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Posted by on in SEO

A search engine operates, in the following order: 1) Crawling; 2) Deep Crawling Depth-first search (DFS); 3) Fresh Crawling Breadth-first search (BFS); 4) Indexing; 5) Searching.

Web search engines work by storing information about a large number of web pages, which they retrieve from the WWW itself. These pages are retrieved by a web crawler (also known as a spider) - an automated web browser which follows every link it sees, exclusions can be made by the use of robots.txt. The contents of each page are then analyzed to determine how it should be indexed. Data about web pages is stored in an index database for use in later queries. Some search engines, such as Google, store all or part of the source page (referred to as a cache) as well as information about the web pages, whereas some store every word of every page it finds, such as AltaVista. This cached page always holds the actual search text since it is the one that was actually indexed, so it can be very useful when the content of the current page has been updated and the search terms are no longer in it. This problem might be considered to be a mild form of linkrot, and Google's handling of it increases usability by satisfying user expectations that the search terms will be on the returned web page. This satisfies the principle of least astonishment since the user normally expects the search terms to be on the returned pages. Increased search relevance makes these cached pages very useful, even beyond the fact that they may contain data that may no longer be available elsewhere.

When a user comes to the search engine and makes a query, typically by giving keywords, the engine looks up the index and provides a listing of best-matching web pages according to its criteria, usually with a short summary containing the document's title and sometimes parts of the text. Most search engines support the use of the boolean terms AND, OR and NOT to further specify the search query. An advanced feature is proximity search, which allows you to define the distance between keywords.

The usefulness of a search engine depends on the relevance of the results it gives back. While there may be millions of Web pages that include a particular word or phrase, some pages may be more relevant, popular, or authoritative than others. Most search engines employ methods to rank the results to provide the "best" results first. How a search engine decides which pages are the best matches, and what order the results should be shown in, varies widely from one engine to another. The methods also change over time as Internet usage changes and new techniques evolve.

Most web search engines are commercial ventures supported by advertising revenue and, as a result, some employ the controversial practice of allowing advertisers to pay money to have their listings ranked higher in search results.

The vast majority of search engines are run by private companies using proprietary algorithms and closed databases, the most popular currently being Google, MSN Search, and Yahoo! Search. However, Open source search engine technology does exist, such as Dig, Nutch, Senas, Egothor, OpenFTS, DataparkSearch and many others.

 

By David Tang

Tagged in: search engines seo
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Posted by on in SEO

I don't know how many times I've been asked. "Many People ask How do I get traffic to my website?"

To best discuss this topic I should break this down into categories

1. Title Tags
The title Should contain keywords and keyword phrases that is important to your site. Our recommended maximum number of characters for this tag is 60.
Also when counting your characters remember that spaces are considered as well.
Titles should appeal to the reader otherwise even a top position will lose a lot of clicks.
For example, "shoes,nike shoes,best shoes,review shoes," is unlikely to induce a click. What may induce a click would be like:
Shoes - Find out the latest styles on name brand shoes.

2. Description
The maximum number of characters I recommend for this Tag is 150. Any longer than this and it will only be cut off and may count against your site being listed high in the search engines. Try to repeat your keywords that you used in your title in a proper sentence and in 3rd party. Advoid I, Me, Myself etc

3. Keywords
keywords My recommended maximum number of characters for this tag is 250. Any more than that may be considered spamming. Keep your keywords focused upon what your site is about.
Don't think that if I use an assortment of different keywords that your site will be a seller. Targeted marketing is associated with your keywords.

4. Keyword Nesting
Description: A term used in searching to indicate the sequence in which operations are to be performed
Enclosing words in parentheses identifies a group or "nest." Groups can be within other groups.
The operations will be performed from the innermost nest to the outmost, and then from left to right.

keyword nesting is nesting your top 5 most important keywords in the html page that the public will see. I would recommend using the keywords that you've used in your title, description.

5. Head Tags not to be confused with (head) tags def.
HEAD or HEADER (of HTML document)
The top portion of the HTML source code behind Web pages, beginning with and ending with . It contains the Title, Description, Keywords fields and others that web page authors may use to describe the page. The title appears in the title bar of most browsers, but the other fields cannot be seen as part of the body of the page. To view the portion of web pages in your browser, click VIEW, Page Source. In Internet Explorer, click VIEW, Source. Some search engines will retrieve based on text in these fields.
Head Tags should be a repeat of your title tag. Most webmasters put their head tag right after the body tag. A head tag will look like this (h1) (/h1) with the ( and ) being replaced with < >

6. Anchor Links
Anchor Links is one of the most important html tags that your site needs to gain search engine page rank
especially in google and msn.

