Important: Do search engines understand your web pages?
Posted: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 at 4:25 pm
You have a beautiful website with great products, great guarantees, many comprehensive pages and great customer service. Unfortunately, Google and other search engines won’t give your website high rankings.
There are several reasons why search engines do not list websites although they look great and offer quality content:
1. Your web pages are meaningless to search engine spiders
Your website will look like a single page site although it consists of many different pages.
Solution: Check your website with IBP’s search engine spider simulator to find out how search engine spiders see your website.
2. The HTML code of your web page contains major errors
Most web pages have minor errors in their HTML code. While most search engine spiders can handle minor HTML code errors, some errors can prevent search engine spiders from indexing your web pages.
For example, a tag at the top of your web pages could tell search engine spiders that they have reached the end of the page although the main content of the page has not been indexed yet.
Solution: Verify the HTML code of your web pages with an HTML validator tool. You can find an HTML validator at http://validator.w3.org/
3. The HTML code of your web pages doesn’t contain the right elements
If you want to get high rankings for certain keywords then these keywords must appear in the right places on your web page. For example, it usually helps to use the keyword in the web page title.
There are many other elements that are important if you want to have high rankings. All of them should be in place if you want to get high rankings.
Solution: Be sure to use your most import keyphrases in img alt tags, your title tag, description and keywords. It is also important that your keyphrases are included in the body text of your website.
4. Your web server sends the wrong status codes
Some web servers send wrong status codes to search engine spiders and visitors. When a search engine spider requests a web page from your site then your server sends a response code. This should be the“200 OK” code.
Some servers send a “302 moved” or even a “404 not found” response code to the search engine spiders although the web page can be displayed in a normal web browser.
If your web server sends the wrong response code, search engine spiders will think that the web page doesn’t exist and they won’t index the page.
Solution: Use the search engine spider simulator mentioned above to find out which response code your web server returns to search engines. If the response code is not “200 OK”, the spider simulator will return a warning message.
5. Your robots.txt file rejects all search engine spiders
If your robots.txt file does not allow search engine spiders to visit your web pages then your website won’t be included in the search results. Some robots.txt file contain errors and search engine spiders are blocked by mistake.
Solution: Check the contents of your robots.txt file. In general, it is not necessary to use a robots.txt file if you don’t want to block certain areas of your website.
Search engine spiders must be able to understand your web pages if you want to get high rankings on Google, Bing and other search engines. The tips above help you to make sure that search engine spiders see what you want them to see.
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