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Rocz
05-14-2009, 03:37 AM
Wasn't sure where to post this one but I figured it was better here than in the Dreamweaver section.

My Question is regarding Search engine optimization and how the spiders scan the HTML.

I currently use and Image for my header as it contains non-standard fonts. I believe this is a pretty common practice. However does this make a difference when it comes to the spiders?

The way I understand it is the Spider starts at the top of the HTML page and works down, It makes notes of the Meta Keywords and looks for them in the page putting relevance to where they appear in the page and what Heading level they are.

Is this correct?

If it is the wouldn't a three column design with a header and footer run into trouble if the first two things on the page the spider encounters is an Image for a Header and then a Navigation bar in the right column (built using Fireworks and in a table format)?

Or is it enough that I make sure that I use my Meta Keywords in the Heading levels <h1> Keyword </h1> and in the paragraphs <p> keyword </p> of the center columns body.

I have been careful to name buttons and images with page relevant names, but I am not sure if this makes a difference.

I understand there is no guarantee when it comes to SEO, but I also know you can improve your chances by following simple guide lines. I am just unsure what those guide lines are.

Could some one please either help me out or point me in the right direction as to where I could find out more information regarding SEO.

Thanks
Rob

DWcourse
05-14-2009, 04:14 AM
I currently use and Image for my header as it contains non-standard fonts. I believe this is a pretty common practice. However does this make a difference when it comes to the spiders?

Using an image in place of your header shouldn't cause you problems as long as you're optimizing the text of your h1, h2, etc. Duplicating the same header text on each page (presumably as an h1) would actually hurt your SEO efforts.

The way I understand it is the Spider starts at the top of the HTML page and works down, It makes notes of the Meta Keywords and looks for them in the page putting relevance to where they appear in the page and what Heading level they are.

Is this correct?

The value of meta keywords and descriptions is debated these days. The best answer I've gotten is they probably help a bit and certainly don't hurt (as long as you don't "stuff" them).

You should have only one h1 per page and as many h2s as you need. Search engines give them more weight than normal body text, so make them keyword rich and relevant.

In general, text that appears higher in the html is weighted a bit stronger than text lower down.

If it is the wouldn't a three column design with a header and footer run into trouble if the first two things on the page the spider encounters is an Image for a Header and then a Navigation bar in the right column (built using Fireworks and in a table format)?

But if that navigation was text-based (styled with CSS) and the links were keyword rich it wouldn't be a problem (actually a plus)

Or is it enough that I make sure that I use my Meta Keywords in the Heading levels <h1> Keyword </h1> and in the paragraphs <p> keyword </p> of the center columns body.

I have been careful to name buttons and images with page relevant names, but I am not sure if this makes a difference.

Giving the buttons relevant names and relevant alt tags will help but text links carry more "juice."

I understand there is no guarantee when it comes to SEO, but I also know you can improve your chances by following simple guide lines. I am just unsure what those guide lines are.

I've been a member of a small SEO forum SEOrefugee (http://www.seorefugee.com/forums/) for a few years and I find the folks there very helpful to people who sincerely want to learn.

Rocz
05-14-2009, 05:56 AM
Thank you very much.

Isn't thant interesting about text_links vs image_links

I understood what you are saying clearly.

Thanks for answering all my questions, being new to the game there is a lot to learn.

Peace
Rob

Corrosive
05-14-2009, 07:09 AM
Thank you very much.

Isn't thant interesting about text_links vs image_links

I understood what you are saying clearly.

Thanks for answering all my questions, being new to the game there is a lot to learn.

Peace
Rob

If you are using an image as h1 then try the phark image replacement technique. Details are here in the boss's site...

http://www.domedia.org/oveklykken/css-image-replacement.php

Rocz
05-14-2009, 09:06 AM
Thats slick, so basically even though the text is in the HTML, the text is basically invisible due to the CSS and the image is left there.

I like it!

Corrosive
05-14-2009, 12:14 PM
Thats slick, so basically even though the text is in the HTML, the text is basically invisible due to the CSS and the image is left there.

I like it!

It's good isn't it. :)

domedia
05-15-2009, 06:37 PM
The way I understand it is the Spider starts at the top of the HTML page and works down, It makes notes of the Meta Keywords and looks for them in the page putting relevance to where they appear in the page and what Heading level they are. Modern search engines don't give a damn about your meta keywords. 8) It's years ago they realized that hidden keywords do not make the document more relevant to the user.

Rocz
05-15-2009, 07:19 PM
So then I would have to assume Content is the key. Using text relevant links, image relevant names and keeping my content on target to the topic.
Also using the trick Corrosive suggested will help with placing HTML under my images.

Sounds like pretty common sense stuff.

Although I would have to wonder how some sites that have nothing to do with the topic get picked up as a topic related site. Some search engines are better at filtering, but if You have ever used Adobes Community help system there filter system is just horrible.

Anyways, this is all good stuff, Ill still throw a couple of Keywords in that relate to the content on the page, just for the sake of "It cant hurt".

Thanks again guys.
Peace,
Rob

domedia
05-15-2009, 07:27 PM
So then I would have to assume Content is the key. You got it 8)

Sounds like pretty common sense stuff.
Alot of SEO is not as magic as many makes it out to be.

Anyways, this is all good stuff, Ill still throw a couple of Keywords in that relate to the content on the page, just for the sake of "It cant hurt". Bloated code, larger file size, longer download, text/code ratio. Your choice.. I would optimize the code. Get rid of everything you don't need.

Rocz
05-19-2009, 04:00 AM
I am currently watching tutorials on Lynda.com (got a free membership from Adobe when I bought CS4) and it is so funny, you guys are right on target on both the Phark image replacement and SEO.
From what I am seeing now Semantically correct Pages are the first thing. then do all of the design work with CSS an you will cover a lot of bases. Accessibility, SEO and Design.

So far I am through the HTML, XHTML, CSS introduction courses
and am about half way through the SEO, PHP, JAVA and CSS for Designers courses.

Once those are done Ill move to Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Photoshop and Illustrator.

Oh ya I had to do part of a Acrobat one to be able to make forms for on-line PDF for a Town job I'm working on, it was pretty good and covered both Acrobat and Livecycle.

I have taken the week off from work/life so I can poor over all of these tutorials before my free membership expires. Hopefully, Ill be able to bring a little more to the table once I'm done with em all.

Thanks again for the help.

Peace,
Rob