Search Engine Optimization: Hazards
Optimizing your Web site for the search engines is
pertinent to your success. When you attract search
engine traffic, you are in essence attracting potential
customers who are searching for your products or
services. Therefore, you should consider all aspects of
your site's design when preparing your site for
submission to the search engines.
Before you begin optimizing your site, there are some
hazards to avoid at all costs. These can potentially
harm your ability to get listed with the major search
engines as well as minimize your success if you do get
listed. Examine your site to make sure it doesn't fall
into one of these categories before rolling out your
search engine submission campaign.
Flash Design - Flashy, but Dangerous
If you use the popular program called "Flash" to design
your site, beware of its limitations. A Flash homepage
will usually not get indexed by the search engines. Why?
Search engines typically index pages based on content
and links within an HTML page. For pages designed
totally with Flash, all content and links are hidden
within the Flash code instead of HTML. Fortunately, some
search engines are now developing ways to index content
within Flash pages, but it's still wise to take the
necessary steps to ensure that your pages will get
Here's what you can do:
1) Design your homepage in HTML and offer access to your
Flash site or HTML site with links. List the HTML
version with the search engines.
2) Design your site in HTML and only use Flash for
interactive or complicated presentations within your
3) If you build your site using Flash, make sure each
page has related content in HTML as well so the search
engines will detect your content.
4) Be sure all Flash links are also offered as HTML text
links on your site.
Frames - Search Engine Nightmare
If you've used frames to design your site, consider
changing over to another HTML language such as PHP to
get similar results. Frames don't fare well with the
search engines because they prevent the search engines
from seeing your real content. The search engine spider
or bot only sees a "frame" code. Your real page has been
framed inside this code, so it appears to be a blank
page when the raw code is viewed by search engine
spiders. If you don't want to redesign your site, you
might improve your chances of being listed by using a
code called "noframe," which reveals your real content
to the search engines.
Dynamic URLs - Great for Databases, but not for Search
Dynamic URLs are normally used in sites with running
scripts or with a large database. Though these
definitely help the flow and organization of a large
site, they're often ignored by the search engines. What
can you do? If you have a site with dynamic URLs,
consider designing your main content pages in HTML to
attract search engine traffic. You can still link your
content pages to your dynamic pages, but at least you
will have some pages that the search engines will favor.
you might experience rejection by the search engines.
Since search engine spiders usually crawl HTML links
throughout your site to find all your content and pages,
they are unable to do so if all your links are hidden
provide a separate link in HTML on every page so the
search engines will have access to all your pages. If
you use an image map for navigation, take this step as
Keep in mind that having a fancy design should not be
the most important aspect of your online business.
Gaining visitors is your main goal. Don't let the Web
design hazards above hinder you from search engine