Seo stands for search engine optimization. This page is dedicated to helping improve your page rank on search engines.
Having content that is relevant, accurate, and worth sharing is the number 1 way to increase search result ranking. Past this accessibility is the next major factor for SEO. If you have great content, but can't view it from a phone, or tablet, you're going to take a major rank hit. If your website has great accessibility but extremely poor content, you're going to take a major rank hit. Make sure to produce a website with both good content, that is mobile phone friendly, and quickly served up. :-)
Serach engines pay most attention to content at the top of your html. H1 page title & body are the first 2 things that should be in your body tags. Then sidebar, and or navigation links, followed by the footer. On your css you will manipulate the sidebar, and or navigation into place. This is called content first web design, and mediawiki's vector skin follows this design approach.
When selecting a domain name, try to choose a short domain name, omitting words like "the" the longer the url, the harder it is to remember, and this affects page rank.
Domain registration duration impacts SEO, if you intend to have the site a long time, register several years rather than a short period of time, as this will improve SEO.
Your sites URLs should have 1 or the other url re-writing, and 301 permanent redirecting so search engines do not see duplicate content. You are not penalized for url length by adding a www. subdomain.
# curl -I http://funtoo.org/Welcome
# curl -I http://www.funtoo.org/Welcome
URL rewrites offer content at the original source also. Example:
serves the same content as
we would want the cannonical url to tell search engines that http://www.funtoo.org/Welcome is the canonical url, the url to use index etc, and all duplicates are ignored instead of penalized.
Question marks are bad. Most search engines freak out about indexing anything past a ? so use url rewrites to remove index.php? and leave just site.com/Main_Page
domain.org should have url rewrites, and be rewritten to www.domain.org for the purpose of wildcard ssl certificates, and cookie free domains.
Some users when referring to your web site will post links as domain.org, or www.domain.org. using a 301 redirect on one or the other will have search engines treat both as one singular domain. Dns 301 redirect domain.org to www.domain.org
You should prefer - over _ to represent spaces. MediaWiki is flawed in design preferring _ over -. This is an older SEO problem, yet it still persists in affecting your page ranking. web-server-stack is an example of an SEO friendly url with spaces.
How fast your page loads significantly impacts seo. Installing a caching reverse proxy, and testing that it hits close to 100% of the time is a good idea. It prevents your server from rebuilding pages, hitting the processor, and also speeds up page delivery to move the bottle neck from the php building to the internet connection speed. see: www-servers/varnish & Web-server-stack#Benchmarking
Cookie Free Domains
Cookies force static content to be reloaded. Static content can be hosted on an alternate subdomain in most cases. example: static.google.com
Use of a CDN for static content will speed things up, and distribute load to client's geographically local nodes. since a cdn is external to the website you don't have to worry about cookies forcing a cache to reload the content.
Mobile Friendly Content
Mobile devices have limited ram and processor speeds. using limited image sizes, and having css omit unnecessary content is a good idea.
Mobile Friendly CSS
Using bootstrap, foundation, or equivalent responsive css will make your website render on mobile devices correctly.
CSS & JS Minification
CSS & JS Positioning
Avoiding Inline Styles
CSS has several forms but inline styles should be avoided. Prefer an external CSS file, preferably distributed by a cdn.
Meta information is parsed directly by search engines. with these in place they will be displayed rather than the initial text of your canonical landing page.
Dublin core is a metadata system that produces details for search engines to discover such as authors, & publication dates. many sites generate this meta information dynamically.
Posting links around about your site is ok so long as it is organic, and not spammy. addthis share widgets improve SEO as they produce many backlinks that are not a bot dumping anywhere, and everywhere. addthis produces twitter/facebook/g+/redit etc share links, and has an analytic service.
Linking to high quality trusted sites helps, high quality trusted sites linking back helps. Linking to low quality untrusted sites hurts, low quality untrusted sites linking back hurts.
When posting links on your site to other sites, make sure you use target="_blank" so the user doesn't disconnect from your site. it will open a new tab or window on their browser however they have it configured. This will reduce your bounce rate.
SiteMaps & robots.txt
Sitemaps generate xml pages that tell crawlers about your sites content pages, and robots.txt tell crawlers about pages they're not allowed to index. In a few iterations ill look up how to make a robots that allows everything, as if its not even there, and an external site map generating service.
piwik is server side analytics.
Sign up for webmastering services provided by search engines. Bing and Yahoo are bundled together now.
Encourage users to tell the internet your website is trusted.
testing, and evaluating
- http://www.seomastering.com/ (shows estimated page value in USD)
- http://seositecheckup.com/ (throttled to 1 check every 30 minutes)
free with required registration
- http://www.wpromote.com/seo/seo-audit-tool (shows which pages are ranked)
pay with free trial
free 1 site per week testing