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Top 10 Search Engine Positioning Mistakes (cont'd)

5) Using Hidden Text

Hidden text is text with the same color as the background color of your page. For example, if the background color of your page is white and you have added some white text to that page, that is considered as hidden text. Many webmasters, in order to get high rankings in the search engines, try to make their pages as keyword rich as possible. However, there is a limit to the number of keywords you can repeat in a page without making it sound odd to your human visitors. Thus, in order to ensure that the human visitors to a page don't perceive the text to be odd, but that the page is still keyword rich, many webmasters add text (containing the keywords) with the same color as the background color. This ensures that while the search engines can see the keywords, the human visitors cannot. The search engines have long since caught up with this technique, and ignore or penalize the pages which contain such text. They may also penalize the entire site if even one of the pages in that site contain such hidden text.

However, the problem with this is that the search engines may often end up penalizing sites which did not intend to use hidden text. For instance, suppose you have a page with a white background and a table in that page with a black background. Further suppose that you have added some white text in that table. This text will, in fact, be visible to your human visitors, i.e. this shouldn't be called hidden text. However, the search engines can interpret this to be hidden text because they may often ignore the fact that the background of the table is black. Hence, in order to ensure that your site is not penalized because of this, you should go through all the pages in your site and see whether you have inadvertently made any such mistake.


6) Creating Pages Containing Only Graphics

The search engines only understand text - they don't understand graphics. Hence, if your site contains lots of graphics but little text, it is unlikely to get a high ranking in the search engines. For improving your rankings, you need to replace the graphics by keyword rich text for the search engine spiders to feed on.


7) Not using the NOFRAMES tag in case your site uses frames

Many search engines don't understand frames. For sites which have used frames, these search engines only consider what is present in the NOFRAMES tag. Yet, many webmasters make the mistake of adding something like this to the NOFRAMES tag: "This site uses frames, but your browser doesn't support them". For the search engines which don't understand frames, this is all the text that they ever get to see in this site, which means that the chances of this site getting a good ranking in these search engines are non-existent. Hence, if your site uses frames, you need to add a lot of keyword rich text to the NOFRAMES tag. For more information on the different issues that arise when you use frames in your site, see my article on this topic here.

http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/t.cgi?2139&frames.htm


8) Using Page Cloaking

Page cloaking is a technique used to deliver different web pages under different circumstances. People generally use page cloaking for two reasons: i) in order to hide the source code of their search engine optimized pages from their competitors and ii) in order to prevent human visitors from having to see a page which looks good to the search engines but does not necessarily look good to humans. The problem with this is that when a site uses cloaking, it prevents the search engines from being able to spider the same page that their users are going to see. And if the search engines can't do this, they can no longer be confident of providing relevant results to their users. Thus, if a search engine discovers that a site has used cloaking, it will probably ban the site forever from their index. Hence, my advice is that you should not even think about using cloaking in your site. For more information on what page cloaking is, how it is implemented, and why you should not use cloaking, see my article on this topic here.

http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/t.cgi?2139&page-cloaking.htm
 

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