In this long article, we are going to learn what should and what should not. And, how to deal with them. So, let’s start and make sure your site on right way.
1. Make Websites More Accessible by Using AJAX
If you aim to become a webmaster, you should realize that in order to improve user experience and to make your website more accessible to others, you should make use of AJAX. The only issue with this is search engine sites will not be able to index it correctly. If you have implemented it in the wrong manner, there is always a big chance that your efforts will be wasted.
It is best to avoid these issues when using AJAX:
Search engine bots cannot see your content.
Search engine bots find it hard to follow your content.
You will hopefully apply what you have learned above so you can have a nice looking website that can be searched easily and will be easy to navigate in.
2. Important Details on Flash and Other Rich Media Files
Search engine sites are able to index different types of pages and files but they are still text based which means that you should still pay proper attention to your content in order to rank high in search engines.
Having only text on your website can be boring so get to know other rich media files like Flash that you can include in your site to make it more interesting to your possible customers.
While Flash is already being indexed by different search engine bots, there is no guarantee that all of the flash files will be read. It will be hard to get content from flash files that are written in other languages so take this into consideration when placing flash on your site.
If you would like your content to be recognized by search engine sites, it is best to describe the video that you are going to embed on your page. This way, the video can contribute to your increase in ranking at search engines.
This is commonly used in order to display the content of web pages. They may not be available and considered for search engine results. If you cannot avoid using IFrames, you may want to use keywords that are related to it so that it can be included in the results.
You have to remember that in using rich media files, use them sparingly or just use them when completely necessary to help search engine sites navigate your website better and improve your results.
3. Guidelines in Image Publishing: Essential for Placing Images on Your Site
Whenever you try to search for images in search engine sites, you will come across a wide variety of images that are made out of different image formats. The pictures that you will see are the most relevant depending on the keywords that you have typed in.
In order to increase the chances of your photographs to be one of the first ones in the results, do the following:
Give detailed information about the image that you will upload on your site.
Placing keywords and important details about the image will allow search engine sites to know exactly what the image is about and will most likely display it along with other top ranking pictures.
Do not place text inside images.
Some people try to dupe search engine sites by placing text inside images that are barely noticeable but placing text inside pictures will make the website inaccessible to some users which can hurt search engine rankings.
Do not forget your anchor text.
The anchor text is important because this will let you know how many people have viewed your site and your different pages. Find an anchor text that can describe the image that you will use well.
Protect your images and make sure that people who will visit your site will have a great user experience to make them come back to your site more.
4. Important Information About Supported Image File Types
When placing some images on your website, you have to be careful. You cannot place too many to the point that your site will barely open because of the number of images. You also have to know the file types that are supported so your website will appear in search engine results.
The supported image file types are the following:
JPG – This is usually the type of image file that comes from cameras. It means Joint Photographic Group.
BMP – This is considered to be the typical web image format.
GIF – This stands for Graphics Interface Format and can be animated.
PNG – Portable Network Graphics refer to images that would be uploaded to sites that will not lose colors and size of the original image.
WebP – This is a type of image format formulated by Google.
SVG – This stands for Scalable Vector Graphics and this is the format for two dimensional graphics that will be used for animation.
You have to choose out of all the file formats available which one you think will work best for your website. In order to choose the image file format, consider the details and the colors that you do not want to lose in the process.
5. Get to Know Best Video Practices and Increase Rankings in Search Results
There are a great number of videos that are being uploaded every day and if you do not know proper video practices, the chances that your video will be recognized and watched are not good. You need the exposure to be seen by different web users and you can increase your influence by doing the following:
Do not forget to submit a video sitemap to search engine sites.
Through a sitemap, you will be letting search engine sites access all of the things that you will find in your website. This means that they would be able to access your videos and images that they may not be able to access simply by doing web crawling.
Inform search engine sites of video removals.
If in case you need to remove videos from your website, let the search engine site know about it immediately so instead of a flash player telling users that the video is not available, a 404 response code will be used instead. Also, you may inform search engine sites if the video you have uploaded has an expiration date.
Pay attention to your thumbnail images.
The thumbnail is not only there to inform users about what is in store for them. It will also increase your chances of appearing alongside other top rating videos in search engine sites. The quality of your thumbnail should be good.
Remember to make finding and playing your video easy for users who will come across your site you should know the best video practices.
6. How to Optimize Your Site to Appear in In – Depth Section
Do you wonder why there are some articles that appear under “In – Depth Articles?” This is composed of different articles that are meant to provide users with all the information that they need. A lot of the articles that appear in this section are based on algorithmic signals but with your knowledge, your content can appear in this section too.
