What Google Said - When You Weren't Listening

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What Google Said When You Weren't Listening By Kim Roach (c) 2006

Article Posted on this Blog by Afzal Khan

Google wants to create quality search engine results just as
badly as you want to acquire high search engine rankings.
Fortunately for us, Google provides web masters with plenty of
guidelines and tips for building a Google-Friendly site.

Unfortunately, many web masters simply aren't listening. Most
web masters seem to be pulling tips and strategies from almost
every source but Google itself. However, Google has some of the
most beneficial SEO tips to be found online.

Here are just a few of the questions that you can find answered
directly by Google.

Q. Does Google index dynamic pages?

A. Yes. Google indexes dynamically generated pages. This
includes pages with the following file extensions: .asp, .php,
and pages with question marks in their URLs. However, these
pages can cause problems for the Googlebot and may be ignored.

Fortunately, there is a solution. If you feel that your
dynamically generated pages are being ignored, you may want to
consider creating static copies of those pages for the
Googlebot. Keep in mind, if you choose to do this, be sure to
include a robots.txt file that disallows the dynamic pages so
that Google doesn't see those pages as duplicate content.

Q. Does Google index sites that use ASP?
A. Yes. Google is able to index most types of pages and files
with very few exceptions. This includes pdf, asp, jsp, html,
shtml, xml, doc, xls, ppt, rtf, wks, lwp, wri, swf, cfm, and
php. This is not a complete list, but it gives a good overview.

Q. Does Google index sites that use Macromedia Flash?
A. Yes. Google indexes pages that use Macromedia Flash. However,
Google may have problems indexing Flash pages. If you are
concerned that your Flash content is inhibiting Google's ability
to crawl your site, you may want to consider creating HTML
copies of those Flash pages. As always, you will need to include
a robots.txt file that disallows the Flash pages so that Google
does not recognize those pages as duplicate content.

Q. How do I add my site to Google's search results?
A. According to Google , inclusion in Google's
search results is free and easy. They also state that it is
unnecessary to submit your site to Google. Google uses software
known as "spiders" to crawl the web on a regular basis and find
sites to add to the index.

When a spider misses a site, it is often because of one of the
following reasons:

1. The site is not well connected with other sites through an
inbound linking structure.

2. The site launched after Google's most recent crawl was
completed.

3. Poor web site design makes it difficult for Google to
effectively crawl your content.

4. The site was temporarily unavailable at the time of
crawling or an error was received. You can use Google
Sitemaps to see if the Google crawlers received errors
when trying to crawl your site.

Q. How can I get my web site into Google's Mobile index?
A. Google Mobile offers Google Web Search, Local Search, and
Image Search for web sites that are configured for mobile
devices. Google adds new sites to their mobile Web index every
time they crawl the Web.

To let Google know about your mobile site, it is best to submit
a Mobile Sitemap.To help ensure that Google's mobile crawlers can crawl and index your site, you should:

* Use well-formed markup
* Validate your markup
* Use the right DOCTYPE and Content-Type for the markup language that you are using.

Q. Will participation in Adsense or Adwords affect my listing in
Google's free search results.

A. Google's advertising programs are independent of their search
results. Participation in an advertising program will have no
effect on your organic search engine rankings.

Q. Why does my site have a PageRank of zero?
A. Yes. Google has an answer for this as well. According to
Google, a page may be assigned a rank of zero if Google crawls
very few sites that link to that particular site. In addition to
this, pages that have recently been added to the Google index
may also show a PageRank of zero. This is simply because they
haven't been crawled by Googlebot yet and haven't been ranked
yet.

The key is to be patient. A page's PageRank score may increase
naturally with further crawls.

Q. My URL changed. How can I get Google to index my new site?
A. Google cannot manually change your URL in the search
results. However, there are steps you can take to ensure a
smooth transition.

First, you can redirect visitors to your new site. To do this,
simply use an HTTP 301 (permanent) redirect. This ensures that
Google's crawler will discover your new URL.

To preserve your rank, you will need to tell others who link to
your site about your change of address. To find a portion of the
sites that link to yours, you can go to the Google search engine
and type in: site:www.mydomain.com . To obtain a comprehensive
list of links that point to your page, perform a Google search
on your URL in quotes: "www.mydomain.com".

Q. How often does Google crawl the web?
A. Google's spiders crawl the web on a regular basis to rebuild
their index. Crawls are based on a number of factors, including
Pagerank, links to a page, and a web site's structure. This is
just a small list. There are a variety of factors that can
affect the crawl frequency of individual sites.

Q. How do I create a Google friendly site?
A. To help Google find, index, and rank your site, it is
suggested that you follow their Webmaster Guidelines.

Here are some of the general guidelines that Google offers to
web masters:

* Have other relevant sites link to yours.

* Submit a sitemap.

* Submit your site to relevant directories such as
the Open Directory Project and Yahoo. For a complete
listing of web directories, go to Strongestlinks.com

* Make sure each and every page is reachable from at least
one static text link.

* Offer your visitors a site with links that point to the
most important parts of your site. If your sitemap is larger
than 100 links, you may want to break the site map into
separate pages.

* Keep the links on any given page to a reasonable number
(less than 100).

* Check for broken links and correct HTML.

* Create a useful site that is full of information-rich content.
Your pages should be written in a way that clearly and
accurately describes your content.

* Make sure that your TITLE and ALT tags are descriptive and
accurate.

* Use a text browser such as Lynx
to examine your web site. Most search engine spiders see your
site in much the same way as Lynx would.

* Allow search bots to crawl your sites without session Ids
or arguments that track their path through the site.

* Make use of the robots.txt file which tells crawlers which
directories they can or cannot crawl


Q. How can I report a site that is spamming the Google search
results?

A. Google is constantly working to improve the quality of their
search results. Therefore, they have implemented a program that
allows web searchers to report spam that they find within the
search engine results. These Spam Reports are submitted directly
to Google engineers and are used to devise long-term solutions
to fight spam.

However, before you submit a site as being spam, Google highly
suggests that you take a look at their webmaster guidelines
to determine if sites are acceptable or not.

http://www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html

Q. Why are sites blocked from the Google index?

A. Sites may be blocked from the Google index if they do not
meet certain quality standards. Google does not comment on the
individual reason for pages being removed. However, they do
reveal that certain actions such as cloaking, writing text that
can be seen by search engines but not by users, or setting up
pages/links with the sole purpose of fooling the search engines
may result in removal from the index.

If you receive a notification that your site violates Google's
quality guidelines, you can correct your site to meet their
guidelines and then request reinclusion.

So there you have it, some of the many tips that Google is
handing out for free. If you want to obtain high search engine
rankings for the long-term, Google actually provides some very
good advice.
===============================================
Kim Roach is a staff writer and editor for the SiteProNews
and SEO-News
newsletters.
You can contact Kim at:
Contact: kim@seo-news.com
================================================

Copyright © 2006 Jayde Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SEO-News is a registered service mark of Jayde Online, Inc.

Article Posted on this Blog by Afzal Khan
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