Websites and Keywords

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In my previous post, I discussed the most basic and fundamental keys to search engine optimisation is the idea of keywords.

Now that we know how Google and other search engines use keywords or search terms to list their results, we know need to understand how we can use keywords to tell a search engine what our site is about.

At the beginning of the world wide web when all pages were text only and websites listed in the hundreds not billions! The search engines designed programmes known as ‘spiders’ to read website code and identify the categories and subjects that best match your site content through keywords and meta tags (hidden descriptions). Now in the present day search engines are ‘crawling’ or reading millions of new and updated pages every hour of the day.

As the web grew the largest search engines changed the way that their spiders crawled websites to limit the amount a spider would read before moving on to the next page or website. Also to stop abuse search engine ‘spiders’ limited the amount of keywords and the length of descriptions processed to stop site owners from cheating their way to the top of search engine listings.

Although meta tags are not as important to search engines as they were we can use them to help the search engine ‘spiders’ to understand or identify the content of your web page by defining a limited number of keywords, a short site title and a short description in the site code. Playing nice and giving the ‘spider’ an overview and some page links before it reaches its search limit and moves on, in turn, helps the search engine to provide more accurate listings.

This can work in your favour also, as you must be more specific when defining keywords and describing a page to allow the search engine to index your pages effectively.

Dos and don’ts:

  • Do – Create a list of 15 – 25 keywords that describe your page content accurately.
  • Do – Create a list per page relevant to the page content.
  • Do – Create a unique page title per page.
  • Do – Create a relevant page description describing the service or product offer on that web page.
  • Don’t – Add hundreds of keywords to your site code.
  • Don’t – Repeat the same keyword list on every page irrelevant of content.
  • Don’t – Use your company name as the page title.
  • Don’t – Add more than 150 characters of content to your page description.
Also remember that keywords, page titles and page descriptions are designed to help search engines to understand your content, not define your page ranking. They are not the only technique the search engines will use to assess your pages, we will look into these in future posts. Attempting any of the don’ts may affect your search engine ranking and in extreme cases have your site removed from the search engine database altogether!

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