Monday, January 1, 2001


=======January 29, 2001==========
Subject: Portal Partner Press 1-29-01
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 11:04:17 -0600
From: Robert Massa
Portal Partner Press

January 29th, 2001 


Webmaster's Corner

This Weeks Search Engine Lesson 
Doorway Pages

We have a little treat this week from Mike Rotter, our Searchking webmaster. He has developed a great little doorway page to help push his affiliate sales and wants to share it. He has also scouted up some neat little goodies, (knowing Mike, my guess is that there free), he wants to pass on. So, I'd like to give Mike the floor. Take it away Mike.
How to promote more traffic to your portals in less than 30 minutes.
One of the “tricks” to help drive traffic to your portals, websites and your affiliate programs is to create doorway pages. A doorway page is a website that you develop as an entrance to your sites. What is extremely important about doorways is how they are presented. Your doorway should look like an independent website, it should look professional and eye-catching (think of it as a billboard).
It should load extremely quick, and it should be very brief but to the point. What is the product What does it offer How do I get it Here is an example of one that I am using to promote the portal program using my affiliate ID number The fastest way to build a doorway is to first go get a free template (we have about 40 free template sites listed at the SearchKing Webmaster’s Resources site Take the template, put your information and links there. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, MAKE SURE that you add a description Meta tag and keyword Meta tag with all your information in them (free Meta tag generator ) and be sure that you have a title at the top of the page, preferably in “header tags”. Several engines and directories spider for those title tags was well as your Meta tags. Then go to one of the free self submit sites (we have several in our database at now your doorway is up and helping to bring traffic to your portal/websites/affiliate programs. My doorways to the SearchKing Portal Program brings me in an affiliate check every month as well as other affiliate programs I have on the Net. I have 4 doorways to my site and those doorways account for 30% of the traffic to my site. ****************** Mike

Software Picks for the Month
I have two software picks for the moth that I feel you may find useful and helpful: eSafe by Aladdin and Cache Cookie Washer by Webroot. First, eSafe: Aladdin's eSafe product line - eSafe Desktop provides the most comprehensive content security available today against hostile elements found on the Internet.
In addition to unique proactive anti-virus protection, the eSafe suite of products protects networks from malicious vandals (Java, ActiveX, and scripts), enables businesses to restrict access to vital system files, stops access to web sites with inappropriate or malicious content, and restricts users from sending outgoing email with classified or prohibited content.
I rate this software 4 1/2 crowns 2nd pick, Cache and Cookie Washer by Webroot Cache and Cookie Washer for Internet Explorer is a must-have utility for avid Web surfers. Its intuitive interface and wealth of options helps you to reclaim disk space by quickly and painlessly cleaning out your Microsoft Internet Explorer Web page cache, cookie directory, downloaded programs file directory, autocomplete form data, and MSIE/AOL/CompuServe address bar drop-down menu. It also refreshes IE's history log and Index.dat file. NOTE: A version for Netscape Navigator is also available
Rating: 1/2 crown is the lowest rating that deserves a mention 5 crowns is the best, all around, must have ********************* Mike ****************************************************

I want to start this week off with a couple of questions I had this week for one of the ezines I write for. It occured to me that many of you might be having some of the same questions that I get from others, so, I might as well be sharing those with you as well. Here we go.
I am a newbie with my first business website which is geared for my real estate business. Talk to 10 different people and I get 10 different opinions on the importance of search engines. I also know there is no "magic formula" For getting high rankings in the top search engines. I would like to know what's a reasonable amount of time I should devote to this task (weekly,monthly)? The search engines aren't the only way I get web traffic because I do a lot of traditional advertising as well. My main focus needs to my real estate practice and I can't afford to spend too much time on computer tasks. I also cannot afford to delegate or hire an assistant to do this work yet.
Your advice is appreciated.

