A tad bit of Questions

Hey all. I haven’t done a lot of research into SEO, and am hesitant to do so, simply because of the amount of work that I anticipate would come from it.

I was just wondering - if I create a site that is clean, crisp code, is semantically organized correctly, and is just a “good” website, will I be alright for SEO? I don’t want to optimize (I, personally think it’s unethical), but I don’t want my websites to be penalized for not having been SEO’d.

Thoughts?

~TehYoyo

That’s the key to it. But part of SEO is learning how to present content that is meaningful and easily findable, and that’s a valid consideration. Keep a page focused on a specific topic, have meaningful headings, meta description, page title and so on. Little things can make a difference.

The “good” website’s already good. Remember that you’re making a website not for the search engines but for the people. If the people find it good, some “drivers” will be activated. Sorry for the term; I mentioned it because of the lack of a better term. Perhaps… “factors that can affect a site’s rank” can work.

why do u think it is unethical to do some seo optimization for your site, when your site is already good, tweaking your site little bit to make it more seo friendly should not harm, instead it would be easier for search engines to find your site. Don’t we all want google to find our site quickly and love it… :slight_smile:

[FONT=Verdana]An awful lot of “on-page SEO” is just basic good practice around accessibility and accurate use of semantic tags, but there are a few other things to think about, including:

[list][]writing an appropriate <title> and <meta description> that will sell your site well on the SERPs
[
]adding a <meta keywords> to highlight any key words if they are included in the text but not featured in headings or other emphasised elements
[]adding a <link canonical> if there are multiple URL formats to reach a page (including minor page variations that you don’t want indexed separately)
[
]adding <link first|prev|next|last|index> tags for sequences of pages that follow on from each other.[/list][/FONT]

Can you elaborate more on those?

~TehYoyo

[FONT=Verdana]You should use the <link canonical> tag to ensure that a single preferred format for the URL is indexed. If you have a page that can be accessed at, for example:

[list][]domain.com/section/
[
]domain.com/section/index.htm
[]www.domain.com/section/
[
]www.domain.com/section/index.htm
[]domain.com/section/index.htm?referrer=home
[
]and so on…[/list]
then you should choose which of those you want to be the indexed URL and include the line (eg)[/FONT]

<link rel="canonical" href="http://domain.com/section/">

[FONT=Verdana]in the page’s <head> (which should use a full URL). You can also use this if you have various slightly different formats of the page that are used in different circumstances, but where you want all search-referred visitors to be directed to the same version.

You should use the <link first|prev|next|last|index> tags when you have a series of pages that relate to each other, to spell out that relationship. Let’s say that you have a report that you’ve divided into half a dozen HTML pages to make them a manageable size rather than having one huge long page, and you’re starting with a contents page that links out to the various content pages. You can give a pointer to the contents page, the first and last in the series, and the previous and next in the series. You would have something like this in the <head> of the third page (which can use relative references):[/FONT]

<link rel="contents" href="index.htm">
<link rel="first" href="1-introduction.htm">
<link rel="prev" href="2-company-history.htm">
<link rel="next" href="4-overseas-expansion.htm">
<link rel="last" href="7-summary.htm">

[FONT=Verdana]By doing this, you can help Google to understand the series and order of pages and direct readers to the most appropriate inner or contents page.

You can also include links to Home, Index, Search, Glossary, Help, Up, Copyright and Author, although I’m not sure how much interest search engines pay to these.[/FONT]

OK. So for canonical (couldn’t find a good definition), that’s basically for pages that have similar or identical content? And I would pick a single page, say “domain.com/section/”, and then distribute the link across my site. For instance:

For domain.com/section/


<head>
<link rel="canonical" href="http://domain.com/section/" />
</head>

For [noparse]www.domain.com/section/index.htm[/noparse]


<head>
<link rel="canonical" href="http://domain.com/section/" />
</head>

etc, etc, etc. At least, that according to Google.

I should really look into the rel attribute. I think I’ve only ever used it for stylesheets :confused:

~TehYoyo

Yup. Except that in that example, you wouldn’t have separate files for the two pages – it would be the same page but one that could be accessed from multiple URLs. But yes, you can also use it for similar pages, or for example if you are temporarily redirecting the main URL to another page short-term, set the <link canonical> on the short-term page to point to the main URL, to ensure that it continues to be indexed and that the temporary page doesn’t take over.

OK. So it’s like me telling a bot “hey…while this page exists, it really points to “x-page.html”. I want you to only index that one, so that this non-normal link doesn’t take over my search results.”

~TehYoyo