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SEO for google

Posted on 2005-03-24
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Hello experts, I'm trying to get my site (http://www.martinadseigns.com/)  ranked higher on google.  It runs on OScommerce, and is in pure php.  I used to have a html splash page, and I was ranked on google for awhile with that.  But I removed it because someone said that it wasn't a good idea.   Now my site isn't even on google, and I also heard php is still not very searchable by google yet.  I've convereted my side menu nav bars to graphic links, will that really hurt my internal link count?  I also don't have a site map, could I put a text site map link somewhere at the bottom of my left nav bar?  

 I'd like to optimize my site for higher ranking, but I feel so confused by the mass of information and a lack of great results.  What should I do?

-Chris
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Question by:Discomonkey
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by:duz
duz earned 300 total points
ID: 13624416
Discomonkey -

>my site isn't even on google

It is in Google but only partially indexed.

>php is still not very searchable by google yet

Google has never had a problem with php.

>my internal link count?

There is no such thing as an 'internal link count'.  Links can either be followed by Google or not. It is better to have text links with appropriate anchor text and having them on a site map is just fine.

>could I put a text site map link somewhere at the bottom of my left nav bar

Creating a site map and placing a link to it on every page will help your site get spidered by Google, so yes it is a good idea.

>confused by the mass of information and a lack of great results.  What should I do?

What you have just done, ask specific questions here :)

- duz

PS  The osCommerce Knowledge Base has something you should read through on SEO for osCommerce http://www.oscommerce.info/kb/osCommerce/Tips_and_Tricks/194
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humeniuk earned 300 total points
ID: 13624447
"I used to have a html splash page, and I was ranked on google for awhile with that.  But I removed it because someone said that it wasn't a good idea."
It tends not to be a good idea because most splash pages have little or no content and often don't have proper links into the rest of the site (where the content is found).

"Now my site isn't even on google"
If you made the changes you mention recently - ie. removing the splash page - it may simply be a matter of time for Google to reindex the 'new' site.  Does your site have backlinks, ie. links from other sites?  This is the primary way in which Google and other major search engines will find your website in order to index it.  The quality and quantity of incoming links also play a significant role in how your site ranks with the search engines.

"I also heard php is still not very searchable by google yet."
Not true . . . but search engines can have difficulty with complex dynamic URLs, such as www.domain.com/page.php?variable=d939d&othervariable=1234&more=stuff.  The answer to this is to use a means of rewriting your URLs into a more search engine friendly syntax.  Your site already does that, ie. www.martinadesigns.com/index.php/cPath/21.

"I've convereted my side menu nav bars to graphic links, will that really hurt my internal link count?  I also don't have a site map, could I put a text site map link somewhere at the bottom of my left nav bar?"
These two questions go together.  Yes, graphic links will absolutely cause you problems.  Search engines much prefer static text links.  You're on the right track in that one of the ways around it is to provide a good site map that is one text link away from your home page.  Creating that should be a high priority.

"I'd like to optimize my site for higher ranking, but I feel so confused by the mass of information and a lack of great results.  What should I do?"
That is completely understandable as there is a mass of information available and it is often misguided or conflicting.  However, there is one very good place to start - www.seo-guy.com/tutorial.html.  It is an excellent SEO tutorial that will get you started on the right track if you take the time to review it comprehensively.  It is also a good idea to review Google's Webmaster Guidelines - www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html.  After that, you have the Online Marketing TA at Experts Exchange :)
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by:Discomonkey
ID: 13627011
Thanks a ton for the info guys, both were extremely helpful.  I actually feel hope for ranking my site again!  Quick question:  I'm going to add a site map, but should I also convert my sidebar links to text links?  Would that help alot?  Oh and should I use <meta tag robots follow> (not sure what the syntax is exactly, but I don't have it anywhere)
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Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 13627028
The site map should be considered essential.  If you have the site map, the sidebar text links aren't as important, but I would still recommend it.

Don't worry about the robots meta tag.  It won't make a difference.  The search engines visit and revisit websites based on their own criteria, not based on what webmasters recommend or hope for in the meta tags.
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Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 13627032
And thanks for the A  :)
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