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SEOs Relationship With Website Architecture
SEO's Relationship With Website Architecture
Search engine optimization for today's search engine robots requires that sites be well-designed and easy-to-navigate. To a great degree, organic search engine optimization is simply an extension of best practices in web page design. SEO's relationship with web design is a natural one. By making sites simple and easily accessible, you are providing the easiest path for the search engine robots to index your site, at the same time that you are creating the optimum experience for your human visitors.
This approach ties well into the notion of long-term search engine marketing success. Rather than trying to "psych out" the ever-changing search engine algorithms, build pages that have good text and good links. No matter what the search engines are looking for this month or next, they will always reward good content and simple navigation.
Search Engine Robots
Search engine robots are automated programs that go out on the World Wide Web and visit web pages. They read the text on a page and click through links in order to travel from page to page. What this really means is that they "read" or collect information from the source code of each page. Depending on the search engine, the robots typically pick up the title and meta description. The robots then go on to the body text of the page in the source code. They also pay attention to certain tags such as headings and alt text. Search engine robots have capabilities like first-generation browsers at best: no scripting, no frames, no Flash. When designing, think simple.
Search Engine Friendly Design
Creating search engine friendly design is relatively easy. Cut out all the bells and whistles and stick to simple architecture. Search engine robots "understand" text on the page and hyperlinks, especially text links. The relationship of SEO and web design makes sense when you start with good design techniques for your visitor. The easier the navigation and the more text on the page, the better it is not only for the visitor but also for the search engine robots.
Obstacles For Indexing Web Pages
Depth Of Directories
Search engine robots may have difficulty reaching deeper pages in a website. Aim to keep your most important pages no more than one or two "clicks" away from your home page. Keep your pages closer to the root instead of in deeply-nested subdirectories. In this way you will be assured the optimum indexing of your web pages. Just as your website visitor may become lost and frustrated in too many clicks away from your homepage, the robots may also give up after multiple clicks away from the root of your site.
Solutions And Helpful Techniques
If there are so many problems with indexing, how will you ever make it work?
The use of static pages is the easiest way to ensure you will be indexed by the search engine robots. If you must use dynamically-generated pages, there are techniques you can use to improve the chances of their being indexed. Use your web server's rewrite capabilities to create simple URLs from complex ones. Use fixed landing pages including real content, which in turn will list the links to your dynamic pages. If you must use querystrings in your page addresses, make them as short as possible, and avoid the use of "session id" values.
When using Flash to dress up your pages, use a portion of Flash for an important message, but avoid building entire pages using that technology. Make sure that the search engine robots can look at all of the important text content on your pages. You want your message to get across to your human visitor as well. Give them enough information about your product to interest them in going the next step and purchasing your product.
Got imagemaps and mouseover links? Make sure your pages include text links that duplicate those images, and always include a link back to your homepage.
Use a sitemap to present all your web pages to the search engine robots, especially your deeper pages. Make sure you have hyperlink text links on your page, and a sentence or two describing each page listed, using a few of your keyword phrases in the text.
Remember that the search engine robots "read" the text on your web page. The more that your content is on-topic and includes a reasonable amount of keyword-rich text, the more the search engine robot will "understand" what the page is about. This information is then taken back to the search engine database to eventually become part of the data you see in the search engine results.
Last of all, it is very important to test your pages for validation. Errors from programming code and malformed html can keep the search engine robots from indexing your web pages. Keep your coding clean.
Check List For Success
* Include plenty of good content in text on your web pages
* Incorporate easy to follow text navigation
* Serve up dynamically generated pages as simply as possible
* Add a sitemap for optimum indexing of pages
* Validate your pages using the World Wide Web Consortium's validation tool, or other html validator
On Your Way To Indexed Pages
The best way to assure that your pages will be indexed is to keep them simple. This type of architecture not only helps the search engine robots, but makes it easier for your website visitors to move throughout your site. Don't forget to provide plenty of good content on your pages. The search engine robots and your visitors will reward you with return visits.
Optimizing Dynamic Pages (Part I) http://www.searchinnovation.com/optimize-dynamic-pages-1.asp
Optimizing Dynamic Pages (Part II) http://www.searchinnovation.com/optimize-dynamic-pages-2.asp
Optimizing Frames for Search Engines http://www.searchinnovation.com/optimizing-frames-for-search-engines.asp
Html validation tool
Stylesheet validation tool
Daria Goetsch is the founder and Search Engine Marketing Consultant for Search Innovation Marketing, a Search Engine Marketing company serving small businesses. She has specialized in Search Engine Optimization since 1998, including three years as the Search Engine Specialist for O'Reilly Media, Inc., a technical book publishing company.
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Screwed: Is this an inevitability in the SEO World?
