Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Search Engines May Seem Picky




A Case For Case Sensitivity 

Some Search Engines are case sensitive. This gives rise to a new dilemma for webmasters. 


Should they include keywords in both lower case as well as upper case, especially in Meta tags? Most webmasters actually do so. 


For instance, they would list the keywords as a set of all possible combinations of upper and lower case. 


Webmasters may feel that this is the safest technique to avoid losing 
potential visitors. However, such repetition may be considered by the Search Engine to be Spam. 


After all, higher the number of words, higher the  combinations.
The best way to get around this problem is to list keywords in lower case only. 


Most surfers always search in lower case. There are very few cases where surfers use capitals even if the word is a proper name. 


Of course, you may run a very small risk of losing a few visitors who use upper case, but this risk is minimal. Besides, you do not want to be banned for Spam. 


Keyword stuffing and spamming 

Important keywords and descriptions should be used in your content in visible Meta tags and you should choose the words carefully and position them near the top and have proper frequency for such words. 


However it is very important to adopt moderation in this. Keyword stuffing or spamming is a No today. 
Most search engine algorithms can spot this, bypass the spam and some may even penalize it. 


Dynamic URLs 

Several pages in e-commerce and other functional sites are generated dynamically and have? or & sign in their dynamic URLs. 
These signs separate the CGI variables. 


While Google will crawl these pages, many other engines will not. One inconvenient solution is to develop static equivalent of the dynamic pages and have them on your site. 


Another way to avoid such 
dynamic URLs is to rewrite these URLs using a syntax that is accepted by the crawler and also understood as equivalent to the dynamic URL by the application server. 


The Amazon site shows dynamic URLs in such syntax. If you are using Apache webserver, you can use Apache rewrite rules to enable 
this conversion. 


Re-direct pages 

Sometimes pages have a Meta refresh tag that redirects any visitor automatically to another page. 


Some search engines refuse to index a page that has a high refresh rate. The meta refresh tag however does not affect Google. 


Image maps without alt text 

Avoid image maps without text or with links. Image maps should have alt text as also required under the American Disabilities Act, for public websites and the home page should not have images as links. 


Instead HTML links should be used. This is because search engines would not read image links and the linked pages may not get crawled. 


Frames 

There are some engines whose spiders won’t work with frames on your site. 


A web page that is built using frames is actually a combination of content from separate pages that have been blended into a single page through a frameset’ instruction page. 


The frameset page does not have any content or links that would have promoted spidering. The frameset page could block the spider’s movement. 


The workaround is by placing a summary of the page content and relevant description in the frameset page and also by placing a link to the home page on it. 


Tables 

When you use tables on the key pages and if some columns have 
descriptions while others have numbers, it is possible that this may push your keywords down the page. 


Search engines break up the table and read them for the content the columns have. The first column is read first, then the next and so on. 


Thus if the first column had numbers, and the next one had useful descriptions, the positioning of these descriptions will suffer. 


The strategy is to avoid using such tables near the top of the key pages. Large sections of Java scripts also will have the same effect on the search engines. 


The HTML part will be pushed down. Thus again, place your long Javascripts lower down on key pages.


Link spamming 

Realizing the importance of links and link analysis in search engine results, several link farms and Free for All sites have appeared that offer to provide links to your site. 


This is also referred to as link spamming. Most search engines are smarter to this obvious tactic and know how to spot this. 


Such FFA sites, as they are known, do not provide link quality or link context, two factors that are important in link analysis. 


Thus the correct strategy is to 
avoid link spamming and not get carried away by what seems to be too simple a solution.

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