For the 21st century business owner, websites are one of the major marketing tools. They take your business to your audiences worldwide. Search engines are the powerful intermediary that broadcast your websites to the world. It is therefore important to make your websites search engine-friendly.
How Search Engines Work?
Search engines fetch a plethora of results for a search term, a fact that you are most likely to know if you’re a user of Google or any other search engine, for that matter. How does a search engine do it? Search engines crawl webpages and index pages of relevance in an "index".
Compare this index to a book contents page that tells you where to locate specific chapters. Similar to this concept, search engines search the index for a given user query and display pages they find most relevant to the query.
Search engines use a variety of parameters such as website content, keywords and location of keywords on a webpage in order to decide the relevance of the webpage for a user’s query.
Search engines must be able to understand a website’s content in order to crawl and index it. In other words, websites must have indexable content. Only when search engines understand your content, can they index and rank it.
While search engines are capable of indexing different types of content, there are exceptions. It is important to learn what content works and what does not, on search engines. Otherwise, you lose rankings and audiences, and essentially you fail the very purpose of your website.
What is Indexable Content?
Search engines can understand content in HTML or text format. Content involving Flash components, images, and audio and video elements are not legible to search engines. However, alternatives are available to make these non-indexable formats understandable to search engines. It’s recommended that webmasters go for HTML and text formats for website content as far as possible.
sIFR or Scalable Inman Flash Replacement application can be used to display Flash components without affecting search engine readability. Images come with “alt” attribute, which can be given keyword descriptions for capture by search engines; CSS style can be implemented to replace images with text formats.
Publishing text transcripts for audio and video content makes them indexable.
Using keywords in excess, duplicating or spinning content, with the sole purpose of boosting search engine rankings can make your content non-indexable. Instead, provide high quality informative content with keywords naturally embedded into them to attract search engines.