[thelist] Re: google and the studio stitches site

Diane Soini dianesoini at earthlink.net
Mon Feb 9 21:43:34 CST 2004

1. Why use hidden text at all? Your body copy should contain all or  
most of your keywords, and if it doesn't, then consider rewriting it.  
Your body copy should contain the words that you think people will  
search on to find your site.

2. Make a site map that has ordinary, non-javascript links. Instead of  
submitting your index page, submit the site map. But wait a month  
before you think the site map idea didn't work.

3. Your site will do better if others link to it. Also, why not see if  
your body copy can link to other internal pages in the site, using  
meaningful text to link to those pages. (Don't use "click here" or  
other meaningless words.)

4. If google hasn't indexed anything on your site, then adding a google  
search won't make any difference.

5. Wait a month and see if there is any improvement. Even if your page  
is cached you should still wait a month just to be sure.

I fired up Lynx and visited the site. None of the following will "fix"  
why Google has indexed only the home page, but these things should  
probably still be done anyway.

1. The home page and the catalog page have lots of text, but the  
contact and order pages have very little text. Make sure your  
description meta tag is meaningful on those two pages because without  
any text there isn't really anything to index. If possible add a little  
text. I've been in charge of making the search engine our company uses  
(htdig) work better, and have found that if there is a page without  
much text on it, such as a form page, htdig doesn't have enough words  
to index the site on any words that someone might want to type in to  
search for that page. That's where the meta description tag really  

2. You have images without alt attributes. For example, the catalog  
page has this [but2.gif] instead of the heading "Catalog", which is an  
image. It's a good idea whenever you have an image that has text on it  
that you use the text as the alt attribute content. You may want to  
consider using <h1> tags for the headings instead of images, as well.

3. You have an iframe at the bottom of the page and Lynx displays the  
links in the iframe before the navigation links. What if you moved  
those navigation links above that iframe? If nothing else, it will  
remove an annoyance for someone who visits using Lynx.

4. You use this code for your top navigation links:
<td width="75" bgcolor=#ffffff  

Why not put a real link in there instead of an onclick handler on the  
<td>? You can style the link with css so it looks the same.

5. Finally, I saw an error go by in the Lynx window: "bad partial  
reference...stripping lead dots" on your catalog link at the bottom of  
the page. I believe this is because the link to your stylesheet and  
some of the other resources is formated like "../stitches.css". You are  
already at the root level of the site and can't go to "../". The page  
still renders, but there is an error before it does.

On Monday, February 9, 2004, at 03:07 AM,  
thelist-request at lists.evolt.org wrote:

> Jane De'Ath wrote:
>> Thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions, however the problem  
>> remains.
>> I had a number of excellent suggestions from people and have tried  
>> them all, but still to no avail.
Don't be afraid to try something new. An amateur built the ark.  
Professionals built the Titanic. -unknown

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