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For webmaster and SEO professionals looking to improve page rankings, the most common problems arise when search engine spiders crawl websites to find out what the page is actually about. Remember – spiders are not humans. They are programs that are designed to interpret what the page is about. They are unable to do this without help from the creator of the page.

To help understand what this means for web designers, the following list describes the 4 most common mistakes made in creating a web page.

1.      DUPLICATE CONTENT: This is a huge no-no. The search engines store an enormous amount of data which takes up massive amounts of space. Duplicate content takes up unnecessary space as well as dramatically slows down processing that is regularly done. Search engines will remove every page of duplicate content with the exception of the first page created. Inner pages need to be unique. Make sure title tags and meta tags are unique as well for each page so the spiders crawling do not mistake content as duplicate.

2.      NOT ENOUGH CONTENT: Webmasters like to uses flashy images on website so the sight is aesthetically pleasing to humans. Everyone wants a cool looking website, right? While this is true for humans viewing the page, there is a major issue with visually appealing designs. Spiders cannot read text that appears in images! Text to a spider is considered necessary content. This excludes graphics. 

How can you have a flashy looking site and make the spiders happy?

Include more text. The more text on a page the easier the spiders are able to interpret what the site is about. Include title tags as they give the spiders an overview of what the site is about.

 3.      SPIDERS ARE UNABLE TO CRAWL: This should be common sense to most web designers, but it’s still worth mentioning. Make sure you allow spiders to have access to your site. Make sure all links work for spider software. If the spider can’t follow your links from your inner-pages, then only the home page will inevitably get indexed by the search engines.

 4.      LINKS: In order to effectively rank your website, the spiders need page links to crawl and index. Not only should links remain internally spider-friendly, but it also is extremely important to have links from other sites. Links from other sites help the spiders find your site so that they can crawl and index it. The more links you have across the Internet, the easier it is for the spiders to find and crawl your site.

By ensuring the above-listed steps are incorporated into your website’s design, you will benefit from increased search engine visibility. These are easily the most commonly-overlooked issues which end up causing poor ranking and search engine visibility.

  • Renee

    I’d like to argue a fifth. Misrepresenting your brand. Telling the search engine what it wants to see is only part of the battle. If you give it what it wants to see, but in doing so turn away your potential clientele, where are you?

    I see this over and over again with poorly written SEO content on website. Hammering the keywords home that boost your site rankings isn’t necessarily the best choice when it comes to actually growing your business. Keep in mind that spiders aren’t the only ones seeing your page. If your people don’t stick around, you get negative reviews on other sites or you just start losing traffic, the search engines are going to wonder why.

  • CrisN

    This is a lot of great information! I took an online course in social media marketing and the professor said the less words the better on a web site. She was meaning that we, as humans, do not like to read and search. That we want to see what we are looking for and nothing else. Maybe she needs a lesson from you. While she may have a point. It is useless if the webpage is not found by search engines. I think there is a way to give the spiders what they need and the humans what they need. It just needs to be well organized! Thanks for sharing your side!

  • Matthew

    These steps help me understand how information is routed. It sounds like being right to the point in a search is a good way to go. It’s one I will practice.

  • SallySeener

    I will strive to create pages with different content and make a greater effort not to duplicate information. I understand it is important to make searching as simple for prospective customers as possible.

  • Justice

    This is a great guide in web designing. I intend to utllize the information in such events.