Monday, June 29, 2009

SEO Strategies – from “Building Findable Website”, Aaron Walter

1. Strictly follow the standards of W3C. You can validate your web page by the tool at:

2. Decrease the ratio of markup to content, improve the page load time and improve the communication of the information hierarchy of your page.

3. Image Replacement:

Replace the img tag which shows the logo or the most important information of this page with a <h1> tag. The content of <h1> tag will be the details introduction of the page or the logo, with indentation to place that can not display on the screen, and a background image setted to be the real image file with its name renamed to be more meaningful. This strategy can only be used once for any certain page since it is better to limit the <h1> tag into only once for a page.

4. Signals of Quality:

1) Number of inbound links to the page from reputable sources, which is the way Google does.

2) Web standards are not 100 percent gurantee of top page ranking, but important to it. Therefore pages should follow the standards as closely as possible.

5. Highly valued tags for search engines:

1) <title>, keep it concise and natural. <title> page title | organization or site name | short keyword-rich phrase </title>

2) <strong> and <en>, elevating certain part of the content’s ranking within the information hierarchy

3) <a>, title attribute inside <a> tag, and also include target keywords in the link labels. An inbound link with the same keyword in the label as your site target is extremely effective.

6. Meta:

1) keywords in <meta> is useless, while description is still important. Limit the characters in <description> between 100 to 150 which is better for search engines to display.

2) use lang for multilingual site, like <meta name=”description” lang=”en-us” content=”" /> and <meta name=”description” lang=”zh-cn” content=”" />

3) No need to use robots in tag. <meta name=”robots” content=”all” />

4) Never use refresh attribute since it might be penalized for bait-and-switch strategy.

5) Always include content-type.

6) Use <meta name=”robots” value=”noindex,nofollow” /> to prevent certain page be indexed by the search engine.

Add class=”robots-nocontent” to those tags that you wish to hide like ads.

7. Making Images Visible:

1) When the image is just used for decoration, apply it to css file as a background.

2) Always use alt attribute to give short introduction of the image

3) If alt is not long enough, use longdesc instead, which can link to a footnote to have more details.

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