Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Day 2

Please not that square brackets were used for example purposes in stead of the normal brackets associated with HTML code.

We will look at the order in which Google searches crawls for webpages on the internet. Every couple of days the Googlebot crawls the internet to look for changes and updates to webpages and then stores a copy of each page on their vast amounts of servers.

By knowing how Google crawls the net, it will give you an idea of what you need to do to your pages in order to be seen by Google.

First of all it looks for keywords within the -title- tag of your pages. Make sure that your title reflects the main or theme idea of your webpage by selecting appropriate keywords. Throughout this online guide I will use the example of a DVD shop. A good [title] tag for a page would resemble the following: [title]DVD Shack - Affordable classic and cult DVD's to rent[/title]. It is recommended to not use more that 9 keywords within your [title] tags. We will look at keywords in more detail at a later stage.

After the [title] tag, Google looks inside header tags, namely [h1] and [h2]. You might think that header tags display too big, but it is a good idea to resize your text with cascading style sheets, preferably an external css file that links to your page. The sam goes for any other text. Get the .css file to determine the looks and behaviours of your different text slections.

The next think the Googlebot crawls is your first paragraph on each page and more specificaly the first 20 words of the first paragraph on each page, so be sure to capture the essence of your webpage in the firs 20 words of the first paragraph where possible for example [body][p]DVD Shack is a DVD rental company that specializes in cult and classic DVD's. PS2 games and consoles.[/P]

In this example, 9 of the 18 words used for the description in our supposed first paragraph contain very important keywords that might be used thoughout the entire website's pages. These keywords are: DVD, Shack, rental, cult, classic, DVD's, PS2, games, consoles.

Please note that Google does not look inside the [META] tags anymore, as far as I know, so try and strip those tags from your webpages.

Furthermore the crawler moves on to all the clicable portions of links on your page, for example [a href = "contact.html"]Contact us for DVD's[/a] is a better clickable link to your contacts page, as it contains an important keyword namely DVD's. Try and be descriptive without going overboard or cluttering your pages with too much info. It could put users / potential clients off and they won't return to your site.

Before moving on to other elements of your page, the crawler looks at your last paragraph as well. Rounding your last paragraph off with the theme of the first paragraph is advisable, for instance "We will continue to select just the best movies and Playstation games for our clients." Again related keywords such as "Playstation", "movies" and "games" were used effectively.

Next, Google looks at drop-down boxes and element contained within forms, for example [form][Cult Movies]keywords[/option][/form]. The next thing it checks for outside forms are URL's, folder and file names and ALT texts that go along with images.

In the next section we will look at the use of keywords more closely.

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