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Can Google See Your Website?

This submisison by John from softsmart.co.za is the first guest post to be published using the contribute page here on admindaily.com that is powered by the awesome Gravity Forms plugin that I now use exclusively on all my websites. John has some good advice on SEO topics related to Google specifically, but they can be applied to other search engines as well.

Ok, so we know that SEO is more than just google, but lets face it, they are the main search engine on planet earth at this stage. SEO techniques should (in my opinion) focus heavily on google. By focusing your SEO on google, you’ll probably do pretty well with the other search engines too.

I wanted to raise one quick point here. Many people ask a common question, “Can google see my website?“.

Although the search engines are getting better, I think you should still be cautious of using only javascript navigation menus. You should always have a text based version of your navigation menus. This does not need to be a complete listing, but should at least point to category pages, which in turn can list individual links within that category. Take a look at www.softsmart.co.za to see what I mean. The main menu at the top is javascript and the bottom text based menus are not exhaustive, they lead to menu pages for that category.

Another point to note is that while making links out of images (.jpg, .gif, etc) may look great, the search engines cannot read what the images say. So, you need to have alt parameters in your img tag.

Having links that the search engines can follow will make your SEO far more effective.

So, how sure are you of your sites links? Here’s how to find out if your links are SEO friendly

1. Put a file called delorie.html into the root folder of your website (this file can be blank).
2. Go to: http://www.delorie.com/web/lynxview.cgi?url=http://www.yoursite.com

This will show your website in a text-based browser which is more or less how the search engines see your site. Using a text only browser you can see if your menu links are working, and you can also see if images have alt parameters. If you have an image that links to a page called “john-is-great.html” and the image is called img1.gif, then in the text browser, you will see img1.gif, not really great for SEO. If however you have

[php]<img src="/img1.gif" alt="John is really great" />[/php]

Then you will see “John is really great”.

You may be (not so pleasantly) surprised at how google sees your page (and yes, I know, this is not 100% accurate, but its a pretty good idea).


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