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Once you have the content, you need to think about supplementary content and secondary links that help users on their journey of discovery. A website that does not link out to ANY other website could be interpreted accurately to be at least, self-serving. For me, a perfect title tag in Google is dependant on a number of factors and I will lay down a couple below but I have since expanded page title advice on another page link below ;. I think title tags, like everything else, should probably be as simple as possible, with the keyword once and perhaps a related term if possible.
If you are relying on meta-keyword optimisation to rank for terms, your dead in the water. What about other search engines that use them? Hang on while I submit my site to those 75, engines first [sarcasm! Yes, ten years ago early search engines liked looking at your meta-keywords. Forget about meta-keyword tags — they are a pointless waste of time and bandwidth.
So you have a new site. Sometimes competitors might use the information in your keywords to determine what you are trying to rank for, too…. Forget whether or not to put your keyword in it, make it relevant to a searcher and write it for humans, not search engines. If you want to have this word meta description which accurately describes the page you have optimised for one or two keyword phrases when people use Google to search, make sure the keyword is in there.
Google looks at the description but it probably does not use the description tag to rank pages in a very noticeable way.
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Sometimes, I will ask a question with my titles, and answer it in the description, sometimes I will just give a hint. That is a lot more difficult in as search snippets change depending on what Google wants to emphasise to its users. Sometimes I think if your titles are spammy, your keywords are spammy, and your meta description is spammy, Google might stop right there — even they probably will want to save bandwidth at some time. So, the meta description tag is important in Google, Yahoo and Bing and every other engine listing — very important to get it right.
Googles says you can programmatically auto-generate unique meta descriptions based on the content of the page. No real additional work is required to generate something of this quality: the price and length are the only new data, and they are already displayed on the site. I think it is very important to listen when Google tells you to do something in a very specific way, and Google does give clear advice in this area. By default, Googlebot will index a page and follow links to it.
At a page level — it is a powerful way to control if your pages are returned in search results pages. I have never experienced any problems using CSS to control the appearance of the heading tags making them larger or smaller. How many words in the H1 Tag? As many as I think is sensible — as short and snappy as possible usually. As always be sure to make your heading tags highly relevant to the content on that page and not too spammy, either. Use ALT tags or rather, ALT Attributes for descriptive text that helps visitors — and keep them unique where possible, like you do with your titles and meta descriptions.
The title attribute should contain information about what will happen when you click on the image. From my tests, no. From observing how my test page ranks — Google is ignoring keywords in the acronym tag. You do not need clean URLs in site architecture for Google to spider a site successfully confirmed by Google in , although I do use clean URLs as a default these days, and have done so for years.
However — there it is demonstrable benefit to having keywords in URLs. The thinking is that you might get a boost in Google SERPs if your URLs are clean — because you are using keywords in the actual page name instead of a parameter or session ID number which Google often struggles with. I optimise as if they do, and when asked about keywords in urls Google did reply:. Then it is fair to say you do get a boost because keywords are in the actual anchor text link to your site, and I believe this is the case, but again, that depends on the quality of the page linking to your site.
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That is, if Google trusts it and it passes Pagerank! Sometimes I will remove the stop-words from a URL and leave the important keywords as the page title because a lot of forums garble a URL to shorten it. Most forums will be nofollowed in , to be fair, but some old habits die-hard.
It should be remembered it is thought although Googlebot can crawl sites with dynamic URLs; it is assumed by many webmasters there is a greater risk that it will give up if the URLs are deemed not important and contain multiple variables and session IDs theory. As standard , I use clean URLs where possible on new sites these days, and try to keep the URLs as simple as possible and do not obsess about it. Having a keyword in your URL might be the difference between your site ranking and not — potentially useful to take advantage of long tail search queries. I prefer absolute URLs.
Google will crawl either if the local setup is correctly developed. This is entirely going to a choice for your developers. Some developers on very large sites will always prefer relative URLS.
I have not been able to decide if there is any real benefit in terms of ranking boost to using either. I used to prefer files like.
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Google treats some subfolders….. Personally, as an SEO, I prefer subdirectories rather than subdomains if given the choice, unless it really makes sense to house particular content on a subdomain, rather than the main site as in the examples John mentions.
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I thought that was a temporary solution. If you have the choice, I would choose to house content on a subfolder on the main domain. Recent research would still indicate this is the best way to go:. I prefer PHP these days even with flat documents as it is easier to add server side code to that document if I want to add some sort of function to the site.
It is important that what Google Googlebot sees is exactly what a visitor would see if they visit your site. Blocking Google can sometimes result in a real ranking problem for websites. If Google has problems accessing particular parts of your website, it will tell you in Search Console.
If you are a website designer, you might want to test your web design and see how it looks in different versions of Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer. Does Google rank a page higher because of valid code? I love creating accessible websites but they are a bit of a pain to manage when you have multiple authors or developers on a site.
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If your site is so badly designed with a lot of invalid code even Google and browsers cannot read it, then you have a problem. Where possible, if commissioning a new website, demand, at least, minimum web accessibility compliance on a site there are three levels of priority to meet , and aim for valid HTML and CSS. It is one form of optimisation Google will not penalise you for. I link to relevant internal pages in my site when necessary. I silo any relevance or trust mainly via links in text content and secondary menu systems and between pages that are relevant in context to one another.
I do not obsess about site architecture as much as I used to…. This is normally triggered when Google is confident this is the site you are looking for, based on the search terms you used. Sitelinks are usually reserved for navigational queries with a heavy brand bias, a brand name or a company name, for instance, or the website address. Google likes to seem to mix this up a lot, perhaps to offer some variety, and probably to obfuscate results to minimise or discourage manipulation. Sometimes it returns pages that leave me scratching my head as to why Google selected a particular page appears.
Sitelinks are not something can be switched on or off, although you can control to some degree the pages are selected as site links. This works for me, it allows me to share the link equity I have with other sites while ensuring it is not at the expense of pages on my domain. Try it. Check your pages for broken links. Seriously, broken links are a waste of link power and could hurt your site, drastically in some cases.
Google is a link-based search engine — if your links are broken and your site is chock full of s you might not be at the races. For example and I am talking internally here — if you took a page and I placed two links on it, both going to the same page? OK — hardly scientific, but you should get the idea. Or will it read the anchor text of both links, and give my page the benefit of the text in both links especially if the anchor text is different in both links? Will Google ignore the second link? What is interesting to me is that knowing this leaves you with a question.
If your navigation array has your main pages linked to in it, perhaps your links in content are being ignored, or at least, not valued. I think links in body text are invaluable. Does that mean placing the navigation below the copy to get a wide and varied internal anchor text to a page?
Also, as John Mueller points out, Google picks the best option to show users depending on who they are and where they are. So sometimes, your duplicate content will appear to users where relevant. This type of copying makes it difficult to find the exact matching original source. These types of changes are deliberately done to make it difficult to find the original source of the content. How do you get two listings from the same website in the top ten results in Google instead of one in normal view with 10 results. Generally speaking, this means you have at least two pages with enough link equity to reach the top ten results — two pages very relevant to the search term.