Saturday, February 28, 2009

Optimizing Webpage with Title Tags

Page titles are one of the most important elements of site optimization. Title tags are among the “big three” as far as the search engine algorithmic weight is concerned; they are equally as important as your visible text copy and the links pointing to your website.

The title tag is appears at the top of the browser window, as well as in the search results as the linked title to your Web page, when your search using a search engine interface. Title tags enable search engines to determine the web page's relevancy for that particular keyword phrases. Creating a good title tag is pretty simple. However, there are few criteria that should be taken care off, while making title tags.

§ Unless you’re Google, Yahoo or Microsoft, don’t put your company name in the page title। A best choice is to use a descriptive keyword or keyword phrase that tells users exactly what’s the page is about। This helps ensure that your search engine rankings are accurate with that .

§ Don’t repeat keywords in your title tags। Repetition can occasionally come across as spam when a crawler is examining your site, so avoid repeating keywords in your title if possible, and never duplicate words just to gain a crawler’s attention। It could well get your site excluded from search engine listings

§ Keep the length of your title tags to around 65 characters or less, anything longer will usually get truncated by search engines, including spaces। Some search engines will index only up to 65 characters; others might index as many as 150। However, maintaining shorter page titles forces you to be precise in the titles that you choose and ensures that your page title will never be cut off in the search results.

§ Include ONLY our main keywords. The least amount of words you can place in the title, the more insurance Google will give to each of the keywords and the higher you will rank.

When creating your page title, it should not look like this:

Welcome to our website!

It should not even look like tahis, which does contain our main keywords, but contains an unnecessary number of words:

health insurance and accident insurance and travel insurance

Although that title isn't horrible and does contain all of your main keywords, you should do a couple of things to cut down on words used.

This would be a perfect title for your webpage:

Healh Insurance | Travel Accident Insurance | Insurance Policy

Taken out all of the "ands", Replaced one of the "ands" with a "|" character

Note: This character is located on the keyboard directly above the "enter key". Combined the keywords "Accident Insurance" with "Travel Accident Insurance” …Always Combine

Understanding The Components of an SEO-Friendly Page

Creating or Building an SEO-friendly web page that ranks well and is easily seen by your customers can be a real challenge for the SEO webmaster, especially if there is a lot of competition for your keywords or phrases. Building an SEO-Friendly site certainly doesn't happen by accident. It requires a deep understanding of the various elements that search engines examine and how those elements affect your ranking. It requires an understanding of what elements search engines examine and how those elements affect your ranking. It also requires including as many of those elements as possible on your site. It does little good to have all the right meta tags in place if you have no content and no links on your page.

It’s easy to get caught up in the details of SEO and forget the simplest web-design principles — principles that play a large part in your search engine rankings. Designing is the base of search engine optimization and it plays a very big role in seo work for any site. Having all the right keywords in the right places in your tags and titles won’t do you much good if the content on your page is non-existent or completely unreachable by a search engine crawler Understanding which of your pages are likely to be entry pages helps you to optimize those pages for search engine crawlers. Beginning with Entry and exit pages, these are the first and last pages that a user sees of your web site. It’s important to understand that an entry page isn’t necessarily the home page on your web site. Entry pages are important in SEO, because they are the first page users see as they come onto the web site. The typical web site is actually several small connected sites. Your company web site might contain categories, for several different topics. Say you’re a health insurance company owner. Then you’ll have various insurance plans within your sites for consumers. Each health insurance plan will have a main page — which will likely be your entry page for that section — and several additional pages leading from that central page to other pages containing relevant content, products, or information about specific topics.

Because entry pages are important in the structure of your web site, you want to monitor those pages using a web-site analytics program to ensure they are working the way you expect them to work. A good analytics program, like Google Analytics, will show you your top entry and exit pages. Exit pages are those from which users leave your site, either by clicking through an exit link, selecting a bookmark, or typing a different web address into their browser address bar. But why are exit pages important? They have two purposes; the first is to drive users from their entry pages to a desired exit page. This is possible with implementation of proper navigational scheme. There’s an added benefit to understanding the navigational path of your users. When you know how users travel through your site, you can leave what’s called a bread-crumb trail for them. That’s a navigational indicator on the web site that allows them to quickly see where they are on your site.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How To Optimize A Website?

Web-site optimization is all about creating a site that is discoverable by search engines and search directories. Though it sounds very simple, however there are several factors which are to be considered while optimizing a website and not all of them are about Meta tags, keywords or other html codes of the site.

Search engines evaluate all websites based on a number of factors. The process of search engine optimisation starts long before a new site goes live. In fact, selecting the domain name itself could have serious implications for SEO. The next logical step, selection of a hosting company is just as important, but a lot more complicated.

Every domain name requires registration and that registration can be made public, or kept private. Most website owners are unfamiliar with this option, simply filling in their contact details and putting ticks in boxes they think appropriate.

Does Hosting Location Affect Website Optimization?

That question comes up frequently when a company or individual is designing a web site. Does it matter who hosts your site? The answer is no, but that’s not to say that domain hosting is unimportant. Elements of the hosting have a major impact on how your site ranks in search results. One of the biggest issues that you’ll face with domain hosting is the location of your hosting company. If you’re in the United States and you purchase a domain that is hosted on a server in India, your search engine rankings will suffer.

