Monday, January 5, 2009

How to Get Google to Read Your Keywords First

Google's bots read web pages from the topmost left corner of your site to the bottom right. However, most sites are designed with all of the links on the left side, and the content on the right. In fact, earlier in this book you learned that this is the recommended website design you should use. Yet the problem with this design is instead of seeing your content first, Google sees the links first. Your links may not be seen to be as optimized as your content.

One solution is to use three panes rather than two. Keep the normal left and right panes, but add an extra pane at the top left of the layout. Don't put keywords in this extra pane. With this area "blank" when the Google bots read the site, rather than going for the links as they normally would, the bots see that a portion of where the links are is "blank." This then forces it to read the content first, which is more keyword-rich than the links.

Note that not all search engines read sites this way, which is why this guideline was provided in this special section dedicated to optimizing for Google. You could be on the safe side and use the layout anyway, especially if you do plan to submit to Google, which you should. It doesn't take away from the look of the site, and by using it you ensure that your content gets read first. If you don't use it, you aren't giving yourself the best opportunity to rank highly in Google search engine listings. Making tables isn't very hard to do. Most word processors and even WYSIWYG HTML editors provide them, so take advantage of it.