How Search Engine Spiders View Your Website Design
Over the last five years two major leaders in search technology have emerged; Google and Yahoo. Both of these companies have website design guidelines to help webmasters ensure their web pages will be included in their prices. So how important is your website design in determining your ranking within the search engine listings?
Many online business owners do not recognize the importance of the domain name they choose in this process. Your domain name is your primary marketing tool and search engine spiders consider this first along with the title of your web page. For instance, if your domain name is: "toysforinfants.com," the search engine spiders expect the title of the web page to be related to toys and infants. If the title of the web page for this domain was "entertainment for young people at a reasonable price" it would not be considered as highly related to the domain name as "how to buy safe toys for infants."
Although the title of your web page is not a meta tag, it ranks higher in importance than the description and keywords meta tags that give instructions to the browser. Currently a debate is raging to decide if meta tags are as effective on the Internet of today as they were in the past. The technology has changed a great deal over the past five years; the Web 2.0 movement is gaining momentum and changing the way websites are designed. But for now the keyword and description meta tags are still being used to evaluate the content and relevancy of web pages.
Your website design is reviewed by the search engine spiders for coding compliance to Internet standards. Coding errors can cause your web pages to be ignored completely. Next is the quality of your content, and its value to the Internet community. If you use coding that the search engine spiders have difficulty navigating, such as flash animations this can severely affect your ranking.
There has been an increased focus on the importance of content for successful search engine lists, but many online business owners confuse graphics with content; a graphic image is not considered content. Using captions in the form of HTML "alt" tags in your website design to describe graphic images is the workaround that ensures this information is included in the indexing process. You should keep in mind that search engine spiders have a limited amount of time to perform the tasks required to index web pages. Even when you use this technique, if there are too many images placed before the bulk of the text it may run out of time and leave your site without including it in the index.
Beside coding compliance in your website design, the level of relevancy in your content is most crucial in determining where your website will be ranked in the search engine listings. Relevance to the Internet user community is based on the terms that they use to search for information. If the content of your website provides Internet users with the information they are searching for this improvements your search engine listing position. In addition to relevancy the information must be unique; it can not be found on 100 other websites.