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MA SuperBasic Template - SEO Problem


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#1 loribelle

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 04:26 PM

Hi There,
I had a SEO pro evaluate my website which is using the MA SuperBasic template and was told some things are preventing my site from being indexed by the search engines. Please tell me what needs to be corrected - either with the template itself or perhaps my own doing.
1) 700 lines of code before content is written in source code.
2) Site cannot be crawled by search engines due to main menu being in JavaScript.
3) Footer links are written passing a query string variable. Search engines do not index query string variables well. (LoriBelle Designs Handcrafted Bears _Fur_Bears).
4) Hidden tags with keywors (<!--artist teddy bear,artist bear,mink teddy bear,mohair teddy bear...) - not going to list all my keywords but can you explain what I may need to correct here?
5) No sitemap for users or search engines. - Is this something that is available through Soholaunch or do I have to create my own?

Please help me correct these errors so I can better optimize my site. Thanks!

#2 lwyau

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 06:18 PM

I don't know anything about this particular template. However, I think your SEO "pro" was using a little "scare" technique, presumably to get you sign up with him.

1. 700 lines of code is clearly marked as "javascript". Most search engines knows to ignore them. It is, of course, a good idea for the template's author to move this block of code to a file instead. However, does this prevent search engines to understand your page? I don't think so.

2. You do have footer links on the bottom (see #3) and your site is being crawled just fine.

3. Search engines are very capable of indexing query strings. As long as you only have 3 or less variables in the query string, you are just fine.

4. The "hidden tags" with keywords are precisely included in the keyword metatag. No problem here.

5. You will need to make your own sitemap. I believe there is a plug-in for doing this, or you can make one yourself. The benefit of having a sitemap, however, is generally over-stated anyways.

#3 loribelle

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 08:29 PM

Well I just don't understand why I am invisible when I enter my keywords - my site never shows up, and I can get Google to verify my site. Something is definitely wrong. Mike A. - any suggestions?

#4 draknet

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 09:12 PM

Hi There,
1) 700 lines of code before content is written in source code.


There's likely nothing you'll be able to do about this, however, he is correct that it can be a problem. Generally, it's advisable to avoid making pages too top heavy by placing too much code between the <head> tags.

2) Site cannot be crawled by search engines due to main menu being in JavaScript.


Add a text menu at the bottom so the menu can be read. Javascript menus are not read by search engines, and common wisdom is every page on your site could be reachable from every other page on your site by at least one plain text link. See Webmaster guidelines - Webmaster Tools Help for more info on this.

3) Footer links are written passing a query string variable. Search engines do not index query string variables well. (LoriBelle Designs Handcrafted Bears _Fur_Bears).


Session ID’s in URL’s can cause spider traps that could throw search engines into endless loops and keep them from indexing fresh content on your site, and calendars that use the URL query string to keep track of the dates currently being viewed can also cause a spider trap if end dates aren’t specified. That's not the case with all query strings.

Find broken links on your site with Xenu's Link Sleuth ™ can tell you if any of yours are an actual problem.

4) Hidden tags with keywors (<!--artist teddy bear,artist bear,mink teddy bear,mohair teddy bear...) - not going to list all my keywords but can you explain what I may need to correct here?


Take them out. Most, if not all, search engines consider hidden text keywords to be a form of spamming, and it can get you dinged with a permanent ban from the search engine See Hidden text and links - Webmaster Tools Help for the info straight from Google. This could potentially be why you don't appear in Google now. If that's the case, you'll need to submit your site for reconsideration after removing the hidden text.

Yes, you have meta tags and those are fine - but you list the same keywords again as hidden text between the soholaunch CSS files and Javascript files in the header. Those are a huge no-no.

5) No sitemap for users or search engines. - Is this something that is available through Soholaunch or do I have to create my own?


You'd need to create your own. I use this one as it's free:

Sitemap Generator

and it also has the ability to create html sitemaps as well.

Please help me correct these errors so I can better optimize my site. Thanks!


Once you get a sitemap created, you should go the extra mile and submit your sitemap to the search engines – Google Webmaster Tools (https://www.google.c...ebmasters/tools) allows you to claim your site with Google, submit the locations of your sitemaps, and will give you an overview of any errors it finds when crawling your site. For Yahoo! there’s Site Explorer (https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/), and for Bing there’s Webmaster Center (Bing Toolbox).

Those areas will directly tell you the issues they have with your site when crawling.

DrakNet Web Hosting | (Or just me: jenlepp.com | Twitter: @jenlepp)
Please note that DrakNet no longer offers licensed Soholaunch as of 9/1/2010 - if you are looking at an old forum post that recommends us as a Soholaunch host, please note that situation has changed since the post was made.


#5 loribelle

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 11:53 PM

Thank you so much Draknet! I appreciate the time you took to address my concerns and provide helpful info. I will work on those things that are within my control. One question though regarding the keywords that are suspect. I added these words to the webmaster section of my soholaunch panel where it asks for "web site keywords". I didn't think Soho would ask for information to be provided if it might damage my reputation with the search engines. I have since added relevant keywords to each page under "page properties", which I assume is OK.

#6 draknet

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 12:32 AM

Thank you so much Draknet! I appreciate the time you took to address my concerns and provide helpful info. I will work on those things that are within my control. One question though regarding the keywords that are suspect. I added these words to the webmaster section of my soholaunch panel where it asks for "web site keywords". I didn't think Soho would ask for information to be provided if it might damage my reputation with the search engines. I have since added relevant keywords to each page under "page properties", which I assume is OK.


I work on the backend and don't use Soho myself anymore, but the invisible keyword stuffing ( Keyword stuffing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) used to actually be an SEO technique that, once the search engines got annoyed with it, eventually became an SEO no no.

It's possible that Soholaunch is doing it but when I look at a cross-section of my client's sites, I don't see what you have on your site so I suspect Soholaunch itself is not doing it, but I can't be sure.

Can't tell you where it came from, though - maybe someone else will know.

"page properties", I believe, are the meta tags, and those are safe - for "proper" SEO, you don't want to do too many keywords (a la keyword stuffing, stick with 5 good ones and not 50 scattershot ones) and they don't seem to be as important as content, so don't stress too much over them.

At one point in time the keywords tag had an impact on a web site’s position within the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). Now the keywords tag has little impact on where a site will appear in the search results. When search engine first started determining the relevancy of a site they placed a larger emphasis on these tags.


Read more at The Importance of Keywords Meta Tag in SEO | Search Engine Journal (and the article it links to is also informative on meta tags as well).

DrakNet Web Hosting | (Or just me: jenlepp.com | Twitter: @jenlepp)
Please note that DrakNet no longer offers licensed Soholaunch as of 9/1/2010 - if you are looking at an old forum post that recommends us as a Soholaunch host, please note that situation has changed since the post was made.





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