Ask the Experts: Links, Tags, and File Names –…
Q: I am currently reading your book “Search Engine Optimization – An Hour A Day”. It has some excellent instruction. Having created a few sites that thankfully have ranked well in the search engines, I’m looking for answers to a few specific questions. Could you possibly answer some of them? Feel free to be brief.
Q: Do you place value in naming a file after the main keyword on the page?
A: Yes, there is some value in this. But don’t make it too long – you don’t want a 20 word list. And separate your keywords with dashes or underscores.
Q: Do you place value in using <H1> header tags for the page title in the body section?
A: We lean toward “Yes.” <H1> tags probably improve the weight of the words inside the tag. This is a fairly minor factor, and because it’s so easy to manipulate, we expect that its importance will diminish over time (if not already).
Q: Is there value in placing the body text higher up on the body page and having navigation links follow after? That is, so that the SE’s see the keyword-rich text section first?
A: This probably doesn’t affect ranks for the keyword, but it may affect how your listing displays. Body text will likely create an easier to read “snippet” than navigation, so it should go higher on the page than navigation text if possible.
Q: Shouldn’t navigation links always be text-based where possible?
Q: What is the maximum number of links that a site map should point to?
A: We think 100 links is a good rule of thumb for a max.
Q: Would it be a good idea to link to all 100 of my pages from the home page?
A: As far as search engines are concerned, having such a large number of links from your home page would “dilute” the significance of each link. It’s not really a penalty, but we generally recommend focusing on a smaller number of top landing pages. More importantly, 100 links from your home page is not likely to be a good design for your human audience.
Q: Should all website keywords be included in the META keywords tag?
A: While Meta keywords are a minor factor, we see no harm in including your top keywords in them. And this tag is a good place to include alternate spellings or misspellings of your keywords that you wouldn’t feel comfortable adding to your site’s visible text.