there any other unobtrusive way to increase search engine
rankings and traffic to the site without having to degrade design?

Thanks for any advice and suggestions.

Petre
Jul 20 '05 #1
11 4168
ph****@yahoo.ca (Petre Huile) wrote:
I have designed a site for a client, but they have hired an internet
marketing person to incrase their search engine ranking and traffic.
Sounds like a company that has too much money in its hands.
He wants to put extra-large fonts on every page which will make the
design looks a bit rediculous. He also said that the big text cannot
be hidden.
He's a swindler.
I am just trying to find a compromise.
Stop trying. It's not your fault if your client wants to ruin its pages
and pays for it. If you're brave, you could tell some responsible person
that the "internet marketing person" requires the use of techniques that
are disastrous to the use of the site and that he cannot present a single
evidence of his claims that the techniques help anything.
(1) Is it true that a page with an <H1> tag and very big font size
will make a search engine *think* that there is more importance
attached and therefore will generate a higher ranking for the page or
site?
No. The use of h1 markup may affect the _relative_ weight of the text
inside h1 elements, relative to other content on the same page. But that's
completely different.
(2) If the above is true, can I hide this line so it doesn't actually
appear on the page visually but it is on the page, such as using a
comment tag?
If it were true, and it is not, "comment tags" would most probably prevent
it from "working". It would be foolish of a search engine to recognize
HTML markup, yet fail to do comment parsing.
(3) Are there any other unobtrusive way to increase search engine
rankings and traffic to the site without having to degrade design?


Yes. Useful content readily comes into my mind. But it would probably be
waste of time to explain such things (or any finer points) to anyone who
buys bogus advice like the one given by the "internet marketing person".

Followups trimmed.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Jul 20 '05 #2
(FU set)

On 20 Aug 2003 17:33:14 -0700, ph****@yahoo.ca (Petre Huile) wrote:
I have designed a site for a client, but they have hired an internet
marketing person to incrase their search engine ranking and traffic.
He wants to put extra-large fonts on every page which will make the
design looks a bit rediculous.
This sounds like the sort of marketing person you come across in Dilbert
strips. Why attract more visitors to a site, only to drive them away
again?
He also said that the big text cannot
be hidden. I am just trying to find a compromise. Here are the
questions:

(1) Is it true that a page with an <H1> tag and very big font size
will make a search engine *think* that there is more importance
attached and therefore will generate a higher ranking for the page or
site?
In principle a search engine is likely to increase the relative
importance of text within <Hn> tags compared to the rest of the site.
Obviously (well, almost obviously) no search engine is going to bump up
the site ranking as a whole, as there are enough clowns who would then
put their entire site in <H1> elements, styled via CSS.

As for the "very big font size": I suggest you try to find out what
evidence he has that this increases ones ranking, and post it here.
(Some of us would probably find it quite funny.)

(2) If the above is true, can I hide this line so it doesn't actually
appear on the page visually but it is on the page, such as using a
comment tag?
I have heard that some search engines (e.g. Google) actually reduce the
ranking of sites that try these sorts of tricks.

(3) Are there any other unobtrusive way to increase search engine
rankings and traffic to the site without having to degrade design?


Overwhelmingly best: provide some content which is actually interesting
and useful, which people are likely to want to link to.

To avoid degrading the effect of this: don't use frames; don't change a
page URL after you've put it up.

And of course: make sure the pages are readable with Javascript / Java /
Flash disabled.

--
Stephen Poley

http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/
Jul 20 '05 #3
Talk about snake-oil salesman. I've never read such a load of
b******s. There are plenty of websites explaining how to get good
search engine rankings. And using <H1> tags to suggest importance of
content appears on NONE of them!!

Your client is getting taken for a ride by this marketing 'expert'.
Perhaps the guy works for your client's competitor, and he's trying to
ruin your website?
Jul 20 '05 #4
In article <10**************************@posting.google.com >,
pe*********@operamail.com says...
Talk about snake-oil salesman. I've never read such a load of
b******s. There are plenty of websites explaining how to get good
search engine rankings. And using <H1> tags to suggest importance of
content appears on NONE of them!!