 

By Duane Jacobson

Tagged in: search engines seo
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Posted by on in SEO

Search engines, where would we be without them? Within the past 10-15 years the internet has become a huge part of every day American life. Many people nowadays cannot remember the time prior to having this wonderful information highway we call the internet. The internet has really revolutionized the way people live their lives; for example, you can bank online, buy just about anything you want online, meet new people online, and even find local movie times. However, one of the biggest benefits of the internet is the use of search engines. At any moment in time you may have a question, or an urge to get more information about a certain topic and that information can be easily attained through a search engine. In this article I am going to give you a brief history on the evolution of the search engine, and show you how they truly have revolutionized our lifestyles.

The history of search engines is the story of university students' projects evolving into commercial enterprises and revolutionizing the field as they went. The first attempt at creating a search engine was called Archie, and it was created in 1990 by Alan Emtage, a student at McGill University. This very primitive search engine did not use any robot technology. All Archie really did was just become a database of archived filenames, which it would try to match with users' queries. 

The next evolutionary step of the search engine was the introduction of "robots." The first use of robot technology was in the search engine World Wide Web Wanderer. Simply what robots would do is scan the internet for URL's, starting at one site and using the links in the previous site to find more sites. The problems with these first robots were that if they were not written properly they would cause too many hits on a server decaying the systems performance.

To combat these initial problems Martjin Koster came out with the first web directory called "Aliweb" in October 1993. Web directories are different than search engines because the sites listed in them are not from automated robots, but rather from human editors reviewing sites and placing them in the directory. 

However, shortly after, in December 1993, a new robot was born. This was called the "spider." Spiders added a much further degree of accuracy by indexing the entire text of a webpage. The older robots only indexed the URL and titles of a page, which meant that some pertinent keywords might not be indexed. This greatly improved the relevancy rankings of their results, and thus was the first major step in forming the major search engines that we have all become so used to using today.

Not long after the spider, we saw the emergence of some of the big guns. In 1994, out of Stanford University came the extremely famous Yahoo. The two guys who started Yahoo were students, David Filo and JerryYang. Basically, at first Yahoo was just a list of these guys' favorite websites. But soon, due to its easy user-friendly interface, became the most popular web directory. Due to the fact that its websites were all human reviewed, Yahoo was only able to index about 1% of the web. At this time, Altavista became the fastest growing search engines using the spider technology and was indexing up to 10 million pages a day.

By this time there are two different types of search engines, "author controlled" such as Altavista and Excite, in which results were ranked by keyword relevancy, and "editor controlled" such as Yahoo, in which humans manually placed websites into their index. 
Then in late 1997 out of Stanford University was born the most popular and well-known search engine to date: GOOGLE Google has a different way of ranking its websites. It used a Pagerank system. Simply what they did was list websites higher in their results based on how many links were pointing to a particular site. Of course, the content on the page had to be relevant to the keyword typed into the search box. But basically, Google invented what you could call a system of voting. So a site with numerous backlinks or votes would rank higher. A backlink is just when someone else puts a link on their site that points to another outside site. Jump forward to today and Google has more than 80% of the websites on the internet in their index, which is pretty impressive. 

Search engines have had a huge impact on the American lifestyle. They basically will grant you just about any information you want, all you have to do is type into the search box the topic you want to find more information about. Human beings are natural born information junkies, we always want to know more and find out more and search engines have made this urge of ours extremely easy to cure. Just think about it, maybe you need to fix a simple problem you have with your car. By using a search engine to do some research you may very easily figure the problem out, saving you a very costly trip to the car repair shop. They are just great educational tools, before search engines emerged if you really wanted to learn something you would go to your library and check out a book. Now before making that trip you may find out what you wanted by just sitting at your desktop and surfing through Google. The list goes on about the many benefits of this great new technology we call the search engine. I'm sure you can recall a time when you found some very good information by using one. If you're anything like me and find yourself addicted to this easily accessible information highway then your making uses of them daily.

Search engines by nature were made very easy to use. However, with a little extra knowledge about how they work you can really take advantage of them and find great information very quickly. With the right knowledge of search engines and the use of specialized tools you can literally find anything you want. And when I mean anything, I mean ANYTHING. For me personally I am excited to see what search engines will evolve into in the future. The sky is the limit. Who knows what type of search spiders the future will spawn, but one thing is for sure there will be newer and newer search technology it's just our human nature to keep trying to top ourselves.

