Search Engine Optimization

Search Optimization Companies

As soon as your site is visible on the net you no doubt will experience a deluge of e-mail from companies purporting to be Search Engine Optimization specialists. I urge you to consider some things before giving your hard earned cash to these companies.

The vast majority have not been successful at optimizing their own sites for search engines. If they had, they wouldn't use spam to drum up business. You can check this by using any of the available search engine ranking tools available on the Internet.

Content

Content is still King but other factors are significant. If you link to sites which are not relevant to your content, search engines consider your site to be low quality and reduces your ranking.

Since the goals of most major search engines is to provide the customer with the most relevant and desirable sites, make your site attractive to humans. Use complete well-formed sentences and paragraphs.

Organize your site so there is a reasonable number of links on each page. You don't want too many links on one page but you also don't want to force users to go too deep to find the content they seek.

Because few readers will read past the first hundred kilobytes of a document, search engines tend to rank keywords in the top part of the document higher. For this reason, it is a good idea to use external javascript pages and external stylesheets.

Search engines also tend to rank keywords found in the title, filename, and domain name more highly than keywords found elsewhere. Keywords found in larger text tend to get weighted more heavily as well as those found in <h1> through <h6> tags with heavier ranking going to the lower numbers.

Most search engines can not index images, video, audio, or flash content. Google does have some ability to index flash and images. You should make sure to use descriptive alt tags with any images. This is important not only for search engines but also for visually impaired users.

Links

Incoming links should be from relevant sites otherwise search engines will penalize you for link spamming. Outbound links should be to relevant sites otherwise search engines will consider your site low quality and penalize you. Avoid link farms like the plague. They might give you a temporary boost but once discovered search engines will severely penalize your site. The type of links you want are those that come naturally from good content.

Be Honest

Show search engines the same content you show everyone else. They will penalize you if they think you are trying to fool them into thinking your site is something it is not.

Maintain Your Site

Make sure you don't have incomplete links or broken HTML or CSS code. We have an excellent tool on shellx which will crawl your website and find any broken links. It is is called KLinkStatus and is a graphical application so you need to have the GUI interface setup to use it. It is located at Applications->Programming->KLinkStatus.

To check your site for syntactical correctness, I suggest you utilize the W3 validator at http://validator.w3.org/.

I suggest you code your site in HTML5. It is easier to code and more capable than earlier versions of HTML and XML. For now I suggest avoiding new tags like <header>, <footer>, <section>, and <article> and stick to generic <div> and <span> tags when you can get the same functionality, even if the code is less readable, in order to maintain backward compatibility with older browsers and pass HTML5 validation.

The goal is to make your site technically correct, device independent, and attractive to as wide of an audience as possible. If search engines determine that your site is high quality and likely to be viewable across a wide swatch of browers, they are likely to score it higher.

Meta Data

Some search engines ignore meta data entirely, others give index nothing but meta data, and others corrolate meta data to content and give you a better ranking of your meta data accurately describes your content. Use meta data but use it wisely, make sure keywords in your meta data are found in the content and accurately reflect that content.

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