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Saturday, July 29, 2006

SEO Lingo

Summary of this Page
You may have had trouble already understanding what some of the words I was using in the last page were, or meant. So I'm writing this page to help you understand the SEO terms I will use in the comming pages. If you are somewhat familiar with SEO, then you might want to just skin this section instead.
The Lingo

A directory is a compilied list of website, and are often put into catagories, which are sometimes searchable. One of the most famous directoris, which is free to get into, is DMOZ. This directory is open-source. Meaning you dont have to pay to get in it, and you can use the directory content freely, as we did on this site, in the Directory section.

SEO is an acronyn which stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is defined as various methods of improving ranking on search engines in their listings. For example, when trying to SEO your website for google, one of your concerns should be your PageRank, which is explained in this section. To get a PR, you must have lots of websites linking to you. So the process of getting sites to link to you, to build a PageRank, can be considered SEO for your website.

SERPs are "Search Engine Result Pages". So if you rank #1 for some term, lets say "cool cars" then you just say "I have the #1 SERP for 'cool cars'". This term may not be used as often as it should be, but it is still a good thing to know what it means.

PageRank (or PR)
Pagerank is a technology Google uses to help determine the rank for a website for certain terms. Google's PageRank is based on a scale of 0-10. A new site starts at a PR 0. And the higher up on the scale you get, the more "important" that page becomes according to Google. This whole concept will be discussed in later sections of this guide. Note: PageRank is often reffered to as PR. They mean the same thing.

Web Rank
Web Rank is a number Yahoo gives you which, much like PageRank, determines how important that page is according to Yahoo. Web Rank is based on a scale from 1-10. The higher Web Rank you have, the higher you will rank in SERPs in Yahoo. Basicly, the more pages that link to your page determines how high your Web Rank is. But the real algorithm is unknown. This will be discussed more in deph in later sections.

Alexa Rank
Alexa(.com) has a technology that gives your site a "Rank". The rank is determined purely on the amount of people that visit your website with the Alexa Toolbar installed. Sites with alot of traffic, like google, is ranked very low, and has a low rank. But sites with barely any traffic, rank as over 4,000,000 sometimes. This will be discussed more throughout this guide.

Search Engine
Friendly Something that is often said in the webmaster would is "Search Engine Friendly". This term is something that is used to describe a website that has been SEO'd, or a website that has been optimized for search engines, or a website that search engines can crawl freely, with no problems.

Inbound Links (IBL)
Inbound Links are links going from someone else's site to yours. So if you own and you have an inbound link from it means that is linking to your page. Inbound Links are also known as backlinks.

Outbound Links (OBL)
Outbound Links are links going from your website to someone else's. So if you have an Outbound Link to it means that you have a link on your page to google.

Search Engine Friendly Navigation

Summary of this Page
Alot of websites around the web have search engine unfriendly navigation. Search Engines find it hard to crawl through a whole site if you have search engine unfriendly navigation. By the end of this page, you will know what the search engines accept as good page URLs and navigation, and you will know how to optimize your site to improve how fast and efficiently search engines crawl your sites.

Potential Problems

Dynamic URLs
Dynamic URLs are URLs may or may not cause problems with search engines while crawling through your pages. Search engines normally do index dynamic URLs (example: but they may sometimes have problems with more complex URLs (example: So as a result, I would recommend rewritting URLs using the .htaccess rewrite which is not covered in this guide, or using static pages (example:

Pages with Many Different Links
It is not very good to have pages with more than 100 links going to other pages of the website. The reason is that search engines may not crawl each and every link on the page. They may only crawl through a few, and there is a chance this may delay the indexing of some pages. But it is still good to link to different internal pages on your website, none the less.

Buried Pages
If one or more of your pages are more than 3 clicks away from the index page, in one way or another, search engine crawlers may not find all of your pages. Crawlers sometimes don't go very far into your site, like more than 5 clicks away. So its good to keep all pages of your site within 3 clicks from the index. The only time which it woulden't matter how many clicks away from the homepage it is would be if you have alot of other websites linking to the specific page. From those links, the search engines will find your page.

Session IDs
Alot of forums and websites use session IDs to keep track of guests on their sites. Search Engine crawlers usually don't like these. They either resort to not indexing pages with session IDs, or the index the URL with the session ID, which dosn't look very good to the engines.

Form Accessible Only Pages
If you have any pages that are only accessible via a form, like a drop down menu with a submit button, those pages may not get indexed. Search engines crawlers don't like these kind of links. So be sure to add a link to these pages, if you want them indexed, elsewhere.

Search Box Accessible Only Pages
Pages that can only be accessed via a search box will never get indexed. So if you want results for specific search terms to be indexed, the only way to accomplish this would be to link to that specific results page on a page that is already indexed in a search engine.

Pages Which Require Login
Any pages that can only be accessed after logging in will obviously not be indexed. There is no real way to show a page to search engines freely bu require a login for a normal user without the risk of getting hacked. So if you want search engines to see those login protected pages, you must either not require a login anymore, or accept the fact that those pages won't be indexed.