Geographically, search engine crawlers will read your site as being contradictory to your location. Because many search engines serve up results with some element of geographical location included, this contradiction could be enough to affect your ranking. The length of time for which you register your domain name could also affect your search engine ranking. Many hackers use throw away domains, or domain names that are registered for no more than a year, because they usually don’t even get to use the domain for a full year before they are shut down. For this reason some search engines have implemented ranking criteria that give priority to domains registered for longer periods. A longer registration also shows a commitment to maintaining the web site.

Multiple domains hosted on the same server indicate to the search engines that they might belong to the same company. Similarly, links from multiple domains hosted with the same provider indicate artificial link building with the aim of influencing search results. And websites hosted on blacklisted hosting companies are likely to be unreliable.

However, most importantly, the location of the website host provides the search engine with information about the location of the business and thereby enables it to provide more relevant results based on location of searchers. For example, a website hosted in India is more likely to be relevant to a person searching for a service in India than a website hosted in New York.

Tips for Naming a Domain

When selecting a name, most people think in terms of their business name, personal name, or a word or phrase that has meaning for them. In the modern world of the Internet, where people automatically turn to the Web for information, it pays to have a domain name that reflects your site or business. There are just fewer things for your customers or visitors to remember. Moreover, you don’t seriously think that they’ll try to memorise an unrelated URL just because you want them to, do you? The only people who’ll memorise it are you and your competitors who want to compare your prices. Yes, as far as is practical, your domain names should contain your top keywords. What they don’t think about is how that name will work for the site’s SEO.

There are many factors besides SEO factors that determine a good domain name. Having your most important keywords in your domain helps in terms of SEO, but having a very long domain like is just not worth it.

A few more things that you should keep in mind when you’re determining your domain name include:

  • Keep the name as short as possible. Domain names can be of any length up to 67 characters. Too many characters in a name mean increased potential for misspellings. It also means that your site address will be much harder for users to remember unless it’s something really startling.
  • Avoid dashes, underscores, and other meaningless characters. If the domain name that you’re looking for is taken, don’t just add a random piece of punctuation or numerology to the name to “get close.” Close doesn’t count here. Instead, try to find another word that’s relevant, and possibly included in the list of keywords you’ll be using. For example, instead of purchasing, try to find something like
  • Opting for COM, ORG, NET, etc? Well choosing a .com name whenever possible, is always good for SEO purpose. There are lots of domain extensions to choose from: info, biz, us, tv, names, jobs. However, if the .com version of your chosen domain name is available, that’s always the best choice. Users tend to think in terms of .com, and any other extension will be hard for them to remember. Com names also tend to receive higher rankings in search engines than web sites using other extensions. So if your competition has and you choose to use, chances are the competition will rank higher in search results than you. Again, it’s important to realize that domain naming is only one facet of SEO strategy.

Understanding usability of the website

It is not only keywords in URLs and on page that matter. The site theme is even more important for good ranking because when the site fits into one theme, this boosts the rankings of all its pages that are related to this theme.

Web-site users are impatient. They don’t like to wait for pages to load, they don’t want to deal with Flash graphics or JavaScript, and they don’t want to be lost. These are all elements of usability - how the user navigates through and uses your web site. And yes, usability has an impact on SEO. Especially from the perspective of your site links and loading times.

When a search engine crawler comes to your site, it crawls through the site, looking at keywords, links, contextual clues, meta and HTML tags, and a whole host of other elements. The crawler will move from page to page, indexing what it finds for inclusion in search results. But if that crawler reaches the first page and can’t get past the fancy Flash you’ve created, or if it gets into the site and finds links that don’t work or that lead to unexpected locations, it will recognize this and make note of it in the indexed site data. That can damage your search engine rankings.

Programming Languages and SEO

One aspect of web-site design you might not think of when planning your SEO strategy is the programming language used in developing the site. There are a lot of programming languages. Among the best known are DotNet, Smalltalk, Beta, C++, C#, HTML, Java, PHP, Perl, Fortran, C, Cobol, Ada, Pascal, Delphi etc. Programming languages all behave a little differently. For example, HTML uses one set of protocols to accomplish the visuals you see when you open a web page, whereas PHP uses a completely different set of protocols. And when most people think of web-site programming, they think in terms of HTML.


The use of JavaScript can look fantastic on your web page, though an excessive use of Java will often hinder a search engine spider. JavaScript is a programming language that allows web designers to create dynamic content. However, it’s also not necessarily SEO-friendly. In fact, JavaScript often completely halts a crawler from indexing a web site, and when that happens the result is lower search engine rankings or complete exclusion from ranking.

To overcome this, many web designers externalize any JavaScript that’s included on the web site. Externalizing the JavaScript creates a situation where it is actually run from an external location, such as a file on your web server. There are many others, and depending on your needs you should explore some of those.


Flash movies can be a great thing. They can help catch eyes that are otherwise bored with static looking pages, and they can help tell a story better than plain text. However the use of flash affects with the ability to rank in search engines. It causes pages to load slower, and users often get stuck on an opening Flash page and can’t move forward until the Flash has finished executing. If the user is in a hurry, it’s a frustrating thing to deal with.

Using a technique similar to one I described in the externalizing JavaScript article, you can externalize the code used to render the flash. The best and the easiest way to overcome Flash problems is simply not use it. But despite the difficulties with search rankings, some organizations need to use Flash. If yours is one of them, the Flash can be coded in HTML and an option can be added to test for the ability to see Flash before the Flash is executed. However, there’s some debate over whether or not this is an “acceptable” SEO practice, so before you implement this type of strategy in an effort to improve your SEO effectiveness, take the time to research the method.

