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Is Your Website Search Engine Friendly?

Is Your Website Search Engine Friendly?Have any of you created a brand new site, waited several weeks, then tried to find it using a search engine? I’m willing to bet many of you were disappointed to realize your site was no where to be found. Don’t fret, you’re not alone.

A “build it and they will come” approach may work in the movies, but it definitely doesn’t work for web sites. Many people don’t understand how search engines work and become frustrated when trying to find their site and aren’t able to do so. Fortunately, I’m going to give a brief overview on how search engines “find” web sites and how to make your site search engine friendly so the next time you search for it you’ll hopefully find it.

The first step in this process is to tell the search engines your web site exists so they can visit and crawl your site. Search engines crawl or spider web sites by sending out bots which are automated scripts that browse the web and make copies of web pages they come across. These copied pages are then indexed and organized by the search engine’s highly complex algorithms.

One way to try and get the search engines to crawl your site is to submit it to Google, Yahoo! or MSN site submit pages. But I recommend placing a link pointing back to your site on a web page that is already indexed in the search engines. The reason I recommend this is because submitting your web site directly to the search engines isn’t reliable, and once the search engines find your link on an indexed page they will follow it to your site, crawl it and then add it to their index. What’s that? You don’t have access to a web page that is already indexed? No problem, just go to sites like Skaffe.com or GoGuides.com and submit your site there.

Keep in mind that getting your site indexed does not necessarily mean that it will show up on a search engine’s first page of results. Indexing is only one step of many to getting your web site’s pages ranked. I’d liken the idea of getting your web site indexed to the Lotto slogan “You’ve got to be in it to win it!” meaning you’ll never get the chance of winning the jackpot (1st position on the search engine results page) unless your web pages are registered players (indexed pages). The more web pages you have indexed the greater your chances of winning a jackpot (1st position on the 1st results page).

Once the pages within your web site are indexed, the search engines analyze the content and apply their complex algorithms to them to try and figure out what the pages are about and rank them in terms of their importance/relevancy. The more relevant the content of the web page is to the search query (keywords entered into a search engine by a visitor) the better the chances of a high ranking and hopefully a position on the first page.

The second item to remember when making your site search engine friendly is to make sure that all of your site’s pages are accessible to the search engines when they come to crawl your site. Avoid javascript or dynamic navigational menus so the bots can follow the navigational links to other pages within your web site (remember, if the bots can’t find the content within your site then they won’t be able to copy it). Another great way to tell the bots about your site content is to create a site map that has links to every web page within your site. A site map is simply an architectural representation of a web site and is similar to a table of contents you’d find at the beginning of any book.

The third item to make your site search engine friendly is to have a unique title and description tag for each page of your web site. Having a unique title and description for every page of your site is one of the most important and easiest things you can do to optimize your site and increase your chances of ranking highly within the search engines. The title of your web page is displayed at the upper-left-hand side of the browser in the title bar. The description is displayed within the search engine results below each listed result and it should be as descriptive as possible. Meta tags can be found in between the <head></head> tags of the source code of your web pages.

So to wrap this up…

  1. Let the search engines know the site exists
  2. Make it easy for the bots to find and copy your site’s content
  3. Optimize each web page within your site using a unique title and description meta tag

If you keep these three things in mind you’ll be on your way to having a web site that contains web pages that are search engine friendly.

By · Posted on April 15, 2008 · Topic Business

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2 Responses to “Is Your Website Search Engine Friendly?”

  1. rch on October 12th, 2008 12:06 pm

    nice article … very useful and informative

  2. Wallpaper.juplo.com on September 29th, 2014 4:05 pm

    Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative.
    I am gonna watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Numerous people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

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