By about 2pm everyday, each of my team members has spoken to a good handful of clients and potential clients who have been speaking with other SEO firms. This an absolutely wonderful thing to see, as in the past in our industry, not enough of our consumers were questioning what they were purchasing. It is a sign that accountability will come and the bad guys will be weeded out.While this is a good sign, it's the cause of my having to answer the same questions over and over. The consumers in the SEO world are being fed out and out lies by some of the people who call themselves experts in the area of Search Engine Optimization. They hear these lies and while comparing prices, contact us at Abalone Designs. They then proceed to tell me everything that all of these other companies promised them and I am utterly astonished. Here some of the most asinine claims I hear through the grapevine."We can guarantee your rankings" Don't be fooled! Ask the company what you will be ranking for, immediately! 9 times out of 10, a company that guarantees you rankings, is guaranteeing that you will rank for your own company name, which means people on Google or MSN or Yahoo! would have to know your company name before searching. How does this produce new customers and visitors to your site? Chances are, as soon as these search engines index your site, you will rank within the top ten for your company name, if not first, because it is unique. Why bother paying someone for something that is already going to happen, anyway? Guaranteeing rankings is highly unethical. It is impossible to guarantee rankings unless you have access to Google's database itself, and even then I'm not sure it's possible. Keep in mind, we are working with a 3rd party, here. A highly guarded 3rd party that doesn't, under any circumstances, reveal it's secrets. No one outside of the companies that run these search engines knows what it is exactly that makes search engines rank sites high. Especially due to the fact that these search engines and the rigorous ranking filters they use to spit out search results change almost monthly. Even a former Google employee doesn't know how to guarantee rankings! If someone is telling you they'll guarantee top rankings, run fast! Those are some shady, shady claims. Google themselves have said:"No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google - Beware of SEO's that claim to guarantee rankings, or that claim a "special relationship" with Google, or that claim to have a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is by using the page at http:// www.google.com/addurl.html. You can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever." - http:// www.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/seo.htmlAn ethical SEO company will not guarantee rankings. They will guarantee that their methods follow search engine guidelines, and they will guarantee customer satisfaction, but at no point in time will any SEO company with a conscience guarantee your rankings."Your site needs to be continually resubmitted to get on and stay on the search engines" When will I see the end of this one? How old is this method now? 5 years? 10 years? We're talking about the days when Webcrawler was the biggest search engine and all computers were beige! This claim is so fully untrue, had Pinocchio uttered it, his nose would have stretched from Rome to Poughkeepsie. And the good folks at Google will once again back me up on this one:"Submission is not necessary and does not guarantee inclusion in our index. Given the large number of sites submitting URLs, it's likely your pages will be found in an automatic crawl before they make it into our index through the URL submission form. We DO NOT add all submitted URLs to our index, and cannot predict when or if they will appear." - http:// www.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/1.html#A2"Meta tags are not important anymore"Sure they aren't. If you don't want a decent ranking on MSN. The new MSN search places a lot of value on the keywords and description meta tags. Without these tags in your site's code, your ranking on MSN will suffer. Just as importantly, if your keywords and description meta tags don't use proper language, your rankings will suffer. The description tag is also what MSN uses as the visible description for a site in the search results. And of course, to prove I'm not the one blowing hot air, here is what MSN themselves say about it:"Site descriptions are extracted from the content of your page each time MSNBot crawls your site and indexes its pages... ...the best way to affect your site description is to ensure that your web pages effectively deliver the information you want to see in search results." - Click here to see the page this is found on. "Your Web Site Has Been Sabotaged" This one is truly unreal. I can't believe it's even been used as an excuse for why an SEO company hasn't achieved decent rankings for you. But alas, more than one SEO company has told potential clients of ours that the reason they are not ranking well, or why their search engine optimization campaign is not effective, is because someone else has been sabotaging the site. Some of the clients who have been told this are small businesses, like bed and breakfasts or pet sitters. We always explain to these potential clients that the likelihood of someone even having the initial idea to sabotage a web site, the site in question would have to be a fairly large one, and the target of a lot of hatred. Why? Because sabotaging a web site's rankings takes a massive amount of time and energy. We're talking months, maybe even years of hard, hard work. Why would anyone devote months or years of their life to taking down a pet sitting site? Or a bed and breakfast?Once again, these are some hefty claims and it is a clear sign that the company who is running your SEO campaign is unwilling to be held accountable for their actions or lack thereof.Don't Put Up With It. The bottom line is, your search engine optimization company works for you. You are paying them. Hold them accountable as you would any other vendor. Keep reading these articles, read info at the search engines, educate yourself and if something your SEO says smells a little rotten, don't be afraid to call them on it.Is being screwed an inevitability in the SEO world? Damn near. But thanks to the increasing interest of our consumers in self-education and their increased questioning, our industry will slowly climb out of the gutter and someday down the line, send this article into antiquity. In spite of my pride, I'd be overjoyed to see that day come.
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Do the Robot!
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Has Google Lost the Plot?
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Open Wordtracker [ http://www.wordtracker.com/ ] and you'll see following proclamation by Brent Winters, President, FirstPlace Software, Inc., the makers of award-winning web promotion software, WebPosition Gold [ http://www.webposition.com/ ]:
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