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Expert: Kevin Jackson

Brad asked:

My Mother has written a book about phonics and she wants to sell it over the internet. When you do a web search on phonics you get about ten thousand hits, what is required to make your web page appear in the first twenty or so hits.

Kevin Jackson answered:

"The key to understanding this topic is that the people who run the search engines and the people who build, submit and optimize websites are at cross purposes. The Search Engine wants visitors to have the most *relevant* web sites coming up first in a keyword search, so that they are happy with the service: a web site owner/developer/optimizer wants their site coming up first no matter what. As a result, the search engines are constantly finding ways to improve the relevance of their searches, and site owners are figuring out ways to get around them, so the search engine then has to develop a new method. Ad nauseam.

The most powerful weapon in this battle is knowledge: research what each of the main search engines is looking for, and how you can use that to your advantage. Best starting place for this is a site built by Danny Sullivan, and then bought by, called search engine watch found at Just about all the answers you need are found on this site. Other than that, a sound strategy helps going into the process.

My suggestions are as follows:

  • Decide on a list of keywords which reflect the words used by your *target* market, i.e. not industry insiders who know the jargon, but consumers who will misspell and use unusual words to describe what they are looking for. One place to help you get into this mind set is, where they show real time what real people are searching for on their search engine.

  • Design your page around these keywords, using all the techniques outlined in Search Engine Watch, and below to increase the relevance of these keywords on your site.

  • Submit your site to at least the top ten search Engines, and the top 30 directories and mini-search engines related to your topic area, if there are that many. These would be sites that are maintained by hobbyists and specialists in the area of phonics, who also maintain lists of links to related sites. Write them emails asking them to link back to you, offer to add them to your links page, etc. A good place to start when submitting your site is a new tool recently added to CanadaOne, found at:"

Some more useful links:

About the author

Kevin Jackson is the co-founder and webmaster of CanadaOne and all round web guru at Biz-Zone Internet Group.

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