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Higher ranking in search engine results

Posted on 2004-08-12
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I would like for my website to get the highest possible ranking in search engines like yahoo, google, etc.  I have heard there are cgi scripts that can make this happen.  Can someone point me in the right direction?
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Question by:abstractionz
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phpisthefuture earned 25 total points
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There are free cgi scripts out there which will generate some useless code (for your keywords) behind the page, users will not be able to see them but some search engines will when they crawl through your website. It is not a smart way since this is a spamming according to search engine rules and wihtin my knowledge those cgi scripts can mess up your page sometimes (depending on the browswer). So what I would suggest you is start making a plan for your website. If you have a website which is already up and running (I am guessing you have) with already a stable design you can either get into a redesing process which will be search engine optimized or you can consider optimizing it with little design changes. Please let me know if you like to spend time working on your website and create some highly optimized website for the search engines which will always win in the long run. I can give you several ideas, tips, and website links how to do that. I have learned SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by myself and it is so much fun at the same time. But if you want a short run solution I can also suggest you some scripts at your own risk(your website can get banned from specific search engines because of spamming if you prefer to use scripting instead of optimization).
I hope my general information helps.
Good Luck
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by:abstractionz
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Thanks.  I would definitely like to learn about SEO.  
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by:phpisthefuture
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Search Engine Optimization has become a new field in IT profession. Different search engines have their different softwares, algorithms and methods. This area is very dynamic and changing/improving itself on daily basis. So a good SEO would follow the news about search engines. The market has grown so fast, amazingly, there are even auction web sites out there which let web site owners sell Banner/Text links on their websites according to their "Google Page Rankings".  As a start you should focus on couple of top ranked search engines such as Google, Yahoo after learning the basics of SEO.  Search engine bots (machines which crawl the WWW to enter the websites into their databases) do not see the physical design of the web page, they care about the code behind it. But even adding an image alt tag to a basic picture can even increase the placement of your website. So be patient and start reading about SEO. I will give you several very valuable links about SEO which I have learned a lot and obtained very high "Google Page Rankings" on my websites after following the basic rules.
Some basic rules for success in SEO (My opinions):
1) Keep your site's code clean, avoid unnecessary html code (eg by using CSS, tables etc).
2) When you optimize your web sites do not only focus on optimization, focus on the purpose of web site instead. (eg do not overuse the keywords in description).
3) Backlinking (links come from other sites to yours) is extremely important nowadays. But it doesn't mean that you have to have a huge advertising budget. Keep in mind if your web site is really good, others will link to it. Doesn't matter if the content is information based, industry specific, service or products. Especially for non-profit websites do not hesitate to contact other websites to ask for adding your links on their sites. You can check your Google backlinks (websites link to yours) by this free tool: http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/link-popularity/
You can also search on google as: link: www.yourdomain.com for backlinks. there's a trick here, leave a space after "link:" most of the webmasters don't know that :)

There's much much more information about SEO, but it would take pages if I start writing, so I will suggest you to read through web pages I have given below and understand the basics first. Then start playing with it. You will be amazed how much it will improve your websites standing within even weeks/months.

Valuable Resources about SEO:
One of my favorite sites, several very useful SEO tools and a great white page about search engines, you can gain a great knowledge from this site:
http://www.bruceclay.com/web_rank.htm
This site has great FREE webmaster tools for SEO such as; Meta Tags Analyzer, Link Popularity Check, Meta Tags Generator:
http://www.submitexpress.com/
Excellent web site to start learning about SEO:
http://www.seochat.com/
Very popular SEO forum, you can learn a lot:
http://forums.seochat.com/
A page you have to follow if you are a current/future webmaster.
http://www.webmasterworld.com/

Good luck and let me know if you have any further questions.
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by:duz
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abstractionz -

Three things that will help you more than anything else :)

1. Sit down in front of you screen with 30 minutes to spare and a cup of coffee and go through this Free Seo Tutorial http://www.seo-guy.com/tutorial.html

2. Resist the temptation to visit hundreds of sites looking for a magic SEO formula - there isn't one.  All you will find is conflicting advice and amateur speculation.

3. Ask any specific SEO questions and search the answers in the Web Development ---> Online Marketing section here on Experts Exchange.

That's all you need to do...!

- duz

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by:alskdj80
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im sure that theres more than enough general information above to help you on your way... but just a few specific suggestions

its very difficult to get into yahoo search engine... and you need to wait for a long time... however, google is much easier, you simply need the google spider to access your site through a link.  The best way to do this is to somehow get links to your site from googled sites... i hate to suggest this (as it promotes wiki spam), but wiki is actually a good way of promoting your ranking (http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiWikiWeb)
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by:abstractionz
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I've read that dynamic pages aren't seen by the spider, so if my whole site is PHP, am I not going to be listed?
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by:duz
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abstractionz -

>I've read that dynamic pages aren't seen by the spider

Google has got a lot better at indexing dynamic pages over the last couple of years but it spiders them slower than static pages in order not to crash servers. You still need to keep the dynamic url as simple as possible e.g. .com?id=123 as opposed to .com?id=123&des=keyword&title=the_best_site&var=whatever.

- duz
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by:phpisthefuture
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Dynamic pages and dynamic URL's are totally different. PHP is a server side language which processes the data at the server side and only shows the output to the client side. Just to give you an example;
I have an index page called http://www.mydomain.com/index.php (dynamic page, but static index.php url)
The code is;
-----------------------------------
<html>
<head>
<title>MY PAGE'S TITLE</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<link href="/style.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">
</head>

<body>
<?php include "menu.inc" ?>
<?php include "sidebarleft.inc" ?>
<?php include "sidebarright.inc" ?>
<?php include "content.inc"?>
</body>
</html>
-------------------------------------
PHP script calls the menu, left side bar, right side bar and the content of the page, but the user and search engines only see the plain html output which is generated at the server side through the .inc files.

But if we are talking about dynamic URL's there are some tricks with the search engine optimization depending on your script. As an example PHPBB is the most popular discussion forum script on PHP. It creates dynamic URL's but there are tricks to make search engines crawl. I am not going to get into details since you don't need technical details right now.
But I can tell you all of the pages I have created with PHP have very high standing on search engines.
If you know how to use it php is a great language for search engines.
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by:alskdj80
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abstractionz, you're completely right, dynamic urls are not listed as well as non-dynamic urls by any search engine...

you should look at this article, where you can clean up your url and make it alot more searchable:
http://www.evolt.org/article/Making_clean_URLs_with_Apache_and_PHP/18/22880/
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