Keep in MindThe most search engine friendly navigation consists of simple html links. These are completely fool proof when they stand alone. So even if you have a complex navigation, it is good to have the same links in the footer of your site, maybe, to be sure the search engines follow each of the links successfully.

Getting Your Site Indexed

Summary of this Page
Now that we have a basic knowledge of Search Engines, and a bit of SEO, it is time to start the long proccess of getting your site fully indexed, and ranked. Although it may take a month or two to get your site indexed fully if your lucky, there are ways to speed the proccess up. We will try to tell you everything you need to know about getting your site indexed on this page.
How to Get Indexed

Getting Indexed
First of all, you must remember that the only way to get search engines to crawl and/or index your website and its pages, is to get search engines to notice you. How do you get their attention you ask? The answer is through links. Your website will get lost in the web if there are no pages linking to it. Getting links is the most important part of trying to get indexed.

Submitting Your Site
Another way to try to get indexed, is to submit your sites to search engines that accept link submmissions. But remember, this is not in any way a gaurenteed way to get your site indexed, let alone crawled. So don't depend on the submission pages of search engines to get indexed. Rather, focus more on links, and getting links from other pages. But don't get me wrong, submitting your site won't in any way hurt you. If anything, it would help.
How to Get Links
There are a ton of ways to get links. Getting links can be as easy as asking a friend to link to your site. You can get links through submitting your website to directories, exchanging links with other webmasters, and helping of webmasters in return for a free link. We are going to discuss each way in detail below.

I'll assume you know what a directory is. If you don't, look on previous pages of thise guide, or on google. Directories are an excellent way to get your site noticed. When you get accepted on directories, your link is put on the page for the catagory of your site. Then, the next time the search engine's crawler comes around, it sees your link, and then possible crawls your site and indexes it in return. Try to submit to search engines with high PageRank catagory pages. This will help get the crawler to see your link faster if they accept you. If your having trouble finding any directories to submit to, there is a useful directory list by clicking here.

Link Exchanges
Participating in link exchanges is a great, and efficient way to get search engines to come to your site, by following a link on the linking page. The easiest way to find people who are willing to exchange links with your site, is to go to webmaster forums, like and start a topic asking for one in the marketplace forums. This is the easiest way to do it.

Doing Favors for Links
Many people on forums like and other webmaster forums are more than willing to give you a quality link if you can help them in some way. Maybe your a superior web designer. Why not make a simple logo for them for a quality link? Or if your a good programmer, many people will give you links for your services. So give it a try, and go to www.sitepoint/com on their forums, and post asking for a mlink in exchange for your services.

How Long Does it Take?

When Will I Get Indexed?
This all depends on the search engine, and how many links you have from other sites. If you get some quality links, it shouldent take more than a week or two to get indexed. So just be patient, and keep building your links.

How Search Engines Work

Summary of this Page
Before we go any further, it would be a good idea for all of our readers to know exactly how search engines work. It is good to understand what is happening behind the scenes when you type a query into Google. This page will help you understand this proccess.
A crawler based search engine is what you could call Google, Yahoo, MSN, and others. A crawler based search engine is composed of a crawler, which crawls the web, jumping from page to page, from link to link. Then the search engine indexes the page, or updates the page if anything on the page has changed if it was previously indexed. This is the most common type of search engine. The search engines that use this technique usually store a copy of your pages on their servers for further reference of keywords, etc.
Human-Powered Search Engines
Human-Powered Search Engines depend on humans to power them. They are much different than crawler based search engines, because it is usually much, much harder to get into then a normal search engine that indexes pages. An example of a human-powered search engine is DMOZ. DMOZ is a directory which is human edited, but is very hard to get into. But their website has a feature to search through all the sites, based upon what the site describtion is. These type of search engines don't always index, or keep a copy of a whole page. They often just keep your link, page title, and have a human or someone who is submitting the site pick keywords, which are reviewed. Then the results are based upon those peices of info.
Searching the Web

Searching the Web Isn't Actually Searching the Web
For anyone who is just begining SEO, I thought I would mention this clearly, in case you havn't already caught on. Search engines don't actually search the web. They search through an index the search engine keeps on its servers, and then find matches to the keywords you typed in, depending on how their algorithm is. So just remember, when searching the web, the search engine isn't actually going out into the internet and finding websites that match your query, it searches through its own index on its own servers.

Searching Enigine's Searching Software/Algorithm
Search engines have programs and algorithms to sift through millions upon millions of pages, deciding what pages best fit the query you entered. The software takes all the relevent pages, then ranks them from the most relevent and helpful (at least in the eyes of the engine), to the least relevent, and the least useful.

"Sponsored Links"
This topic will be discussed at length further down the road in this guide. But for right now, just remember that "Sponsored Links" are the links you see on search engines that arn't actually pages that were indexed and ranked through the search engine. Sponsored Links are paid for by the owner of the site. The owner picks the most relevent terms and keywords for his site, and then agrees to pay a certain amount of money for every person that clicks his link. So the sites come up only when people use the keywords or queries he picked. But don't worry. Search engines label these links as "Sponsored Links" or "Advertisments" instead of mixing them in with the non-pad results.

