Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Three Most Important Tricks for Google SEO

There are many ways to help get your site higher in the search engine results, but perhaps 3 of the most overlooked are 3 of the easiest.

1. The Alt Attribute

There's really nothing special about the Alt attribute other than it gives you a great opportunity to place another reference to those targeted keywords on your page.
The Alt attribute does not function on it's own; it is contained within the HTML <IMG> tag. The idea behind the Alt attribute is that when the image does not display, the information in the Alt attribute will be displayed in it's place. With most web browsers, the Alt text (as the actual text within the Alt attribute is called) is displayed when the image is hovered over with the mouse. Visually impaired web surfers will also be served the Alt text in their readers.

Acceptable Usage of the Alt Attribute for SEO

The Alt attribute can help your website to gain rank in the search engines, but it can also hurt your site if you abuse it. The following examples are some unacceptable Alt text implementations:

<img src="searching.jpg" alt="SEO, web programming, search engine optimization, address bar, surfing the web">

<img src="code.jpg" alt="programming, web programming, HTML, CSS, Java, websites">

Besides risking a penalty for keyword stuffing, using alt text like the examples above just plain look bad and can detract from your online reputation.The following does not work if you are using FireFox as FireFox does not show Alt text or images that fail to load.Hover over the picture below to see how bad this looks to site visitors.Hover over the image and if you are not using FireFox you would see the alt text laundry list of keywords.

It looks even worse when the picture fails to load.

You should see either the alt text alone, or the symbol for a broken picture along with the alt text.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Anchor Text Rule Based on Word Count

A quality guideline now becomes a rule.

Google has recently made some pretty significant changes in its ranking algorithm
Every month we raise the quality bar a little. This month is no different. Effective immediately, we’ve tightened our standards on how many words are accepted in anchor text links – and for good reason.
An “Anchor Text Link” is a clickable word or phrase that links to another web page.
Sadly, some authors abuse this ability by linking-up extremely long key phrases – or worse yet, entire sentences. Before you know it, a quality article looks like SPAM because it’s filled with giant text links. Suddenly the emphasis of the article is shifted from providing useful information to merely serving as a vehicle for link space in a spammy resource box.
Our Editorial Guidelines suggest limiting anchor text links to only 3 words but …
Expert Authors can now earn the ability to link-up 4-word and 5-word phrases* by submitting lengthier (over 400 words) high-quality articles.


  • If your article is shorter than 400 words, each text link may only contain a maximum of 3 words*

  • If your article is longer than 400 words, each text link may only contain a maximum of 5 words*
* Important Note: Any common words, including to, is, in, on, it, and, at, by, a, an and others will now be excluded from the word count.
Make sense?
Member feedback is what lead us to study, and then allow, the “common words” to *not* count towards the total words allowed in an anchor text link.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Character Encoding and Language

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document.The document provides practical best practices related to specifying the language of content that HTML content authors can use to ensure that their HTML is easily adaptable for an international audience. These are best practices that are best addressed from the start of content development if unnecessary costs and resource issues are to be avoided later on.

The very first line of every page on your site should be the DOCTYPE! Declaration which tells browsers and other user agents what kind of HTML it will find on the page.

There are lots of different kinds of HTML (e.g. HTML 4.01 Strict, HTML 4.01 Transitional, XHTML 1.0 Strict etc.) and if there is no Document Type Definition (DTD) then browsers will switch out of ‘Standards Compliant’ mode into ‘Quirks Mode’ with unpredictable results.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Google has recently made some pretty significant changes in its ranking algorithm.

SEO Rules For google AlgorithmGoogle has recently made some pretty significant changes in its ranking algorithm. The latest update, dubbed by Google forum users as "Allegra", has left some web sites in the dust and catapulted others to top positions. Major updates like this can happen a few times a year at Google, which is why picking the right search engine optimization company can be the difference between online success and failure. However, it becomes an increasingly difficult decision when SEO firms themselves are suffering from the Allegra update.

What is Semantic Code/HTML you ask?

Basically, it’s a way of writing your HTML in a more meaningful, structured and to be honest, sensible way. It’s all about using your header tags (H1, H2, etc) for yep, you guessed it – headers, instead of bolding the text and increasing the font size with the old <font size=”10000000000000000000″> tag. For paragraphs, use the <p> tag rather than sizing the font and adding hundreds of line breaks, for lists use the <li> tag, and so on. If you want to add an image, you use the <img=…> tag because it’s the tag for inserting images, so it stands to reason really that when you’re adding a heading, list, etc, you use the correct tag, not some sort of bodge. Got it? Great.

In the Design and content guidelines sub-section of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines there is a paragraph that reads “…. write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content”. The only way I know of achieving this objective easily is to use semantic markup.
Semantic markup means using html elements that are appropriate to ‘content meaning’ rather than ‘content presentation’. A simple example might be using <em> for emphasis in some cases rather than <i> for italic because <i> only tells the browser what to do and does not explain what the content represents.

Apart from helping Google there are other advantages in separating content from presentation and using semantic markup. For example much easier code maintenance and correct interpretation by other user agents like audio screen reader software.

So why use Semantic HTML? What are the benefits? Why can’t I just do things my way?

So why use Semantic HTML? What are the benefits? Why can’t I just do things my way?
Well you can just do things your way if you want, but I’d probably not advise it. The biggest benefit of using Semantic Code is that you’ll be adhering to the Internet standard. And the benefit of that is that when things change and progress as they like to do on the Internet, the stuff that makes your site work isn’t going to get left behind.
Another great benefit is that it’ll make your pages load quicker. You whack all the crap and formatting in an external stylesheet, and it only needs to be declared and loaded once. For example:

  1. Crappy HTML – <font size=”3″ color=”#000000″><i>HELLO!</i></font><br><br>

  2. Over the top XHTML – <div class=”big_heading”>Hello!</div>

  3. Semantic HTML – <h1>Hello!</h1>

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