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Top 100 SEO tips

All time top 100 Search Engine Optimization tips

     
10:52 am on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I would love to see what the community here believes are the top 100 SEO tips.

To quote Google "no evil" and "white text on white bg" tricks please.

> I suggest tips only first and discussions can follow later (Right after we reach 0 :) )

100. Use the H1, H2 and H3 tags for what they are meant to be. Use H1 tag once on the page, H2 for a few of the sub headers, and H3 for less important titles.

This is not the best tip, but hey

99 - anyone?

11:49 am on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Use valid, lean code for your site. This has helped my sites tremendously.
12:00 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think tip #100 is problematic and should be used with caution. My reasoning is that a SE can compare the amount of text between Hx tags with the amount of text on the page. If it's above a certain percentage it may contribute to tripping a spam filter. I prefer to err on the safe side and stick to one H1 tag only, and no H2, H3, etc.

Unfortunately what may be good for users may not be good for SE's.

12:10 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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HarryM, by the end of the list, if you still stick around, I want to hear why H2 and H3 are not on your list except for the reason you mentioned.

For now, I suggest we let the tips flow first and we go back and discuss each point.

98.?

[edited by: Habtom at 12:24 pm (utc) on Aug. 23, 2007]

12:27 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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98 Alt and title tags for images and links.
12:33 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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97. Don't neglect your sitemaps, don't leave broken links in them (Many forget to update their links after a major structure change) as they can help search engines crawl the site much easily.
12:36 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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96. user-friendly-url's (with dashes between words, not underscores)
1:58 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Habtom, point taken.

95. Efficient SE-friendly navigation.

4:48 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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94- everyday fresh content
93- everyweek a few links
5:16 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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OK, here are a few, though I won't number them:

  • <title> that accurately describes the subject of the page, contains the most important keyword (or two, or three if required).

  • <meta name="description"> that describes the page accurately in more detail, and motivates the searcher to click.

    Note that I said "page," not "site." Each page should have a unique and accurate title and description.

  • One and only one URL for any page or resource: 301-redirect www to non-www or vice-versa. Strongly preferred: Link to "/" and not to "/index.php" or "/index.html". If you must use "/index.php" or "/index.html", then do it consistently, and never link to "/". Whichever URL you pick, 301 all other variations to that URL.

  • Consistent and correct server response codes, Expires, and Cache-control headers. No 404s unless the requested URL is nonsense; Intentionally-removed page URLs should return 410-Gone. Except for the canonicalization redirects mentioned above, no 301 or 302 redirects unless the URL has actually been changed; Don't use them as part of the "normal, expected function" of your site.

  • Search engine friendly URLs. Despite a lot of progress in indexing dynamic sites, static-looking still URLs do better, and are easier (if kept short) for people to remember.

    Jim

  • 8:11 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    92 - try and make your code as lean as possible, compared to the actual content. offload all your affiliate links and ads to external javascript, so they don't clutter up the code. most of them don't work with javascript turned off anyway, so it doesn't matter. get rid of all the <br>'s, and other useless tags. you can do all that presentational stuff with CSS.
    8:30 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    the only reason to wake up is to get more links.
    2:23 am on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    91 - Make sure whatever you're trying to sell/promote/accomplish is user friendly and your call to actions are clear and easy to find on the pages that your users land on.

    You can rank #1 in all search engines for all your keywords, but if the user doesn't know how to take action for what they want, your serp placement is absolutely useless.

    One of my sites just had a hard to find call to action, and once we fixed that and made it uniform/apparent on every page and fixed the problem from no matter what page they came in on, we saw TREMENDOUS improvement in results ($$$).

    Zuko

    2:52 am on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    We seem to have skipped a couple that didn't have numbers, so JdMorgan I hope you don't mind, I'll paraphrase your post in numbered point form
    90. accurate title pages
    89. include keyword in title pages
    88. unique description meta tag for every page
    87. consistent and correct server response codes
    86. domain name canonicalisation: redirect non-www to www or vice versa
    85. no 301 or 302 redirects unless the URL has actually been changed

    ...and idolw said...

    84. links links links

    2:56 am on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    Misintepreted or dropped a few details in that paraphrasing...

