Google Search Engine Optimization Pitfalls

By John Hill (c) 2006
Article Posted on this blog by Afzal Khan

On Page Factors - Is Your Website Search Engine Friendly?

So you have a website but where is it on Google? Have you fallen
foul of a penalty or have you overlooked one of the many common
search engine optimization pitfalls when designing your

Understanding what works for the search engines and what doesn't
when it comes to the content on your website can have a crucial
impact on the relevance and/or page rank of your pages from a
SEO perspective.

Here we highlight common mistakes that could affect your ranking
on Google and other search engines.

Optimizing for the Correct Keywords

Basically 'Get real' about what keywords you feel your website
can be ranked for. If you have a ten page website in a highly
competitive market then ranking naturally for the major terms
will be close to impossible.

Use the Overture keyword tool together with the number of
results on Google to find out what keywords are searched for and
how many other websites are targeting them. If you are lucky
then you might even find a popular keyword that not many other
websites are optimized for. Alternatively a good tool for this
job is Wordtracker from Rivergold Associates Ltd.

Code Validation

If your html code is not valid, then this could make it very
difficult or even impossible for a search engine to separate
your page content from your code. If the search engine cannot
see your content, then your page will obviously have no


Even though most, if not all, major search engines now index
frames and even with the use of the NOFRAMES tag, you run the
risk of your pages being displayed in the search engine results
out of context. As each individual page is indexed separately,
it is likely that your website visitors will not see your pages
within your frame and will effectively be stuck on the page they
arrive at.

If you must use frames then create a 'Home' link on each of your
individual content pages and point the link at your frameset
index page.

JavaScript Navigation

If you use JavaScript to control your website navigation, then
search engine spiders may have problems crawling your site. If
you must use JavaScript, then there are two options available to

* Use the NOSCRIPT tag to replicate the JavaScript link in
standard HTML.

* Replicate your JavaScript links as standard HTML links in
the footer of your page.

Flash Content

Currently only Google can index Macromedia Flash files, how
much or how little content they see is open to debate. So until
search engine technology is able to handle your .swf as standard
it would be advisable to avoid the use of these.

Again if you must use Flash then offer a standard HTML
alternative within NOEMBED tags.

Dynamic URLs

Although Google and Yahoo are able to crawl complicated URLs it
is still advisable to keep your URLs simple and avoid the use of
long query strings. Do not include session IDs in the URL as
these can either create a 'spider trap' where the spider indexes
the page over and over again or, at worst, your pages will not
get indexed at all.

If you do need to include parameters in the URL, then limit them
to two and the number of characters per parameter to ten or

The best SEO solution for dynamic URLs is to use Mod-rewrite or
Multiviews on Apache.

No Sitemap

A sitemap is the search engine optimization tool of choice to
ensure every page within your website is indexed by all search
engines. You should link to your site map from, at least, your
homepage but preferably from every page on your website.

If your website contains hundreds of pages then split the
sitemap into several categorized maps and link these all
together. Try and keep the number of links per page on a sitemap
to less than 100.

Excessive Links

Excessive links on a given page (Google recommends having no
more than 100) can lower its relevance and, although it does
not result in a ban, this does nothing for your search engine
optimization strategy.

Be Careful Who You Link To

As you have no control over who links to your website, incoming
links will not harm your rank. However, outbound links from your
website to 'bad neighbourhoods' like link farms will harm your

As a rule ensure as many of your outbound links as possible link
to websites that are topical to your field of business.

Article Posted on this blog by Afzal Khan

John Hill - Developer, Designer and SEO Professional with
E-Gain New Media ( offering website
design (
website_development/web-site-design/), search engine optimization
search-engine-optimisation/) and PPC Management.

The Advance Of Algorithms - New Keyword Optimization Rules

By Matt Jackson (c) 2006

Posted on this blog by Afzal Khan

Maintaining and marketing a website can be a difficult task
especially for those who are inexperienced or who have very
little experience. SEO rules are constantly changing and even
then, many SEO professionals disagree on the actual specifics
required to optimize a website. This is in no small part due to
the search engines themselves.

Major search engines like Google are constantly striving to
ensure that sites at the top of their result pages offer
invaluable information or service to their visitors. However,
webmasters who are looking to make quick money while offering
very little quality content are always finding new ways to beat
the search engines at their own game. For this reason, search
engines regularly change the methods they use to determine the
relevancy and importance of your site.

