Thursday, June 3, 2010

Create Some pages With Content


Websites with lots of pages in general rank better than sites with just a few pages, all other things being equal. It is better to have a 50-page site with short pages than a 5-page site with long, flowing pages. Each page should however contain a minimum of about 200 visible words of text to maximize relevance with Google.

Also, you need pages with real content – don’t create just a lot of “fluff” pages that are standard fare anyway – About Us page, Contact Us page, Our Mission page, etc. Keep your web pages simple. Try to avoid gratuitous animations, junk graphics, large imagemaps, JavaScript, or anything else that may get in the way of Google or, more importantly, of your customers getting the message you are trying to convey.

Break up your pages using and heads, and include your keywords in these heads. Not only will it help visitors read your pages by providing visual separators, it will give your pages more relevance with Google. Don’t create pages that are identical or nearly so in content. Google may consider them to be duplicates and your or site may be penalized. Pages full of high quality, unique, keyword-rich content are a must. Be careful if you use both HTML and PDF versions of the same content. Google will index both.

To prevent this, create a robots.txt file and place it in the main (root) directory on your server. A robots.txt file specifies which directories and file types to exclude from crawling. If your PDF files are duplicates of your HTML files, put all the PDF files in a different directory and specify that this directory by excluded from crawling. For more information on creating a robots.txt file, see

Here are some standard pages you should consider for your site:

• Home page
• Your main product, service, or content pages (this is the meat of your site)
• FAQ page(s) (Frequently Asked Questions) or Articles pages
• Sitemap page (links to each page on your site)
• About Us page
• Contact Us page
• Related Links page(s) (discussed later)
• Link to Us page (discussed later)
• Testimonials page
• Copyright, Disclaimers, Privacy Policy page
• Ordering page

Don’t Nest Your Pages Too Deeply

When Google crawls your site, it typically starts at the home page and then follows each link on the page to all your other pages. Google finds your home page in turn from following a link on another website that points to your site. Google seems to attach more importance to files that are closer to the root folder on your server - the folder on your Web server where the home page file is located. Some web designers however may create multiple folders and subfolders on the server for ease in maintaining lots of files.

Google may not value pages located in subfolders as strongly as files located in the root folder. In general, Google doesn’t like to index pages that are more than about three folder levels deep. Ideally, all pages should live in the same folder as your home page or at most be one level deep.

Don’t Bloat Your Pages With Code

Google has a time limit that it sets to crawl sites. If you have a very large site, Google may not have time to crawl all pages during the first pas. This problem can be minimized if you keep the code of your web pages lean and clean.

This also makes your pages download faster, which improves the visitor experience. Studies show that you lose 10% of your visitors for every second it takes your page to load. After about 5 seconds, you might as well forget it – most people will have left your site. Remember there is a still a percentage of people who still use dial-up modems – particularly outside of the US. This will not change real soon, despite the hype over broadband.

Try not to have more code than visible content (text) on your page. Frequently web pages are comprised of over 80% JavaScript code and style code (hard-coded font information or inline style blocks). Right-click a web page and then click View Source – you will be amazed at the amount of code present. Although Google ignores such code, it still takes time for it to wade through to find your content.

Put your JavaScript code in a separate (.JS) file and link to it from the section of each web page, as follows:

In addition, create a stylesheet file (.CSS) file that contains your font information and link to it also.

Stay Away From Frames and Flash

No popular websites use frames and neither should you. Yes, they provide some degree of navigational ease and yes there are workarounds but search engines simply cannot properly crawl framed sites. In addition, visitors can’t bookmark any interior pages of your site or link to them. There are some that still beat this dead horse but framed sites simply have too many negatives to contend with. Don’t do it.

Same goes for sites whose entire home page is a Flash movie. How many times have YOU actually watched a Flash movie when arriving on a home page? If you are like most, you’ve clicked “Skip Intro” as quickly as possible. We are all busy and to wait for a gratuitous Flash movie to download is downright annoying – especially each and every time we visit the site. The only people who care about Flash are Adobe, the Flash developer that you paid, and the CEO or Marketing Director who enjoys it for the coolness factor. Google can index Flash somewhat successfully, but this doesn’t mean it’s going to boost your page ranking or increase sales.
If you must use Flash, confine it to a small location on your page or provide a link to it.

Flash movies that take up the entire web page do have their uses but the home page is not one of them. If you do use Flash on a page, make sure to add the following code:

My keyword-rich content


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