Some SEO Basic tips

Some Seo basics i’d like to share.
Handy if your a n00b, or if you want to compare notes.
So let’s get started.

Sitemaps;

Xml Sitemap
<priority> you can set a priority to a page varying from 0.0 (not important) to 1.0 very important. Use it.
<changefreq> set url changing freq to never. Search engines love to index and forget, to safe bandwidth.

Html sitemap
Do not rely on your xml sitemap alone. Also use a html sitemap.
This is basically a link or links at the bottom of your page.
Bhw uses them as well,Just scroll down and see an example(the numbers 1 till oblivion, lol).

Sitemap Index and Rss.
Your websites landing page is the index page. Sitemaps have something similar called Sitemap index.
In the sitemap index you list all the sitemaps you have.
For example sitemap 1 is an xml sitemap, and sitemap 2 a html sitemap. In the Sitemap index you list both.
This brings order in the chaos for you and for search engines.

In addition to that, most sites these days have a rss feed.
Search engines also allow you to submit rss feeds as a sitemap. So why not include the rss feed url in the sitemap index file.
So for example, your sitemap index now includes;
sitemap 1 (which is a xml sitemap)
Sitemap 2 (which is a html sitemap)
rss (which is a feed)
Atom (which is a feed)

Include your sitemap in the robot.txt
it’s as simple as this, open the robot.txt and type;
Sitemap: http://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemaplocation1
Sitemap: http://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemaplocation2
Sitemap: http://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemaplocationfeed
etc etc.
thats it, done, save, on to the next.

Content and Distributing Content

Content
Content is very important to a website in the sense that it’s what a search engine is looking for.
Depending on what your selling/pushing/harvesting, your looking to rank for a certain keyword.
A way to help this process is to optimize your content. Now how do you that?

By making your website important on every field a search engine is looking for.
You can use videos, images, articles and comments.
We’ll start with videos.

Vids
Videos are a great way to bind your visitor for a longer period of time.(Think Bounce rates)
Also videos can be expected to be one of the variables in the algorithms of google.
So were going to use them. And i’m not talking about youtube.
I’m talking about hosting them yourself.
You can create them by mashing up some youtube vids, if you don’t have some of your own.

Video is also an upcoming web medium. As we all know.
But you also need to keep up with these developments. For example;
Google now also has guadi;
http://labs.google.com/gaudi
It scans the audio track of a vid and then creates rankable keywords coresponding to a time frame.
(Still in beta but it’s always good being there early)

So now your thinking all great but how do vids help. Well here’s how.
1.)Title keyword, keyword tags and keyword description for your vid (making the page more important for that keyword).

2.)You create a video feed and bind it in the sitemap index(which we talked about earlier)
Then you submit your video feed to google. (http://www.google.com/support/webmas…n&answer=80474)
What happens is when google decides to rank one of your videos, you automatically get loaded to the top of the page.
For some searches you get those youtube vids on top. Well thats not limited to youtube vids alone.
You can be there to, providing you give them your sitemap.
Not a lot of people make use of this technique because it’s fairly unknown and everybody embeds youtube vids. So look into that.

3.)Every body here has thought of uploading vids to youtube and using bots and fake accounts to generate fake views and ratings.
Well in a video feed you simply fill in the views and ratings of your video.
They are called <video:rating> and <video:view_count> in the video feed protocol.
To see the whole video feed protocol click here; http://www.google.com/support/webmas…n&answer=80472

Images.
Again images are part of the google algorithm and thats why you should use them.
Besides that, they also carry a great aesthetic value towards your visitors.
Keeping them at your page longer. Increasing your odds to a sale.

Have you ever search for an image on google and gotten an image whom’s name did not at all correspond with your search terms?
For example you searched for apple and get an image called banana.
And you go, how did this happen? The answer is pretty simple. It’s because those images have ALT tags.
ALt tags stand for alternative tags. They were originally designed to display a alternative text when the image was broken.
So for example you used alt tags to shortly, in three words, explain what the image contains.
The image has a loading error, and instead of getting that little error icon, it will now display the alt tags text.
Search engines have taken a liking to them however. And they now double as anchor texts for images.

So when you use a image, name it after your keyword.
And add in a alt tag.
ALT tags might also give a new dimension to link building, since you can now use them as anchors.
Think about that..

Images can be used in the standard website feed/xml sitemap you submit.
Like the videos they can also hold a rating.

Sprite.
Also part of the image content but less known. This doesn’t have so much to do with ranking for images, but more with loading time.
What is a sprite you might be asking yourself. You know all those little arrow images, bullet images, small rss feed logos.
Well if you load them all as a separate image, the loading time increases. Sprite however combines all images in to one image.
And via css code the image fragments are displayed making a button or something else.
To give you an example here googles sprite;

Articles.
To optimize articles you do the following.
1.)Use keywords in the title (Make sure you use the html title tags)
2.)Start your text with a keyword
3.)Keyword density (Using your keyword in a natural flow , an x number off times, inside the text)
4.)Stopwords, these are small words that search engines don’t store or search for.
They don’t do so because little words take up to much space. And space costs money.
So use them to increase you keyword density. Just Google stopwords to find some lists.
5.) H1 t/m H6 tags. These should contain your keywords. The tags can be defined as paragraph titles.
There not the main title, but act as sub-titles.
Don’t over use them. Take a decend amount of text between each.

Comments
Once you perfected your keyword density of your article, it would be a shame if the comments (if you use any) screw that up.
So there is a little trick for that. Each comment should be created as a separate html page.
This way you load them into your page when it’s requested. Now it doesn’t screw up your keyword density anymore.
A handy side affect is that your comments can actually rank on there own, as a separate html page.
So your users are creating free content.

Experimental
You should always keep thinking on how you can approve your website.
Visit the google labs every ones and a while to see what there up to.
Thats how i found this little trick.
A GEO feed. again this feed you bind in on your sitemap index.
But let me explain what it is.

GEO feed lets you add a coordinate to your article.
So lets say you write something about mount everest.
In the GEO feed you paste the coordinates of mount everest.
Great, but useless you would say.

Now comes the good part. When your page gets indexed a little marker is placed on those coordinates in google maps.
So someone looking for mount everest on google maps also gets a little red bubble a,b,c,d whatever, linking to your site.
Pretty cool if you ask me. This also works for google street view, i heard, but I haven’t been able to get it working yet.

Hosting.
Hosting contributes to your ranking.
I can write a long ass story about that but it just boils down to this.
Better hosting is better ranking. So no shared ip’s etc. Get a dedicated server.

Link building.
Now there is a lot of talking about that on this forum so i don’t think i need to get into that.
I would like to make a little footnote though.
A link is a representation of your business.
So spam blasting crap like; get socks, great socks, super sock, cheap socks.
And then anchor linking them all to your website is not a good idea.

You might say it’s working. It is now.
But when google sharpens it’s algo’s it will pick that out.
And the sad thing is you don’t have the power to remove it ones it sticks.
So think about that before you start blasting.

To put it all perspective.
So everything i talked about above. How do you see this put in to practice.
You should see each segment as a block from which you build your website.
And thats also how you should design it visually.

You have a header block
You have a text block with the image block inside.
You have a video block.
You have a comment block.
And you have your html sitemap block.

Each block displaying there feed. Each feed bound into a sitemap index.
Each sitemap declared in the robot text.

A organised whole. And a ranking monster.

Thats about it.
Hope it does you some good.

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