Dynamic ASP/JSP

Most of the sites you’ll encounter on the Web are static web pages. There are two types of URLs: dynamic and static. A dynamic URL is a page address that results from the search of a database-driven web site or the URL of a web site that runs a script. Dynamic web pages are web pages that are created on the fly according to preferences that users specify in a form or menu. Most commonly, these pages are created using a technology like ASP, JSP, Cold Fusion, Perl, etc… It works great from a user perspective, but from a search engine optimization perspective it is problematic.

The problem arises from the fact that these dynamically generated web pages don’t actually exist until they are called by programmed variables to generate them and a search engine spider does not call or select these variables.

The best way to overcome this difficulty is to re-write URLs i.e. to convert them to static URLs with the right coding. It’s also possible to use paid inclusion services to index dynamic pages down to a predefined number of levels. Generate XML optimized feeds for a search engine’s inclusion program. This process can generate hundreds of keywords and key phrases with rich, page-oriented search engine-friendly information that the spiders crave.

SEO Elements for a Web Page

Basic SEO is not very difficult to learn, if it’s done with a properly, provides a methodic and logical approach to your Market. Another facet of SEO to consider before you build your web site is the elements needed to ensure that your site is properly indexed by a search engine. Each search engine places differing importance on different page elements.

The main criteria that every search engine looks for are the site text (meaning keywords), tags — both HTML and meta tags — site links, and the site popularity.

Site Navigation:

Text is one of the most important elements of any web site. JavaScript, Flash, and Images are bad. Of particular importance are the keywords within the text on a page, where those keywords appear, and how often they appear. Best practice is to use Keyword in navigation links. Your keywords make all the difference when a search engine indexes your site and then serves it up in search results. If a drop-down or panel based navigation, make sure it’s crawlable, with no flash or image in it. Rollovers are okay as long as they are crawlable again, avoid use of flash and images for the menu.

Keyword Rich Tags:

In search engine optimization, two kinds of tags are important on your web site: Meta tags and HTML tags. Technically, a Meta tag is a hidden tag that lives in the of an HTML document. It is used to supply additional information about the HTML document. The two most important Meta tags are the keyword tag and the description tag.

The keyword tag occurs at the point where you list the keywords that apply to your web site. A keyword tag on a search engine optimization page might look something like this:

meta name=”keywords” content=”SEO services, search engine optimization, on page seo, off page seo”

The description tag gives a short description of your page. Such a tag for the search engine optimization page might look like this:

meta name=”description” content=”This seo blog provides complete and comprehensive information abFout search engine optimization basics. It’s an ultimate guide to search engine optimization!”

The title tag is especially powerful when the keywords are also contained in the text on the web page, even more so if there is a lot of relevant text with paragraph or section headers organized using keywords in h1, h2, or h3 tags.

High-level headings (H1s) are also important when a crawler examines your web site. Your keywords should appear in your H1 headings, and in the HTML tags you use to create those headings.

Anchor tags are used to create links to other pages. An anchor tag can point users to another web page, a file on the Web, or even an image or sound file. You’re probably most familiar with the anchor tags used to create links to other web sites.

Links (External and Internal):

Links show an interactivity with the community (other sites on the Web), which points to the legitimacy of your web site. Links aren’t the only, or even the highest, ranking criteria, but they are important all the same. Quantity and quality of links are the keys here. Broken links can lower your search engine ranking. To be of value, the links on your web pages must be related to the content of the page, and they are considered as biggest single factor to effective SEO is good quality links. These are the external links.

Create footer with “quick links” that contain keyword. Create a separate webpage for each keyword.

There is another group of links that can also help your SEO rankings. Internal linking is simply the process of linking to other pages within your site. Wherever you can be sure to link to internal pages using anchor text and hopefully that anchor text contains your keyword for the page that the link is going to.

URL Structure:

Always build a website having static (not dynamic) URL structure to include the keywords in the directory, path names or in file names. To separate keywords, always use hyphens on priority basis otherwise underscores, and forward slashes are good separators. Dynamic URL’s are not considered as seo friendly.

Page Content:

Content is the major and the most crucial element in search engine optimization. Make sure keywords in the content, are used appropriately as well in text links. Ideally use at least 250-500 words of text between the body tags. Use keyword throughout copy. Write unique content as It is in content quality that a site’s true potential shows through, and although search engines cannot measure the likelihood that users will enjoy a site. Don’t just reuse a manufacturer’s product description (e.g.: duplicate content issues).

How To Achieve Organic SEO?

Organic SEO method takes time and much hard work as climbing up the top of search engine rankings is not an easy task. Any website requires working hard on its on-page optimization so as to achieve top organic ranking. A perfect SEO optimization may help the site to attain the top position in search engines and keep it out there for as long as it continues. Any website not only should look attractive but also should be appropriate for the crawlers and spiders.

To achieve organic seo requires targeting the right elements of your web site. You can spend a lot of time tweaking aspects of your site, only to find that it still ranks below the third page of search results. If your attention is focused on the right elements, however, you’ll find that organic SEO can be a fairly effective method of achieving a higher search engine ranking. Organic SEO consists of several strategies which can be implemented to take a site to the top of search engines.

It is difficult to optimize a site on the web keeping in mind the needs and requirements of major search engines and at the same time keeping in mind the interests of the visitors to the business site. The main job of a business site is to generate revenue for the business. The key elements that are to be taken care off…

  • Good Title name, Keywords and description
  • Good keyword density
  • Good Website Content
  • Good Internal and external links
  • Quality Sitemap
  • Image Optimization
  • User experience studies
  • Site interactivity
  • Design a layout that gives maximum leverage to on site optimization factors.

