Search Engine Optimization Guide

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is always a questionable subject because Search Engines purposefully do not disclose how they determine content ranking. There are however a number a rules that can be followed to improve page ranking and most of these purposefully follow graphic design best practices.

This guide focuses on the primary white-hat SEO formatting standards.

SEO Bold, Italic, and Underline

There is much debate concerning the significance of the Bold <b>, Strong <strong>, Italic <i>, and Underline <u> tags. In general these tags have little to no effect on page ranking and should be used sparingly to highlight words of importance such as terms, titles, or quoted text.  Repeatedly marking all keyword with the bold tag has very little effect on ranking. It is much better to use keywords in heading tags.

SEO Heading Format and Style

All text based content should be clearly visually structured to help the reader quickly find the information they are looking for. This is also true for Search Engines. The best way to accomplish this is using the HTML Heading Tags: <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4> etc.

SEO Page Links

Inline content linking can have a beneficial impact on Search Engine Ranking but only if used properly. The most common pitfalls include "using click" here or "read more..." links. Using full URLs for internal site links is also problematic. XHTML Strict also plays a role because of the removal of the target attribute.

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