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Old 05-14-2007, 10:51 AM   #5
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Though search engines don't like dynamic pages due to their rapidly changing content, they have been somewhat forced to swallow their pride and adapt in recent years because more and more people are using PHP scripts on their sites as well as PHP-based content management systems like Drupal and Joomla.

The key to getting good search rankings is still essentially the same as it was back in the day. Get LOTS and LOTS of content!!! You need like 100+ pages of pure content (not counting utility pages like privacy policy, terms of service, and contact us pages, though these pages are also important.) Google's algorithm also counts how many other sites link to your site. If you've got TONS of reciprocal links, then Google thinks your site is more important and places you higher in the index.

Speaking of reciprocal links, many search engines HATE redirect tags and do not count them as reciprocal links. Do not use them between yourself and external sites and try not to overuse them on your own site. Also, if you contact other sites to request a reciprocal link, make sure the link they provide leads STRAIGHT to your site and not through another page or function. Otherwise, it will do you no good.

Then there are some common sense issues like functionality. Make sure ALL of your graphics and links work. Check external links frequently to make sure they go to sites that are still functioning. Make sure all pages are working properly and do not display errors of any kind.

When designing your layout, pick one that gives you the opportunity to drop important keywords about your site frequently. Use the keywords and description META tags. Some search engines still use these tags in some form of another today. As for the rest of your pages, get your keywords as close to the top as possible and print them frequently throughout your site.

Do not use deceptive tactics to get search engines' attention like disguising text to match your background in order to flood the page with keywords. Do not use hidden links or fancy CSS trickery. Many of these were fun back in the day, but search engines will ban you these days.

Most search engines look for a robot.txt file in your root directory. This file is suppose to contain instructions on where the bot can go and where it can't go. If you don't have one, write one, especially if you have secure directories that you don't want indexed. Search Google for details on writing a robot.txt file.

Get familiar with your site statistics. I recommend using a webhost that gives you an Awstats script for you account. Webalizer is ok too if you can't get Awstats. This tells you how many people come to your site and when, what your most popular pages are, what search engines are crawling you, what people are querying the search engines for to get you, and what sites are sending traffic to you. This is all valuable data for the webmaster consider when determining what parts of the site to further develop and what parts are a flop.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me or check out this book.

Reference: Google Hacks, by Rael Dornfest
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