These On-page optimization should always be done keeping in mind that your website needs to reach out for near and far web visitors so as to enhance your website. On-page optimization of any SEO services is also very much helpful in securing the loop holes in a website that cause problems in search engines. In other words, search engine optimization is two-way street. It’s also a business, and search engine companies are always trying to find ways to improve their business. For that reason, these elements,and many others, are an essential part of search engine optimization. Organic SEO is certainly not easy to achieve. One way to achieve it is to have a solid SEO plan that outlines where you are and what needs to be added to your site design or content to make it more visible to users. It also takes a lot of time and effort to create and implement the right SEO plan. However, if you use your SEO plan as a stepping stone, even for organic SEO, you’ll stay focused and eventually, you’ll achieve the search engine ranking that you’ve been working toward.

What is Organic SEO?

SEO is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines and Organic SEO is much harder than any other type of SEO method. Organic SEO maximizes those naturally occurring elements, building upon each element to create a site that will naturally fall near the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). It is very unique method of Optimization your site to search engine listing & ranking which involves the process of creating and/or improving (optimizing) web pages or websites in a “natural” manner that does not involve paid keyword specific advertising.

When a search is performed in a search engine; the “natural” (non-paid) results are displayed in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). These results are usually displayed at the top left side of the SERPs with a link and a small snippet (brief description) of the resulting web pages/sites displayed in descending order by search relevance and rank (determined by the search engine’s algorithm).

One of the most attractive features of organic SEO is that the methods used to achieve high SERPs rankings are of no cost — other than the time it takes to implement these ideas. By applying ethical Organic SEO principals the goal is to create Search Engine Friendly web pages/sites to increase the site’s value to both visitors and search engines alike. One of the advantages of deploying ethical Organic SEO over paid search engine advertising would be the fact that professionally optimized pages are more resilient to changes in the search engines.

When a search is performed in a search engine; the “natural” (non-paid) results are displayed in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). These results are usually displayed at the top left side of the SERPs with a link and a small snippet (brief description) of the resulting web pages/sites displayed in descending order by search relevance and rank (determined by the search engine’s algorithm).

By applying ethical Organic SEO principals the goal is to create Search Engine Friendly web pages/sites to increase the site’s value to both visitors and search engines alike

Creating an Overall SEO Plan

After you have set one or more goals in your mind, considering your website, now you need to create a good SEO plan. SEO Plan is a document which keeps you focused as you implant SEO strategies on your website. Your SEO plan is many more than merely a picture of what is there and what is not. Since search engines will naturally change, as the technologies develops so your plan should be dynamic, changing document. To keep up with your SEO plan, you as a SEO need to be evolving or changing as well. And that’s where your SEO plan will help you stay on track.

The Key Functions of a SEO Plan:

Web Page Prioritization

In SEO, individual pages are equally important (if not more so) than the entire site. One should assess where the site stand and what all is need to be done with current SEO efforts. Again, assess each page individually, rather than the site as a whole. This SEO plan is long term process and create an SEO plan will maximize your web site’s potential in the minimum amount of time. Highly prioritized pages should be the one which are crawled by search engine spiders on routinely basis, such as the home page of your website, or the service or product pages which are generating maximum revenue or traffic. When you prioritize your pages, you’ll also be generating a roadmap focusing your marketing efforts.

Assessing Your Website for SEO

When you finished with prioritizing your webpages, you should assess where you stand and where you need to be with your current SEO efforts. SEO Site Assessment analyzes your existing web site from the search engines’ perspectives. The site assessment enables SEO to identifying areas where improvements can and must be made such as studying and analyzing at site structure & content, existing link networks, navigability and all the other key elements for Search Engine ranking success. With your target market in mind SEO does extensive assessment based on many hours spent examining your web site.

The elements that should be considered during an assessment include:

Page content: How fresh is your content? How relevant is it? How often is it updated? how much content is there? Does the site have a lot of textual content for visitors to read and for the search engines to index? Is it done in plain text, graphics or Flash (because the last two options make it invisible for the engines)? Is it unique? Content is still important when it comes to search results. After all, most people are looking for a specific piece of content, whether it’s information or a product. If your content is stale, search engines could eventually begin to ignore your site in favor of a site that has fresher content. There are exceptions to this generalization, however. And one exception is if your content is, by nature, very rich but not very dynamic. Because of the usefulness of the content, your site will probably continue to rank well. But it’s a difficult case to determine. In most cases, fresh content is better.

Site/page tagging: The meta tags that are included in the coding of your web site are essential to having that site listed properly in a search engine. Tags to which you should pay specific attention are the title tags and description tags, because these are the most important to a search engine.

Site links: Site links are essential in SEO. Crawlers and spiders look for the links into and out of your site in order to traverse your site and collect data on each URL. However, they also look for those links to be in-context, meaning the link must come from or lead to a site that is relevant to the page that is being indexed. Broken links tend to be a large problem when it comes to search engine ranking, so be sure to check that links are still working during the assessment process.

Site map: Believe it or not, a site map will help your web site be more accurately linked. But this is not the ordinary site map that you include to help users quickly navigate through your site. This site map is an XML-based document, at the root of your HTML that contains information (URL, last updated, relevance to surrounding pages, and so on) about each of the pages within a site. Using this XML site map will help to ensure that even the deep pages within your site are indexed by search engines. If you don’t have a site map, you should create one. If you do have one, make sure it’s accurate and up to date.

