Tag Archives: Anchor

Site map Optimization Technique

Site Maps can be a great tool for making search engines crawl through your web site in a much more effective manner, thereby helping you get more pages indexed, and ultimately getting you more visitors. Most people know what site maps are, as they can be seen on many of the major websites, although for those who don¡¦t, ¡§a site map is a page which contains a list of all the links within a website, under different categories and headings, just like a table of contents of a book¡¨. Now when a search engine hits the site map page, it gets to see all the links within that website and this enables it to crawl through those pages. It¡¦s just like guiding search engines with the help of a map, in this large universe of internet.

Site maps also help visitors to get an overview of the entire web site, and hence act as a great navigational tool. It helps visitors find specific pages through a single page, for which they might have had to follow several links to reach the desired page. Here are some example of well designed site maps.

http://www.google.com/sitemap.html

This leads us to the next question, i.e. how should site maps be designed. Designing a site map can be as simple as designing any other static pages without any pictures, graphics, etc. But all effort should be made to keep the structure logical and simple. Its best to browse through the web, and check out a variety of site maps before you decide on what kind of structure you want to follow.

Here are some things you should keep in mind, before designing a site map.

Homepage Link: It is important to give a prominent link from the homepage to the sitemap page, so that visitors and search bots can easily hit the site map page. In fact, preferably there should be a link to the site map page from every page of your website.

Text Links: Plain text links should be used for all the links, as some search bots can have problems crawling through ¡§JavaScript¡¨.

Categories: It is important to organise the contents into well defined categories, and even sub-categories for easy navigation of the user. Although this doesn¡¦t have direct SEO implications, it makes more sense to the user.

Descriptive Content: It is ideal to add some content describing the links, as search engines tend to ignore pages, full of links. It is also important to use your targeted keywords in your descriptive content as well as in your anchor text.

Anchor Text Link: It is important to use page titles as your anchor text, so that you can increase your anchor text back links. This is helpful for search engine optimization as it increases your link popularity.

Understanding Why You Need SEO

Before you can understand the reasons for using SEO, it might be good to have a definition of what SEO — search engine optimization — is. It’s probably a safe assumption that if you’ve clicked on this link, you have some understanding of SEO, so I’ll keep it simple.

SEO is the science of customizing elements of your web site to achieve the best possible search engine ranking. That’s really all there is to search engine optimization. But as simple as it sounds, don’t let it fool you. Both internal and external elements of the site affect the way it’s ranked in any given search engine, so all of these elements should be taken into consideration. Good SEO can be very difficult to achieve, and great SEO seems pretty well impossible at times.

But why is search engine optimization so important? Think of it this way. If you’re standing in a crowd of a few thousand people and someone is looking for you, how will they find you? In a crowd that size, everyone blends together.

Now suppose there is some system that separates groups of people. Maybe if you’re a woman you’re wearing red and if you’re a man you’re wearing blue. Now anyone looking for you will have to look through only half of the people in the crowd.

You can further narrow the group of people to be searched by adding additional differentiation until you have a small enough group that a search query can be executed and the desired person can be easily found.

Your web site is much like that one person in the huge crowd. In the larger picture your site is nearly invisible, even to the search engines that send crawlers out to catalogue the Web. To get your site noticed, even by the crawlers, certain elements must stand out. And that’s why you need search engine optimization.

By accident your site will surely land in a search engine. And it’s likely to rank within the first few thousand results. That’s just not good enough. Being ranked on the ninth or tenth page of search results is tantamount to being invisible. To be noticed, your site should be ranked much higher. Ideally you want your site to be displayed somewhere on the first three pages of results. Most people won’t look beyond the third page, if they get even that far. The fact is, it’s the sites that fall on the first page of results that get the most traffic, and traffic is translated into revenue, which is the ultimate goal of search engine optimization.

To achieve a high position in search results, your site must be more than simply recognizable by a search engine crawler. It must satisfy a set of criteria that not only gets the site catalogued, but can also get it catalogued above most (if not all) of the other sites that fall into that category or topic. Some of the criteria by which a search engine crawler determines the rank your site should have in a set of results include:

  • Anchor text
  • Site popularity
  • Link context
  • Topical links
  • Title tags
  • Keywords
  • Site language
  • Content
  • Site maturity

There are estimated to be at least several hundred other criteria that could also be examined before your site is ranked by a search engine. Some of the criteria listed also have multiple points of view. For example, when looking at link context, a crawler might take into consideration where the link is located on the page, what text surrounds it, and where it leads to or from.

These criteria are also different in importance. For some search engines, links are more important than site maturity, and for others, links have little importance. These weights and measures are constantly changing, so even trying to guess what is most important at any given time is a pointless exercise. Just as you figure it out, the criteria will shift or change completely.

By nature, many of the elements are likely to have some impact on your site ranking, even when you do nothing to improve them. However, without your attention, you’re leaving the search ranking of your site to chance. That’s like opening a business without putting out a sign. You’re sure to  get some traffic, but because people don’t know you’re there, it won’t be anything more than the curiosity of passersby.