Doorway Pages & Search Engine Optimization!
April 6, 1999

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A Short Weekly Tip-Sheet for Small Business Web Masters
April 6, 1999 Issue #6
Mike Valentine, Editor,


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by Mike Valentine

O.K. Boys and girls, it's time to put on your skeptics
hat and join me in a little cynicism here. There's no way
that a simple technique like "Doorway Pages" can work to
improve your search engine ranking on specific search words
or phrases. If it were so easy, everyone would do it and
then nobody would benefit. I've heard those stories about
sites vaulting to number one position on the search engines
and they're bogus! Pure unadulterated bovine manure!

Yowee! That was what I was saying just last week because
my rankings were in the basement. My weekly reports from
"PositionAgent" consistently had all my keywords showing up
as a big ugly zero on all the search engines they monitor.
I was beginning to believe I'd never rank in the top 10 on
any search. That's what I was expecting when my "SearchEngine-
Monitor" report showed up this week. Then I nearly swallowed
my heart, because I suddenly found it in my throat!

There it was, listed number three (3!) on AltaVista under
the search phrase "e-commerce tutorial" and just to verify
that position, I've been back tonight to see where I rank
and I've dropped to number five! But guess what? Now I have
TWO sites in the top 10 at AltaVista, both of them doorway
pages I created to help improve my ranking there. I thought,
O.K., no harm in trying it to see if it works. But never in
over a million years did I expect to get TWO PAGES IN THE
TOP TEN RANKING for ANY search phrase.

I bet you're thinking, "Sure you did Mike" I invite you
to take a look yourself! Go to
and type "e-commerce tutorial" in the search box and click
the search button. It may change position tomorrow, but
I'm there today and even took a screen shot to prove it!
Do you think I'm at all excited? You bet your life I am!

Now, top ten ranking for one obscure search phrase is not
the magic bullet for success. But do you think I'm going to
be cynical about doorway pages any more? Not likely. Instead
I've begun to pay close attention to what works for whom.
Why? you ask? Because this same doorway page gets me that
same big ugly zero ranking in the other search engines and
I made number 34 on "WebCrawler" with my home page, proof
that honest content and good page design with proper key-
word metatags will accomplish things without "trickery".

This particular doorway page works only for AltaVista and
only today. They'll no doubt change their algorithms and
lose me altogether tomorrow. I'll be looking for ways to
improve results at Excite and AOLnetfind now. I do this for
my clients and work toward success for each of them. If you
want to try it yourself, hop over to
where you'll find the AltaVista effective doorway page
template that I used to create my high-ranking pages!

I don't want to resort to different doorway pages for all
my thirty web pages for each different search engine. But
I will use every resource I can find to succeed honestly
in this business. If it works, don't break it!

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"Search Engine Confessions"

Search engine ranking. How important is it really?
Well, if you can never seem to find your web site through
search engines, you probably think it is keeping you from
success. Not true.

Confession #1:

There was a time when I felt that ranking high in search
engines was very important. I even spent hours every week
trying to get those top spots. I mean I tried everything.
And lots of the stuff I tried worked. I enjoyed #1 rankings
at Infoseek, AltaVista, WebCrawler and more. I was in the
top 10 of nearly all the major engines.

Then a funny thing happened. I wised up. You see, I finally
realized that there were literally thousands of other folks
promoting related products and services. I knew that keeping
those high search engine positions would become quite a chore
eventually. Hey, I'm just one guy, sitting at my computer. If
the few hours a week I was spending on search engine ranking
grew into ten, 12 or 15 hours, something else would have to

Which leads me to confession #2...

I dropped out of the game altogether. That's right, I gave up
the battle. And it was the best decision I ever made. Not only
did this decision free up time for more important online
marketing strategies, it helped me see the bigger picture.

That big picture is this:

You need more than search engine traffic to make it online.
You need relationships. You form these valuable business
relationships by promoting your business in other ways. Regular
email contact, newsletter publishing,discussion group partici-
pation, offering an associate program - these are the methods
that have brought me full-time income on the internet. They
are also the methods that will take me further.

I can honestly say that if the search engines all closed up shop
tomorrow (or started to rank pages by who pays them the most -
which is more likely) my cyberbusiness wouldn't miss a beat.
Why? I chose not to rely on search engines for web site traffic.

That's not to say I don't get traffic from search engines. I just
don't rely on search engines for *ALL* my traffic. Like any wise
internet marketer, I take what I can get - especially when it's

Which leads me to Confession #3...

I now enjoy some of my best search engine ranking ever! "What's
that Jim? You gave up the battle and you're winning?..."

Actually, yes. Just this morning I went out on the web in search
of places to spend some ad dollars. As usual, I used my favorite
multi-engine search tool called the Dogpile at I searched on "ezine
advertising" and "direct email marketing" in hopes of finding a
few good targeted advertising opportunities.

What did I find? Well, uh, my own site.

Here's where I showed up...

"ezine advertising"
#1 on WebCrawler
#5 on Lycos
#1 on Magellan
#1 on Excite
#2 on AltaVista

"direct email marketing"
#1 on WebCrawler
#2 on WebCrawler
#1 on Magellan
#2 on Magellan
#3 on Excite

"How's that?", you ask. "How does a guy drop out of the
search engine battles and come up with top ranking?"

Simple. I said I dropped out of the battles, not the war.
You see, I still make sure that every web page I create
is optimized for good ranking. I do this by inserting meta
tags, using a good title and adding keyword rich content.

I recommend this as a minimum. It's simple. All you have to
do is create one good meta-tagged page, then use it as a
template. Every time you create a new page, paste in your
template and adjust the keywords for the content on that
page. A quick tutorial on meta tags can be found at my free
help area:

With this "casual" method, you can't help but get some good
search engine ranking. Plus, all the time you save battling
for those top spots can be better spent on REAL internet

So there you have it. Confessions from a once-hooked search
engine junkie. Are you caught up in the search engine ranking

Perhaps it's time to surrender some of the battles. Who knows,
you may just win the war!

Article by Jim Daniels of JDD Publishing. Jim's site has
helped 1000's of regular folks profit online. Check out their
FREE "how-to" cybermarketing assistance, free software,
business opportunities, manuals, web services and more! Real
money is being made on the net -- visit
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