Other factors include…

  • Flat hierarchical site structure
  • Acceptable use of flash (if any)
  • Acceptable use of JavaScript - JavaScript in include file(s)
  • Smart CSS use - CSS in include file(s)
  • Robots.txt is correct
  • 301 redirects, where redirects are used
  • Acceptable keyword density
  • Web Server on quality host, non-blacklisted domain, dedicated server or at least good neighbors

Setting Up Goal for Your SEO Strategy

One of the greatest failings of many SEO plans, like all technology plans, is the lack of a clearly defined goal. The goal for your SEO plan should be built around your business needs, and it’s not something every business requires. Most likely, the fundamental goal of your business, when you get down to the bottom of it, is to make money by selling a product or service.

If you have a larger business, say a web site that sells custom-made silk-flower arrangements, one way to increase your business (some estimate by more than 50 percent) is to invest time, money, and considerable effort into optimizing your site for search. Just don’t do it without a goal in mind. However, there may be nuances to even such a straightforward goal as this. And there are a whole host of other possible goals and sub-goals that your business is likely to have.

Perhaps yours is a large company with branding as an important long-term goal. Maybe your company wants to make money with certain products but is willing to take a loss in other areas. Maybe you are starting up with investor backing and do not need to turn a profit for years. Perhaps you are a nonprofit, with a goal to improve the world and inspire others to do the same. Whatever way you’re leaning, your business goals will affect your SEO campaign strategy.

In the case of a web site, one goal might be to increase the amount of traffic your web site receives. Another might be to increase your exposure to potential customers outside your geographic region. Those are both good reasons to implement an SEO plan. One other reason you might consider investing in SEO is to increase your revenues, which you can do by funneling site visitors through a sales transaction while they are visiting your web site. SEO can help with that, too. So before you even begin to put together an SEO plan, the first thing you need to do is determine what goal you want to achieve with that plan. Be sure it is a well-articulated and specifically defined goal, too. The more specific, the closer you will come to hitting it.

For example, a goal to “increase web site traffic” is far too broad. Of course you want to increase your web site traffic. That’s the overarching goal of any SEO plan. However, if you change that goal to “increase the number of visitors who complete a transaction of at least $25,” you are much more likely to implement the SEO that will indeed help you reach that goal.

Make sure the goal is specific and attainable. Otherwise, it’s very easy to become unfocused with your SEO efforts. In some cases, you can spend all your time chasing SEO and never accomplish anything. Search engines regularly change the criteria for ranking sites. They started doing this when internal, incoming, and external links became a factor in SEO. Suddenly, every webmaster was rushing to add as many additional links as possible, and often those links were completely unrelated to the site. There was a sudden and often meaningless rise in page links. It wasn’t long before the linking criteria had to be qualified with additional requirements.

In addition to well-focused goals, you should also consider how your SEO goals align with your business goals. Business goals should be the overall theme for everything you do with your web site, and if your SEO goals are not created with the intent of furthering those business goals, you’ll find the SEO goals ultimately fail. Be sure that any goal you set for optimizing your site for search is a goal that works well within the parameters that are set by your overall business goals.

Finally, remain flexible at all times. Get a goal, or even a set of goals. And hold tightly to them. Just don’t hold so tightly that the goals get in the way of performing great SEO activities. SEO goals and plans, like any others, must be flexible and must grow with your organization. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to review your SEO goals and plans periodically — at least every six months, and quarterly is much better.

Know Your Targeted Search Engine, Before You Build A Website.

Before you even start contemplating how to build your web site, you should know in what types of search engines it’s most important for your site to be ranked. Let’s face it: The search engine’s job is not easy. In my previous post, I have already mentioned about how search engines are divided into several types, beyond the primary, secondary, and targeted search. Take a look at your filing cabinet, multiply it by about a billion, and imagine someone throwing you a couple of words and then hovering impatiently behind you, tapping a toe, expecting you to find exactly the right document in the blink of an eye. In addition, search engine types are determined by how information is entered into the index or catalog that’s used to return search results. For search engines to bring back great results, they need to combine the best of both worlds: the speed of the machines and the intelligence of the human mind. These three types of search engines are

Crawler-based engines: To this point, the search engines discussed fall largely into this category. Crawler-based search engines, such as Google, create their listings automatically. The success of a crawler based search engine is directly related to the relevance (and speed) of the search results it returns. Crawler-based search engines have three major elements that are spider or crawler, index and search engine program. All the information collected by the crawler is returned to a central repository. This is called indexing. It is from this index that search engine results are pulled. Search engine software is the third part of a search engine. This is the program that sifts through the millions of pages recorded in the index to find matches to a search and rank them in order of what it believes is most relevant. Crawler-based search engines revisit web pages periodically in a time frame determined by the search engine administrator.

Hybrid search engines: a hybrid search engine is not entirely populated by a web crawler, or entirely by human submission. Hybrid search engines are both crawler based as well as human powered. In plain words, these search engines have two sets of listings based on both the mechanism mentioned above. the best example of hybrid search engine is Yahoo, which has got a human powered directory as well as search toolbar administered by Google. Although such engines provide both listings they are generally dominated by one of the two mechanisms. A hybrid is a combination of the two. In a hybrid engine, people can manually submit their web sites for inclusion in search results, but there is also a web crawler that monitors the Web for sites to include. Most search engines today fall into the hybrid category to at least some degree. Although many are mostly populated by crawlers, others have some method by which people can enter their web site information.