Evolving Search Engines

The first step you should take is to ensure that your website
will do an effective job of turning visitors into money. The
content needs to be optimized so that both search engine
visitors and human visitors both deem it to be a useful website.
Once upon a time, effective optimization entailed cramming
content with as many keywords as possible and while this once
generated good search engine results it invariably put visitors
off. It is also now frowned upon and penalized as being spam by
all of the major search engines.

The Evolution And Improvement Of Algorithms

Search engines use specific algorithms to determine the
relevance of your website. The calculations from these
algorithms determine where on the search engine result pages
your website will appear. In order to keep the unscrupulous
webmasters guessing and ensuring that results are always up to
date, major search engines regularly update their algorithms.

Recent Advances
The result of some of the most recent changes has seen the
impetus move away from optimizing websites for search engines
and instead the algorithms are now geared to promote websites
that give true value to visitors. They're not only changing,
they are evolving into more intelligent and accurate algorithms.
While the use of keywords based around the relevant topic is
still important, it is also important to ensure that visitors
are your main priority.

Keyword Optimization

Keyword optimization is now more heavily guarded. Those who
include keywords too often will have their sites labeled as
spam, whereas not enough instances of the appropriate keyword
means you won't receive the desired results. However, the
algorithms have become particularly smart and as well as the
keywords you want to target you should include other relevant
keywords. Including inflexions of keywords is one excellent way
to ensure that your site is deemed to be relevant. Inflexions
are slight changes to your keyword. For example, inflexions of
the keyword "advertising" include advertise, advertised,
advertisement, etc...

Keyword Inclusion

Weight is also given to keywords that are included in certain
sections of a page. These sections include the title tag, meta
tags (only relevant to smaller search engines now), header tags,
image alt tags and formatting tags (e.g. keywords in bold or
italicized) of your text. With image alt tags and hyperlink
title tags it is important that you don't simply fill these with
keywords because this will be ignored at best, and penalized at

Natural Content Writing

One of the most effective ways to ensure that your site is
keyword optimized properly is to write the content naturally
first. Once you have done this, go through and ensure that any
relevant keywords are included throughout the text. Only place
them where they would appear naturally and remove them from
anywhere where they appear awkward. Once you've written the
content you should also check the remaining factors to ensure
everything is ok.

SEO Keyword Checklist

Below is a keyword checklist to ensure that you have fully
optimized your web pages to the current, generally accepted
search engine algorithm rules.

URL: Get your primary keyword as close to the beginning
of the URL as possible.

Title Tag: The title should be between 10 and 50
characters and include one or more keywords while still being

Description Meta Tag: The description meta tag should be
insightful and useful but it should also contain one or two of
your more important keywords.

Keyword Meta Tag: It makes sense that you should include
all of your keywords in the keyword meta tag. Do not include any
words that don't appear in the body of your text.

Keyword Density: Your content should be made up of all of
your keywords and other text. A total keyword density (all
keywords) of around 15% to 20% is the maximum you should aim for
and anything less than 5% is unlikely to yield good results.
Density for a single keyword should be between 1% and 7%.
1% seems too low, and 7% a little too high. Wherever possible
aim for approx 5% with the primary keyword and 3% with secondary
and subsequent keywords.

Header Tags (e.g. H1 and H2 tags): More weight is given
to keywords that appear within H1 tags, then H2 tags and so on.

Text Formatting Fonts (e.g. strong, bold and underline):
This may not offer much weight in algorithms, but generally if
you bold the first instance of your keywords and the last
instance of your primary keyword you should see some positive

Beginning Of Text: The closer you can get your keywords
to the beginning of your page content the better. Try to include
your primary keyword within the first sentence or two and also
within the last paragraph.

Key-Phrases As Whole Phrases:If you are targeting Internet
Marketing as a key phrase then do not split the words up if
possible. Some effect is noticed if the words are split, but
much more benefit is received by including the phrase as a

Alt Text: Include your keyword at least once in the Alt tag of
any images. Ensure that the text is relevant to the image and
gives some information.

Posted on this blog by Afzal Khan

Matt Jackson, founder of WebWiseWords (,
is a professional copywriter offering a professional service.
Whether your business or your website needs a website content
copyrwriter, an SEO copywriter, a press release copywriter or a
copywriter ( for any other purpose
WebWiseWords can craft the words you want.