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PHP Meetup - SEO 2/12/2009. Where to Focus? Ensuring the findability of content Ensuring content is well understood by search engines Maximizing the importance.

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Presentation on theme: "PHP Meetup - SEO 2/12/2009. Where to Focus? Ensuring the findability of content Ensuring content is well understood by search engines Maximizing the importance."— Presentation transcript:

1 PHP Meetup - SEO 2/12/2009

2 Where to Focus? Ensuring the findability of content Ensuring content is well understood by search engines Maximizing the importance search engines assign your pages/sites

3 Why is SEO Important?

4 Findability of Content Content should only be a few clicks away Content has to be visible to search engines No Flash No content embedded in JavaScript No AJAX No text in images No iframes No popups for key content Lo-fi Navigation Solutions CSS Image Replacement Preferred method “sIFR” Graceful Degradation (ungatoys.com)

5 Sending Search Engines the Right Message Title Tag Heading Tags (,,…) Meta Tags (Meta Description, Meta Keywords??) URLs – Keyword rich and static looking Anchor text with relevant keywords

6 Sending Search Engines the Right Message Cont’d Title Tag Most important single element Unique to each individual page Short and keyword rich Bots read left to right, keywords at the beginning are viewed as more important Google displays a max of 65 characters but the rest still count. More words in a title, the less each word counts keyword order

7 Sending Search Engines the Right Message Cont’d Heading tags Heading tags should be used to outline content Should only be one h1 and should be similar to title Thesis or Main Point Important Point #1 Important Sub point #1 Important Sub point #2 Important Point #2 Different Important Sub point #1 Different Important Sub point #2

8 Sending Search Engines the Right Message Cont’d Meta Tags Meta Description is used as default description if more relevant content is not found on page Unique to each page Strong call to action Meta Keywords Best case scenario they do nothing Worst case scenario they can harm you

9 Sending Search Engines the Right Message Cont’d URLs URLs should be short and keyword rich Avoid using parameters – URL should not look dynamic Use hyphens instead of underscores to separate words Instead of html use

10 Sending Search Engines the Right Message Cont’d Anchor Text Text used in links pointing to a page is extremely important Use short and keyword rich anchor text Avoid anchor text like “home”, “read more” or “click here” When images MUST be used as links, use alt attribute Multimedia Content Surround by indexable relevant content Transcripts (id3 tags), descriptions, user comments, etc

11 Maximizing the Importance of your Pages What is PageRank? Having more links to a given page increases PageRank Provide multiple navigation methods (normal navigation, tags, sitemap, etc) Having links from more “important” pages to a given page increases PageRank Keep important pages close to the front door Create navigation that allows as many pages as possible to be close to high PageRank pages Pagination Use of simple, static URLs increases the flow of PageRank Use of rel=“nofollow” A couple uses (+user generated content)

12 Duplicate Content Causes of Duplicate Content Similar content on different pages Body content is similar Some elements are identical – title tags, meta descriptions, multiple less important elements 3 rd party content on many sites (Wikipedia) One page being accessible multiple ways Session IDs, Tracking Tags, etc Identical Content existing in multiple locations Duplicated across multiple hosts (including https) Duplicates due to content existing in multiple categories Examples of unexpected instances of duplicate content: Printer version Error pages, “site down for maintenance” pages Solutions!

13 Robots Importance of the robot Robots.txt Use sparingly Ensure accountability of changes Robots.txt vs. individual page headers Verify robot interaction with sites as part of QA Look at robot traffic logs to ensure optimal serving of content / look at Google Webmaster for errors Importance of serving bots properly / importance of crawl rate Remove inline javascript/css/commented out content

14 Other Technical Issues Redirection (301 vs. 302) Taking sites down Serve 503 status code or no response Moving datacenters / business decisions Being careful Not everything will work Pay attention - keep paying attention

15 SEO Tools and Resources Web Developer Toolbar – Allows you to disable CSS, JavaScript, etc to recreate what a bot sees User Agent Switcher – Allows you to specify your user agent so you can browse as Google/Yahoo


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