Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SEO Optimization: What Not to Do

"10 easy ways to kill your website"
Kneoteric eSolutions (undated)

"If you own a website, you probably know that search engine optimization is an inherent part of design and development process. It would not be an overstatement if we said that the website design and development process is critical and a determinant of your position on search engines. It can make or break your success online...."

I'm not an "SEO expert," but I've studied - and used - Search Engine Optimization techniques for years. This list of ten points is a pretty good summary of advice that's out there - and makes sense: from "Optimize as an afterthought" (don't) to " 'Click Here' as anchor text" (okay: but think about it).

One thing I appreciated about the article was the calm, common-sense approach. Like whether or not to use Flash. There wasn't the gushing hype I heard a few years back - and there wasn't a strident assertion that Flash should never be used.

A few things are pretty close to 'absolute' no-nos for people who want search engines to find their websites: like splash screens. Sure, they look pretty, and your manager may just love the things. But search engine robots can't see, not the way we do: all they'll notice about a splash screen is that it isn't text - and odds are, they'll move on.

On the other hand, what isn't mentioned at all, as far as I could see, was how to write for SEO optimization. (Basically: don't ramble; and tell the reader what you're writing about in the first paragraph or so. Bots, like readers, are (supposedly) apt to assume that what's toward the top of the page is what's most important.)

I'm being a little nit-picking here, but I think the author missed the boat by focusing on Ajax. It's probably a hot item for dynamic content right now: but the problem isn't that software, as far as I've been able to discover. It's dynamic content. Again, those bots simply aren't human.

Bottom line? It's a pretty good refresher about (or introduction) to SEO optimization.
A tip of the hat to timethief, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this article.

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