Sunday, June 3, 2012

Inviting Crawlers

Note: I will focus here on Google search engine, but most of this works for all major modern search engines.

After understanding the basics about search engines and how they work, I decided to act for improving my site search visibility – how my pages will be appeared in search results and how high they will be ranked.

So I started seeking the web for ways to do so, and apparently there are many ways you can do that. In fact, there is an entire field called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there are even SEO Consultants that make money from this stuff. Sure I’m no SEO, but I’ve gathered some simple do-it-yourself actions that you can do to optimize your search results:

  • Explicitly tell Google to crawl a site. This is a great start for new sites.
  • Design your site to be more crawler-friendly, by structuring your URLs and using Meta tags, such as the <meta name="description" content="…" /> tag.
    Tip about meta tags: Google ignores most Meta tags. The most important one is the description tag, which besides helping crawlers to get a clue about the content of the page, it tells Google what to display under your link. A good description tag will eventually make more visitors to your site.
  • Add links to your site from other pages around the web. Especially from pages similar in content. This is extremely important. It will help your pages to be more visible on searches because crawl robots will get to your site more often and mark it as more relevant and popular.
  • Search engines rank pages by the relevance to the term being searched. For example, if you search for “Code Lodge” you can find a lot of stuff that has no connection to software, but if most of the people that searched this term will enter to the result, it will eventually result in ranking this site higher. So the more clicks you get, you will be rated higher.
  • If you own a blog, then you probably want to add credibility and authorship to your pages. By making sure each page has a link with a rel="author" attribute to your , and from your Google+ page a link that has rel="me" with a link back to your blog. This is how you make your site gain reliability, and with a cyclic link back to your site it will be crawled more often.
  • Pay a SOE guy to do this job for you. :)

Those are some great tips but the best advice that I’ve learned from this session, is simply try to build a quality site with rich content and the rest will come by itself. You can’t build a crappy site that the only good thing about it is it’s meta tags and expect good rankings. Clear your mind from thoughts about search engines and doing tricks that will help you with good search results. Start focusing on building sites with good UX, content, and design that will be good for your visitors, that’s 99% of what matters. You have to work for it, there are no free rides.


That’s all for now, I’m sure that there are much more things I can do, but all those kinds of things takes time to show results. I think I will let time to do its job. Until then I better start working.

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