In order to optimize your site, best do the following:
Implement ‘First Click Free’
This is highly useful if you offer subscriptions to your users or if you require your users to register first before accessing your full site. Search engine sites will not be able to gain admittance to your site unless you implement First Click Free. This will allow search engine sites to crawl and scan your site’s content easily. Your ranking may also improve in the process.
Do Correct Canonicalization
By doing the proper process of canonicalization and pagination, it will be easier for search engine sites to know the full extent of the article and how useful it is going to be for users who are searching for similar topics.
Be Recognized With Your Website’s Logo
If your website is a company site, you should have your recognizable logo displayed to make it easier for search engine sites to know that the content has come from your site. At the same time, users can recognize your company more with a logo.
Follow the steps that are mentioned above and you will be appearing in search engine sites’ “In Depth Section” in no time.
7. Different Crawl Settings Used by Search Engine Sites
There is a big chance that you have a website with different web pages with content that will be targeted towards your different visitors. There is a big possibility that the search engine site will not rank the content that you have placed.
The main reason for this is because the default IP addresses of various search engine sites have bots that are based on a certain country, most likely in the US. There are some search engine sites that now make use of local crawlers in order to consider your content for searches in different parts of the globe.
The configurations to consider are the following:
Language Dependent Crawling – The bots crawls using the Accept Language field that has been set in the HTTP header.
Geo – Distributed Crawling – The bots are apparently from countries other than the US so it will check out your content.
You need to check your website’s configuration to allow local – aware crawling so that your website can rank higher in various search engine sites.
8. Multi-regional and Multilingual Sites: A Few Differences
One of the challenges that you will come across as a website maker is how you are going to expand your website in order to be understood by people who use different languages. You will have multiple versions of your website so you have to be prepared.
You may become confused with multi-regional and multilingual sites because they sound the same but here are their descriptions:
Multi – regional: This is a website that can be targeted towards different regions of a specific country. There may be different versions that are available even if the languages are almost the same because of the various target markets.
Multilingual: This is a website with the same content that are offered and translated in different languages. For example, one website may have English languages in both USA and UK language versions. A website may also offer a Chinese version depending on their target market.
It is best that you will pick out languages that can be used by your market and make sure that your language options will be easy to see.
9. Indicating Alternate Language Pages Made Easy
It can be hard if your website is meant to target people who speak different languages. You may even have to target your website to different countries. You need to use Sitemaps in order to help search engine sites to give the right URL to the corresponding market. And, you will need to use rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”. to make this possible.
Some Tips to Remember
If you are having trouble with indicating alternate languages, remember the following:
The xhtml namespace should be like this: xmlns:xhtml=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml”
There should be separate URL elements for each URL that you are going to create for the different language versions of your website.
Specify a generic language for people who are not from certain countries in order to go to your standard landing page.
Not knowing what to do can hinder you from creating your website properly. If worse comes to worst, it is best to hire a professional to do it for you.
10. Serving the Correct Language in Search Results
There are a lot of websites that aim to reach users from different parts of the world. Search engine sites like Google make use of rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” to serve the correct language to the users.
Use the rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” when you encounter the following situations:
If you have content with small regional variations but the language you are going to use is the same.
The main content will be placed in one standard language and there are only translations with some of the templates. This is usually recommended for certain websites like forums.
You have different versions of your website’s content.
You need to do language annotations to make sure that the search engine site will link the user to the right translation/version of your website. There are three ways by which you can do this:
Sitemap – You can submit information about the other language in a sitemap.
HTTP Header – This is only applicable if you are using a non – html file for your website to direct to different versions.
HTML link element in Header – In the head section of your website, (HTML section) you can add a link that will direct to the other version of the website.
Remember that if you would have non – targeted visitors, it is best to set them to the generic version of the website with your site’s main language.
11. Ad Network Support – Still Possible Through Transcoded Pages
Google makes sure that various web pages are available to people with slow internet connections. People who are using their feature phones may be having a hard time checking out different web pages because they do not appear the same as they would appear in desktop computers but through transcoded pages, this will be possible.
Even though the pages have been transcoded, there are still some ads that are placed on the web pages that are supported. There are certain networks by which ads are supported by Google but they have always been open to the idea of supporting ads from 3rd party networks as well.
Google makes sure that the website is mobile friendly. If not, it will be transcoded to become a mobile friendly website.
Page size will be reduced to make the pages load faster.
Ads are placed back on the page once the other details have been compressed.
Ad tags can be placed directly provided that the website is already mobile friendly.
If there are some modifications, it will be done as well.
