| 4:45 pm on Jan 14, 2006 (gmt 0)|
What is it with the new year? The senior members are putting out such fantastic posts.
Thanks a lot Mack, as always, well though out and very informative.
| 12:18 am on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Great advice Mac. I'm looking to pep-up my website with a new look. I'm already trying to employ most of the ideas in your post, and will now also try to add those breadcrumbs links you suggested. I have static pages with a top, content, bottom sections using tables. I'm redoing that to have a top, content, bottom, right and left sidebars, using css. The left sidebar will be for site navigation (previously in the top section) and the right sidebar is for links (previously in the content or bottom). This will be good for the users but I'm wondering if I'm muddying the issue for the search engines surrounding the content with these sidebars? Your thoughts, please.
| 6:50 am on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
I'm not quite sure yet about using navigation on the right hand side. I notice quite a lot of sites are using this, but I always think the user will be looking to the left because it has became pretty much the standard.
I think the best thing you can do is make a small demo and ask some friends to test it. If they make suggestions about the navigation, take them seriously. When we design and build a site it makes perfect sense to us because we built it. Sometimes we need to take a third party point of view into account before we can really decide if it is usable.
| 4:16 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
It's nice to hear someone else talking about correct semantic structure. It's something we've been pushing for a while, and we give weight to it with our web standards based SEO Analyzer tool -- are you using headers, and do you use them correctly? We also provide a Lynx browser view with the report so you can see what bots and text browsers see.
IMHO, if you design with web standard and accessibility in mind, you will create a website that is both usable, and search engine friendly.
| 4:38 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Re. the H1 tag, are you sure that it should only be used once? Taking your car example, lets assume there is a page reviewing various car models from the same supplier, Is it not better to place the various car models titles within H1 Tags (telling the SEs that each of these sections should be regarded as very important followed by h2s, h3, etc.. for each of their various specifications.
If answer to above is no...
My follow up question is:
Do major SEs penalize for excessive use of H1s?
| 4:51 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|I'm not quite sure yet about using navigation on the right hand side. |
I find right hand navigation much more efficient. Being right next to the scroll bar means less moving back and forth over he page, if you're using a laptop or compute not equipped with scroll wheel.
| 5:06 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
"content is king" ,search engine like the sites with good content, and update frequently please,that is all!
| 5:58 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Macintosh computers are designed with extreme care and they have done extensive research before designing the user interface. We all know that the menu is on the left hand side by default. But I tend to see a definite advantage in having the menu to the right if you have a long menu. As users scroll down they have to move the mouse a shorter distance to reach a menu item. I somehow personally think that its somehow easier to navigate with the menu to the right. Since most users are right handed – it just seems closer if the menu is on the right end of the screen.
| 6:02 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
> not quite sure yet about using navigation
> on the right hand side
On a labor of love site for a nfp org the nav menu was reloacted from left to right this past summer when a new design was instituted. Seven months in now and there have been no negative comments and there have been a few positive comments. Overall, traffic is up, requests to include new items are up, so in this instance switching from left to right had no adverse impact.
| 6:12 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Great post Mack. I think you're absolutely spot on. Your system is exactly how I lay out my pages.
|Taking your car example, lets assume there is a page reviewing various car models from the same supplier, Is it not better to place the various car models titles within H1 Tags (telling the SEs that each of these sections should be regarded as very important followed by h2s, h3, etc.. for each of their various specifications. |
No, if you use more than one H1 tag, the weighting/score for each H1 tag is diluted. Your page is about the supplier and taht's what you should be optimising your page towards. It's never going to score highly for each and every car you list.
I'd do it like this.
Then I'd create a link (using good link text) to a seperate page for each car with more details about that car (using the car name in the H1 text). That would provide better search engine optimisation for each car.
| 6:15 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Thanks Mr.M :) What about penalization for excessive H1s?
| 6:43 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
I wouldn't see it as a penalty as such. I would tent to look at it as a potentially harmful method that could cause a loss of effectiveness within your page ranking.
If you have an H1 tag then this is a very powerful tool. It will send a strong signal to the search engine to explain the true nature of your page. If you have two H1 areas then each will only be half as effective because they will balance each other out. It effectively removes the usefulness of the H1 at all.
| 6:46 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Makes sense Mack, thanks! Off to work I go then :0
| 7:05 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Very Good article. Thank you.
| 7:43 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Thanks for the article Mack. Very usefull.
Till now I never made use of H tags (I started once without and then I continued). Always used enlarged en fat fonts instead. Position in SERPS is mostly good (travel sector). Do you think using H tags will improve position in SERPS more than subtitles in fat and big fonts? The user will not notice a difference I think.
| 7:56 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
----- I'm not quite sure yet about using navigation on the right hand side. ----
Just look where "Ads by **" is place on its search engine. Also while reading this Article try to time yourself on how many times and how often mouse goes to the right side of the screen.
| 8:15 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
As far SEs penalize for excessive use of H1s?
