Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Google Problems?

Often the new adult webmaster thinks that since their site hasn't shown up in Google, it's because Google dislikes adult entertainment.

Google isn't a prude. So content is not your problem. Likely you have a technology issue.

Google uses spiders to search-out sites & pages & bring those finding in as results for the surfer. If you site navigation/design uses some of the following 'tricks,' you may be smashing those useful spiders...

Frames
First of all, let me say 'ugh.' Frames are so passe ~ so 1990's, they belong on VH1s 'I love the 90's' to be mocked right along side Tanya Harding.

But honestly, it's not that Google just thinks they are 'ugly,' there are practical reasons for the search engine slight.

With frames, one of the hated features of frames, a person cannot bookmark a specific page ~ at least not as easily as non-frame pages. This conceptual design also makes the spider's work more difficult. Google will find your site, but may not return the ideal page, or it may give the page, without the frames, causing a lack of navigation.

Gracie suggests you just get rid of frames altogether, as soon as possible. Not just for Google, but for your site visitors.

Flash or Image Created Sites
Flash is a huge, showy way of creating pretty websites and entry pages ~ but a real waste of money in my opinion. The same is true of websites designed with nothing but a composite of images. Quite often both of these techniques are used to look impressive and preserve the integrity of special fonts which web browsers cannot read, but as they are all images and no text, search engines do not see them.

Sure, they look nice, but who is going to find you to see them?

JavaScript
JavaScript has traditionally been used in shopping cart systems and other 'high tech' sites for rollover menu images, visitor tracking, and other reasons, but JavaScript cannot be read by Google or other search engine spiders. (Using JavaScript for link swaps and links pages also virtually nullifies search engine spider abilities to use links for ranking too.)

Many Internet users have JavaScript disabled, and those with PDAs & other tech gadgets which have limited or no JavaScript capability means the use of JavaScript should be seriously considered for a number of other reasons as well.

AJAX
AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript And XML, which means many of the problems with JavaScript will apply.

Dynamically Generated Pages
While Google is able to index dynamically generated pages, this configuration gives a spider too many options, which can cause crashes ~ site crashes. Google, therefore, has limited the number of dynamic pages they will search & index. It's a safety precaution.

A word on the above site design/code issues for those who do not create their own websites. If you hired a web designer or plan on doing so, tell your designer your concerns. A nifty tool to help with code problems, as well as pages or documents on your site which are not linked, is YourAmigo Spider Linker.

A good rule of thumb for avoiding all of the above issues is to remember all pages must have HTML for search engines to find read them.

Doorway Pages
I know these were 'big' back in the day, but most search engines, and most definitely Google, dislikes the hell out of 'em.

Surfers hate doorway pages, which 'promise' content, but just hook & jerk a surfer into a place they don't want to be, or offer nothing in the way of content. So Google wishes to avoid sending their surfers to doorways or splash screens.

Just don't do them. Not only do you risk problems with Google, but you alienate your potential customers.

Other Class-less Cheats
These are sure to get you banned or bumped from most search engines. (I can't believe anyone actually employs these tactics anymore, but...)

* Do not use small or hidden text. (Spamming)

* Do not use popular keywords in your tags or text if they have nothing to do with your site's content. (Stuffing/Spamming)

* Do not participate in link farms ~ A directory with actual content, such as reviews, a few articles etc, those are OK, but auto-generated link sites are bad news.

If you play 'clean,' yes, your 'dirty' site will still get listed.

More Reading:

BoingBoing has an update of a snafu which may be fixed, but contains some generally useful info for bloggers regarding Google.

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