Granted, this article appears a bit dramatic. You young folks may have missed the classic mid-’70s 12-part series “Rich Man, Poor Man” that chronicled the radically different paths the two Jordache brothers took in life. This highly acclaimed “miniseries” covered the tumultuous relationship between the brothers and their competition for the affection of their parents and the beautiful Julie Prescott (played by Susan Blakely).

Rudy (played by Peter Strauss), the favored son, is dynamic and ambitious – he methodically achieves great business success and ultimately gets the girl. Tom (played by Nick Nolte), the renegade, refuses to play by the rules and tragically battles his inner demons with his fists. Described by as “an epic television event of historic proportions,” it is said to have inspired fifteen years of dramatic (albeit cheesy) TV miniseries. [1] All the major networks followed suit with their own miniseries productions, including “The Pirates” and “Roots .”OK, it’s a stretch, but here is where I try to connect this article and website design to a ’70s made-for-TV drama. Check them out – the two sites look similar but differ dramatically in ways described later in this article.


Suppose this drama were to be played out in today’s Internet battleground. In that case, I believe that the disciplined and focused Rudy Jordache would have designed and maintained his website, considering its usability and relevance to ensure his products and services were visible in the online community. Undoubtedly, his “bad boy” brother would exercise poor judgment and lack the attention to detail and patience to give his website a fighting chance. Perhaps we’d learn of his ties to the Internet underworld of “spammers” whose short-term, overly-aggressive techniques might even get his website banned from the search engines.

I designed this case study, Rich Website, and Poor Website, to demonstrate and test the web page optimization techniques many Internet marketing and SEO experts use. These techniques consider recommendations made by major search engines and,d in general, are designed to improve a visitor’s online experience and enhance website visibility Reality Crazy.

Note that this study is not intended to be a controlled scientific experiment. There are too many factors affecting website visibility that are beyond my control! I hope you find the contrasting techniques employed by these two sites interesting and educational. I hope that outperforms, or the network could cancel the miniseries before Part 2 even airs!

Project Description The site and its companion site are designed to demonstrate techniques that EBIZ Machine and other Internet marketing consultants use to improve website visibility. Both sites were created in Macromedia Dreamweaver using the same templates and styles. Both sites were launched simultaneously (May 1st, 2007) and hosted on the same web server by EBIZ Machine.

The search engine optimization tips described below were used in Rudy’s Rich Website; in contrast, Tom’s website was developed, deployed, and ignored. Moreover, it employs several development techniques that impede website usability and indexing by some search engines.

I’ll assume that, at his core, Tom meant well despite his many lapses in judgment. After all, several of the bad guys he beat up deserved it. Hence, no spamming, “spamdexing,” or animal cruelty techniques were utilized that could potentially penalize Tom or this author’s reputation.

Project Premise The web page optimization applied should result in better search engine performance. In other words, I expect the Rich Website to outperform the Poor Website. Next, I will get more specific about the criteria I’ll rely upon to assess their respective performances.

Success Criteria To contrast the “performance” of our competing websites, the following metrics will be tracked and analyzed:

  1. Indexed Pages – I’ll compare the number of web pages indexed in the Google search engine and Yahoo! Directory.
  2. Google PageRank – I’ll compare the “PageRank” of each site.
  3. Web Page Analytics – I’ll compare key site statistics, such as page views and website visitors.
  4. Inbound Links – I’ll look at inbound links as an indicator of website popularity.

Part 2 of this Internet miniseries will analyze actual results once the techniques discussed below have had time to germinate. Project Constraints / Disclaimers As mentioned earlier, this study is designed for demonstration and discussion purposes – it is not a scientific study. Moreover, this is not an attempt to highlight tricks or methods intended to fool search engines. Although this site and analysis are designed to be informational and educational, it is not clear if and how the experimental nature of these sites will affect their search engine indexing. Rich Website – SEO Techniques Used for Ascribed below, several standard search engine optimization techniques were used to improve the usability and visibility of the home page. I assume that Rudy would consult with reputable Internet marketing consultants and employ techniques recommended and approved by search engines.

A. Techniques Used: Keyword Research In my recent article “Web Page Keywords – Do’s and Don’ts,” which you can review or download, I discuss how to find keyword phrases that are related to your business and that your potential customers use in Google, Yahoo! or other Internet search engines and directories.

Attempting to “practice what I preach,” the following tools and concepts were considered in the course of developing the key phrases selected:

  1. Overture Keyword Selector Tool –
  2. The Google Suggest keyword selection tool –
  3. Note, however, that keyword popularity alone is not enough! I scrubbed my list of phrases carefully to ensure each word was popular and relevant to the website’s goals. I want words that generate a reasonable volume of qualified leads.

Using these tools to generate alternative keywords and assess the popularity of those phrases, I created a shortlist of terms consistent with the website’s theme and objectives. I concluded that “Search Engine Optimization Tips” and “SEO Tips” were relevant and popular Internet searches consistent with the strategy behind the site.