12. Deciphering and Removing Unwanted Sneaky Mobile Redirects
Do you understand what an unwanted, sneaky mobile redirect is? This is the process wherein the mobile site redirects the user to another website or content that is not available in search engine sites.
Once search engine sites find out that a mobile website is doing sneaky mobile redirects, there is a big possibility that the site will be removed from the index of the search engine site. Do not worry if you are going to have a slightly different content on your mobile site as compared to your website that can be viewed on desktops as long as you will not modify the website too much.
Sometimes, sneaky mobile redirects happen without your knowledge. The situation may happen for the following reasons:
Adding a code that unintentionally leads users to an entirely different website.
Using an element that changes where the users will be redirected.
Placing a script that has been added by hackers to direct users to a malicious or virus laden website.
It is important that you will always check your website so it will not be removed from the search engine site’s index.
13. Faster and Lighter Mobile Pages – Solution to Mobile Users with Slow Connections
It is important to note that the Internet connection in different countries vary. Some countries have lightning speed Internet connection and would be able to view websites immediately but there are also some countries with mobile connections that are so slow.
What Google does is it makes sure that there are fewer and lighter pages that are available. They transcode the web pages so that they will optimized and become available to people with slow connections. A lot of the details that can be seen in converted pages are almost all that can be seen in normal pages. The main goal here is to have fewer bytes to make them appear on screen faster.
You will know if your website has been transcoded or not by viewing your website through your very own mobile phone or through your desktop. If it has not been transcoded just yet, you will be informed about it. Remember that transcoded pages will only be useful for users with slow Internet connection.
14. Making A Mobile Sitemap Made Easier
Perhaps you are wondering if you are going to make a feature phone version for those who are still using feature phones. You are only recommended to do this if you already have a specific feature phone version of your web pages. Otherwise, you should finalize it first before you make any move.
Some Guidelines in Making Mobile Sitemap
You can use a tool that will allow you to make a mobile sitemap.
Use <mobile:mobile/> tag to make the content readable to search engine bots.
If in case your website offers the same content in different languages, list everything in a single sitemap so it will not be confusing.
For the markup languages, the codes that will be detected and supported are the following:
WML (Wap 1.2)
XHTML mobile profile (Wap 2.0)
You can choose the method in making mobile sitemap that will be most convenient for you.
15. How to Allow Mobile Viewing on Feature Phones
Gone are the days when using search engine sites will require you to use your personal computer or your laptop. You can use your smart phone or your feature phone in order to search. There are some websites however that are not mobile friendly.
If you are a website owner, you want to reach a wide group of people and you can do this by allowing mobile viewing on people’s phones. How are you going to make this possible? You can do the following:
Redirect the user to a different page that will hold similar content to your website so that they can view the website properly.
Let the search engine site transcode your web page so that everything will be converted and will be easy to view through phones.
It will be your choice which one you are going to do. Remember that feature phones do not have the same capabilities as smart phones so you have to work hard to make it accessible to feature phone users.
16. How You Can Develop Mobile Friendly Pages
Do you realize that a lot of users right now browse through their mobile devices instead of their PCs? As a website owner, you should create a version that will make your website easy to view through mobile.
The phones that are available right now can be smartphones or feature phones.
Smart Phones – Devices that are regarded as mini personal computers that are powered by iOS or Android software.
Feature Phones – These are devices that may be able to connect to the Internet but will not have the same capabilities that the smart phone can offer.
Take note of the following when you create mobile friendly pages:
Use some applications that will allow you to see your website when viewed through mobile.
Make sure that the search results will be specifically designed to be viewed in these two classes of phones.
Research about the different things that you can do to create mobile friendly websites.
Proper knowledge about how you can develop mobile pages will be essential for you especially if you want to reach more mobile users.
17. HTTP “Accept” Header – Its Use
In order to let your site know that it should return content that is mobile friendly, you would need HTTP “Accept“ Header. Formulating your website in order to do this will allow your site’s content to be easily checked and accessed even by people who are still using feature phones.
cHTML – This is the appropriate type for different mobile devices.
HTML – This is the appropriate type for desktop users.
Google has its own feature-phone mobile crawl that sends a user agent header. The string contains the words ‘Googlebot – mobile.’
Having the right code for your website is important because as long as you have the appropriate code, your website will be more mobile friendly. If your website is sensitive towards providing a good mobile experience to feature phone users and even smart phone users, it is possible that they will keep coming back to check your content.
18. Paginated Content: More Knowledge About This Topic
There are ways that sites paginate content. For example, you can check websites that deliver news and notice that long articles are usually shortened or are divided into different sections. You will also notice that websites that sell products and services usually divide their products into various sections instead of placing all of the products in just one page. Lastly, you will notice that forums are usually divided into a certain number of comments before there is a need to transfer to a different page.
