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Site Auditing and Panda Survival tips
 

Site Auditing and Panda Survival tips

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  • The “bot” sees the title tag as one of the key indicators of what the page is about – most heavily weighted element on the page First the most part, the title tag is what the “human” user will see in the search engine results page (toggle back to demonstrate)A unique title should be mandatory for every pageA few best practices:The ideal title should be no more than 80 characters as some search engines will cut off anything greater. Spaces are counted as characters. Stop words (i.e. “the”, “is”, “of”, “a”, “and”) and punctuation are ignored by spidersSpecial characters (© ™ ®) must use the character entity. Example ™ = &trade. Do not include HTML code in the title tag The title should be relevant to the content on the page. Target 2-3 keywords per pagePlacing irrelevant keywords or duplicate keywords (i.e. stuffing) in the title is poor practice and can be deemed as spam – this may negatively impact your ability to achieve high visibility within the search engine results pages
  • The Meta description gives the search engine “bot” more information about what the page is about.The “human” user will typically see this description on the search results pageThis description should be unique and relevant to the content on the pageThe max length of the Meta description tag is 325 characters – same rules apply regarding spaces, stop words and special charactersThe ideal description should be 2-3 sentences using the same targeted keywords (as used in the title) for the pageAlways use proper grammar and spellingTry and incorporate a “call to action” to incent the user to click on your listing
  • Most search engines have deprecated the importance of the Meta keywords tag because it has been abused for so long – SpamStill good to include targeted keywords – just in case – but no more than 3 per page. Works for Yahoo and MSN
  • the or header tag is another important on-page element that gives the search engine “bots” and visitors, more information about the theme of the page. Only 1 , tag is allowed per pageDo not “stuff” the tag with keywords – use derivatives of the primary termsThe and tags can be used to provide additional context and support for the primary page themeThese tag recommendations will be applied in the template (h1 in the title box) with the 2009 public Web update 
  • The tag, alternative (“alt”) text provides both visually impaired visitors and search engines “bots” with context about the web page. Not necessary for every graphic on the page, especially small images used for spacingGoogle’s design and content guidelines suggest “Make sure that image ALT tags…are descriptive and accurate.” Yahoo recommends “use ALT text for graphics as it's good page design to accommodate text browsers or visually impaired visitors, and it helps improve the text content of the page for search purposes." MSN's guidelines for successful indexing discourage "stuffing alt tags with irrelevant words in an attempt to increase a page's keyword density.”  Provide a clear and concise sentence for the image using relevant keywords that describe the picture. This becomes especially important if the image is also a link as it provides necessary context about the destination of the URL. Incorporate targeted keywords where appropriate. Again, “stuffing” the alt text with keywords is frowned upon
  • Be concise and use proper grammar/spelling – remember, you are writing for humans – people scan text – lists are a better choice and can help break up blocks of text. In terms of spelling/grammar – there has been some discussion that the search engines use the quality of the on page content, which could include spelling and grammar, in its algorithm – air on the safe side and always checkThe visible copy on a page provides both humans and search engine spiders the necessary context to understand what the page is about. Not having enough copy limits both audiences from obtaining this understanding and can negatively impact the page content’s ability to gain visibility within the search engine result pages.  The major search engines all state that copy should be written with the human visitor in mind. “Stuffing” a page with keywords intended to artificially boost the visibility of the content within the search engine results pages is manipulative and is viewed as such by the search engines. If discovered, this could result in the devaluing of the content and subsequent drop or removal of such content from their results.Where possible link to other pages or websites that support your content. Make sure to incorporate the targeted keywords in the link text (aka anchor text) to further improve the context of the content. See the Banner Health Public Web Linking Guidelines document for further information. Some additional best practices:Search engines favor websites where content is updated regularly and tend to crawl these sites more often. By visiting the site more often, there is a greater opportunity for the site’s content to be indexed. A site that does not update its content regularly will potentially get crawled less often and may have a more difficult time obtaining visibility for its content within the search engine results pages.  Care should be taken when placing copy within images as search engine spiders and those using text-based browsers are unable to “see” this copy. A balance must be achieved between design aesthetics, accessibility and visibility. Having a great looking page that isn’t accessible will cause problems with visibility within the results pages. When writing copy, consideration must always be given to both human and non-human visitors. Remember: updates are not reflected in the search engine’s index immediately – it may take a few days or even weeks or longer. It depends on the rate at which the site is being “crawled”. This information is available from the Online Services team.

Site Auditing and Panda Survival tips Site Auditing and Panda Survival tips Presentation Transcript