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Search Engine Friendly

So your website has been designed, but is it search engine friendly?

The website design process shouldn't be just about web design it should also be developed in a search engine friendly manner. This is important if you want to reach your website full potential.

  1. Make every single page on your site accessible via a text-based link. If using a menu in Javascript, Flash, DHTML make sure you also provide alternative text links at the bottom of your page - many search engines spider text links only.
  2. Keep the number of links on a given page less than 100. [See Google's Webmaster Guidelines]
  3. Give every single page on the site a complete and meaningful subject. Remember it's not just the homepage that you want listed on the search engines, it's all your content pages too.
  4. Make all relevant information on a page textual. Don't embed important page content into images or objects like Flash movies. Images and flash should just be for 'special offers' not for 'important text content'. Flash should be for visual appearance but should not contain keyword rich or important content words. An example would be my flash banner above each page, it's visually appealing but it doesn't contain any important content, all important keyword rich content is in text on the page.
  5. Use robots.txt and meta robots tags to show the Googlebot around your site. These standard mechanisms for directing well-behaved robots like the Googlebot will allow you to specify important things like whether or not Google will cache your page content and/or images, and whether or not the Googlebot will index content on pages that maybe you don't want available to the searching public. Webloggers: use the meta tags to help the Googlebot index only your permalinks, not your constantly changing front page.
  6. Use meaningful text inside your tags so the Googlebot can associate that text with that href link. Meaning, if I am going to link my pictures from the war protest, I should say "Take a look at my photos from the war protest" instead of "My war protest pictures are here."
  7. Include a tag in your page header to summarize your site; even better, include descriptive text on the site's front page where users can actually read it, like, "Scribbling.net is a self-documentation project, occasionally interrupted by misdirected attempts at explaining the vaguely technical." This text will appear as the description for the site in Google results.
  8. Place more important content higher in the markup than less important content in a page.
  9. Don't try to fool the Googlebot with hidden links or duplicate content or irrelevant pages of words.

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