Advanced SEO ( Search Engine Optimisation) for Beginners

Images or Text?

Situation: Navigation is based on images, even if these are images of text.
Problem: Search engines find links very important and only read text. they like to match the topic of the target page to the text in the link that pointed to the page.
Solution: Use text only navigation. the text and containing elements can by styles with CSS to make them look like images, give a background image, or at least make them look a little fancier. The alternative is to ensure that there is some text based navigation elsewhere on the page.
Benefits: Search engines will be able to match the topic of the target page with the reputation (link text). A higher relevancy is better. Ensuring there is text on the page will also help the visually impaired who use text only browsers in conjunction with braile-output devices or text-to-speach software.

Links, and Link Relevancy

Situation: You want lots of links to your website
Problem: Although links may be great for visitors and search engine spiders, the true value of the link may not be fully clear to you. Visitors are unlikely to click on irrelevant links and search engines hate them. Reciprocal links (you link to me, and I’ll link to you) can be of use when relevant, but carry less weight in the search engines than one way inbound links.
Solution: Avoid link farms (pages of links, for the sake of links), treat reciprocal link requests with caution and stay relevant.
Benefits: Spending time and thought on your link profile will ensure natural growth of links. Search engines hate anything that looks artificial, or anything that could be interpreted as ‘Search engine Manipulation’.

Duplicate Content

Situation: A webmaster copies content from another website, or sets up multiple sites which are identical, or very similar.
Problem: search engines apply duplicate content filters to the search results. Although the idea of increasing the market share is a good idea, multiple similar sites is not the way to go about doing it. Efforts put into the secondary sites will be wasted .
Solution: Ensure all of the pages on each of your sites are unique. Querying a search engine for an exact match of long strings of text will show you if the content is found elsewhere. If a webmaster does have duplicate pages and wishes to avoid any penalties or filters, the webmaster must choose one page to have the other identical pages redirect to. Redirects are covered later.
Benefits: Your efforts are not wasted, time and money can be saved.

Multiple Sites

Situation: Following on from duplicate content, there are multiple sites. A single webmaster has several closely themed sites, all inter-linked and hosted on the same IP address.
Problem: This is seen as search engine manipulation, the linking structure and multiple sites just isn’t natural. Penalties can apply.
Solution: Such site structures can work if set out properly. this means that each site must reside on it’s own IP address where, at least, the C class is different. IP address are covered later.
Benefits: Increased market share, well linked and spiderable sites, no penalties applied.

Unfriendly URLs

Situation: The URL (web address) of some of your sites pages look like [http://www.my-site.com/product-info.php

?product-id=12345&category=6789&sid=

f29a3483270cc10b3783706916216e3a]
Problem: Search engine spiders are getting better and following and indexing these type of URLs, bit not all of them. The spiders are scared of getting caught in an endless loop of identical pages with 1000s of different URLs. they are also off putting to your site visitors who could easily remember [http://www.my-site.com/products/autos/boost-valves.]
Solution: Use Search Engine Friendly URLs. If you are running the Apache webserver on Linux enabled server use mod_rewrite to translate the URLs into something nicer
Benefits: Higher chance of being indexed by more of the search engines, keywords in your URL, higher chance of being clicked on in the SERPs

Redirects

There are two main redirects, based on the HTTP specification
301 – moved permanenty
302 – moved temporarily
You should use 301 redirects where ever possible. this can be done in your server side scripting, eg

Code: php
header(“HTTP/1.1 301 Found”);
header(“Location: http://www.my-other-site.com/”);
redirects can also be set up in your .htaccess file, if you run the Apache web server

IP addresses (C class)

IP addresses are the numerical addresses of computers connected tot he internet. For ease of reading they are broken down into four parts, each called an octet as they contain 8 bits of data when written in binary form. An example my be 209.85.76.114. in this example the C class is 76 (and everything up to it), so if you have several sites hosted on this IP they would all have identical IP addresses. If each had a unique IP address that started 209.85.76. then they all share the same C-class IP address. As the allocation of IP addresses within a server environment is usually configured so that each server has it’s own C-class; this means that a search engine knows hat all sites on the same C-class IP address are all located on the same server