    "Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler."

    Jim

    9:15 am on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    "Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler"

    ...was my goal. Apologies if I missed the finer points of your post.

    9:38 am on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    83. Distinguish between SEO, optimization for normal web users, and Usability.

    Often the same thing, but sometimes they conflict. For example use of Alt or Title attributes may be good for Usability, but if overdone, especially on a page with relatively little text, may appear suspiciously like spamming to a SE.

    11:52 am on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    If you sell something:

    82. give the clients the possibility to pay on-line.

    81. When you offer the possibility to pay on-line, be sure to use https...

    80. have a "verisign" os similar certificate

    79. Do not forget to offer other payment options giving details ( bank account number etc. )

    78. Show your contact details.

    77. Have a clear "button" where clients can take an action

    12:19 pm on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    76. Make sure you are in a Trusted Hosting Environment.
    1:49 pm on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    75. Be clear what your SEO goal is.

    For instance, it has been proposed that the less targeted the page, the more likely a user will click on an ad.

    Do you want to optimize a page for exactly what the page is about? (Which if the subject is rarely searched for might result in the page going in Google's supplementary index.) Or a broader category which may have better results?

    See thread:

    [webmasterworld.com...]

    [edited by: jatar_k at 10:17 pm (utc) on Aug. 24, 2007]
    [edit reason] fixed link [/edit]

    10:16 pm on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    74. Ensure what the SE sees = what the user sees.

    73. Ensure keywords used in titles, meta descriptions, and meta keywords actually appear on the page and in significant numbers.

    72. Use meta keywords tags, but with a few well-chosen keywords.

    71. Avoid doing anything that can accidentally trip a filter.

    70. Decide which SE you are optimizing for.

    10:56 am on Aug 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    I find this thread useful because it is making me think about all the things I should be doing... (And haven't got around to.)

    69. Check that what you think you have done = what you have actually done.

    For example you optimize a page for certain keywords, but a keyword checker may show that it is optimized primarily for something else because other keywords are being picked up from index links, nav bars, title tags, or alt tags.

    10:50 am on Aug 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    68. Never rename a page unless there is a real benefit.

    67. Always set up 301 redirects for renamed or deleted pages.

    68. Remember to delete the obsolete page from the server.

    67. Never, ever, delete a 301 redirect.

    3:51 pm on Aug 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    66. a strategic plan for more relevant inbound links to your website
    5:55 pm on Aug 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    65. To quote W3C, "Cool URIs don't change."

    64. Build sites to pass an honest-to-goodness human inspection, and not just an algorithmic inspection.

    DXL

    11:31 am on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    96. user-friendly-url's (with dashes between words, not underscores)

    I've read this before, yet I've never seen anyone offer conclusive evidence that one is more effective than the other with respect to SEO. I happen to use underscores and haven't seen any negative impact.

    1:20 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    I've never seen anyone offer conclusive evidence that one is more effective than the other with respect to SEO

    There is conclusive evidence in the form of a controlled experiment, using the words "callipygian screak quindecillion". [seo-blog.com]
    Matt Cutts [mattcutts.com] has also said that dashes are better. (since those articles, Google can now parse underscores in URLs, but they're not the only game in town)
    2:00 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    63. Although this was the number 99 tip, this needs to be reiterated and maybe expanded upon.

    valid html code. Use the w3c validator on ALL of your pages, I'd recommend validating the css as well but that's (css) just good web development, not specifically SEO. link to css and javascript docs, not inline.

    Browsers allow for bad html code, SE spiders are a different beast. I liken a webmaster putting a html page that doesn't validate on the internet with the intent of SEO is like a application programmer releasing a software package that doesn't compile!

    2:05 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    btw callivert

    using the words "callipygian screak quindecillion".
    Matt Cutts has also said that dashes are better

    Good job citing those, I knew I read the Matt Cutts article about dashes earlier this month, just couldn't remember where.

    zuko

    2:28 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    62. Check for percentage duplicate content across pages

    61. Run Zenu or similar for links out on page internal navigation

    60. Zenu to Check for Links In To Page

    59. Check how many levels down a page is for spidering purposes

    This 54 message thread spans 2 pages: 54