Graphics Programs Reference
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meta description to the head of the pages. In this session, you will begin to optimize the
pages in the NextBest Fest site for search engine placement by adding keywords and a
meta description to each page.
Problem Solving: Listing a Web Site with Search Engines
Often a Web designer's job includes more than just the creation of a Web site. Employers
and clients sometimes expect the designer to be an expert in all areas related to the launch
of a successful site; this includes the areas of publicity, placement, and site marketing. It is
important to learn to think strategically, when you start to consider the problem of search
engine placement. There are hundreds of search engines, but the top three or four major
engines direct more than 90 percent of traffic. Some longer-standing top search engines
are Google (90 percent, 2009), Yahoo! (5 percent, 2009), MSN/Microsoft Live (3 percent,
2009), and Other (2 percent, 2009). Unfortunately, the major search engines sometimes
change, making it more difficult to maintain high rankings. The major engines also feed
information to many smaller engines. You should concentrate on getting a site placed in the
top search engines to get the most listings for the site. To list a site with search engines,
go to the Web site for each search engine and follow the guidelines to list pages of the site
in that engine. You can also pay a service to list the site for you. In addition, some search
engines send out robots , software that searches the Web and sends information back to the
engine, to compile the information used to list pages in the search engines. However, robots
might not find your site on their own (because submitting a site to a search engine just tells
the search engine to dispatch a robot to index your site content). To maintain a favorable
listing position (a listing within the first page of results), you must list the pages yourself or
pay a service to list them for you. Finally, be sure to relist the pages in your site with each
engine to maintain a favorable position. Some engines allow you to relist pages monthly,
whereas others prefer that you relist only a few times a year. Guidelines for relisting pages
can be found with the listing information on the Web site for each major search engine.
Adding and Editing Keywords
Keywords are one of the elements many search engines use to index Web pages,
although their importance has diminished. A keyword is a descriptive word or phrase
that is placed in the meta tag with the attribute name=”keywords”. You add one key-
words meta tag to the head of each page and then list all the keywords for the site in that
tag. The keywords you choose should be the words you think most people will type into
search engines to look for that site or the words you want people to fi nd the site under.
Include all the words and phrases your target audience would use to do a general search
for your product or service even if they don't know your company exists. Remember
to include the name of the company and products or services in the list. It can also be
helpful to include common misspellings of the company or product name. For example,
good keywords for the NextBest Fest site are “NextBest Fest,” “tribute festival,” and the
names of the participating bands.
Keywords can be individual words or short phrases fewer than six words. (Some
search engines may penalize you for adding longer phrases by decreasing your ranking
order or by dropping your site from the index.) When you use phrases, generally each
word is indexed separately and together. For example, if you use the phrase “tribute
music” for the site, the word “tribute” and the word “music” will both be indexed as well
as the phrase “tribute music.” Also, the root of the word is indexed as well; for example,
if you include the word “jazzy,” the word “jazz” is also indexed.
You can use as many keywords as you would like; however, the fi rst 10 words are
the most important because many search engines use only those fi rst 10 words in the
keywords list to index a site. Additionally, search engines often give higher placement to
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