SES – CSS, AJAX, Web 2.0 & Search Engines
Anne Kennedy, Managing Partner, Beyond Ink
- Shari Thurow, Founder & SEO, Omni Marketing Interactive
- Vanessa Fox, Product Team Lead, Zillow.com
- Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Creative Director, deMib.com
- Amit Kumar, Senior Engineering Manager, Yahoo!
- Amanda Camp, Software Engineer, Google, Inc.
Shari Thurow is the first speaker of the session. She begins by citing the pros and cons of CSS:
- Adding HTML pages lets webmasters control the design options like margins, font/typeface appearance.
- With CSS one can alter the "look" of a website quickly and easily.
- One can drastically shorten the download time of a webpage.
- Usability pros say 8-12 secs.
- Representative from Yahoo says 30 secs or less
- End users will have to install fonts in their pcss else the webpage will now appear as the designers intended.
- Logo or corporate identify
- Banners (advertisements or self-promoting)
- Condensed font employed for screen real estate
- Usability testing (task oriented) and focus groups (user opinions) might show that users prefer a font that is not commonly installed on all computers.
- Print materials
- A/B and multivariate testing
- CSS-formatted hyperlinks can dominate the content of a web page making the content appear unfocused.
- CSS can be used to hide text on a webpage.
- use stylesheets
- Only determine use graphic nav versus css nav after testing with your users
- Make sure your pages display appropriately on multiple browsers
- Hidden elements (layers, text) are acceptable to SEs as long as those elements are meant to be seen and used by site visitors.
- Do not use CSS to exploit SEs.
Next to speak is Mikkel deMib Svendsen of deMib.com on AJAX and Web 2.0.
Tips for using AJAX:
- Use AJAX but not too often.
- Use AJAX only if it boosts your business or generates more income.
- Let AJAX be a choice and not be made mandatory.
- Set proper (301) redirects of "wrong" linking to the AJAX application.
- Leave it to the professionals. AJAX is HIGHLY insecure. Only TRUSTWORTHY vendors and consultants must be used.
Tips for Web 2.0:
- As authentic content does not come cheap, let your users write it for free of cost.
- Keyword research is not required.
- Spelling errors are acceptable in content written by your loyal user, even if that means mistakes in headings and titles.
- Content written by users will better your site’s freshness factor while also rank high in non-community pages too.
Next up is Vanessa Fox of Zillow.com.
Vanessa spots the most common optimizing mistakes as:
- Blocking links
- Blocking content (AJAX is a big reason)
- Not providing content
- Vanessa also echoes that user generated content is a great help.
- The more information there is for search engines to index. There is more freshness, etc.
- Remember to have information though.
- Blank discussion boards are like ghost towns.
- Be certain you know a source you can get content from.
Yahoo’s Amit Kumar lays emphasis on what he calls the guiding principles, technologies, techniques, and resources. These are:
Build for your users: Yahoo! will adapt.
Users vote by attribution — the way we determine what people are looking at and people like is by how many links a site has. It’s important to remember in the context of AJAX. Make sure users can link to you.
We accept hints! Use sitemaps.
Issue: understanding your pages
Core to the web, like HTML
Issue: reading your pages
Need to consume carefully.
Issue: Finding all your content
Think "form filling"
Issue: Where is the content from?
Turn off js/css in your browser, make sure everything still works.
SOURCE: SEARCH ENGINE ROUND TABLE