Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Blogger woes

Problems, problems. Seen around the Web the last couple of days:

"I can't seem to get into Blogger today, all I get is an error message saying site not found. Is anyone else having this problem? Or is it just me?"

"OK. It now looks as though my dissapearing post may be more serious. For the first time i cannot get to any Blogger or blogspot page. None of my favorite blogspot blogs are working (even super site Atrios is down) and Blogger cannot be accessed. Anyone got any clue whats going on?"

"oh great, not again. ..and I thought it was just me. :("

"it's totally down for me. what's the deal?"

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Not playing the SEO game

There is an interesting article by Dean Phillips I ran across that has a contrarian view on search engine optimizing. Or, as the author would probably say, search engine pandering.

In the author's view, Google is a trap ("Why are so many people falling into the trap of optimizing their website's to cater to Google's ever- changing algorithms?"), Dmoz naps ("I've heard and read countless horror stories about DMOZ taking 9 months to a year or more to add new sites to their directory...") and Yahoo is full of crap ("Why, why, why would anyone want to just hand over their money to Yahoo! that way, without any type of guarantee?"). Here's the conclusion reached by the author:

If you only remember one thing from this article, remember this: DO NOT DEPEND SOLELY ON SEARCH ENGINES FOR YOUR TRAFFIC! Find alternative ways to attract traffic to your website. If you're fortunate enough to achieve a high search engine ranking, consider it a bonus. But DO NOT MAKE THE SEARCH ENGINES A PRIORITY!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Using CSS for SEO

Or, to get rid of the alphabet soup jargon, can Cascading Style Sheets be used to benefit Search Engine Optimization? The answer is yes.

We all know, or should know, that CSS is very beneficial for design and maintenance of a blog site. Taken a step further, CSS can also be used to fine-tune a page to be more spider friendly. In other words, a page that is designed to be indexed to maximize key words and phrases that you want to emphasize.

A very good discussion of this appears on OutFront which is a site I visit frequently. CSS can reduce the code on a page for starters. Beyond that, "CSS makes it possible to position content pretty much wherever you like in the code without affecting the appearance of the page, so that your important content is higher on the page, which to a search engine means it is more important. For example you can have your header appear on the top of a page, but be at the bottom in the code, which means the opening H1 of your content (very important to search engines) is right at the top."

There are other ways CSS can be utilized for SEO, but just the control over placement on your page is reason enough to get on the CSS bandwagon.