Human powered search engines: Search engines will make particular claims for their own methodology, all claiming that they provide better and more relevant rankings than the opposition. Human powered search engines are search engines which will have its results affected by human intervention, usually by people rating individual results further up or further down the rankings. Human-powered search engines rely on people to submit the information that is indexed and later returned as search results. Sometimes, human powered search engines are called directories. Yahoo! is a good example of what, at one time, was a human-powered search engine.

It’s important to understand these distinctions, because how your site ends up indexed by a search engine may have some bearing on when it’s indexed. For example, fully automated search engines that use web crawlers might index your site weeks (or even months) before a human-powered search engine. The reason is simple. The web crawler is an automated application. The human-powered search engine may actually require that all entries be reviewed for accuracy before a site is included in search results.

Is There Any Need to Perform SEO for A Website?

Of course Yes. SEO is about manipulating search engines — to an extent. There are several appropriate and ethical factors which can build your site’s search engine visibility, and it’s not as simple as getting a ton of unrelated links from unrelated sites. Your web site is much like that one person in the huge crowd. In the larger picture your site is nearly invisible, even to the search engines that send crawlers out to catalog the Web. To get your site noticed, even by the crawlers, certain elements must stand out. And that’s why you need search engine optimization.

It takes time to turn a dead site around or build up a new one from scratch. Sure, you can quickly become visible in Google, MSN or Yahoo, but if your visitor traffic is largely from Google, you’re going to have to focus on creating good content, getting relevant links from other sites and directories, and being patient. This approach gives the website credibility and stability in the long term, too.

So what exactly can and can’t you do? To achieve a high or better position in search results, a website must be more than simply recognizable by a search engine spider or a crawler. It must satisfy set of criteria that not only gets the site indexed, but can also get it indexed above most (if not all) of the other sites that fall into that category or topic. Some of the criteria by which a search engine crawler determines the rank a site should have in a set of results include:

  • Site Content
  • Proper Anchor text
  • Site popularity
  • Link context
  • Thematic links
  • Title tags
  • Keywords
  • Site language
  • Domain or Site maturity

As an estimation, there are several hundred more criteria that could also be considered before a site is ranked by a search engine. Some of the criteria listed also have multiple points of view. For example, when looking at link context, a crawler might take into consideration where the link is located on the page, what text surrounds it, and where it leads to or from.

These criteria are also different in importance as for some search engines, quality or quantity of external links or both, are more important than site maturity, and for others, links have little importance. These weights and measures are constantly changing, so even trying to guess what is most important at any given time is a pointless exercise. Just as you figure it out, the criteria will shift or change completely. By nature, many of the elements are likely to have some impact on your site ranking, even when you do nothing to improve them. However, without your attention, you’re leaving the search ranking of your site to chance. That’s like opening a business without putting out a sign. You’re sure to get some traffic, but because people don’t know you’re there, it won’t be anything more than the curiosity of passersby.

Characteristics and Classification of Search Engines

The characteristics of search refer to how users search the Internet. Understanding how a search engine works helps you to understand how your pages are ranked in the search engine.

Broadly Search engines fall into three categories:: primary, secondary and targeted.

A primary search engine are most popular ones and which is the type that a surfer think of most often when search engines come to mind. This category of primary result driven services dominates the search market at present and is itself dominated by the ones you are most popular and commonest search engine names such as Google, Yahoo and MSN which covers. These search engines cover 70%, 20% and 10% market respectivly. Some index most or all sites on the Web. For example, Yahoo! Google, and MSN are primary or say major search engines. Each primary search engine differs slightly from the others. Search engines in this category use Spiders which are automated programs that browse and index webpages in a methodical manner, following links from one website to another. Spiders return the searched data to the search engine companies and which is used to provide the excerpts that you see in your proper search results as well as it forms a part of the search algorithm that they use to decide and display which search results are ranked highest. The Spiders also provide the search engine cached versions of web pages that you are able to see. On searching over search engine, we receive different results on each one as this difference in those search results is all in the algorithm that is used to create the search engine.

Secondary search engines are more audience specific ones. They don’t generate as much traffic as the primary search engines, but they’re useful for geographical or regional and more specifically focused searches. Examples of secondary search engines you’ll see that sites like AltaVista, AllTheWeb, Lycos, AOL and Netscape receive the majority of their search data directly from either Yahoo or Google. Secondary search engines, just like the primary ones, will vary in the way they rank search results. Some will rely more heavily upon keywords, whereas others will rely on reciprocal links. Still others might rely on criteria such as meta tags or some proprietary criteria. There are many other search engines like this out there that are trying to carve a niche by presenting the same search results in different ways.

Targeted search engines Search engines are very narrowly focused, usually to a general topic, like medicine or branches of science, travel, sports, or some other topic. Examples of targeted search engines include CitySearch, Yahoo! Travel, and MusicSearch, and like other types of search engines, ranking criteria will vary from one to another.

Retrieval Of Web Information And Keyword Ranking

The web search engine provides fresh data to Web and the retrieval of this data is a combination activity of the spider (or crawler or robot), the search engine database, and the search algorithm. All these three elements makes the retrieval of the word or phrase that is used by a surfer or a user in search engine’s user interface.

Ranking plays a major part in search engine optimization. There are several factors that affects ranking. Keep in mind, however, that different search engines use different ranking criteria, so the importance each of these elements plays will vary. Crawler-based search engines go about determining relevancy, when confronted with hundreds of millions of web pages to sort through. They follow the search engine’s algorithm. However, all major search engines follow the general rules below.

Lets discuss the factors that affect search engine ranking.

Content: Content plays a vital role in keyword ranking and is also termed ass the king of World Wide Web. In order to attain higher search engine rankings, the content on your website should be descriptive, informative, fresh and original.

