Search Engine Optimisation Notes

Search engine optimisation. Although the main search engines are continually tweaking their ranking algorithms, by following a few principles can ensure that your site features as highly as possible in search engine results. This documents is a set of rough notes on how to ensure your site gets the highest possible rankings with search engines.

  • Google normally picks up your site when other sites link to it, however you can submit your site using this page… http://www.google.com/addurl.html
  • Ensure that no robots.txt or meta robots tags restrict spiders from parts of a site that you want indexed
  • Google page rankings have recently been altered, so that links from directories and adverts are greatly reduced in importance (eg froogle etc)
  • Make sure the body text of the site contains keywords and phrasing that you want your site to appear under (at about 5-10% keywords in copy)
  • Submit your site to the dmoz directory (used by yahoo and google). Dmoz (also known as the open directory project) is a directory that is manually maintained by administrators, who maintain the quality of links etc, instead of being created by bots (like most other directories). Google seems to rank links from this highly (as it is a pet project related to google). Please note that as the directory is edited and updated by people, it can take in excess of several months to get listed.
  • Make sure as many people link to you as possible. Recipricate links (google rates such links higher) This is one the single most important thing it getting a good search engine ranking. The page rank of the sites that link to you is also important. Note that also rates the speed at which your site gains links and the link life span. The anchor text of each link is also important and should contain keywords that you expect people to search for (no more than 5-10 words though). Links must be grown slowly – google assumes sites that are suddenly linked by 100’s of other sites are spammers.
  • Meta keyword tags are not really used by any search engines now, however it is good practice to ensure that you have them. These should also not be excessively long. The meta description of the site must also be added as this is what is shown by a lot of search engine in search results.
  • make sure that the title tag is set and is relevant to the pages
  • Ensure that the site has logical clear structure, with h1’s h2’s etc. To many levels of nesting (eg if your using tables) can adversely affect your search listings. If possible use divs for positioning and only use tables for tabular data.
  • Google seems to look at the ip address of the server that your site is listed on, hence google will not rate highly links to other sites on that server.
  • Google also seems to look at how long a domain has been registered for. Domains registered for 1 year are generally typical of spammer sites etc, so register your domain for more than 1 year.
  • Google ranks sites that have been established longer higher. So the older your site, the higher the potential ranking.
  • Google adversely rates multiple domain names pointing at one site, and may even block sites from its listings that do this excessively.
  • Click through rates, caches of client browser are also monitor via the google toolbar, hence sites
  • Google adversely looks upon sites that have hidden text eg. by display=none in the style sheet. It assumes that sites doing this have been coded to trick google into ranking it for words that are not scene by the user. Google is also becoming more advance on its detection of text hiding tricks.
  • Update text regularly, google seems to notice the positioning of keywords within the text, so alter accordingly

Please note that google can take a few months before your site appears stable within listings. Only the homepage is initially shown in the google rankings.
For information on how google indexes, see http://www.google.com/bot.html#howoften
Google algorithm details http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/text6-10-2005-71368.asp
Search engine watch http://www.searchenginewatch.com
Search engine world http://www.searchengineworld.com
SEO chat http://www.seochat.com/

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