I run a site where it is presented like this:
<H1 class=CSSCLASS>all widget types</H1>
<TD><A href="link">backlink to widgets catalog</A>
<H1 class=CSSCLASS>red widget</H1>
link to red widgets type1
link to red widgets type2
link to red widgets type3
all pages rank very well across the board for "red widget".
I've changed second H1 to H2 on one of the pages, page went down 40 positions on all SEs for "red widget"
| 8:19 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
If you revert to your orrigional nesting letus know if it recovers. None of this is science, a lot of it is judgement.
| 10:35 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Mack, I sure will, change and post a reply to the thread as soon as see the results.
Another thing i would like to find out is where H1 is a "Rasor Sharp" 3 word keyword combination enstead of generic H1 with 6-7 words and then 2 H2 tags that have contents of H1 in it with some content in beetween.
Keep in mind I have an established niche site, top 5 across the board for generic niche terms(no not TRAVEL)
| 7:52 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)|
As per my reading and little experience here, I found that Penalty from SE is only dump when you Over Optimised Page mainly for SE's.
But if the subject itself requires or justify use of certain tag or KW repeteadly than don't worry about Penalty any more.
Assure your self till you built page of Visitors and not for SE's.
| 1:50 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)|
i will bookmark this thread and read it tomorrow morning as son as i get up :)
| 9:21 am on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Greats from Lithuanian webmasters! Have translated that topic into lithuanian with link to this great thread.
Thanks a lot :thumbs up:
| 9:28 am on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)|
The use of navigation on the right hand side of the page has the benefit of allowing the bots to get to your main content faster. The bots usually read the left nav bar first (unless you've dealt with that issue in your code)
I'm not saying that putting the nav bar on the right as oppposed to the left is better from a user pov and since most search engines will find the content whereever you place it, maybe the left hand side is better, but from a best practice seo pov, having the main content as close to the top as possible is better.
| 9:56 am on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Really its a good practice to follow what you said mac.
Our main target has always has been search engine, very few people actually take the pain to think of the visitors.
Retaining visitors is an important aspect and very few people try it.
Thanks for such detail information.
| 4:01 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)|
-- (unless you've dealt with that issue in your code) --
<td height="1"> Blank Cell :) </td>
<td rowspan="2"> MAin Content Goes here and gets indexed/parsed first </td>
<td> NAV MENU on the left, gets indexed after main content</td>
| 4:36 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)|
ah, the old "table trick"...
| 4:59 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Thanks, mack. Great post (and thread - although as a lefty I'm not sure I like all this talk about moving the nav bar to the right. ;-) 10% of us have to go across the screen to scroll as it is).
I'm one of the "old hands" (very relatively speaking!) who try to answer questions on a forum for people who are just beginning to build their first websites. Often they come with some very strange ideas about SEO, picked up from goodness knows where, the most common type being that there are specific rules that have to be followed: "Is it true that you're not allowed to have more than xx key words on a page?" Of course, the connected belief is that if you do everything exactly according to the rules, you'll be #1. It can be difficult convincing them that not only are there no absolute yes/no right/wrong answers to most SEO questions, but that the answers keep changing, as the algorithms get tweaked.
I generally point them to a page on the forum's site that has basic but solid SEO information - and tell them to go to WebmasterWorld for more details. 8-) Then I try to say basically what you said in the first post, that if you concentrate on what's good for your visitors you'll be doing what's best for SEO, especially in the long term. The following is the way I try to explain it; if this is totally naive or off-base, I figure someone here will let me know:
The general pattern, as I understand it, is that a lot of people building websites learn to "play the game" of whatever it is they think Google is using to decide the SERPs at the moment. But the search engines don't want sites that have learned to "play the game" well; their priority, if they want to stay around, is to find good, relevant pages for searchers so those searchers will keep using their services. So when too many people have picked up the new game in town, the algorithms get tweaked to discount it. Sites that have been depending on that game can have sudden drops when that happens.
But if you concentrate on what the search engines are actually trying to find for searchers - good content that's relevant to your keywords, navigation that's easy to follow, and helpful links to and from other related sites - you're good for the long haul and don't have to worry every time googlebot coughs.
| 4:01 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)|
A little newbie question relating to this topic of using Header tags...
I have set up my web page to use a standard Header.html, where I have a good targetted H1 tag.
I use server side includes so that this header is included in all the pages on my site.
Would the search engine bot attribute my H1 from the header file to the pages that include it? Or should I have another dedicated H1 tag on each page?
| 5:13 am on Feb 3, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Great article, wish I'd written it!
| This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 (  2 ) > > |