Search Engine Optimization

Posted Jan 10, 2005
Last Updated Nov 8, 2011

When the World Wide Web was young and Search Engines were brand new things, it didn’t take long for charlatans to take over the web by stuffing a million irrelevant keywords into their HTML headers. Back then you could type "cherry pie recipes” into a search engine and get ten pages of adult websites before any actual listing on pie recipes showed up.

Luckily, search engines have come a long way since then. Mainstream search engines like Google and Yahoo are now pretty accurate… when you search for cherry pie, you get cherry pie..

In fact, the search engines have gotten so good at deciphering web pages for their content that they actually punish web pages that try to cheat—like sites that stuff all the irrelevant keywords into the HTML. That makes most of the top sites on any search fairly relevant to the words being used to search.

Overall I do not focus much on search engine optimization (also called SEO). While I previously felt it was an important issue worthy of special attention... my general view is now that search engines will treat you well if you produce good content. Bottom line. After that, there are simply a few principles listed below that are not really formulas for success as they are basic tenants that you should adhere to..

  1. Don’t Cheat. This means, keep the words in your head and body relevant across the board. Don’t insert "Brittany Spears” into a content on Search Engine Optimization unless you have a really good reason to do it—like this cheap example here! Word on the street is that search engines like Google will punish you for it.
  2. Stay Focused. Keeping true to this point will practically make point one pretty pointless… you can’t really be cheating if the content is all focused. Keep a page dedicated to a single topic, if possible.
  3. Use Clean Code. Make sure that all your HTML is properly formatted. If you don’t properly close tags, you might confuse search engine crawlers that analyze your pages.
  4. Give Images Alt Text. You can give each image on your page a brief description by using the "alt” attribute. Doing so helps Google know about the nature of your page beyond the text.
  5. Get Relevant Inbound Links. As much as possible, try to get websites to link to your site that are related to your website. This can increase the viability of your site.

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