Maybe you didn't read a whole lot of search engine optimization websites
then, or the wrong ones. Structural markup (emphasis, headers) can
increase the weight given to words within them. However, by using CSS,
this issue is completely independent from the font-size.

I would suggest doing markup independent of search engines and applying
reasonable HTML/ CSS techniques. The rest is a matter of good content
and getting the word out. Then search engines will find their way too
and rank appropriately.
Jul 20 '05 #5

"Petre Huile" <ph****@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
news:5a*************************@posting.google.co m...
I have designed a site for a client, but they have hired an internet
marketing person to incrase their search engine ranking and traffic.
He wants to put extra-large fonts on every page which will make the
design looks a bit rediculous. He also said that the big text cannot
be hidden. I am just trying to find a compromise. Here are the
questions:

(1) Is it true that a page with an <H1> tag and very big font size
will make a search engine *think* that there is more importance
attached and therefore will generate a higher ranking for the page or
site?
Using <H1), <H2> in the correct places (page headers, etc.) may have an
effect. The font size can be changed by using CSS. Note that putting an
entire paragraph in H1 font size is not what I'm talking about. Using
correct page markup, and then making *slight* alterations using CSS to match
site layout is what I mean. Use sparingly.
(2) If the above is true, can I hide this line so it doesn't actually
appear on the page visually but it is on the page, such as using a
comment tag?
Bad idea, keyword staffing can get you banned.
(3) Are there any other unobtrusive way to increase search engine
rankings and traffic to the site without having to degrade design?


Yes, actually! And it's so simple may people overlook it. I will now list
these in order of importance:

1) Content
2) Content
3) Content
4) Content
5) Search Engine Optimization using ethical guidelines.

Build a great site with tons of content, and carefully optimzed for SE's,
and it works.

Jul 20 '05 #6
Philipp Lenssen wrote:
In article <10**************************@posting.google.com >,
pe*********@operamail.com says...
Talk about snake-oil salesman. I've never read such a load of
b******s. There are plenty of websites explaining how to get good
search engine rankings. And using <H1> tags to suggest importance of
content appears on NONE of them!!


Maybe you didn't read a whole lot of search engine optimization websites
then, or the wrong ones. Structural markup (emphasis, headers) can
increase the weight given to words within them. However, by using CSS,
this issue is completely independent from the font-size.

I would suggest doing markup independent of search engines and applying
reasonable HTML/ CSS techniques. The rest is a matter of good content
and getting the word out. Then search engines will find their way too
and rank appropriately.


the question here is whether the OP is actually
accurately paraphrasing the advice given by the SEO

it could be that the SEO is giving the sensible advice to
use structured mark up with correct use of heading
tags...which not only helps with most search engines but
is generally useful in making the site usable by non-
visual means

putting large amounts of text in <h1> tags does not help
a site...it doesn't tell the SE what the site is
about...putting crucial headers in <h> tags helps to tell
the search engine what the site author thinks are the
most important things about the site...it helps the
search engine target the searches the site is appropriate
for...it gives the site owners well targeted traffic

you cannot successfully deal with search engines by
looking at searches as being some sort of large scale one
size fits all thing...SEO isn't about bringing the
maximum number of people to the site...that's just what
the scammers sell...good SEO is about feeding the search
engine bots well structured mark up and good content that
accurately tells the search engine what the site is
actually about so that it can be shown ONLY to those
people who actually want to see it

nothing that the OP describes is inconsistent with good
SEO advice...the vast majority of good SEO experts are
also proponents of well constructed and tidy mark up and
of high levels of accessibility

--
eric
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
"Hey Lord don't ask me questions
There ain't no answer in me"
Jul 20 '05 #7
On Thu, 21 Aug 2003 14:57:46 +0100, Eric Jarvis <we*@ericjarvis.co.uk>
wrote:
the question here is whether the OP is actually
accurately paraphrasing the advice given by the SEO

it could be that the SEO is giving the sensible advice to
use structured mark up with correct use of heading
tags...which not only helps with most search engines but
is generally useful in making the site usable by non-
visual means


You have a good point. And conceivably the consultant is simply
recommending the use of text at 100% instead of, say, 10px.

