C.3 Search Engines

Most search engines are moving toward a pay-to-play business model. The site that pays the most money appears at the top of the search results listing, and only sites that pay a fee are listed at all. This system undermines everything you may have learned previously about search engine rankings, but the following tips are good for optimizing page placement in any search engine. Because each search engine determines relevancy differently, one <meta> tag won't gain your prominent placement in all the search engines. Use a combination of tags and keywords on different pages to increase your overall chance of success.

  • Provide a different <title> for each web page.

  • Create a description tag containing keywords or key phrasesincluding those used in the <title> tagby using Insert figs/u2192.gif Head Tags figs/u2192.gif Description. Write a clear, compelling description of each page in 25 words or less. Do not repeat your key phrase several times; instead, use it with other related key phrases not included in that page's <title> tag.

  • Create one keyword tag for each page on your site by using Insert figs/u2192.gif Head Tags figs/u2192.gif Keywords. Add the best key phrase for the page in the <meta name ="keywords"> tag and use only one or two key phrases in this tag (not the 1,000 characters allowed).

  • Make your key phrase part of the first sentence of your page content, which should be the same as your description <meta> tag. (This technique covers you for robots that index the first sentence and those that don't.)

  • Create a site map with text links and a "How to Link to This Site" page. Both are simple and effective ways to encourage individuals and search engines to link to your site.

C.3.1 <title>

Although not all search engines use the <title> element to help index HTML pages, many do. Each title should contain no more than ten words and should begin with one keyword or key phrase. Each page should use a different keyword or key phrase in its title. The objective is to use each indexed page on your web site as a separate entry in the search engine, increasing your opportunity to attract an audience to your site. For example, you could make the title of your page "Foundation American Quarter Horses for Rodeos, Ranches, and Ropings."

Dreamweaver allows over 300 characters in the <title > field and HTML itself has no limitation, but most search engines index the first 256 characters only. Many search engines use the document title as the description of the site, while others use the first sentence of the document.

Dreamweaver in a Nutshell
Dreamweaver in a Nutshell
Year: 2005
Pages: 208

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