There are three ways by which you can paginate content on your website:
Use rel=”next” and rel =“prev” links in order to allow the search engine to see that the content of the different pages are related. This will allow users to go the first page of the content.
Clarify if some of your pages should be regarded as a view all page. The whole content will then appear at the search engine results.
Just let it be. Search engine sites make it a point to take all content as one whether they are divided into sections or not. As long as you have quality content, you can be assured that you will rank high in the results.
There will be times when you might make mistakes with the links like the next page for the paginated content is missing. Search engine sites will continue to index your page and work around it so that the content can still appear.
19. Your URL Structure: A Few Information You Should Know
Your URL structure should be as simple as possible. You should make it easy to understand with readable words that will make it easier for human beings to remember. Do you realize that the structure of URL can make it more appealing to people?
Take note of the following when working on your URL structure:
Use hyphens in lieu of underscores when placing punctuation on your URL.
Avoid placing additive words for different items.
Complex URLs may lead people to your site even when what they are searching for is completely different.
In order to avoid having a complex URL, you can do the following:
Shorten your URL to avoid unnecessary parameters.
Check your website often and remove links that are unwanted or are broken.
Avoid session IDs in your URL.
The robots.txt file can be very useful if you want some links to not be checked by search engine sites.
The nofollow link can be useful especially if there are some aspects in your website that appears to be infinite. (eg calendar)
Doing all of the above mentioned details will allow you to have a simple and useful URL that you can surely use.
20. Points in Creating Meta Tags
You can create so many meta tags but unless you have proper knowledge about it, you will only have a useless meta tag that will not provide what it is expected to give to users. You need to remember that meta tags are meant to provide possible clients with knowledge about what they are about to find.
There are different types of meta tags that are available. Admittedly, the number of meta tags may be confusing for a newbie webmaster but as you become more familiar with the structure of the various websites, you will begin to understand how important meta tags are and how you are going to use different ones depending on the website that you are working on.
A Few Notes to Remember
HTML and XHTML – style are both accepted as meta tags.
Case is not important when it comes to meta tags.
Case only becomes important when there is a need to verify.
Feel free to make use of meta tags when you truly need them. Just remember that there are some meta tags that search engine sites are not familiar with so they might just be ignored.
21. Things to Keep in Mind Regarding Child Directed Treatment
If you have some pages in your website that you would like to treat as child directed, you would first have to verify that you completely own the website so that you can continue with the procedure that you are required to do. The purpose of this is to follow the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)
To add your website to the site console, you have to remember the following:
You have the option to tag the entire domain or some snippets of your domain as child – directed depending on your purpose.
All of the pages that are connected to the domain will also be child – directed as a result.
You have to be patient because the effects of the tag site may not be immediate.
The number of domains or sub domains that you are going to tag as child directed may be limited. At the same time, you also have to pay attention to the advertisements that will be seen on your site. You may tag them as child – directed one by one.
22. How Canonical URLs Can Improve Link and Ranking Signals
It is already common that some content can be easily accessed with the use of different URLs. The use of Canonical URL will help some description and content to be available in different domains and websites.
Some examples of content syndication are the following:
Dynamic URLs – This occurs because of the search preference of people who use search engine sites.
Multiple URLs – This occurs when you place the same post under different sections.
Same Content Configuration – If the content that you have placed on the website is also the same content that appears as subdomain or http.
Syndication – The content you have placed on your website is partly copied in another website.
It is recommended that in order to avoid the confusion and the frustration of the users because of coming across content they do not need, make use of equivalent content / canonical URL.
23. Do Not Follow This Link! – Note to Search Engine Sites
As a web creator, there are some links that you do not want search engine sites to follow and you can do this by using the nofollow link. There was a time when doing this took a lot of effort because each link would have to be blocked so that they will not be followed. The process has changed now. A web creator should use a specific link to let search engine sites know which links should not be followed.
If you do not know when you should use the nofollow link, here are some situations:
Register or Log In Links – Your search engine ranking will not increase or decrease through the number of users that have registered or logged in on your website. At the same time, search engine sites will not be able to register anyway so the no follow link can be useful here.
Content That Is Not Your Own – If you have opened your website to commenters, it is best that you make use of the no follow link so that what other people will say will not be credited for or against you.
Paid Links – The search rankings may be affected by the number of advertisements that are on the page. You are recommended to use the no follow for these advertisements so that search engine results will not be affected.
You have to remember that the use of the nofollow link can be slightly different depending on the website and what it is for.
If I miss anything, don’t forget to comment below.