Cooperation with Big Brothers — SEO
# Resolve php file for extensionless php urls
RewriteRule ^([^\.]+)$ $1.php [NC,L]
Google "Studio Gri Fare", Bing grifare.info as a website, Yandex the .pdf files Studio Gri Fare has.
— "I have just invented the elixir of immortality but no one knows where I am."
If getting a higher ranking in search results is what I am aiming at, I definitely rely on the originality of content, which is a necessary but not sufficient condition. However, without saying anything useful or new, all tricks will render futile: search engines today are too clever to be manipulated by a few magical keywords. Having acknowledged the first prerequsite, let us discuss what SEO is.
By the way, one pitfall to avoid, is taking these Web Gods too seriously. Not everything they say is a verse.
My interpretation of SEO
If the content itself does not do its own job, the website owner should not expect much from any techniques discussed under this topic. Actually, there is no way to make Google think a convenience store stocks more items than WalMart. Having said that, still there are rules of the game to be followed in order not to mess it up. Here is my list of instructions to myself.
- Always say what the website is about.
Is title tag appropriate? Are separate sets of title, description, and keyword metatags present in every single page?
- Carefully select keywords, as head terms and tail terms.
Do not include the most searched keywords if the website content does not incorporate them. Randomly inserted gazillions of words are simply ignored by Google. A good keyword is "writer-photographer" as opposed to "writer". Analyse the keywords with dedicated websites such as keywordspy.com. Use keyword suggestion tools.
- Naming conventions for URLs and files.
An image called img1 or a page called page10 is not what the robots can categorise under any topic. A good page name is istanbul-photographs.html. Do all your images have alt tags?
- Microdata frenzy: Structured Data
This website uses the latest schema.org vocabulary in its about page only. Although the vocabulary is evolving every day and it cannot be left without editing for years, my suggestion is to use it at least for the main characters.
- Are spiders welcome? Are there directories to be protected?
Create a robots.txt file that properly says which pages are available and remove old URLs again by using robots.txt. (This is the robots file here.)
- .htaccess files, AKA voodoo, are awful nice. Please see how and where this website redirects http requests thanks to
mod_rewriteand look at the lack of file extensions in the URL. That very same .htaccess file speeds up page load times and does a hell lot of other invisible tricks.
A crazy .htaccess cheatsheet. And another .htaccess cheatsheet.
- Analytics tools.
- Choosing a hosting service provider might not sound like an important topic, but it can become a nightmare when those remote guys mess up files. Been there, done that. Just be very picky. Currently, this website is being hosted at squidix.com.
- Cross-browser compatibility. Make sure a bunch of different browsers correctly display your website.
Did you test it even for IE8? Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Yandex, Safari and Opera... Test it with all major browsers and not with their most recent versions only.
- Sitemaps are damn important.
XML and HTML sitemaps should be present and the XML version should be submitted to search engines.
- Who are you?
Do not post corporate gibberish that says nothing, thinking you published something impressive. Our about us page tells users what we exactly are: we are humans, NOT a website.
- Content content content...
And users are NOT search engines, they too are humans. Make sense, be natural and original. Avoid poor grammar and irrelevant vocabulary. If your bounce rate is high, that means there is something misleading.
(Hey, can anyone say this little static website has inadequate content?)