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Six reasons why search engines ignore your web pages

Is your web site still not listed on search engines although you submitted it weeks ago? There are several reasons why search engines might ignore your web pages.

1. Check if search engines can read your web page content

Search engines use very simply software programs to index your web pages. A web page that looks great to the human eye can be totally meaningless to search engines.

If you have a great looking web site that is meaningless to search engines, you won't be able to achieve high search engine rankings with that web site - no matter how good and interesting your web site content is.

In general, search engines cannot see content that is presented in images (GIF, JPEG, PNG, etc.), Flash elements, JavaScript and other script languages or other multimedia file formats.

To find out how search engines see your web page, use a search engine spider simulator. The free IBP trial has a fully functional spider simulator that allows you to see your web pages through the eyes of a search engine.

2. Check if search engines can find your web pages

If your web page navigation is based on JavaScript then chances are that search engines cannot find your web pages. Most search engines don't follow JavaScript links and many search engines also don't follow image links.

To search engines, your web site can look like a one page site with hardly any content if you use JavaScript links. If you want to make sure that search engines can find all pages of your web site then use simple text links.

3. Check if your web server causes problems

It is very important that you choose a reliable hosting company. If your web server is down when search engines index your web pages then search engines cannot index your pages.

Some web hosts even change the web pages of their clients. They insert links to other web sites on the web pages of their clients and they only show these pages to search engine spiders.

Some web servers return an error message when a search engine spider wants to access a web page.

Again, the search engine spider simulator in the free IBP trial can help you to find out if your pages are returned correctly when search engines visit your web site.

4. Check if your web page content makes sense to search engines

It's important that you make the content of your web pages search engine ready. Search engines must be able to find out what your web pages are about.

If you put lots of keywords in your web page title, the meta tags and the body text of a web page then the web page will be somewhat relevant to many keywords.

If you want to get high rankings on search engines, then the web page must be very relevant to a search term. Use IBP's Top 10 Web Page Optimizer to optimize the content of your web pages so that they are highly relevant to your important search terms.

Only highly relevant web pages can get high search engine rankings.

5. Check if your web site has the right inbound links

Some webmasters still believe that search engines will list their web sites if they just submit it. That's not the case. Many search engines require at least one inbound link before they list a web site.

In addition, the big search engines also rank web pages based on the number and quality of the inbound links. Use IBP's Top 10 Inbound Link Optimizer to find out how inbound links influence the position of the top 10 pages on Google.

6. Check if your web pages contain spam elements

A single spam element can destroy all of your SEO work. If you use hidden text or other spam elements on your web page then many search engines won't list your web site, no matter how great its content might be.

If you use white text on a white background, text in invisible CSS elements or similar elements that might be interpreted as spam then you should remove these elements as soon as possible. It will be difficult to get high rankings if your web pages contain spam elements.

Submitting your web site to search engines is not enough. If you want to get high rankings you must make sure that search engine spiders can access your web pages without problems.

In addition, search engine spiders must find the right content on your web pages and your site must have enough inbound links.

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October 2006 search engine articles