Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Post about SEO

This post aims at giving you (the viewer) some important keywords about SEO, in which you can search further for those particular topics if you are interested.  

  1. Semantic HTML
    • make sure you have valid HTML
    • tags have weight, for example, <h1> tag is weight more than <h3> and <b> weights more than normal text
  2. Importance of Naming (How search engine knows your page quality, here is a good blog about naming - SEO: Using Descriptive, Creative & Efficient Titles)
    • Domain
    • URL
    • Page Title
    • Filename
    • alt for image
    • title for anchor
    • linked text needs to be meaningful, or just use title for link
    • label your form
    • categories your html is good - use fieldset, thead, tbody, tfoot ... etc
  3. Canonical URLs
    • /contact-us (good) v.s. /node/1234 (bad)
    • /contact-us/name/me (good) v.s. /contact-us?filter=me (bad)
  4. Deep Linking
    • Don't hide ajax content to search engine.  When you ping the ajax link, you should still see that ajax content. 
  5. Hidden Content
    • There is no weight on hidden content or orphan pages, make sure your pages / contents have a link somewhere to link to.
  6. Duplicated Content
    • If you have 2 or more distinct urls point to the same content, you will be punished.  Or in other words, for you site, please do not have identical pages that can be reached via multiple urls.
  7. 404 & HTTP Codes
    • 200, 301, 302, 304, 401, 403, 404, 500
    • 200 success
    • 300 Moved | 304 is cached
    • 400 Error | 401 not authroized, 403 forbidden, 404 content not found
    • 500 Server Error | 501 not implemented, 502 gateway
    • if you have a /bad-url, and if your client want you to redirect to home page instead of showing 404, it is a bad move, because it means you have 2 different urls point to same contents.
    • 404 is telling the search engine to stop looking the contents, you won't be punished by telling the search engine you have 404.
  8. Sitemap
    • Well, there are so many services doing that. You can ask Google to read your sitemap directly, and it is recommended method.
  9. Page Speed
    • Now Google is ranking based on your page speed as well. 
  10. Meta
    • Please use meta appropriately, if you have stuff in the meta and not related to the page contents, you will be punished. But keep in mid that the meta keywords and meta description is not very useful for nowadays search engine, for example, Google doesn't put the "keywords and description" in their rating formula anymore.
  11. Long Tail keyword
    • Make sure you don't compete with keywords that are so popular and high valued, try to use keyword that is describing your product even if it is long.  Because using high searched keywords are not cost effective if you are a small size company. The reason is all the high traffic site using those keyword, and they already have build so many traffic, it is hard to compete with. How to find a "long tail" keyword? Try to search in Google, if a keyword you've search return small result or even no result, that is a good long tail keywords.
  12. Do not exchange links if it is not relevant
    • Link that are not relevant to your site is a trash, so do not do link exchange.  However, a competitor site can link to you will be the best, if possible.
  13. Don't put your company name first for the Title
    • Well, unless you are big brand, try not to put your company name first for the title. People come here to search for information, give them the most relevant information that they want first in the title.
  14. Use keywords that represent your business / website that you offer
    • That is so obvious, because if your keyword in your site is irrelevant to your business or website contents, you will sooner or later get a bad fame from it. Also, keep in mind that any "useful" words that appeared in your page appears more than 3 times, it will be a good candidate for your keywords.  And for newer search engine, repeated words will be promoted to keywords automatically. 
  15. Using Existence Tool
    • There are some good tools out there for you to analyze the market as well as your competitors. For example, Google Analytics is a good one. If you are serious about SEO, you should be familiar with at least one of the tools out there, it will give you a lot of useful information. 

Updated (May 11, 2011)
I came across a site today called Ping-o-Matic, what it does is trying to ping the search engine that your site is updated.  So it is a good tool to make sure your contents are most up to date in the search engine.

Btw, you can do the same thing by setting up a script that do the following, you can set it up as a cronjob if your site is update frequently.  (Below is not a working link, just a sample ...  For other search engine, you need to find how they are being notified!)

If you are interested in further reading about Pinging for search engine and what it is, there is a blog talks about automatic blog pinging using PHP.

Here is a slideshow about SEO in wordpress

1 comment:

  1. This was very informative and summarizes seo best practices! Thank you!