opinion

This Dog Doesn’t Bite

Stephen Yagielowicz
For those of you who were lucky enough to attend the “Secrets of Effective Web Design” seminar at the recent XBIZ Summer Forum, you heard me discuss one of my favorite free online tools, known as the “Poodle Predictor” – a utility that displays what your site’s search engine listings will look like.

For those of you who weren’t at the forum, the upshot of this service is that you can enter your URL and “See how search-engine friendly your site is, can the spider crawl it easily? Will it get good rankings?”

While there are many tools and services that will help you to optimize your website for improved search engine ranking, show where your pages rank, as well as guide your organic and paid-placement SE marketing efforts, the Poodle Predictor is the only free tool I know of that lets you tweak your page and receive instant feedback about HOW the site listing will actually appear.

If you’re as anal about these things as I am, you’ll want to fine tune your page title, description and header text to make the most attractive, informative and “clickable” link possible. After all, the search engine may see past your style errors and robotically focus on the underlying text, but human surfers appreciate clear messages that guide them to what they’re looking for – and in the webmaster’s quest to deliver these messages as cleanly as possible, the Poodle Predictor is an invaluable tool.

* As a disclaimer in case you ever meet him, that's my pal "Jack" – and THAT dog DOES bite!

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