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Find My Pages

Once you have a web site you need to make sure people can find it. Your site should be submitted to the major search engines after any major modification.

Search engines can take months before they visit your site and put it in their index. Once it is there, it may not show up in the top 10-20 results. There are several reasons for this.

There are several common ways your web site can be changed to achieve a higher ranking in search engines.

This section explains:


Dot the i's and Cross the t's

Pages need to be 'correct' in the eyes of a search engine. That means all HTML and CSS must be syntactically correct. If it is not, the search engine may not index your pages properly.

It is not enough to see if your site 'looks ok' in your browser.

Browsers have a way of making incorrect pages 'look ok' even when they are not ok.

You can check your pages even if you know nothing about HTML.

You can check your site at WDG. Enter your URL and check the box next to 'Validate entire site'. Uncheck the 'Show input' box for better reading. It will only check the first 100 pages.

You will probaly see a bunch of errors displayed. It does not matter if you understand the messages or how to fix the errors. What matters is that your web site needs help.

Fixing those errors is the first step to getting ranked higher by search engines.

If your site is perfect you will see 'Congratulations - No Errors.'

Location, Location, Location

Search engines give higher priority to words near the top of the page. This means the farther down the page your text appears, the less weight a search engine will give it.

Many web masters put Javascript and styles directly in each page. This text is not displayed in a browser. However, it lowers the ranking of the displayed text because it appears later in the page. This practice also increases download time, as the same JavaScript code and styles are downloaded within each page.

The way to avoid this is to place the non-displayed code into separate files. A one line statement is placed in the file instead. The ranking of the displayed text is higher. This practice makes download times faster. The included files are cached and are only downloaded once.

You can check this by viewing the source of your pages.

Crawling Your Web Site

Search engines read your web pages the same way a blind person's text reader does. Search engines do not read images, JavaScript, Java or Flash.

Your pages need regular links on text and images in order for a search engine to crawl all of your pages.

Page Titles

Titles are very important to search engines. The title is what is displayed in the title bar of the browser, not a label at the top of each page. Proper titles also help people. Titles became the label for 'bookmarks' or 'favorites'.

Titles should be brief and specific.

Behind the Scene Data

META tags are another way some, not all, search engines rank your pages. META tags tell the search engines keywords, description, author, whether or not to follow links on the page, how often to revisit your site and many other things.

Resubmitting Your Site

Every time you make major changes to your website you should resubmit your site to the major search engines.

You can tell search engines to revisit every so often, but there is no guarentee that they will.

It may be months before your site is re-indexed.



Services


Books from Amazon
Designing Web Usability
Designing Web Usability
by Jakob Nielsen
The Design of Sites
The Design of Sites
by Douglas K. van Duyne, et al
Homepage Usability
Homepage Usability
by Jakob Nielsen, Marie Tahir

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FixMyPages.com
P. O. Box 2581
Hemet, CA USA 92546
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