My website cannot be found in search engines - Introduction to SEO part 3
Posted by Tim Bertens on 21/11/2008
The most important answers to the question ‘What do I need to do to make my website appear in search results?’ were given in the first 2 parts of this introduction to SEO. As important is to know what do I definitely need to avoid to make sure my website is not banned from search engines. The third and final part of this introduction will make you aware of “The Dont’s” in SEO.
Once you become a SEO enthousiast (maybe using some of our techniques in SEO Part 1 and SEO Part 2) and you start to see results from your effort, you need to make sure you don’t overdo. Let’s have a look at the most common pitfalls.
- Don’t use any hidden text or links: Well known examples are white text on a white background. These cannot be read by your regular visitors, but it is visible for search robots. Rule of thumb: make sure that everything a search robot finds on your site is viewable for a regular visitor
- Don’t use cloak pages: Cloak pages are pages that are only shown when a search robot passes by and are hidden for normal visitors. Using scripts or software on your webserver you can determine if the visitor is a bot (e.g. by looking if the source ip-address of the visitor is owned by a search engine or by looking at the spider-name). In the first case a special optimized page is shown, in the other case the regular webpage. Again the same rule of thumb: make sure that everything a search robot finds on your site is viewable for a regular visitor
- Don’t use misleading redirects
- Don’t use link spamming: As said in the previous parts of this tutorial: the more inbound links (links from another site pointing at your website) you have the better. However links to your website that are published on link farms or link exchanges can have a negative influence on your appearance in search engines.
- Don’t use Keyword spamming / Keyword stuffing / Spamdexing: Different names for the same evil method, adding irrelevant search terms or keywords to pages that have nothing to do with the real content of your website
- Don’t publish duplicate content: Google & co will evaluate your website in a negative way when duplicate content appears (webpage with the exact same contact that are published under a different name). Nevertheless there are some legitimate reasons to use duplicate content
- Don’t use “doorway” pages: Again pages that only exist to mislead search robots (and real visitors) by presenting optimized content (that really has nothing to do with the real content of the website) and then redirect visitors to the real page
- Don’t publish pages without content. Google doesn’t like pages without (original) content, e.g. ‘under construction’ pages or pages that only consists out of links
- Don’t use domainnames to mislead your visitor: Don’t use domains only because they are similar to other (popular) domains, e.g. http://www.php.org (fake) versus http://www.php.net (real) or http://www.goggle.com (fake) versus http://www.google.com (real)
Voilà, that is it! I hope you enjoyed reading this Introduction to Search Engine Optimization and you learned a bit on the internal’s of search engines. If you need a hand with optimizing your own website, note that we can help you with our services in SEO & Analytics. Feel free to contact us at any time!