 

By Steve Bis

Tagged in: search engines seo
Hits: 3171
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Posted by on in SEO

Search engine optimization has evolved into a competitive, growing industry. There are plenty of hoaxes and scams on the web. It seems that as the Internet grows more complex, so do the scams. Choosing an effective company can be quite a challenge. There are many factors to consider when hiring an SEO service. This article gives advice on how to select a credible website optimization service.

Assess the services and credibility of the SEO company. Customer service is always the key factor that one should look at. There are many ways of assessing an SEO service. One can try to inquire by placing a call or by sending an email to the company. Depending on the courtesy and time of response, you can initially assess its customer service. Does the company provide an "about us" page on their website? A reputable online business will provide an informative look at the personal side of their company and who they are. Look for other company details such as, the company address and location.

Avoid a guarantee of instant results or the #1 position. There are many factors to consider when optimizing a webpage. Search engines use different algorithms and their spiders can vary. Any SEO company that guarantees the #1 position in the search results should be avoided. A legitimate company will be straight forward and honest and will tell its clients that no single company can give a guarantee of the top positions in the search results. A desireable SEO service should also provide reports and details regarding the standing of a client's website. They will be able to track the developments of their clients website in terms of keywords, links and their rankings in the major search engines.

A customer testimonial can provide a valuable insight when assessing a company's credibility. A satisfied customer is always a good indication of the effectiveness of a company's operations and will always be the most valuable piece of information about its integrity. If possible try to locate and contact people who have received benefits from hiring an optimization service or at least try to validate the testimonials.

It's important to consider the cost of website optimization. Keep in mind a higher price does not necessarily mean the expensive services are more effective than the less expensive ones. The optimization rates companies charge may vary greatly. Search engine optimization is a trial and error process which requires research, hard work and dedication. Make sure the SEO service is primarily involved in search engine optimization and does not treat it as a sideline.

 

By James Day

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Posted by on in Web Design

Would you buy meat from a grocery store that left the bad meat in with the good meat or wasn't clean? Would you buy a car from a sales lot that had totaled automobiles on the front lot? I wouldn't and neither would you. Your website is your grocery store; your car lot. You must have an atmosphere that is pleasing to buyers. One that tells that buyer that you are not an amateur, but instead a trained, seasoned professional. Your site is a direct reflection of your product and that is why that having a well designed website can make or break your sales.

The first thing to keep in mind when designing your website, is "surfability". Take a few minutes a look around at several web pages. What makes them appealing? Were there some that you closed out of immediately? Why? Take notes and do your research. Keep in mind that when a person visits your site they have a goal in mind. They are either seeking information or shopping for a product. Give the person what they want without having to search for it. Be sure that all the information on your site is relevant to your product. Make the buyer think that they need your product to solve their problem.

Your main page serves a very specific purpose. It should be an avenue by which the customer can shop your site. It should be easy to view and load very quickly. This is your first impression and we all know that first impressions can either close the deal or loose the deal. Make it simple. It is best to have links that are easily viewable by the reader that will navigate them to where they want to be. Tables are often a great choice when deciding on a way to design the main page of your site. Your main page should load very quickly, chances are if it takes the page more than ten seconds to load even on a 56k modem, the customer will click away to save time, hoping to find the information or product elsewhere. To increase the loading speed of your main page you should avoid large graphics or excessive graphics. Too many banners or special effects can cause a page to load slowly as well.

To make your web site more appealing to the eyes, you should stick to mild colors. If your site is a content site where the user will be doing a lot of reading, it is best to stick to black and white. Color can be added when using tables, as a way to brighten up the page, but remember to keep the overall look of the page professional and appealing to the audience that will be visiting most often. Since screen resolutions vary among monitors, it is a good idea to set the pixels to a standard 800x600. You may also choose to set the tables in your web page to span a percentage of the page rather than a set number of inches. This will be sure to accommodate all screen sizes. You should remember that a lot of Internet users will not use the same browser as you, and therefore you should be sure that your site looks as good on other browsers as it does your own. You can do this by downloading several browsers through which to look at your page.

Be aware of the fact that the overall look of your website is a way to make money. The appearance of the site, if designed properly, can be an excellent marketing strategy for your product or service. 

By Glenn McDonald

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Posted by on in Web Design

Many companies throughout the world today are operating their business with no website. When the internet keeps moving forward and advancing, your business needs to advance as well. If companies do not own or operate an online business as well as a physical business, they will lose out on sales and additional profits.

There are so many valid reasons why owning and operating a website is important. Reaching your target market in your own area is one thing, but having a website allows you to reach your target market world wide. Many more individuals and companies are becoming computer and internet savvy, this means to stay atop of the competition, you need to have a website that is not only informative but functional and professional. If marketed properly you should have sales or contacts via your website that are valid and valuable.

