I had been writing quality content on seomashable.com but still my posts were not appearing in the search results even though I have search directly with the title of the post. I discovered that my site was not search engine friendly and Google have trouble finding the web pages. I will tell you the major mistakes that I have done so that you can learn from my mistakes.
1.Add Text to Your Images, Flash and Videos
One thing you always have to keep in mind that search engine can only read text. Google have mentioned in their guidelines that they have trouble in crawling the text embedded in form of flash and images. Text simply means text that you see on websites like seomashable.com except the images.
Google have the ability to scan a Flash or an Image up to a certain extent but no search engine other than it would be able to read text on simple flash and images. It would be almost impossible for Bing and Yahoo to rank your page on the search results if you have lots of images and flash only on your website.
add text to the image anywhere you want
I am not saying that you should prohibit the use of Flash or images. If you have an online gambing website than it is mandatory to use flash and images but you should also have some content so that search engine crawlers would be able to pick that up and rank your website in search results.
If you are adding images than you must add alt attribute in them. If you did not comprehend what I am saying, then in the image tag add the following attribute.
The alt attribute is a part of HTML code and it must include brief description of your image. In this way your image will also appear in the search results. What search engine does is that they read the description on the alt attribute and index your image based on the description.
When you add a video you should also add a brief description of that video or flash file, what it is all about and its usage, pros, cons, etc.
2.Validate Your HTML Code
The HTML code on your website must not have errors. It means that your page must be appearing like you wanted it to appear. There should not be overlapping of the content, hidden text or something like that. If you have written a theme by yourself it is a good idea to run them on CSS validators.
validate your HTML code
Search Engines do not bother whether your code is error prone or not, and then only care on the basic correctness of your page to index them. If they have errors only certain parts of your page that have correct HTML and CSS code will be updated in their database. Suppose, you have wrote a 1000 word post and 700 have not been indexed in their database. With only 300 words left chances are very less that your website will even get ranked in search results.
These errors are not visible in the browser and may be browser will display it perfectly but when it comes to search engines they will leave some part of your page and read some data of you page.
3. Create Relevant Title Tags
It is very essential to use relevant tags on your page. Most of the search engines give wieghtage to the Title tag while Google give more wieghtage to the Meta description and title both with more and more content on your page. I have seen that many people use h1 tags most of the time while giving headings. It will drop the degree of your SEO and you should use only once the h1 tag and it should be used to define the title of your post. They use this h1 tag to read what your page is all about.
Most of the Webmasters put the name of their website in the TITLE tag. Instead they should include the heading of the post in the TITLE tag. If you feel that the name of your website should also be in the title tag than just put a hyphen or slash after the name of your heading in the TITLE tag. If you are writing a article on “How to create a search engine friendly websites” than you can add the name of your website like”How to Create Search Engine Friendly website- Seo Mashable”. In this way your article and your website both will appear in the search results.
4.Use Straight HTML Navigation Links on Your Website
If some links are embedded in Flash then it is very difficult for search engine to make out what you have written. Google can comprehend a simple Flash File but not all the search engine has this ability. Even if they can read these links you still have a disadvantage in comparison to your competitors. Remember, there are other peoples out there who are trying hard to get better results in search and they are doing things right and providing links based on anchor text.
Even if you have these embedded links, than you must have a sitemap of your website and submit it in the Google Webmaster Tool and if you are using WordPress Platform you can install these plugins.
5. Eliminate Apparent Content Duplication
Duplicity means having identical content on more than one page of a website. This thing generally happens on website having large number of pages but if you have coded it by yourself than these kinds of things will never happen. You can avoid duplicity by making the one page rel=”canonical”. They are created when we are using sessions, ids, etc. They will have the same content and points to the same page but the URL changes. Search engine count them as two pages and do not know which page among them to rank in the search results.
There might be backlinks of that post. Some of them will point to the first one and some of them will point to the other and it will put search engine in dilemma and neither of them will appear in search results as they will not be considered as significant. It will dilute the possibility of other posts to appear better in the search.
You can solve this problem by using a robot.txt file or by going in Google Webmaster Tools and demoting the site URLs you do not want to get indexed and appear in the search results.
6.Remove Hidden Text
There are many ways to use hidden text. Earlier it was used by webmasters to affect the results by hiding the keywords through hidden text. Hidden text remains in the body of a website but is not visible when we see it in browser. Earlier the search engine have algorithm that does not show these pages if they detect you have hidden text but now things have changed a bit and algorithms are more accurate and if you are playing with tricks like that they will find it and even penalize your site.
Sometimes the search engines penalize the site wrongly who are just mentioning the demo how these hidden texts can be generated. So you have to be vigilant if you are using hidden texts because nobody is safe from getting penalized by them.
If you have a free hosting than most likely they are using hidden text without the prior permission of the owner. They place ads to compensate the prize of hosting. What they do is use hidden text around the ads placed to make the appearance of ads better and that increases the chances of a visitor clicking it. This thing will result in penalization of your website and your only fault is using free web hosting.
If you are thinking that you should look for free web hosting that do not impose ads than these type of hosting provide servers that are always down. Therefore, you should be careful while choosing a web host. If you are not able to afford hosting than at least get a domain name of your own and put your site on commercial web host.
If you have created search engine friendly website it does not mean that you will rank No. 1 as search engine are not stupid. The most important thing is that website should be search engine friendly and contain quality content that offers its visitors exactly what they are looking for. Creating a search engine friendly website is the first step to think of getting appearance in the search results.