Well the easy answer Chez is to spend as much time as possible but thats a little vague and I realize that doesn't help much. The thing is that search engine placement is a little addictive. The more you get the more you want.
The challenge you face is that getting the first placement can take hours and hours of effort. Researching, testing, reading, etc. Now, after you get the "concepts", it gets a little easier. So, it takes 90% of the effort to get 5% of the placements. Then those percentages start to shift until finally it takes 5% of the effort to get 90% of the placements.
My best suggestion is to spend your time creating a content rich, easy to navigate site and then spend a little money getting reviewed by the big directories. These will send you some traffic and give you that much needed quality link popularity. After you have a few big directories under you belt, make sure you have your H1 tags, your title, description and keyword meta tags in place. Focus on having about a 5% keyword density in your text and submit to the spidering engines. All those things with tags aren't going to do you anywhere near as much good as those links from the directories, but there are still a lot of spidering engines which do read those tags and it does help some.
Remember that no matter how much time you devote to getting top placements, (and trust me, it can take a lot of time), you are never going to get everyone. Focus on selling the visitors you do get as opposed to focusing on getting the visitors you don't get and you stand a much, much better chance of making money.
See You at the Top
Bob Massa

Dear Bob,
My question concerns how search engines deal with frames.
I have recently begun to use frames on my site, Previously, the site was based around tables.
When using frames, is it best to have an index page with keywords/description etc (a splash page), that then links to the frameset page, or is it ok just to use the frameset as the index page? Do the search engine spiders pick up on all of the links to pages contained in the frameset?
Ben Roberts

I'm sorry Ben, but I'm not the guy to ask this question. I don't know the answers. You see, in over 5 years of doing this I have never used a framed site. For far too long, far too many engines have had problems with frame sites and as a businessman providing placement services, it just never made sense to invest the time to figure out the way "around" these problems. My philosophy has always been, "I don't make the rules, I just play the game."
Now, there are a lot of people who DO know the best ways to get around the problem. My best advice is to visit the Virtual Promote search engine forums at
There are a couple of design forums there which deal specifically with this type of problem and with some 45,000 registered members, there will be someone who will know the answer to your question.
See You at the Top
Bob Massa

