Web Site Optimization - Things To Avoid

All optimization is not equal. There is such a rush to optimize a website for search engines that people don't realize that some SEO techniques can be self-defeating. Either a lot of work will go into a particular type of optimization that is fruitless or it can be downright harmful for search engine ranking. A high search-engine ranking is the holy grail of search engine optimization, but make sure you put your energy in the right place.

The first two issues involve web design: don't use flash or frames when designing a website. These won't get you banned by search engines—but the site might be ignored entirely. While you can use some flash animation within a site, overuse of flash should be avoided. Search engines like text, not fancy graphics. A flash-heavy site could be passed over. The same goes for a site written with frames—frame-heavy sites confuse search engines so the sites are not properly indexed. The text on a framed site is hidden within the frame, so even if there is ample content within the frame, it will not be read correctly. Verdict: avoid it.

When writing content, make sure the content makes sense. In the early days of the web, people went keyword crazy. They would cram a huge paragraph of keywords throughout a page. This worked for a little while. Now search engines are wise to it and this technique can lead to a site being banned. Website owners try to trick search engines by including the keywords within actual content, but if the keywords are too close together, this could also lead to problems.

Another issue is spamdexing. Never use keywords that don't apply specifically to a site. This can most often be seen with site owners using adult-themed keywords to bring in unrelated searches. This will cause a site to be quickly red-flagged. Using invisible text is a bad idea as well. Invisible text is the same color as the background. It can be read by spiders, but can't be read by human eyes. The problem here is that spiders now recognize this technique and it will be red-flagged.

Generally, content should be useful and informative. You can include specific keywords within content, but if you provide enough content, these keywords will be covered automatically without jeopardizing the site with picky search engine spiders. The use of quality content is two-fold: it's a better way to optimize with search engines and web surfers will spend a longer time on the site reading articles or other content. The trick is to create trust—both with spiders and real people.

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