Ampersands in URLs (& in a URL)

When using an href tag and an “&” is present, an error will occur in the HTML stating that it is an “unknown entity section”.

This can be easily solved by replacing the “&” with an “&” everywhere we have it in the URL.

To verify that your HTML is correct, you can verify it using http://validator.w3.org/

P.S Errors in HTML hard your Search Engine Ranking (Your Google Position). Always check your HTML for errors.

Analysing and Selecting Keywords for your SEO

SEO keywords

When optimizing a Website to be more search-engine friendly, keywords are one of the most important factors to take into consideration. The right keywords or combination of keywords might bring along a large number of visitors to your page. On the other hand, the misuse of keywords can push search-engines away. We will start on explaining how to identify the right keywords to compete better against your competition. Once we have finished with keywords, we will properly explain how to best implement them into your website.

Please note that this is a shorter version of a full document explaining each topic in details. To view the full explanation, visit Selecting Keywords from AboutSEO Malta.

Continue reading

How do Search-engines Work?

Search-engines

For the simple reason that Google was developed for school purposes, at Stanford University, enough information on how it works was published in papers. Therefore, a lot can be determined on how it works. Meanwhile other search-engines, which were developed primarily for commercial purposes, tend to keep their techniques publications at a minimum. From what is published by Google, a clear understanding can be generated about how Google itself works and also gives a general idea on how other search-engines may work.

What made Google successful was the drastic improvement in their algorithm to make sure to present the user with the highest quality pages in relevance with the search query within the first top 10 results. This has mainly been emphasized since it had been noted that users tend to look only through the first result page, usually having ten result links.

Google uses a lot of different factors to determine which pages are of better quality than others. PageRank is one of the most affective factors used by Google’s search-engine. PageRank is assigned to every page Google crawls (visits and indexes) and can be affected in various ways. The PageRank of a page can be determined on the amount of other pages linking to it, by who links to it, how many hits it receives and the page relevance data. Each page containing links is able to pass on its PageRank to the outgoing links so a link from a very high PageRanked page may be considered to be of better importance than hundred links from low PageRanked pages.

 

Please note that all information has been provided by: About SEO Malta which is an open source SEO information website.

Writing your content for Search-Engines

When search engines crawl websites, they give great importance to the value of information it gives to the reader. This means that old tricks to fill up nonsense content to attract search-engines are no longer applicable. On the other hand, it would actually leave a negative affect while indexing. This change is mainly due to Google’s update known as the Panda Update or Farmers Update. This has been affected in order to make sure that Google users are provided with the best results with good information and user experience.

A well optimized website must also contain well-written content intended for both readers and search engines. Keywords must be properly amalgamated with the content to make perfect sense and of course must be related to the page’s context.

To continue reading about the main tips to create well-written website content visit Creating Web Content – AboutSEO Malta.

A little on how Google works

When a person performs a search, Google uses an algorithm to determine which website and pages to return. The whole algorithm is unknown to all, but the main procedure is quite public. Google starts by crawling through all the websites available. Several Computers are dedicated to crawl through millions of pages. This process is called Google bot or Google spider and it starts by crawling a set of indexed URLs and by following each link on every page, it identifies new and updated pages to index. Any broken links will be negatively noted down on Google index. Once crawling is complete, Google goes through all indexed pages and analyse each page content such as tags, keywords, etc. The more relevant the keywords to the search, the higher value the page will have to the user’s search.

Web Design tips for better Search-Engine Optimization

Splash Pages

A while back, a website was considered professional if it had flashy animation, a lot of graphics and sound animations, intro pages and so on. All of these may affect search engine crawlers when trying to read your content, links, tags, etc. The following article explains different methods which should be followed in order not to negatively affect search engine optimization.

