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Offsite Search Engine Optimization

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital part of the website development process. Many features of web pages can be tailored to improve the search engine indexation process, however other offsite features are often overlooked. When a search engine indexes a website it attempts to build the most complete picture possible of the site and its environment. For this reason, offsite search engine optimization should be pursued as vigorously as onsite optimization.

What is offsite SEO? It simply the tailoring of all those environmental factors that are not part of the page structure and content. There are a number of key considerations that can be controlled by the developer and which will contribute to the optimization and ranking process.

Before looking at wider environmental factors, start with the domain name. A domain name that includes keywords in the title will be viewed as being more relevant to that topic. Chose a name that is not too long, but includes one or more keywords.

Time is one of the most important considerations. Search engines assume that if a website is new it will not hold the same depth and variety of content as one that has been in existence for a long time. When developing a website it is a good idea to register the domain name at the earliest opportunity, and upload a holding site with page names you intend to use. These pages should have relevant content that can be read by search engines, but need not be the polished final version. Do not upload "under construction" pages, or blank pages. The pages just need text and images that will let search engines know that they exist. When you submit the site to the search engines, you have started the calendar that earns more credibility the longer it has been in existence.

The change that takes place as you replace or upgrade the content is a bonus. A website that is regularly maintained will be viewed as one that has relevant and up to date content. It is important that you make changes frequently. The changes do not have to be large, but regular changes that result in renewed file upload dates on the server will let the search engines know that the site is live and evolving.

A website that only has a few pages will be viewed as one that has little depth of content. Once you have launched your site, add new pages to it regularly. This will meet the requirement to have fresh content, and also let the search engines know that the site is growing. You should aim to develop an authority website for your topic area.

A website's "page rank" is a function of the number of other sites that link to it. One of the most important indicators of the relevance and importance of your website is the number of external sites that deem it to be worthy of linking to. In practice, not many sites have others linking to them without linking back. The more normal arrangement is to have reciprocal links between sites. Reciprocal links can be obtained by contacting owners of similar websites, and asking whether they would like to exchange links with you. There is greater benefit where linking sites have similar visitors and subject matter. The number of links should grow naturally. Too many links appearing at once will look dubious to search engines.

If the suggested features outlined above are implemented, your website will have an improved position in search engine rankings. All the features listed are important. The search engines are trying to build a wider, informed picture of your website's relevance and importance, and anything you do to enhance that will help to improve your search engine ranking position.



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