HTML and CSS Reference
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Trends are continually changing in the field of SEO. Although it's still acceptable to use
the keywords meta tag, be aware that it is not currently accessed as much by search
engines as it was in the past. However, the content of the description meta tag is still
utilized by many search engines—it is often displayed on the SERP by some search
engines, such as Google.
Verify that all hyperlinks are working and not broken. Each page on your Web site
should be reachable by a text hyperlink. The text should be descriptive—avoid phrases
like “more info” and “click here”—and should include keywords as appropriate.
Inbound links (sometimes called incoming links) are also a factor in SEO; see the link
popularity section later in the chapter.
Avoid using complex or nested tables for page layout. Instead, utilize CSS for page
layout; the result will be more streamlined XHTML code. Text navigation is not only
more accessible for your human Web site visitors, it is also easier for search engine
robots to follow.
Be mindful that search engine robots do not “see” the text embedded within your
images and multimedia. Configure meaningful alternate text for images. Include rele-
vant keywords in the alternate text. Although some search engine robots, such as
Google's Googlebot, have recently added functionality to index text and hyperlinks con-
tained within Flash media, be aware that a Web site that depends on the use of tech-
nologies such as Flash and Silverlight will be less visible to search engines and may rank
lower as a result.
Search engines do not require that your XHTML and CSS code pass validation tests.
However, code that is valid and well structured is likely to be more easily processed by
search engine robots. This may help with your placement in the search engine results.
Probably the most basic, but often overlooked, component of SEO is providing content
of value contained within a Web site that follows Web design best practices (see
Chapter 5). Your Web site should contain high-quality, well-organized content that is of
value to your visitors.