Search Engine Positioning: Cater for robots or humans?

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Human V Robot

When thinking about your search engine positioning, you need to remember that search engines are robots! They are programmed with algorithms that are written by people… people who think information and content should be presented in a certain manner! These robots use web programming standards when searching for content.

As a business owner, this creates a huge issue as valid HTML is a term you are probably not familiar with! To web designers, it may be a challenge, but also a great opportunity to boost your search engine positioning! The main fight here is to ensure each page is written to comply with valid HTML so as it can be easily read and understood by both search engines and the humans that read it! Computers vary so much, and the software on each machine differs also, so maintaining a non-technical-biased website to suit and surfer, in any country on any platform is challening, but offers you the greatest audience and goto increasing that search engine positioning!

Tech Checklist

  • Using a text browser to view your site is a good idea! A lot of search engines ‘spider’ your site very similar to how lynx does. If your site makes no sense in a text browser, search engines will be confused on how to search/index your site. A confused search engine will leave asap!
  • WYSIWYG Editors can often result in poorly formatted HTML. Software uch as Frontpage, Publisher, Word etc are big culprits here. The HTML created by these tools is virtually never valid and will frequently render improperly across multiple platforms.
  • If you move a page or rename it, be sure to redirect it using either a permanent redirect (HTTP 301) or a temporary redirect (307).
  • Provide Meta Elements (including title, kewords and description) that accurately describe the contents of a web page (this is your advert!).
  • Allow search bots to crawl sites without needing a session ID.
  • Avoid use of “&id=” as a parameter in URL’s. Some search Engines don’t index these pages.
  • Routinely check for broken links. There are services that cater for this.

Technical Summary

You know, if you are going spend the time to create content for the web, then make sure it complies technically otherwise you should consider not doing it in the first place and need not be concerned with your search engine position!

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Posted in General Advice, Search Engine Optimisation and tagged , , .