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Do form names and option values matter in SEO?

Do SEs take note of how a form is written up?

     
1:23 am on Feb 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Whilst creating a new form for users to input their requirements in order to receive a quote for the job, I was struck by the thought that instead of using abbreviated names for the option values and input and select names, I should be using the full item names.

I.e. if the website is about bricks, then using values and names like “red_brick” as opposed to “r_brk”

Does anyone know whether this would be of any benefit in ranking, or would it just be bloating the code unnecessarily?

Thanks
Nando

3:37 pm on Feb 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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IMO - you should create the form descriptions a user sees to be accurate with whatever the form values are about (if there is a dropdown with options for brick colors, make certain they read correctly for the user). However, the actual form code-values would not factor in search rankings - I've never heard of that being impactful. Hope this helps
11:42 am on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your reply dedmond

I agree with you on the clarity for the user.

Makes me wonder though, with search engines always trying to stay one step ahead of those who try to manipulate them, whether they would start looking at even the form code itself to help ascertain relevance.

Then of course what about the style sheets and their elements? If bricks were mentioned throughout a style sheet in one form or another would that get picked up by the SEs?

9:42 am on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I.e. if the website is about bricks, then using values and names like “red_brick” as opposed to “r_brk”

-Go for “red_brick”

Makes me wonder though, with search engines always trying to stay one step ahead of those who try to manipulate them, whether they would start looking at even the form code itself to help ascertain relevance.

-Absolutely.

6:46 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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always try to be some specific and meaningful names like "red_brick" instead of "r_brk"
9:19 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I doubt it (in terms of actually using form values as a weighted factor in search rankings). It would be a completely abused as soon as it was ascertained that the variable had relevance. I don't mean to say you shouldn't have good code though. That is a definite.

Worry more about the overall form usability and how you are directing users to the page with the form on it - whether that is through internal or external links. Being more effective in those techniques will outweigh any naming conventions you use for form values, no matter how SE's continue to adjust their algorithms.

12:52 am on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yep, points taken guys.

And I think you're right dedmond.

1:03 am on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google does take notice of select values (those that a visitor sees), but they are probably one of the lowest on-page factors you can optimise (so don't bother).

An example of this is a site we run is currently #2 for a single word term, if you add in abbreviations that only appear in a select box to the search you can find it; but only if you add several of those abbreviations. Sites with the abbreviations in the main body and the other word (often by chance) appear above it.

5:51 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Nando - apologize if that came across the wrong way or too abrupt. Not my intention whatsoever
 

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