Search Engines

April 13th, 2009

I try to take Google's advice to focus on users instead of search engines, but without traffic, there are no users. Given that Google can generate a lot of traffic for a new website, its important to know how sites are added to the Google index and what can affect where it appears in the search results for a user inquiry.

The problem is that not everyone wants to take the time (myself included) to learn how best to present a website to Google and other search engines so that its content and quality is accurately reflected.

During my experience as a web master, I've learned to do the following things when published websites to ensure that they are included in search engines:

  • Examine robots.txt to make sure that search engines are allowed to crawl and index the site
  • Make sure that the webserver isn't trying to set cookies or start sessions for the web crawlers
  • Use descriptive language in links
  • Use Google Webmaster tools
  • Use a sitemap
This list just scratches the surface though. The "fine art" of web publishing and promotion is constantly changing and evolving.
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