Monday, December 11, 2006

SEO Barriers

Just as there are steps you can take to improve your site’s search engine performance, there are also things that can hurt your chances at optimal rankings—below are some of the major culprits…

Avoid Frames
Sites utilizing frames typically separate the content of the page from the frameset, making it virtually impossible for search engines to find, let alone index and produce, the content of the framed pages in their results. If you have framed pages that you want to optimize for search engines, your best bet is to convert them to standard non-framed pages so that search engines can see what they have to offer for content display them properly.

Dynamic URLs
Dynamic URLs (e.g. containing “?” or “ID=”) have traditionally been difficult for many search engines to crawl and index properly, although they are getting better at it. To play it safe, monitor your dynamically generated pages to assess whether or not the major search enginesare finding them and, if necessary, create non-dynamic, search engine-friendly, versions of those pages on your site (e.g.

Images vs. Text
Web developers will often utilize images to display text for page headings and navigation elements to enhance the design and/or control the layout of site pages, as opposed to utilizing HTML “true text” (in general, if you can highlight the text with your mouse, you will know it is true text). While there is nothing inherently wrong with this practice from a web development standpoint, it is important to know that search engines are not able to view text that is presented as images. Therefore, if words that you want search engines to find are embedded in site graphics, you should consider transitioning those images to actual text. Minimally, you’ll want to use ALT text to indicate the words that are displayed in site graphics not only so that search engines can read them, but also as a usability enhancement for visitors who may not beable to view the images.

Flash animation and video may look cool to site visitors, but search engines cannot read or index the content embedded within multimedia objects. That is not to say that you shouldn’t use multimedia where appropriate, but be aware that it is not search engine-friendly. InsertingFlash components as individual page elements (amongst HTML) to achieve the effects you seek is a much better option than building entire pages in Flash if you want search engines tofind the pages.


Back Page Next Page Back to homepage