Posts Tagged ‘Search Engine Optimisation’

Why does your website speed matters so much?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

When you browse on the Internet how long do you normally wait for a website to load? At the most, 10 seconds, right? Well, if so, you are one of the few as most of the users would not wait even for 8 seconds. And yes, it is the same for your website too. It might have the most interesting and informative content and most attractive images, but if it doesn’t load as soon as a user clicks the link, these content and images and animations are of no use as nobody would see them.

So, what can you do about it? If you are a webmaster you’d know that most of the search engines consider website speed while ranking a page. This is a blessing and a bane for you depending on which side of the line you are. If your site loads faster it gets an upper hand over all others that loads slower. Whereas, if it loads slower you are in for trouble as your site might not even be seen by users.

Website speed becomes a crucial issue if your website is an e-commerce site, or in other words, if you do your business through your online presence. If you find your website becoming listed among those slow loading sites, well, it is time to wake up and do something about it. So first of all, what is a slow loading website? Today, if a website takes more than even 2 seconds it is considered to be a slow loading site. So you know how important it is to get it faster and smarter. Let’s check out a few ways in which you can make a website load faster.

Get a fast server host

Most of the shared hosting servers are cheaper but slower as well due to high traffic. Hence, if you find your site getting slower and slower to load its time you change the hosting server. The best option would be to get an independent one or go for lesser known ones.

Use fewer images for your web pages

An image-heavy page can take time to load. Same is the case for a page with Flash and animations. For a site that sells a product it could be difficult to lessen the number of pages. However, fewer images can make your site load faster. Even reducing the resolution can make a difference to the site, even if it is that of milliseconds.

Use external Java

Javascript can slow down your site for many seconds. Of course, you cannot help using Java and what you could do here is to externalise it so that viewers find it after the page is loaded.

All these methods can increase the website loading speed considerably; however, at the same time you cannot simplify your website so much that no user is interested to browse it. Also, if it is an e-commerce site you’ll definitely have images of products that you cannot help adding. There are in fact many ways in which you can keep up the speed while making the page attractive. Check out a few of the methods here – http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html.

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Static URLs over Dynamic URLs: A Brief Overview

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

If you have been in the world of SEO you would probably have heard that search engines, all the prominent ones, prefer static URLs to dynamic URLs. Why and how? Before going to that let us start from what they are.

What is a static URL?

Static URL is one that doesn’t change. It won’t have any URL parameters and would be quite simple. These are the favorites of search engines. Updating such URLs are time consuming. This is so in the case of shopping websites and blogs that stores a lot of information and frequently needs to be updated. In the case of such websites, webmasters normally go for dynamic URLs.

What is a dynamic URL?

These URLs are created from searching a database-driven website. They are generated from specific queries to a website’s database. Here the date is changed in the database instead of in the HTML code. These URLs normally contain many variables and are difficult for the users to understand.

Why are static URLs preferred to dynamic URLs?

Search engines rank and index static URLs better than dynamic ones. Besides, static URLs are visibly more pleasing for the users as they are more simple and understandable. A brief glance through a static URL gives the reader an idea of what the page is all about. Whereas a dynamic URL contains variables and does not make much sense to a non-technical person. For this same reason users are more likely to click on static URLs that they understand than the dynamic ones.

Dynamic URLs take the last positions in search engines for another reason. That is, they normally do not have any keywords in them. Major search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN give a lot of weight to URLs with their main keywords in included in the domain name. Google now has made some progress with ranking dynamic URL, but if the webmasters try to make the URL look static and hide the parameters, it makes crawling difficult. And this might have an adverse effect.

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Good ranking in Google News is a different game altogether

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

By now most of you would be familiar with the search engine optimisation techniques for a website in the search engines, even Google.  However, if you think you can use the same techniques to get good ranking in Google News as well, you couldn’t be more wrong. Because the criteria for being ranked well in Google News is quite different from that for Google.com.

Google News is one of the prominent news website that is followed religiously by many individuals and organisations. To establish your presence in Google News you need to play a very different game. In other words the algorithm for Google News is quite different. Let’s see some of the factors that can affect the ranking in Google News:

  • Freshness

When it comes to news, whether it is online or offline, freshness matters most. If you come across an event that happened some 2 weeks back you are not going to be very amused or thrilled, right? It’s the same principle that you follow for offline news. Nobody reads a newspaper that is a week old. Same way, if you post some news that is just not the latest or the most updated you can’t expect Google to rank it high.

  • Relevance

Being relevant to what a user is looking for is what qualifies a news article to be listed by Google. Google is believed to classify news articles based on the topic. If your article is original and contains substantial information regarding the topic with the right keywords, it would naturally get a good listing.

  • Treatment of recent developments

If you post an article about a hurricane that happened last week and another about an archaeological discovery you can rest assured that your article about the hurricane would get more clicks and therefore more ranking. This is because when it comes to news, users would prefer to hear more about something that involves more urgency and directness than something that wouldn’t affect them, however breathtaking that news is.

  • Local reporting

The idea of local reporting strikes with Google News. If there is an event that happens in a particular place Google would prefer those in that region to report it with their own local version.

  • Credible authority

The best thing about Google News is that you don’t have to have the label of BBC or CNN to report something. Google gives weight to the news source for each news and each category. Therefore, all you need to do is to become a trusted source for the category of news you report and your article will be ranked accordingly.

  • Speed

Do you want Google to rank you high as well as other news sites to refer your site? Then be the first to report an event. It is of course not news for you that speed matters a lot in news reporting. This is one field where “early bird actually catches the worm”. Hence, report something as soon as it happens and before someone else reports it and get your position safe in Google.

  • Originality

Remember that if you copy and paste the news from another site or even reproduce sentences from other news sites Google would recognise the similarity. Make sure that the content you provide is original and unique. Even if you provide the original source of the content Google would rank that original source higher than your content.

Reporting for Google news is almost like reporting for a newspaper or television channel. Not only from an SEO perspective but also from a journalistic perspective the factors mentioned above would help you in creating and submitting news that can bring you under the visibility span of Google News faster.

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