Google Strategies

Jul 10, 2008

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“Go Live” Tips

* Have other relevant sites link to yours. * Submit it to Google (Innovation Simple can help you with this) * Submit a Sitemap as part of our Google webmaster tools. Google uses your Sitemap to learn about the structure of your site and to increase our coverage of your webpages (Innovation simple uses XML Google compliant sitemaps for all of our SEO clients). * Make sure all the sites that should know about your pages are aware your site is online (This pertains to people in your industry, or that you work with). * Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, MSN, and Ask Jeeves.

Design Guides

* Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link. Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100). * Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. * Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content. * Think about the words users would type to find your page, and make sure that your site includes those words within the page. * Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. Google doesn’t recognize text within images. * Make sure that your TITLE tags and ALT attributes in images and otherwise are descriptive. * Check for broken links and valid HTML code. * If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a “?” character), know that search engines don’t crawl dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them small (Most experts say keep it under 3).

Other Guides

* Use a text browser such as Lynx to examine your site, because most search engine spiders see your site much as Lynx would. If fancy features such as JavaScript, cookies, session IDs, frames, DHTML, or Flash keep you from seeing all of your site in a text browser, then search engine spiders may have trouble crawling your site. * Allow search bots to crawl your sites without session IDs or arguments that track their path through the site. * Make sure your web server supports the If-Modified-Since HTTP header. This feature allows your web server to tell Google whether your content has changed since we last crawled your site. Supporting this feature saves you bandwidth and overhead. * Make use of the robots.txt file on your web server (Innovation Simple can help creating and utilizing these files). Learn more about Robots.txt files. Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don’t add much value for users coming from search engines.

Quality Guides

“These quality guidelines cover the most common forms of deceptive or manipulative behavior, but Google may respond negatively to other misleading practices not listed here. It’s not safe to assume that just because a specific deceptive technique isn’t included on this page, Google approves of it. Webmasters who spend their energies upholding the spirit of the basic principles will provide a much better user experience and subsequently enjoy better ranking than those who spend their time looking for loopholes they can exploit.” – Google

Quality Guides- The Basics

* Design your pages for your users, not for any particular search engine. Don’t present different content to search engines than you display to your users, this is “cloaking.” * “Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you.” – Google * “Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank.” – Google * “Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc..” – Google

Quality Guides- Specifics

* “Avoid hidden text or hidden links.” * Don’t use sneaky redirects. * Don’t send automated queries to Google. * Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords. * Don’t create multiple pages or domains with duplicate content. * Don’t create pages that install viruses. * Avoid other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content. * “If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.” – Google If you determine that your site doesn’t meet these guidelines, you can modify your site so that it does and then submit your site for reconsideration. *Much of preceding text/guidelines given by Google to worldwide users and are accredited to Google Inc.

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