>What is the optimimum number of keywords before the >engine gets bored? It varies. Some are more easily bored than others. I don't repeat keywords, except to make plurals. I'd rather show up adequately on all the engines than perfectly on one and abysmally on the rest, and I don't have the time to tweak pages and revise. >If pages are similar in content should I just vary the description >to fit in new keywords? > In terms of what the engine sees, how important are keywords >in the description compared to everything else? The description is what the potential visitor sees, and should concisely and accurately describe what they will find when they visit THAT page ... few engines index on this, but it's critical.
>where I might find the infamous password to that more infamous search >engine? The password is ORIGINAL CONTENT ... and decent page design. Remember that humans review the pages, so you have to entertain them or show useful content (not just a sales spiel). Have your clients commit to providing informative content, related to the stuff they are selling, BEFORE you try for a YAHOO listing. It's easy. For example: vendor of Chinese Art provides some history or how-they-make-it pages, and you find and add links to the established Chinese art sites. Request reciprocal links TO THE NON-SALES pages, pointing out how the content complements the site you are requesting from. Once you have content and some decent cross-linking, then ask Yahoo for a listing. If content is really plentiful and useful, a business site can escape the "business box" and show up in other areas. In this example, I'd try for a listing under "Art Collecting" on the basis of the content's utility to collectors. Or poetry if we had pages useful to students of Chinese poetry. Or both ... if the content warranted it. And all that cross-linking helps the traffic flow, because we will get traffic from academic and museum sites that would never link to a pure sales site, and the "relevance rank" on some search engines will increase.