educational

Factors That Hurt SE Placement

Stephen Yagielowicz

I get several hundred unsolicited commercial emails every day – most of which are automagically killed by my spam filters. Many make it through, however, and some are even read, whether for entertainment, or information; and a few I even find valuable:

While having a quality website with a good design and good content is key, it is not enough to get your site noticed by a search engine. There are many factors that can hurt your site's search engine placement. This article will look at some reasons your site might not get listed in the search engines.

• Server Down: Search engines don't notify you before they visit your site; they simply send the spider. If your server goes down or your web host is providing you with unreliable service this can have an impact on whether your site gets spidered or not. Imagine if the search engine spider came while you were experiencing server downtime. Your web host should be able to provide you with information on their server downtime.

• Dynamic Content: A trend in e-commerce today is to use programs like Cold Fusion to generate dynamic pages. These pages are generated based on a database containing information pertinent to the visitor's particular interests. Webmasters love these types of pages because they don't have to maintain them. The pages appear only in the visitor's browser and then vanish when the visitor is done with them. Sounds nifty doesn't it? The catch is that most search engine robots can only index static pages. If you want to generate traffic for your site make sure you have pages the robots can read.

• Spamming Web Hosts: Another possible problem could be your IP address. You may share a web host and IP address with sites known for spamming. There are some search engines that block sites hosted by free website providers because of spam problems. If your web host also accepts adult-oriented web sites this can cause problems for you as well since some adult sites tend to be the worst spam offenders. If your web host provides hosting for adults sites their IP may be blocked, preventing your site from getting placement.

• Splash Pages: While splash pages can be very nice and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, they are not very helpful when trying to place your site with search engines. Because splash pages are heavy with graphics but light on content they are difficult for search engines to spider. Search engine spiders are looking for links and content to evaluate. If your homepage is a splash page with no content you are basically telling the search engines that there is nothing to see on your site.

• Frames: Search engines don't really know what to make of frames. If your site uses frames it is a likely cause of you not getting placed. Search engine spiders can only see top-level frame code. Unless you include links inside your NOFRAMES tag the spider will leave your site without indexing it.

• Time: You may have to wait months for a spider to visit your site. Additionally, just because you get spidered doesn't mean you get immediately listed. There is a holding period from a few days to several weeks before their database is updated. Keep in mind that in addition to the new sites being submitted and the old sites being resubmitted each day, there is also a huge backlog of sites waiting to be spidered as well.

While I removed the rest of this mailing due to it being blatant spam, and I will not give the author a reward for violating my inbox, the information above is sound and useful. I hope that it will help you to improve your search engine rankings! ~ Stephen

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