Every business needs to have an advertising campaign, and including your current website in that is vital to success on the internet. It's not good enough to just have a website; you need to invest time and money into your online business. Between pay per click advertising and the search engine marketing, it is more important than ever to keep the online public aware of the services and goods you provide. Whether you decide to hire out these tasks to a web design or marketing company or do the job yourself, it is the most important factor to getting your website awareness out there to the public.

If you own a business and it is not online, this is really a huge factor that needs to be considered. Not only will owning a website help your current clients, with items such as your office hours, prices or services available, it will allow your online audience to see what great products and services you offer, and possibly inspire them into action!

By Bonnie Beck

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Posted by on in Web Design

So this is something we often go through back and forth with clients, what colours should we use on our website? Logic would have you use your brand colours of course but this does not mean you can't deviate. 

 

Psychology behind the colors that can make or break your website's success.

Did you know that the values associated with colors can have a significant impact on your website's success? And did you know that you can change your visitor's feeling, mood and reaction by using different colors on your website?

Some professional web designers do not realize the impact that a single color can have on their project when designing a website for their clients. In reality, the meaning of colors will send the first message of your website to your visitors. You don't have to be a genius to find out why since it is obvious that the first thing they (visitors) see is the color of your site!

I have studied one hundred visitors to evaluate their patience for uploading a web page. First, I tried a plain black background page and the average waiting time was up to 2.47 seconds. Then I tried a plain white background page and the average wait time for uploading the web page increased to 4.89 Seconds.

The reason is just fear. People are afraid from black and darkness and they feel vulnerable when they see a plain black page. I won't go in detail about this subject in this article but if you would like to know more you can always visit our site at websitedevelopmenttech.com and get more information about color psychology.

What color should you use when designing your website?

Before answering this question you should do some research about your target audiences and find out about their character, behavior, mood, emotion ... etc. I'm not asking you to go and find each individual and interview them to find out their feelings and emotions. All you need to do is find the answer of these two questions:

1. What is the market segmentation that you are targeting?
a. Age

b. Gender

c. Culture

d. Geographic location


2. Why are they coming to your website?

Let's take a closer look at these two questions.

A. Market Segmentation:

a. Age: What is the most appropriate color for the age group that your website is targeting.

b. Gender: Men and Women have different taste and they react differently to colors. For example, the color pink is more appealing to women.
c. Culture: Colors mean different things to different cultures around the world. People associate colors to special events in their culture. For example, white is the symbol of purity and virtue in some cultures while in others white is associated with mourning and grief.

d. Geographic Location: Sometimes geographic location can change people's interpretation of certain colors. For example, people that are living in a desert area tend to be more passionate toward bright colors from yellow to orange vs. people that are living in the mountains.

B. Why are they coming to your website?

a. That is a very important question which determines the mood and feeling of your visitors. For example, people go to a lawyer's or a doctor's website because they have a problem and they want to be FIXED. This means they are not really excited or happy about that issue. Although, this may not be the case all the time there are some exceptions such as plastic surgeons, patent attorneys... etc.

As a designer, once you know your target markets then you can decide what color to choose to get the best possible outcome for your site. Sometimes you may end up changing some colors that you thought would be interesting to your visitors.

Remember, no matter how much you know and how hard you try, there is no guarantee that you can make it the first time. That is why it is important to monitor the results of your website and know how visitors are interacting with your site so you can change your mistakes and learn from it.

Best Regards, 

Shawn Davari

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Posted by on in Web Design

More often than not I see websites with basic entry level errors. There's a few things you should always consider when putting together your website. Here's a few basic rules by Nicholas LaPolla.

"Content is King! If you want a website to generate back-links and have quality content the search engines love, be sure to make it readable by both people and search engines. Search engines are working to give people quality results. Thus, they are looking for sites with quality content. So - by building site content for people, not only are you getting back to basics (information dissemination to people via the Internet), you are creating a site search engines will love. So, build sites for people - and the search engines will come.

When creating a new website or redesigning an existing site, there are four critical rules which should be followed to make the site effective, functional, loved by search engines - and successful. 

1. Easy to Read

When building a website, the first thing you need to be sure of is that your website is easy to read. When you write content, remember that most web site visitors don't read every word of a page - in fact, they only scan pages to find what they want. 

Break up Your Content

Break up your pages and use headers between major ideas so people scanning your site can find what they want quickly. Use meaningful headers between each paragraph or major idea - this helps with SEO. Headers should be created with the H1 through H4 tags for SEO. Always use good writing structure. Additionally, avoid long paragraphs that run on. You should break up any long paragraphs. 