Website Design for better Search-Engine Ranking explains how to properly create:

  • Main Pages or Intro Pages: Flash pages,  JavaScript, Photoshop, Images, etc
  • Navigations / Menus: Flash Menus,  JavaScript Menus, Photoshop Slicing for buttons, Images, etc
  • Head Meta Tags: title, description, keywords meta tags
  • Page Content: Images, same content

Optimizing Web Site Structure for most Search-Engines

Most developers create Website using the easiest techniques available but taking being more attentive and dedicate more time to it can make a big different for both search-engines and search-engine users searching on the net. Before starting it is also necessary to give dedicate some time to select the website hosting and domain name. When selecting the right hosting, one must make sure that it is reliable and has positive feedback from past clients which all together gives credibility to search-engines. On the other hand, while selecting the domain name for the website, it is important to identify the main keyword to represent the website. The main keyword/s may also be the company name, preferably only if the company name is the first researched word users search for to make use of the website.An example of such website would be http://www.toyota.com where users would use the term toyota directly instead of searching car. Please note that all information is taken from Website Structure for SEO provided by About SEO Malta  Continue reading

Optimizing Domain and Pages/Files Names for Search-Engines

Selecting a name for your domain or page names may not always be as easy as it looks like. Mainly this is due to Search-engines. If you would like your website/pages to rank top, it is important to analyse properly the given names with appropriate naming conventions. Below is an overview of how we can appropriately select and name our domain and pages.

Please note that the below information has been summarized from the article Optimizing Domain and Page Names provided by About SEO Malta.

Do not’s

  • Do not select domain name of the business name if business is not famous enough.
  • Do not select domain name if business name does not represent their purpose. Example: If you sell watches and business name is Tick-Tock, name it Tick-Tock-Watches, and not only Tick-Tock since search-engines do not associate it with watches.
  • Do not put all words mumbled up together as ticktockwatches.
  • Do not use conventional naming styles such as Page1.html, Page2.html
  • Do not use a lot of sub-folders
  • Do not name folders with complex conventional naming styles.
  • Do not use a lot of query strings, it is better to have different pages.

To do’s

  • Name the domain name in order to represent both the business and give an incentive to search-engines what it is about. Example: Tick-Tock-Watches
  • Use hyphens to separate words in Domain and Page naming so search-engines can identify each word. Example:   www tick tock watches com
  • Name pages to represent their content. Example: Wrist-Watches.html
  • Use few folders to categorize them and preferably use a category listing so that:

Keyword and Meta Tags for better Search-Engine Optimization

On-Site factors: Implementing Keywords onto Pages

Please note that this is a shorter version of a full document explaining each topic in details. To view the full explanation, visit Meta Tags and other SEO tags  from AboutSEO Malta.

Meta Tags: Title, Description and Keywords

Meta tags are placed in the HEAD of the page and are important to be unique for every page.

Title Tags

Title must be unique for each page, between 10 to 60 characters which may include main keywords. The Text within the Title Tag will be displayed as the Title Link in Google and will be displayed at the top bar of the internet browser page.

Description Tags

Between 50 to 150 characters to summarize the page and give a brief idea of what the content of the page is about. Each page must be unique.

Keywords Tags

Keywords must be unique for all pages, duplicates may be detected as spam. It is better to optimize fewer and better keywords than to bulk up the page with keywords to try and trick Google, it will work negatively back on you.

example: <META NAME=”keywords” CONTENT=”SEO, SEO experts, Search Engine Optimization, SEO services”>

Headlines <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6>

The following information about headlines has been retrieved from Creating Website content | About SEO Malta :

Headlines are headers used to separate different paragraphs by entitling them with different hierarchy levels starting from <h1> highest, down to <h6>.

A page must contain at least one <h1> tag with not more than 8 words.

A page must not contain more than four <h2> tags with not more than 8 words.

A page must not contain more than five <h3> tags with not more than 8 words.

A page can contain multiple lower tags, from <h4> to <h6> with still not more than 8 words.

Text Modifiers and Image Alt Tags

Text Modifiers

Strong tag is used to emphasis important keywords; text will automatically be displayed in bold.

EM tag is used to emphasis less important keywords which still need to be given attention; text will be displayed in italics.

Image ALT tags

Text within alt tags must be short, descriptive and unique for every page. Keywords may be used but spamming text such as bulking up the alt tag with non-sense keywords will negatively affect the page.

 

Links

Links pointing towards a site affect the PageRank a lot. It is very hard to get others to link your page, but it is easy to build internal link structure. Each link within the site must use Absolute URL and must contain proper anchor text. Menu’s must also use links.

example: <a href=”www.domain.com/about.html”> About the Company </a>