Perhaps Petre (the OP) could clarify what exactly is being recommended.

--
Stephen Poley

http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/
Jul 20 '05 #8
Thanks for all of the advice and comments. To be fair, first, I must
first quote what the marketing person said, then explain what he has
done as far:

In an email to me, he wrote:
" ... this is the reason for the big text. Big text = more important
for a search engine and thus a higher ranking for that page, for that
keyword.
.... Also the font can't be hidden and definitely should be a H1 tag. I
used a +4 size."

And here are what he has done:
I did have a string of keywords and proper description of the
page/site in my metatag. The title of each page also describe the most
important content of the page in about 5 words. But I noticed that he
has taken all my keywords out and just replaced it with one word that
describe what the company manufactures.

I used a linked stylesheet so he has created an h1 class in the
stylesheet. But after the <h1 Class="xyz"> he also put <font
size="+4"> which provided the large font.

I just want to understand whether there is any solid ground for me to
say anything (i.e. complain). I don't want to sound ignorant, and I'd
like to be able to provide good alternatives that will increase the
site's search engine rankings and traffic, and preserve a
well-designed look to the site.

The site do not use frames and do not have Flash components. There is
a site map page with text links to every page on the site (which I
presume can also work as a "crawler page").

I will continue to research the matter, but any other good advice as
to what solid suggestions I can make to them is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Petre
Jul 20 '05 #9
Markus Ernst wrote:
"Petre Huile" <ph****@yahoo.ca> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:5a**************************@posting.google.c om...
And here are what he has done:
I did have a string of keywords and proper description of the
page/site in my metatag. The title of each page also describe the most
important content of the page in about 5 words. But I noticed that he
has taken all my keywords out and just replaced it with one word that
describe what the company manufactures.
The title is good. Also fill a short description of the page content in the


The title is really important. Because it can only hold a relatively
short piece of text, the search engine can trust that if the query terms
can be found in it, then the page should be valuable for the user.
Repeating the same title for every page doesn't make sense unless your
site navigation seriously sucks (use of frames, for example, guarantees
that users coming via search engines are totally lost). Google gives
pretty much weight to both title and URL(!). For best results, I'd use
URLs like http://company.example/productname/feature/ combined with
title along the lines "Productname: feature in a couple of words -
Company Name".
whatever. You can define the look of <h1> in your style sheet, you don't
need a class, and the font size does IMHO not affect the search engine
ranking. The additional use of the font tag is not recommended at all.


Google does weight words according to their size and style (that is,
strong or emphasized (em) text is considered more important than small
or regular text). However, the whole weighting is relative and if the
whole page is marked up as font +4 it's equally valuable with page where
all text is left default size. If only really important pieces are
emphasized the result will be best - both in content quality and result
placement in Google.

Other search engines hopefully follow the way Google does it - that way
more people would spend some time to markup the content correctly.

--
Mikko

Jul 20 '05 #10
Mikko Rantalainen wrote:

Other search engines hopefully follow the way Google does it - that way
more people would spend some time to markup the content correctly.


in terms of how content should be marked up there is
little difference between search engines...they weight
the factors differently, but there are only a limited
range of things they can use to divine the subject of the
page

unless you are competing for an extremely competitive
search term then basic good practise will suffice
admirably

--
eric
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
"Hey Lord don't ask me questions
There ain't no answer in me"
Jul 20 '05 #11
YOUR SOLUTION IS SIMPLE! What you need is Search Engine Magic! This
software boosts you into the top 10 results of any search engine! Its
too easy to install and use! if interested visit www.ddwebshop.com.
IT MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE FOR MY COMPANY!

Jul 23 '05 #12

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