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Search Engine Optimization by Harold Davis

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Chapter 8. Tools of the Trade

Driving traffic to your site is macro-level SEO strategy. The other important tools of the trade have to do with crafting your web sites—and web pages—so that they “put their best faces forward” in search engine ranking.

Working with the Bot

To state the obvious, before your site can be indexed by a search engine, it has to be found by the search engine. Search engines find web sites and web pages using software that follows links to crawl the web. This kind of software is variously called a crawler, a spider, a search bot, or simply a bot (bot is a diminutive for “robot”).

To be found quickly by search engine bot, it helps to have inbound links to your site. More important, the links within your site should work properly. If a bot encounters a broken link, it cannot reach—or index—the page pointed to by the broken link.

Note

As I explained earlier, you don’t have to wait for the bot to find your site on its own if you list your site—manually or using a submission tool—with the important search engines. However, it’s still important, even if you list your site, that it be “bot friendly.”

Images

Pictures don’t mean anything to a search bot. The only information a bot can gather about pictures come from the alt attribute used within a picture’s <img> tag, and from text surrounding the picture. Therefore, always take care to provide description information via the <img> tag’s alt attribute along with your images, and to provide at least one text-only (e.g., outside ...

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