B. Techniques Used: Keyword Placement There are several recommended locations where keywords should appear. The keyphrases were incorporated in these locations:

  1. Title Tag in Anchor Tags
  2. Meta Keyword Tags
  3. Heading Tag Content (i.e. H1, H2)
  4. Body Text
  5. URL/Filenames/Links

The document title for the home page is “Search Engine Optimization Tips – SEO Case Study Description” (bolded for emphasis). Note that our targeted key phrase, “Search Engine Optimization Tips,” is a part of the page title. Although you cannot see it, the home page has the following keywords and Meta tag embedded in the home page source code:

  • Meta name=” keywords” content=” search engine optimization tips, SEO tips, search engine optimization, SEO, website optimization, Denver, Colorado, biz, ed biz machine, case study, see the study, seo case study.”

Again, the bold text (bold added for emphasis) is the key phrase for optimizing the home page. Our key word occurs in the body text but not at an excessive frequency. I shoot for including our keywords in the web page content visible, but modestlyence “WITH SEO is a Search Engine Optimization Tips Web Site Brought to you by Web Design & Internet Consultant EBIZ Machine” is the first sentence indexed by Google. Again, our keyphrase appears there. Last I checked, the keyword density for “search engine optimization tips” was just under 2% of the words on the home page. The home page contains two headings:

  • Header 1: Search Engine Optimization Tips – SEO Techniques (bold added for emphasis)
  • Header 2: Denver Colorado web design and Internet consulting company EBIZ Machine has designed a case study to educate businesses about techniques used to improve the usability and relevance of their websites and ensure that their products and services are visible to the online community.

As an example of a text link that references the key phrase, the home page contains the following link: “We will do our best to frequently publish results of this search engine optimization tips case study. Click here to view the results drawn from this case study thus far.” (bold added for emphasis) Note that when you click this link, you are directed to the study results page. Again, our key phrase is embedded in the main heading and the link’s text. C. Techniques Used: Link Building The goal behind link building is to develop “inbound” links to your web pages to drive traffic and improve your search engine ranking.

This topic was the subject of a previous article, “SEO Link Building – Who, What, When, Where, Why (and How),” which you can view or download. I mention in this article that links from “authoritative” websites and “related” industry sites carry the most weight. I intend to utilize the tools and techniques discussed there to build high-quality online references to the site and study. Link building is a very time-consuming process. We aim to add a few relevant links every so often to be consistent with natural growth. I’ll look for online publishing opportunities and relevant newsletters willing to share the premise and results of this study.

D. Techniques Used: Sitemaps Both Google [2] and Yahoo [3] offer a process by which you can provide information about the web pages that make up your site AND expedite the indexing process. Here’s a handy tool to create a Google sitemap: With, I have followed the recommended validation and sitemap submission steps described in the Google and Yahoo articles referenced in the footnotes.

E. Techniques Used: Development technologies Although frequently debated, certain development technologies may impede the proper indexing of website pages. Examples include HTML frames, Macromedia Flash animation, complicated internal links, and JavaScript. I avoid using these technologies in the development to the extent possible. is a “static” HTML website with no Flash, frames, or database access. JavaScript is kept to a minimum, and internal page links used to navigate the pages consist of simple directory paths.

Poor Website – SEO Techniques Used for I assume Tom would show hostility towards his brother’s SEO techniques. The plan for the Poor Website is to exercise poor judgment in its design and then ignore it. Its “Meta Tags,” including keywords and page descriptions, are undefined. No attempt has been made to optimize the web page content or embed key phrases, site links, and URLs. In the future, no attempt will be made to refresh, update, or enhance the site. I think Tom Jordache would be proud! I hope that this is not how you developed your site!

In addition, the site has been designed using development techniques thought to impede website usability and its success in search engine performance. For example, utilizes JavaScript navigation. Text links intentionally added to are not a part of the pages.

In web design, HTML “frames” are sometimes used to display multiple or long HTML documents in the same browser window. Because frames are thought to impede indexing in some search engines, they are utilized for

Conclusion It’s been a long time, but, as I recall, in the “Rich Man, Poor Man” TV miniseries, both brothers suffered a great personal tragedy, and TV viewers lost many hours of productive time glued to the set. However, from a commercial and economic standpoint, I believe it’s safe to say that Rudy was certainly more of a commercial success than his misfit brother Tom.

In this “Website Visibility Battle of Epic Proportions,” only time will tell if the Rich Website triumphs over its sibling site As described above, I have taken several steps to “stack the deck” in Rudy’s favor.

I plan to publish and discuss the results of this study after enough time has passed to allow these techniques to run their course. I’ll call it Part 2 of the Rich Website, Poor Website miniseries. At that same time, I’ll focus more on techniques and metrics used to judge the success or failure of a search engine marketing program. So, stay tuned!