Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More bits and pieces

Here are a few more tips gleaned from the questions I get from my clients.

1. SEs won’t penalize you for putting up a basic/simple (or low content) homepage and then, later, adding content. The only reasons that they penalize websites is when the site owner does obviously illegal things, like copying text from other sites, feeding the SEs one page while the public another, using text that is the same color as the background, etc.

2. Clients have asked about 404’s, and if they can count against their rankings. A few won’t, but as the number grows, so does your site’s credibility. As site cred. drops, so will inbound links, which will count against you.

3. FLASH sites: using FLASH can make your site look really cool. I can also be tough on low bandwidth users, and will cost you more to develop.

4. Website Templates: good or bad? Neither. Use them when you don’t have the skills to code your site, or you can’t afford to have someone else do it. That said, the free ones tend to limit you to very simple designs.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Bits and pieces

Today I would like to share with you a few tips. These are gleaned from the questions I get from my clients.

1. The extension (.com .org .net, etc) does not matter to the search engines (SEs) in terms of ranking ability of your site. I prefer to use .com extensions simply because they are the easiest to remember and the most recognized.

2. Copying text from a page that ranks well but lives on someone else’s site will not help your page to rank well; in fact, soon enough you may find that your page and/or site is getting lower rankings. Do it often enough and yoiu may find your site banned at the SEs, and your company in court for copyright violation.

3. Links are very important, in fact they are one of the most important factor in good rankings. Having said that, don’t bother asking for links from sites that are not about the same topic as your site. Those kind of links don’t help, and in fact many of my peers in the SEO industry believe that they can lower your ranking score; I agree. Spend your time going after links from sites that are similar to your’s.

4. Alt tags should be used, and they should describe the image they are attached to. Way back when, in the early days of SEO we used alt tags as simply another factor in better rankings. Now it makes sense to use them if for only the sake of your readers who prefer to turn off images (like a lot of portable users do).