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Archive

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How do search engines see your web site?

Are you sure that search engines understand your web site? Search engines see your web pages with different eyes than web surfers.

A web page that looks great to the human eye can be totally meaningless to search engines. For example, search engines cannot read the text on the images of your web site, and many don't understand web languages such as JavaScript or CSS.

If you have a great looking web site that is meaningless to search engines, you won't be able to achieve high search engine rankings with that web site - no matter how good and interesting your web site content is.

In general, search engines cannot see content that is presented in the following file formats:

  • images (GIF, JPEG, PNG, etc.)
  • Flash movies, flash banners, etc.
  • JavaScript and other script languages
  • other multimedia file formats

Some search engines can index some of these file formats but in general, it's very difficult to obtain high search engine rankings if your main web site content is presented only in these formats.

Search engines need text to index your web site. They cannot know what's written on your GIF or JPEG images or in your Flash movies. If you use a lot of images on your web site, you should also create some web pages that contain a lot of text.

If you want to find out how search engines see your web site, you have to use a search engine spider simulator tool. A search engine spider simulator tool emulates the software programs search engines use to index your web site. They show you what elements of your web site are visible to search engines.

If you don't have a search engine spider simulator tool yet, download the free IBP demo version now. The IBP demo version offers a fully functional spider simulator tool that is not limited in any way.

Just enter the URL of your web site and IBP will tell you what text and which links search engines can find on your site.

That allows you to quickly find out whether your web site lacks information that search engines need to properly index your web site.

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May 2004 search engine articles