To make the most of your listing, step back and look at your site. By
making some adjustments, you can make your site both more
Google-friendly and more visitor-friendly.
If you must use a splash page, have a text link from it.
If I had a dollar for every time I went to the front page of a site
and saw no way to navigate besides a Flash movie,
I'd be able to nap for a living. Google
doesn't index Flash files, so unless you have some
kind of text link on your splash page (a "Skip This
Movie" link, for example, that leads into the heart
of your site), you're not giving
Google's crawler anything to work with.
You're also making it difficult for surfers who
don't have Flash or are visually impaired.
Make sure your internal links work.
Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn't it? Make sure your
internal page links work so the Google crawler can get to all your
site's pages. You'll also want to
make sure that your visitors can navigate.
Check your title tags.
There are few things sadder than getting a page of search results and
finding "Insert Your Title Here" as
the title for some of them, although not quite as bad is getting
results for the same domain and seeing the exact
same title tag over and over and over
Look. Google makes it possible to search just the
title tags in its index. Further, the
title tags are easy to read on
Google's search results and are an easy way for a
surfer to quickly get an idea of what a page is all about. If
you're not making the most of your
title tag, you're missing out on
a lot of attention to your site.
The perfect title tag, to me, says something
specific about the page it heads, and is readable to both spiders and
surfers. That means you don't stuff it with as many
keywords as you can. Make it a readable sentence, or—and
I've found this useful for some pages—make it
Check your META tags.
Google sometimes relies on
META tags for a site description when
there's a lot of navigation code that
wouldn't make sense to a human searcher.
I'm not crazy about META tags,
but I'd make sure that at least the front page of my
web site had a description and keyword META tag
set, especially if my site relied heavily on code-based navigation
Check your ALT tags.
Do you use a lot of graphics on your pages? Do you have
ALT tags for them so that visually impaired
surfers and the Google spider can figure out what those graphics are?
If you have a splash page with nothing but graphics on it, do you
have ALT tags on all those graphics so that a
Google spider can get some idea of the content?
ALT tags are perhaps the most neglected aspect of
a web site. Make sure yours are set up.
By the way, just because ALT tags are a good idea,
don't go crazy. You don't have to
explain in your ALT tags that a list bullet is a
list bullet. You can just mark it with an asterisk.
Check your frames.
If you use frames, you might be missing out on some indexing. Google
recommends you that read Danny Sullivan's article,
"Search Engines and Frames," at
Be sure that Google can either handle your frame setup or that
you've created an alternative way for Google to
visit, such as using the NOFRAMES tag.
Consider your dynamic pages.
Google says they "limit the number and amount of
dynamic pages" they index. Are you using dynamic
pages? Do you have to?
Consider how often you update your content.
There is some evidence that Google indexes popular pages with
frequently updated content more often. How often do you update the
content on your front page?
Make sure you have a robots.txt file if you need one.
If you want Google to index your site in a particular way, make sure
you've got a robots.txt file
for the Google spider to refer to. You can learn more about
robots.txt in general at http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/norobots.html.
If you don't want Google to cache your pages, you
can add a line to every page that you don't want
Add this line to the <HEAD> section of your
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOARCHIVE">
This will tell all robots that archive content, including engines
like Daypop and Gigablast, not to cache your page. If you want to
exclude just the Google spider from caching your page, use this line:
<META NAME="GOOGLEBOT" CONTENT="NOARCHIVE">