Since I have been so vocal about the evils of doorway pages in the past yet I run an article from our own webmaster telling all partners how to use them to make money, it occured to me that some of you may be a little confused. I think now is a good time for me to try to explain my position on doorway pages a little better.
Keep in mind that I tell you what I know based on my own experiences, (remember the disclaimer from last week?), so, there is not a doubt in my mind that someone could very easily argue with me and have the proof to back it up. All I can tell you is that I have been getting top placements for clients for over 5 years now and what I do and the way I do it works. What I do may not be the ONLY way it works, but it is certainly ONE way it works.
Doorway page is a term that became popular in the placement industry to describe a short optimized, (I hate that word!), keyword stuffed page. Usually with little or no graphics.
The idea in the beginning was that if you had a site that sold tvs and vcrs, you would write a doorway page about tvs and another about vcrs. Well, back in 96 this worked pretty well. I made a good living for my first year in this business doing exactly that. I still own several domains like,, etc., that was for the sole purpose of putting client's doorway pages in. Every now and then I still see hits in my logs from a url like that usually comes from some Inktomi generated search.
Well, like everything else that has to do with promotion, it wasn't long before enterprising individuals started writing software to automate the process and then hawking them as the new SECRET. About mid 96 doorway page generators came along and all of a sudden a lot of people started thinking, "if one is good then 300 must be better". Hence the downfall of the effectiveness of doorway pages.
As I've said a thousand times, there is nothing wrong with a page, (as opposed to a site), that is very focused on a specfic topic, or in this case, a keyword. Of course, I call those simply interior pages. In every domain, there has to be content. If the site is, then it makes sense that in order to get traffic from top placement under a keyword like coca-cola syrup, you would have and that page would not be focused on the general term coca-cola, it would be focused on the specific term coca-cola syrup. This provides information that is needed to anyone who is specifically interested in coca-cola syrup PLUS, it gives the search engine something relevant to offer to anyone who would type in that keyword. Makes perfect sense huh?
Now let's look at it from the search engine's point of view and we can see what does not make sense. All a search engine wants to do is to bring back what it determines, using all the technology available to it, what is the most relevant to a keyword search. The technology available to it part is the part that causes the spam problem. Guys like me come along and are willing to spend the time and money to figure out just what that technology stuff uses to detemrine who gets to be #1 and who gets to be #11,000,000. Well, figuring out that the title tag with the keyword in it worked was pretty easy, so the engine starts getting flooded with spam crap that has the keyword in the title tag, so they add another little step to the process in a never-ending battle to control their own results . This whole rig-a-ma-roll process continues taking a logical progression until finally the engine has to realize that keyword density, meta tags, H1 tags, keywords in the link title, etc, all work fine EXCEPT, spammers keep figuring it out and dominating the search engine results with misleading, low-quality, keyword stuffed pages that do in fact hit the engine's algorithm on the head but does not provide the best results for the searcher. This looks bad for the search engine who has spent an awful lot of time and money trying to avoid exactly what is happening. As search engine owners now, surely you, above all others, can sympathize with the search enignes.
So then engines are desperatetly looking for something, anything, that can give them an edge over savvy webmasters in controlling their own results. Back in '97 I started noticing that the top results on Excite were mostly root domains, a month or so later, the same thing on Alta Vista, then another and another. "This makes sense", I thought. It stands to reason that if someone types in a keyword, the engine would prefer to bring back a SITE about that keyword as opposed to a PAGE about that keyword. Also, it was less likely that a spammer would actually pay $50 a year for a domain, (this was back when Network Solutions was the only game in town and it was $100 for the first two years). Of course they were wrong about that part.
Within a matter of weeks, we started hosting domains for our clients as opposed to pages. I figured out that the keyword in the domain name was worth more placement points than all the H1 tags put together. Had I have been the ONLY one that figured it out, I'd be a wealthy man and we wouldn't be having this conversation now. So, for the engines, it was "Ok, now what?"
Along comes link popularity. the assumption was that if a site was good enough for someone else to link to it then it must be more relevant than a site that had no links to it. Within weeks, I had a "Visit Some of Our Internet Friends" page on every domain we hosted. Basically it just meant that every client we had was linked to every other client we had. Again, had I been the ONLY one that figured it out, we wouldn't be having this conversation now, but, as all things internet, actually all I had done was give birth to the link farm. It wasn't long before every kind of link scheme you can imagine was popping up for the sole purpose of "fooling" the search engines. And so the game continues.
While all of this was going on, there were still hundreds of people selling doorway generators to thousands of people who were then using the software to create and submit hundreds of pages for every keyword and every client they had. The numbers are absolutely staggering when you think about it. Would you want millions of pages like that in your directory? Well, Alta Vista doesn't either. In fact, Alta Vsita just a couple of months ago began removing domains that they determined were using doorway pages to spam them. Their criteria for exactly what a doorway was is still a little murky, (personally, I don't think Alta Vista themselves actually know what they think it is), but be that as it may, a lot of people lost a lot of placements.
All this would seem to indicate that I am just totally against doorway pages and that I'm using another of my, now famous, sweeping statements and saying doorways don't work. That's not what I'm saying. Sometimes they do.
All right, the reason that some doorways still place well is the fact that the search engines can only present a result for a keyword search based on what's available to them from their own database.
Let me give you a little exercise that you can do for yourself to better illustrate my point. Do a search on Alta Vista for cars. You'll notice that the majority of results in the top 20 are root domains. Now, the pages that you find that are not root domains have more to do with the preference given to the big directories for link popularity such as Looksmart, than they have to do with the possibility that they are just doorway pages. If you have any doubts, just go look at the page and either it's a good enough page to stand alone on it's own by a human editor or it's spam and it's a fluke that it's there in the first place and it will very likely not be there a month from now. Of course there is always the possiblity that the page is cloaked and really is spam, but remember, we're not talking about specific techniques yet, I'm trying to teach you the basic concepts first.
Ok, now go back and do a search for antique european cars. You will notice now that there are starting to be some interior, (what some would call doorway pages), pages starting to pop up in the top 20. Finally, refine your search again to search for antique european racing cars and now you'll see more interior pages than root domains.
This shows us that it's just a matter of a broad keyword search gives the engine many more choices and it would PREFER to give a domain as opposed to a page. The more obscure the keyword is, the less material the engine has to provide and therefore makes the doorway, or interior page, perhaps not the best result, but more the ONLY result available. If someone wanted to place in the top under the keyword antique european racing car, the first step would be to go register Getting the concept?
So, if a doorway page to you is a short, ugly, keyword stuffed page times 300 targetting the keywords that get the most traffic, then NO, it doesn't work. If a doorway page to you is an information and content rich site that focuses on a keyword that is much less traveled and doesn't have many domains with that keyword in it to compete with then yes, that page has a good shot at top 20 placement.
Ok, I think that is enough to absorb for one week. More to come. See ya next week.
This Bob's for you!
Publisher -- Bob Massa