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Guidelines for Developing Web Crawler-Friendly Code

In the development stages of a new website, one of the first steps that can undertaken to render it optimized for search engine queries is to use spider-friendly code. This code refers to the HTML coding of the website, which is the portal through which a search engine spider accesses and reads its content. By accessing it, the spider picks out the keywords and indexes them along the way, then finally evaluates them. This fact should be put into consideration while the website is still in its nascent stage. To make sure the HTML code is aligned with the biases of search engines, first validate the written HTML with W3C. If it fails the benchmark, then chances are the search engines will encounter errors when displaying the website. Making sure to follow the accepted standards will make sure the website operates smoothly and provide users with a stress-free experience while viewing content. The same goes for standard, or XHTML coding. To check for page formatting integrity, the CSS files should also be run through the specific W3C validating application. Doing so will guarantee that your web pages retain their format the way you designed them to look like, as well as being compatible with most popular search engines in the internet. It should be noted that certain applications such as MS Word has HTML tools that are not readily validated through W3C without considerable modification.

CSS and Javascipt

HTML files that are designed to be as small as possible have the advantages of reduced bandwidth, which helps in shortening page load times. It’s good for the search engines as well. The simplest method involves relocating all the CSS as well as Javascript to an external file directory. A reference should be included in the heading of the document describing its contents. This has the desired effect mentioned above, and search engines will no longer include these items as part of search snippets, making more room for the rest of the document to be read by the spider program. Search engines generally have limits for snippet space.

Tables

Tables appearing in online HTML are rare nowadays, having gone out of favor with web designers. For one, they take up space that can be devoted to keyword-rich text otherwise. Another problem with tables is that they are difficult for screen readers to render on-screen without errors. They also have the added disadvantage of breaking up or obscuring keywords that may possibly confuse the spider programs. The popular alternative to present data is to use CSS with a div layout to ensure that website content remain true to W3C standards. This way the site will load quicker, and spiders can read the coding and thus return your website in search results easily. The only reason a table would be needed in HTML is if the information deems it necessary. Otherwise, stick to the recommended format.

Black Hat SEO

Many advances in search engine technology now enable stricter policing of online content for possible cheats that affect page rank unfairly. One such tactic is using a text style making text content invisible, either by changing the font to blend with the background or by reducing it to sizes too small for the human eye to read. Other so-called black hat tricks are stuffing h1 tags with keywords and posting it as normal text. To avoid being blacklisted by search engines, webmasters should try to avoid these techniques and follow the browser guidelines carefully. There are some SEO tactics that are currently bordering on black hat but are acceptable with the search engines. Nonetheless, a website with a vision of maintaining its places in the search engine indexes for a long time should look into switching to more acceptable SEO strategies, as a precaution against the browsers adopting stricter policies in the future.

Designing HTML code for a website with an eye for compliancy, code efficiency and search engine-friendliness will allow for a website that starts strong in the SEO race. Not only will this benefit the site against competition, it will make its content useable by other digital device software such as those in cellular phones and previous versions of computing software. More channels for the content to reach people means increase in popularity. Employing a thrifty code reduces user stress and makes the site look attractive and progressive to both web surfers and search engines alike.

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