The purpose of search engine optimization is to make a website as search engine friendly as possible… so it can be easily said that basic SEO is all about common sense and keeping the web page very simple. It’s really not difficult, you only need to understand how search engines work. The problem with a lot of web developers is they does not consider the search engine optimization as a part of designing a site so they just ignore this part… I have some examples to give, what I’ve met in the last years, but they were improved in time or became offline.
Well, the exclusion of seo from web designing is wrong: why creating a great looking web site if nobody will find it? Of course, the word about it’s existence will spread and you’ll have some visitors in time, but usually the most visits come from the search engines. That’s why, from my point of view as a web designer, seo is one of the main things to think about when creating the structure of the website.
In the beginning there are two aspects of search engines to consider: the first is how spiders work, the second is how search engines figure out what pages relate to which keywords and phrases.
The electronic spiders (known also as bots) are the tools used by the search engines to collect data about a website, they copy its content which is stored in the search engine’s database. They are designed to follow links from one page to the next, to record these links, to assimilate the content of the web pages and to send other bots to gather data from the linked pages. The process goes on forever, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every week. By now the databases of the search engines measure their size in thousands of billions records.
It can easily be assumed that the spiders will find your site on their own if there are links on the web targeting it, so it is not need to submit the site to the major search engines manually or electronically. Search engines have the ability to judge the topical relationship between pages that are linked together, so the most valuable incoming links of the web come from the sites that share topical themes.
What you have to prioritize about seo is the ways to help the spiders to find your websites and to traverse it from A to Z. So you have provide easy to follow text links directed to the most important pages on the site in the navigation menu on each page, one of the links should lead to a text-based sitemap containing a text link to every page on the site. The sitemap can be the most basic page in the site (with no decorations and interactive parts for the visitors) as its purpose is more to direct spiders than help lost site visitors. As a designer you should also keep in mind that Google also accepts more advanced XML based sitemaps which can be read about in their Webmaster Help Center.
There might be parts of your site you don’t want to be visited by the spiders, in this case you can restrict the free access using “robots.txt” files. The spiders will not add in the search engines databases the files you will add in the robots.txt files, but they will have to be organized in a specific format.
There are two very important parts of search engine optimization: offering the spiders access to the site and the content of the site. Having an optimized page depends of both of them, there can not be one without other. You can be the best writer in the world, but if nobody reads your work you are nobody, but if you write nonsense and everybody is able to read you but nobody is really interested you are still nobody. On the internet the search engines are supposed to provide their users with lists of pages that relate to the search terms people enter in their search box. So these search engines need to determine which thousand of billions of pages is relevant to a small number of specific words… in order to do this, they needs to know your site relates to those words and they assimilate the content of the site.
When examining a page the search engines are looking for a few elements: the url of the site, the site tile, the description meta tag (the last two elements are found in the head section of the source code), then if follows the content of the site (the spiders read the pages just the same way the Europeans read the papers: from the left to right and from top to bottom, following the columns). Every part is important and they will be treated separately later on the site.
Finally, for this article anyway, the search engines operate by funds as well: the funds are collected from selling advertisement placement, selling listings or both. They sell out the area above or in the right of the search results as advertisement space and displays only relevant results based on what the users were looking (the search is applied to the advertisements database as well). Their logic is that most people will be mislead by the placement of such links and will choose them instead of the actual results.
That search engines that operate by selling listings will not show your website within the results regardless of its relevance unless you sign up for their service.
There is always the option to index your site on the directories the search engine company buys information from. However, such directories like Yahoo.com, DMOZ.org, Business.com, Best of the Web and others are moderated based on relevance and content, thus getting listed there may take some time and efforts.
Most search engines rank your website by relevance which is measured by the threshold of keywords. Some search engines, such as Google as well, will sort even relevant sites by their popularity, measuring the page rank by the actual links leading to the site. Also, the text or ALT TAG text accompanied with these links will influence the keywords the website is shown in the listings for.
Some search engines will consider a website more and more popular when they are clicked on the results page. These include AltaVista.com .
What you must remember if you start working in this field is that there are a lots of way you can do things in seo (they vary a lot) and the possibilities and combinations are infinite. You may experiment with any campaign freely, but only with a relative knowledge of the DONTs (what you MUST NOT DO) you will be able to maintain a sustainable development plan for your website.
The source is here.