Color and Fonts

To help readability, use high contrast colors between font and background. Black text against a white background may seem stark, but it is very readable. To make a website easy on the eyes, try an off-white background and a dark gray (almost black) text color. 

Things to avoid with content color: 

    • Avoid vibrant background colors like purple or yellow. Such back colors make text difficult to read.

 

    • Avoid using an image behind your text.

 

    • Avoid using bright text colors on bright backgrounds.

 


Fonts Matter

One simple statement covers the font issue: 

Simple fonts are the best; the more fancy the font, the harder it is to read. 

Since many browsers only have the standard font set, use standard fonts. In reality, there is no "standard", but there are certain fonts that are installed on most browsers. These include Arial, Verdana, Tahoma and Times New Roman. Your readers will see something different than you see if you use other fonts. 

Standard Compliant Browser for Development

When developing and testing your site, use a Standards compliant browser like FireFox. If you develop your site to be standards compliant, it will work in most browsers, including MS Internet Explorer (IE). It is recommended that you test your site using the latest and last browser versions of IE (IE6 and IE7). To run multiple versions of IE on the same machine, TredoSoft.com has a free installer that will install multiple versions of IE. It works great! 

Keywords in Content

Of course, when writing content, not only should it be formatted to be readable, but it must also be consumable by not only people, but by search engines. One way to make the subject of the content known to search engines is to use the keywords that people use to search for your site in your content. Be sure to use keywords in your header tags, your first paragraph and throughout your text. The keyword density should be between 4% and 7% - but any more than that could 1) be hard to read and still make sense and 2) be considered spam by search engines and banned. Keywords should also be used in your TITLE tags and your Meta description. 

2. Simplify Navigation

The menus and links make up the navigation that the visitor uses to get from page to page in a site. Always plan a site around how people will get from page to page. A visitor to your site should be able to get to what they want within three clicks of their mouse. 

Multiple navigation points makes it easy to find things. Repeat the top menu and at the bottom. Also create a left or right menu. 

Using links within your text to other areas on your site. You can create links so that they are good for search engine optimization (SEO). There are generally two ways to create links within your text: 

    1. The wrong way: "For search engine optimization techniques, click here."

 

    1. The right way: "Good techniques for search engine optimization are important to use."

 


Using link text (anchor text) that describes what the link is about is the best way. Search engine web crawlers (programs that automatically index the contents of websites) visit your site, they "read" links. Spiders can index descriptive links into a subject or keyword category. Spiders have nothing to work with when reading a "click here" until it reaches the linked page. 

This is Cross Linking - use it as much as possible when it makes sense to do so when writing your content. 

3. Consistent Design

At most, one or two layouts should be used in your site design. As a reader browses your site, they should be able to get used to looking in the same place for your navigation, for your sub-navigation and for your content. That's all there is to say about that. 

4. Lower Page Weight is Better

Page weight is the total size of a page on your site in bytes - code, text and images. Your site's page weight makes a big difference to your viewers. Lighter page weight is better for your readers because the page will download faster. The faster a page downloads, the faster they will get to the content. 

What is Means to be Light

    • No large images.

 

    • Fewer images are better.

 

    • Optimize images for the web at no more than 72 dpi

 

    • Use as small an image dimension as possible for the given design.

 

    • Use a table td bgcolor attribute or a background-color style attribute for solid color backgrounds.

 

    • Make gradients horizontal or vertical (not diagonal) so that you can use a small image "strip" and repeat it.

 


How "Heavy" Should a Web Page be? 

Certain studies show that 64K is a good maximum webpage size. 64K is a maximum, however it is still, in my opinion, really big! The smaller the page, the better. 25K is good, 15K is even better. There is a balance between design and function. It is a good idea to focus more on function. 

Try putting pages on your web host server as you build your site so you can test it as you go. For pages online, you can test the page weight at www.quasarcr.com/pageweight/ to be sure you are on track. 

Ways to make pages lighter: 

    • Use linked style sheets

 

    • Use DIVs instead of TABLEs where possible

 

    • Use simple repeating backgrounds for effect

 


Summary

Visitors to your website should be able to find what they are looking for within about three clicks. Search engines should be able to navigate easily through your site. Making a site easy to read with consistent page design, and easy to navigate will make it easy to find information. When people can find information, they are more likely to refer your site or link to it - which is exactly what you want to encourage. You will be on the way to building a readable and hopefully successful website that is loved by search engines if you follow these principals.

 

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