Location: One of the the main rules in a search engine ranking algorithm involves the location. Location doesn’t refer here to the location (as in the URL) of a web page. Instead,it refers to the location of key words and phrases on a web page. So, for example, if a user searches for “flowers,” some search engines will rank the results according to where on the page the word “flowers” appears. Obviously, the higher the word appears on the page, the higher the rank might be. So a web site that contains the word “flowers” in the title tag will likely appear higher than a web site that is about flowers but does not contain the word in the title tag. What this means is that a web site that’s not designed with SEO in mind will likely not rank where you would expect it to rank. The site is a good example of this. In a Google search, it appears ranked fifth rather than first, potentially because it does not contain the key word in the title tag.

Frequency: Frequency is the other major factor in search engine optimization and how content relevancy is determined. The frequency with which the search term appears on the page may also affect how a page is ranked in search results. So, for example, on a page about flowers, one that uses the word five times might be ranked higher than one that uses the word only two or three times. When word frequency became a factor, some web site designers began using hidden words hundreds of times on pages, trying to artificially boost their page rankings. Most search engines now recognize this as keyword spamming and ignore or even refuse to list pages that use this technique.

Links: One of the more recent ranking factors is the type and number of links on a web page. Make sure to have a number of quality links to your website as links that come into the site, links that lead out of the site, and links within the site are all taken into consideration. Valued links always help a website to rank higher. Again number of links doesn’t matter; links should be genuine and come from a quality website. More accurately, the number of relevant links coming into your page, versus the number of relevant links within the page, versus the number of relevant links leading off the page will have a bearing on the rank that your page gets in the search results.

Click-throughs: One last element that might determine how your site ranks against others in a search is the number of click-throughs your site has versus click-throughs for other pages that are shown in page rankings. Because the search engine cannot monitor site traffic for every site on the Web, some monitor the number of clicks each search result receives. The rankings may then be repositioned in a future search, based on this interaction with the users.

Search Engine Algorithm

All of the parts of the search engine are important, but the search algorithm is the cog that makes everything work. It might be more accurate to say that the search algorithm is the foundation on which everything else is built. How a search engine works is based on the search algorithm, or the way that data is discovered by the user.

In very general terms, a search engine algorithm is a problem-solving procedure that takes a problem, evaluates a number of possible answers, and then returns the solution to that problem. A search algorithm for a search engine takes the problem (the word or phrase being searched for), sifts through a database that contains cataloged keywords and the URLs those words are related to, and then returns pages that contain the word or phrase that was searched for, either in the body of the page or in a URL that points to the page.

This neat little trick is accomplished differently according to the algorithm that’s being used. There are several classifications of search algorithms, and each search engine uses algorithms that are slightly different. That’s why a search for one word or phrase will yield different results from different search engines. Some of the most common types of search algorithms include the following:

List search: A list search algorithm searches through specified data looking for a single key. The data is searched in a very linear, list-style method. The result of a list search is usually a single element, which means that searching through billions of web sites could be very time-consuming, but would yield a smaller search result.

Tree search: Envision a tree in your mind. Now, examine that tree either from the roots out or from the leaves in. This is how a tree search algorithm works. The algorithm searches a data set from the broadest to the most narrow, or from the most narrow to the broadest. Data sets are like trees; a single piece of data can branch to many other pieces of data, and this is vry much how the Web is set up. Tree searches, then, are more useful when conducting searches on the Web, although they are not the only searches that can be successful.

SQL search: One of the difficulties with a tree search is that it’s conducted in a hierarchical manner, meaning it’s conducted from one point to another, according to the ranking of the data being searched. A SQL (pronounced See-Quel) search allows data to be searched in a non-hierarchical manner, which means that data can be searched from any subset of data.

Informed search: An informed search algorithm looks for a specific answer to a specific problem in a tree-like data set. The informed search, despite its name, is not always the best choice for web searches because of the general nature of the answers being sought. Instead, informed search is better used for specific queries in specific data sets.

Adversarial search: An adversarial search algorithm looks for all possible solutions to a problem, much like finding all the possible solutions in a game. This algorithm is difficult to use with web searches, because the number of possible solutions to a word or phrase search is nearly infinite on the Web.

Constraint satisfaction search: When you think of searching the Web for a word or phrase, the constraint satisfaction search algorithm is most likely to satisfy your desire to find something. In this type of search algorithm, the solution is discovered by meeting a set of constraints, and the data set can be searched in a variety of different ways that do not have to be linear. Constraint satisfaction searches can be very useful for searching the Web.

These are only a few of the various types of search algorithms that are used when creating search engines. And very often, more than one type of search algorithm is used, or as happens in most cases, some proprietary search algorithm is created. The key to maximizing your search engine results is to understand a little about how each search engine you’re targeting works. Only when you understand this can you know how to maximize your exposure to meet the search requirements for that search engine.

Search Engine Components

Query interface - page that users see while navigating a search engine to enter a search term.

Spider - a browser-like program that downloads web pages.

Crawler – a program that automatically follows all of the links on each web page.

Indexer - a program that analyzes web pages downloaded by the spider and the crawler.

Database– storage for downloaded and processed pages.

Results engine – extracts search results from the database.

Web server – a server that is responsible for interaction between the user and other search engine components.

