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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.

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With Google’s release of the freshness update, there are a few very simple steps to follow to help maintain your current visibility (or even boost it). The “freshness” update is designed to rank the newer content at a higher position for search results. Logically, this makes perfect sense. Nearly everyone searching the web wants the most relevant and most up-to-date content.

Think of the “freshness update” sorting new content the same way you would think of a small child receiving a new toy. At first, the child doesn’t let that toy out of their sight. After a bit of time goes by, however, the toy that was once so exciting now sits under the child’s bed, unused. This is essentially how the freshness update works.

Most webmasters are probably asking themselves “how can the “freshness” update benefit my website?” The following is a quick breakdown of exactly what users need to know to take advantage of this update:

The old saying “Content is King” is holding truer than ever with Google’s “freshness” update.

• Blog. If you’re not blogging on your website now is the time to add a blog. Blogs are created from frequently updated content and Google is rewarding freshness. Not only will Google pass a benefit to your site, but fresh content and activity are an excellent SEO practice that should already be implemented.

• Submit your new content. You took the time to create a blog. Why wouldn’t you share it with everyone? There are plenty of ways to do this. Post a link to your Facebook fans or Twitter followers so they are able to find your blog easily. Not only are you now engaging readers and sparking conversation, but they may also share your blog with their friends and families. This step is consistently creating “freshness” through readership and commenting.

• Add a date and time. Including the date and time helps you keep track of posts, sure, but it also allows your readers (and most importantly Google) a way to differentiate between your newer content and older posts. This is the whole point behind the “freshness” update. Posting the date and time on your posts will make it as easy as possible for the Google spiders to reward your website.

Though rankings are determined by hundreds of factors, a well-thought-out SEO strategy following these very simple steps will help maintain and even potentially increase your website visibility.