Different Search Engines and Different Results?
You may be asking now "Why do search engines bring me different results for the same query?" Well the answer is easy. Each search engine has its own unique algorithm, and its own unique way to rank websites and index them. But they all use basiclly the same principles of ranking.

Search Engine Optimization Guide

Blackhat VS Whitehat SEO

Summary of this Page

I decided to write a page to make sure no one reading this gets into any blackhat SEO. It is not a good thing, as explained below. So this page will tell you what not to do, and how to recognize blackhat SEO techniques that arn't covered here.

Blackhat & Whitehat SEO

What is Blackhat SEO?

Blackhat SEO is defined most easily as methods used to trick or manipulate search engines improve your rankings. So anything that the search engine forbids you from doing, like using doorway pages, cloaking, and hidden text, are not good practices. Blackhat SEO results usually in a ban from the search engine. Just remember that if you get into this, the search engine will eventually ban you, and you will lose all that potential traffic you could have got from them by using whitehat SEO.

What is Whitehat SEO?

Whitehat SEO is the practicing of SEO techniques that the search engines don't consider "illegal". Whitehat SEO results in not getting banned from search engines, and being respected among the webmaster community. Most people frown down on people who cheat, and use blackhat SEO to get there pages ranked high. But they will pay the price by getting banned later down the road.

Blackhat SEO Techniques


Don't think I'm taking the time to write these blackhat seo techniques so that you can learn how to blackhat SEO your site. I'm writing this so that someone new to SEO can benefit from knowing what the search engines consider cheating. Often times, webmasters get their sites banned from google and other search engines because they followed a tutorial or instructions they found online that promissed to get them ranked better. So the following will help you recognize what is blackhat SEO and what is whitehat SEO.

Getting Banned

Google, and other search engines, have one thing all in common. They hate when people try to cheat their engines. The search engines want to give their searchers the most relevent results as possible. So if someone gets their site to #1, and #5 on the list is much more accurate, this isn't a very good search engine. Or is the search engine a good one, and their is just a blackhat SEO person behind the site? That is usually true. If no one cheated to get their site to the top, search engines would have much better, quality results in their listings. This is why Google and other search engines have set rules to ban websites who use this technique.

Doorway Pages

Doorway Pages are used by webmasters to improve their search engine rankings. Doorway pages are pages packed with keywords, and designed solely for the search engines. You can recognize a doorway page easily. Doorway pages have alot of nonsence content, that is considered spam from the user. So a doorway page has a link to the real site, which has the content that the user wants. This is a no-no.

Hidden Text

Hidden text is used by webmasters to try to get more keywords into their pages, but this time, without spamming the page with keywords that bothers the end user. Hidden text is made by making the text the same color as the background, so you can't see the text. Alot of search engines actually look for this now-a-days. This may temporarily raise rankings, but once Google catches on to what your doing, your out of their!

Link Farms

A Link Farm is a page that is created for the pure reason to achieve a higher PageRank, and better SERPs. Free-For-All links pages are often considered link farms by Google. These pages usually require a link back. So if you link to them, then Google sees your linking to a page thats not in the good side of the neighboorhood. This isn't good, and might result in a PageRank penalty, or possible a ban. But remember, no incomming links will ever hurt you, since you can't control who links to you. So don't worry if a bad site links to you. It won't matter.

EMail Spamming

EMail Sapmming, while maybe not directly related to SEO, is not a good thing. But I thought I might as well bring it up. Let me just say; don't do it!

Selling your PageRank

Google dosn't like when websites boast that they have a high PR, and then in result, sell links on high PageRank pages purely to get the page they are linking to to get a higher PageRank. But don't get me wrong. It is perfectly ok to sell a link for the purpose of benefiting the page your linking to with traffic, along with the search engine benefits. But don't sell links on pages ONLY because it has a high PR.

Identical Content

Google dosn't like to find content that has been used on more than one page. So if you developed a site, and then copy and pasted the files to a new domain, and kept the old site on the old domains, Google dosn't like it. So basicly dont use or copy & paste content from page to page in order to increase your indexed pages.

Multiple Domains

Having multiple domains redirect to a main site is ok. But if you take those domains and put the same content on all of them, and link from one to the other within your circle of domains, that isn't good. This usually results in more backlinks, and better SERPs. But Google dosn't like it, and its not recommended.

Too Many Links

It is recommended that you don't link to more than 100 URLs on one page. This won't result in a ban from Google, but it will drain your PageRank, which will be discussed later.



If you do not practice any of the above techniques, you will most likely be all right. But there are some techniques that Google still dosnt like, like scripts that make it look like you have many more pages then you do, and others. So if anything you hear on the net sounds like it MIGHT have a long term negative effect, or something you think a search engine woulden't like, don't do it. And if your unsure, post on a forum, or a related place, and ask SEO experts. Make sure you get 3 or more people's opinions though. In conlcusion, Don't turn into a blackhat seo!