Search Engines

What do search engines look for

Search engines clearly look for:

  • Valuable content that your target audience is interested in, useful information that clearly and accurately describes your products or services, which includes the words users would type to find these. Note: - Most search engines see your site as text, so important names, content, or links should be displayed as text instead of images or flash.
  • They need to find each page, so a clear page and link structure is important, including a site map for users, with links to the key parts of the site.
  • Title and ALT tags which are descriptive and accurate
  • Internal and external subject related links
  • No broken links and correct HTML
  • A robots.txt file on the web server indicating which directories can or cannot be crawled.

They don't like tricks or subterfuge:

  1. Tricks intended to improve rankings
  2. Hidden text or links
  3. Doorway pages, cloaking or sneaky redirects
  4. Multiple pages or domains with duplicate content
  5. Keyword stuffing
  6. Schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or links originating from them as this may adversely affect position
  7. Products that generate unauthorised automated queries for search engines

Guidelines Google and Bing - Look at general principles:

  • Page content should be useful to the users:
    • Identify the key search terms and use these as a guide to formulate information rich content.
    • Each page being only one to three clicks away from the home page
  • Head content:
    • The document title is the most important draw for users, choose terms that match its concept and content.
    • The description meta-tag should attract interest but describe the page accurately and carefully.
    • Use a keyword meta-tag to list key words or phrases specific to that page.
  • ALT text for graphics which accommodates text browsers or visually impaired visitors
  • Use well formed HTML code, with all tags closed and links functioning properly, keeping these on a given page to a reasonable number.
  • Note users are more likely to click a link which matches their search.
  • Use simple and static URLs.
  • Limit all pages to a reasonable size.

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