Search Engine Optimization (SEO): It’s a term any Web developer is intimately familiar with, and even the most novice Web site owner/developer/writer has heard of. But if you’re just getting started with building your own Web presence, you may not really understand what this term is all about, or how important it is to you.
In simple terms, search engine optimization refers to the practice of designing Web pages to show up as high as possible in the list of results shown when a person searches the Web. Most Web developers spend considerable amounts of time studying exactly what the major search engines use to determine placement in the list of results. Although search engines design the results page to make it seem that they have scoured the entire Internet and returned the page with the results most relevant to your search terms, this is not entirely true (Actually, it’s just short of a bald-faced lie). In truth, search engines look at a wide variety of factors to determine placement, not just how closely the text on the destination Web page matches the text you are searching for. There are many other factors being considered, including hidden HTML codes inside your page called META tags. These tags were initially designed to allow Web designers to give search engines a brief description of your Web site/page’s contents and some suggested keywords that apply to your page without displaying this to the visitor, but that are often misused and abused today. Search engines also display sites that are updated frequently higher in their results than sites with more static information. Although this sounds like a good idea, keep in mind that not all content needs to be regularly updated. A good source of information on the life and death of Socrates probably doesn’t need to be updated on a weekly basis. But by far the most common measure of your site’s quality, according to most search engines, is the number of other Web pages which link to your site. And links to your site from sites that are ranked higher in the search results page count more than sites that the search engines have ranked lower. The number of visitors to your site also plays a vital role in the placement the search engines give to your Web site.
Continue reading “Search Engine Optimization: What it is, and why you shouldn’t care”
I have recently published a new article on LockworldHerald.com. While not written specifically for this blog, I think it might appeal to readers of this blog as well as to other visitors to my site, so I wanted to share it with you.
In Consider the consequences: One laptop Per Child, I give my opinion about the “One Laptop Per Child,” and similar initiatives to provide low-cost computers to developing countries. I think these programs are wonderful, but that few people have stopped to consider the implications of making technology universal in third-world countries while maintaining the digital divide in first-world countries.
If you followed along with my last series of posts, I’ve showed you how to build a customized content management system into your Web site using AjaxIncludes, Zoho Creator’s JSON feeds, and the powerful Texty SCMS (Simple Content Management System). In this last post of this series, I want to show you how you can expand the same principal to not only deliver the content to your site, but to build a simple sitemap to help your users find content within your site.
Continue reading “Content Management: Building a sitemap for your dynamic Texty content”