When we visit a website, we might see pretty pictures, bright colors, moving objects and flashing lights. But have you ever wondered what a search engine sees when it visits your website?
Search engines all function on basically the same principle when crawling and indexing a site. “Spiders” (don’t worry, they’re not the kind with legs and webs!) are sent to crawl your site and create a database for each page of your site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The search engine then uses it’s ever-changing algorithm to determine the relevancy and ranking of your site. This is where the search engines vary widely and are constantly changing, (as often as several times a day), resulting in a constant and costly “chasing the rainbow” problem, that has no guaranteed results!
The very first, basic step that all websites should take is making sure that the site is able to be crawled and indexed by the spiders. Spiders see things differently than we as humans do and are blind to many things that we see. For example, here is how a search engine spider would see the website pictured above:
You can see how your site appears by using this “Spider Simulator“.
A few things you can look for:
- Make sure every page of your site is reachable from at least one static text link and not just from the menu or navigation bar.
- Think about words users would type to find your pages and make sure that your site is actually using those words. (Called ‘Keywords’)
- Use text instead of images to display important names, content or links. (If you must use images, be sure to use the “ALT” attribute to include accurate, descriptive text.)
- Check for broken links and correct HTML
http://www.designedonpurpose.net/basic-seo.htm — I would be happy to run an in-depth analysis of your site and provide you with a full report and specific recommendations for making sure your site is ‘spider-friendly’.
http://www.webconfs.com/spider-view-article-9.php — A more in-depth article on what we covered above.
http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools — Follow the simple steps to add your site and open up lots of options to manage your site and check for issues with site health.
If you would like more information on Basic SEO, or what to look for on your site, email me: