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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brak's Avatar
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    Search Engine Optimization

    How do you make sure your web site gain rank in search engine listings? SEO! Search engines do not see pages the same way we do, there’s no color, no flash, no pizzaz that makes them go “ooh, this is a professional webpage” – you have to make it know what the page is about, and SEO is what it’s all about. Here are some rules I have gathered along the way, and for the record I am mainly refrencing Google for all of my SEO tricks since it is the most prominent search engine out there.

    First step: Pick keywords you want your site to be listed high in. For example: search engine optimization. Make your content relavent to this, and always think of it. Search engines are how most people find websites and will bring in traffic.


    KEY FACTORS

    Domain – Believe it or not your domain name has a large amount to do with your ranking in google. A domain name such as http://www.search-engine-optimization.com will rank MUCH higher than a domain such as http://www.mycrappyurl.com/misc.html for keywords like Search Engine Optimization.

    Title – I cannot stress how important your <title> tag is in a document. It is probably the #1 factor in ranking your webpage. Put your keywords in your title!

    Header Tags – Google will give more weight to words in <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc. in order of importance. For example, if you have a section of your website titled “Googlebot” and you use the source, [minicode]<span class=”header”>Googlebot</span>[/minicode] it will be given less weight than a section of your webpage using the source [minicode]<h1>Googlebot</h1>[/minicode]. Don’t like how the <h1> tag looks? Not a problem! Search engine spiders do not see style – they just see source. Use CSS to change the looks of preformatted HTML tags to your liking.

    Links – Google looks at all of the links in your webpage. Use descriptive links that correlate to their content. I.E. [minicode]<a href=”googlebot.html”>Googlebot</a>[/minicode].

    Bolded Words – As in print, bolded words stick out more – and googlebot recognizes this and gives more weight to bolded words.

    First 25 words – This is a subject of great confusion to webmasters because of the use of tables. Many people do not realize what the real first 25 words of your site are. Check out this tool to see how googlebot “sees” your webpage. The first 25 words are given more weight than anything on a page. If it happens to be your navigation – that’s a bad thing.

    ALT tags – Use alt tags in your images! This is a major flaw looked over by many webmasters today, not only is it a W3C Standard, an accessibility MUST, but google weighs this text. Use something like this: [minicode]<img src=”google-rank.gif” alt=”A bar graph describing the relationship between page rank and use of SEO”>[/minicode]. Use well formed sentences that correlate to the graphic.

    Content – This is a no-brainer – if your webpage is about the keywords you’re aiming for and repeats them throughout the document, you’ll get higher listings. But be warned!! Flooding or “spamming” keywords will get you BLACKLISTED. Meaning no rank in goggle at all. Be proper with your content, and make sure it pertains to the keywords.

    Backlinks – type into www.google.com search box “link:www.mydomain.com” this will show you the pages that link to your site that google “counts” Factors in how these links add to your page rank: content of site, is it pertinent to your sites content?, page rank – get the google bar to see page’s pge ranks (PR). Here’s a quote about PR:
    PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important." – Google.
    DMOZ Listing (www.dmoz.org) - This is a great way to not only get backlinks but good traffic. It’s a human edited directory (that is also google’s directory – they are one in the same). This will give your page a great bump in ranking AND give you a Category: and Description: line to the bottom of your page when it is listed in google! Beware, in flooded categories it can take several months to get listed – be patient and pick your category wisely. Also don’t be afraid to use the DMOZ Forums to find out how to submit, where to submit, and what happens after you submit.

    Google uses over 100 different methods to weigh your webpage, but I’ve outlines some of the major ones. What’s this, you don’t see meta tags in my post? That’s right – Googlebot completely ignores meta tags (except for robots). IMHO, they’re not worth the wasted effort. For the few SE’s that use meta tags, they don’t bring in much additional traffic.


    Finally, read up on Pigeon Rank the final word on google’s ranking.
    Kyle Neath: Rockstar extraordinare
    The blog | The poetry site | The Spore site

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Umm... good tutorial, but...

    http://www.webdesignforums.net/threa...html#post69004[/url]

    I guess I should have made mine a tutorial in the first place, huh? :-P

  4. #3
    Senior Member Brak's Avatar
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    Whops... yeah I guess so I tried looking for previous posts on this but couldn't find any - sorry about that. I added in more stuff anyway
    Kyle Neath: Rockstar extraordinare
    The blog | The poetry site | The Spore site

  5. #4
    Senior Member I Brian's Avatar
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    A simple and succinct tute that covers the basic areas.

  6. #5
    JR
    JR is offline
    Senior Member JR's Avatar
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    Nice tutorial, I will be sure to read it
    JR

  7. #6
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Great tutorial! A lot of stuff was covered in it. However, there are another couple of minor things that weren't mentioned:

    Don't use invisible or hard-to-read text. Not only is this is a downright pain in the rear end for a user to read, search engines have clued into this little trick a long time ago and have blacklisted a number of sites for it.

    Link Farms. When was the last time you visited a page that was nothing but links (no text descriptions of the links, just links) just so you could find links to other sites? If you're anything like myself, probably never. The search engines feel the same way. Pages (and sites) full of nothing but links and very little other topical content generally don't get indexed. A good rule of thumb is that a page is a link farm if more than 15% of the words on the page are contained within hyperlinks. Search engines hate these and sites that link to them (if you get a link from them, that's beyond your control and they're generally okay with this). So if someone asks you to put their crappy logo or banner on your site somewhere in exchange for a link on a page of his/her site surrounded by about 100 others, don't waste your time.

    By the way, is anyone else's Google toolbar not showing PageRank? Mine hasn't for about 3 weeks and it's cheesing me right off.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

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  8. #7
    Senior Member nsr81's Avatar
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    Nice tutorial Brak, time to head back to source code and convert all those class="header" divs to proper headings

    Game: Google toolbar is showing page rank for me. Also is there anyway to get a numeric value of a site's rank?
    There and Back Again :Ogre:

  9. #8
    Senior Member justlivyalife's Avatar
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    Google toolbar is showing page rank for me. Also is there anyway to get a numeric value of a site's rank?
    hover over it - and it will give you a score out of 10
    justlivyalife - The future depends on what we do in the present. (Mahatma Gandhi)
    WDF Resources: WDF Rules
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  10. #9
    Senior Member nsr81's Avatar
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    ah. thanks
    There and Back Again :Ogre:

  11. #10
    Senior Member justlivyalife's Avatar
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    thats okay :P - i only found that out a month or so ago
    justlivyalife - The future depends on what we do in the present. (Mahatma Gandhi)
    WDF Resources: WDF Rules
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