Making your Website Digestible for the Search Engine Crawlers

Wed, Apr 23, 2008

Search Engine Optimization

One of the most frequently asked questions by webmasters and search engine optimization speciualists is how one can structure their site to make it more accessible and readable to the search engine crawlers? We all know that the crawlers are out there scanning our sites and assigning them a ranking based on what they find, but how can we structure our site to make sure the crawler will give us a high rank? The biggest factor in search engine optimization and search engine marketing depends on making your site accessible and easily scannable for the crawler. The easier time they have scanning your site, determining its value and finding keywords, the higher they will rank you. So here are some tips to help make your site easily digested by the search engine crawlers like the infamous Googlebot.

First of all, make sure all of the content on your site is easily reachable. Crawlers navigate primarily by simple html links, so ensuring that this is how your site can be accessed is key. Javascript and Flash code is very difficult for the crawler to digest, and often times they ignore all such code altogether, so hiding links within this code will not allow the crawlers to reach all of your content.

Also, make sure that all of your content is easily readable, meaning that it should be in plain html documents. If a crawler has to evaluate scripts on your page to get to you content, chances are they will miss it entirely.

Another thing to consider is how you present your content. If you use a multi column layout that is confusing to the eye or just plain complicated, chances are it will appear that way to the crawler too, and thus they’ll have a difficult time scanning your content. Remember, like most users, the crawler is looking for the most relevant, easily readable information to determine the best pages among many.

However, this doesn’t mean you’ll have to take away from the quality of your site by making it overly simply. Just remember to use text content to help explain your visual content. You can use pictures, but be sure there is text or a caption explaining the relevance of the picture. The same goes for tables or graphs. This will help the crawler and your users better understands your site, which will benefit your traffic as well as your potential for being ranked highly in the search engines.

Just remember, things like Flash animation, video and visual effects can be good for websites, but don’t overdo them. Otherwise your site will be a turnoff to both search engine crawlers and your visitors!

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This post was written by:

Cassiano Travareli - who has written 90 posts on SEO Blog | SEO Marketing World.

SEO Specialist! Loves everything about Search Engine Marketing.