The query interface is the only part of a search engine that the user ever sees. Every other part of the search engine is behind the scenes, out of view of the people who use it every day. That doesn’t mean it’s not important, however. In fact, what’s in the back end is the most important part of the search engine.The query interface is the only part of a search engine that the user ever sees. Every other part of the search engine is behind the scenes, out of view of the people who use it every day. That doesn’t mean it’s not important, however. In fact, what’s in the back end is the most important part of the search engine. To understand SEO you need to be aware of the architecture of search engines. I am explaining the search engine components in detail.

The Query interface is what most people are familiar with, and it’s probably what comes to mind when you hear the term “search engine.” The query interface is the page that users see when they navigate to a search engine to enter a search term.

There was a time when the search engine interface looked very simple page with a search box and a button to activate the search. Today, many search engines on the Web have added much more personalized content in an attempt to capitalize on the real estate available to them. For example, Google and Yahoo! Search, allows users to personalize their pages with a free e-mail account, weather information, news, sports and many other element.

Specific implementations of search mechanisms may differ. For example, the Spider+Crawler+Indexer component group might be implemented as a single program that downloads web pages, analyzes them and then uses their links to find new resources. However, the components listed are inherent to all search engines and the seo principles are the same.

Spider. This program downloads web pages just like a web browser. The difference is that a browser displays the information presented on each page (text, graphics, etc.) while a spider does not have any visual components and works directly with the underlying HTML code of the page. You may already know that there is an option in standard web browsers to view source HTML code.

Crawler. This program finds all links on each page. Its task is to determine where the spider should go either by evaluating the links or according to a predefined list of addresses. The crawler follows these links and tries to find documents not already known to the search engine.

Indexer. This component parses each page and analyzes the various elements, such as text, headers, structural or stylistic features, special HTML tags, etc.

Database. This is the storage area for the data that the search engine downloads and analyzes. Sometimes it is called the index of the search engine.

Results Engine. The results engine ranks pages. It determines which pages best match a user’s query and in what order the pages should be listed. This is done according to the ranking algorithms of the search engine. It follows that page rank is a valuable and interesting property and any seo specialist is most interested in it when trying to improve his site search results. In this article, we will discuss the seo factors that influence page rank in some detail.

Web server. The search engine web server usually contains a HTML page with an input field where the user can specify the search query he or she is interested in. The web server is also responsible for displaying search results to the user in the form of an HTML page.

Search Engine Anatomy…

The web creates new challenges for information retrieval. The amount of information on the web is growing rapidly, as well as the number of new users inexperienced in the art of web research. All search engines go by this basic process when conducting search processes, but because there are differences in search engines, there are bound to be different results depending on which engine you use.

Currently, there are three leading international search engines – Google, Yahoo and MSN Search. They each have their own databases and search algorithms. Many other search engines use results originating from these three major search engines and the same seo expertise can be applied to all of them. For example, the AOL search engine ( uses the Google database while AltaVista, Lycos and AllTheWeb all use the Yahoo database.

They include incredibly detailed processes and methodologies, and are updated all the time. People are likely to surf the web using its link graph, often starting with high quality human maintained indices such as Google, Yahoo! or with search engines.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What Is a Search Engine?

Search Engines are basically tools that are used to search for information on Web. Okay, so you know the basic concept of a search engine. Type a word or phrase into a search box and click a button. After a Wait of few seconds, thousands of references to thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of pages will appear. Only thing you have to do is to click through those pages to find what you want.

On the back end, a search engine is a piece of software that uses applications to collect detailed information about web pages/sites. This information collected is usually consists of key words or key phrases that are possible indicators of what is contained on the web page as a whole, the URL of the page, the code that makes up the page, and links into and out of the page. That information is then indexed and stored in a database.

On the front end, the software has a user interface where users enter a search term — a word or phrase in an attempt to find specific information. When the user clicks a search button, an algorithm then examines the information stored in the back-end database and retrieves links to web pages that appear to match the search term the user entered.

Need of Search Engines…

What do you do when you need to find something on the Internet? In most cases, you pop over to one of the major search engines and type in the term or phrase that you’re looking for and then click through the results, right? Yes..definitely. A search engine is the most effective way that can bring a prospective customer to your website. Millions of web visits are initiated daily through one or the other search engine to locate information or sources of supply.

This is considered to be the most effective and targeted channel for you as the website owner to acquire a hot deal. Businesses all over the world spend a huge sum on designing, building, maintaining and promoting their websites.

The first real search engine, in the form that we know search engines today, didn’t come into being until 1993. It was developed by Matthew Gray, and it was called Wandex. Wandex was the first program to both index and search the index of pages on the Web. This technology was the first program to crawl the Web, and later became the basis for all search crawlers. And from there, search engines took on a life of their own. From 1993 to 1998, the major search engines that you’re probably familiar with today were created:

  • Excite — 1993
  • Yahoo! — 1994
  • Web Crawler — 1994
  • Lycos — 1994
  • Infoseek — 1995
  • AltaVista — 1995
  • Inktomi — 1996
  • Ask Jeeves — 1997
  • Google — 1997
  • MSN Search — 1998

Understanding The Search Engines

Search engine optimization (SEO) is such a broad term. Search engine optimization is crucial for anyone who wants people to visit his or her Web site. It can be quite overwhelming if you try to take the whole of it in a single bite.

There are so many facets of search engine optimization, from how search engines work (and they all work a little differently) to how a web page is designed. You can place as many ads as you like, but most people are still going to find your site because of its listings in search engines or directories. There are enough elements to worry about that you could spend far more time than you can afford to invest in trying to achieve the SEO you have in mind. However, search engine optimization doesn’t have to be such an onerous task that it can’t be accomplished. Not if you understand what it is and how it works.