10 Ways to Ensure Your Site Does Not Get Indexed on Search Engines

    September 23, 2004

Search Engines have come a long way since the web’s beginnings. Back in the old days it seemed like anything you typed in would ultimately show at least one or more pornographic web site.

Well, luckily those days have passed us and getting indexed on search engines has become a necessity of doing business on the Internet. In my experience with personally working on over 250 business web sites in the last six years (an having them all indexed), I have accumulated a substantial list of techniques that work and don’t work. There are literally hundreds of things that will have a negative effect on your ranking. Below is a list of my top ten.

1. Have no html text on your home page.

Because search engine robots are still not able to read images (jpegs, gifs etc), you will be guaranteed to not get indexed – because there is nothing to index.

2. Have a 100% Flash driven web site.

Some search engines are now able to index certain parts of flash, but as a general rule of thumb flash sites do not get indexed.

3. Dump a bunch of keywords on your home page and change the colour so they are visible to the eye.

While there is no published standard, most online professionals agree that tricking the search engines by adding a large number of keywords on your home page is bound to get you black-listed on search engines.

4. Create an automatic redirect that sends someone to another web site (from your home page)

If you code your web site so that when someone visits it, it will go to another page instantly – most search engines will ban you.

5. Rely solely on your Keyword and Description meta-tags.

Most search engines DO NOT use keywords or description text as a way to index sites. Some use the description tag for the results list. But in general the major search engines ignore these all together when looking to index your site.

6. Having less than 100 words on your home page.

As your home page is usually the first page a spider visits, it is important it has an ample supply of keywords for it to determine how it should index your web site.

7. Not incorporating a site tree or text links off of your home page.

Again, because search engine spiders read text only, it is extremely important to give it the “food” it needs to help index as many pages as possible on your web site.

8. Not having a links page.

Most of the major search engines use link popularity as a key method of determining how high a web site will get ranked within their search engine. Starting a reciprocal linking program by trading links between like-minded web sites will increase your “popularity” online.

9. Having little keyword rich content

Have you ever noticed that most of the high-ranking sites seem to have a lot of content? This is because they have learned the importance of having “spider” food online. Keyword rich content also helps build your credibility and makes your site more appealing when trading links.

10. Link Farms and get rich quick schemes

Nothing in this world is for free. There is no such thing as an automated search engine optimization tool that works all of the time. Many of these “spam” emails do not even pre-qualify their prospects – I have heard of even Google receiving a spam email! Optimizing your site takes time and patience. But if done right, the pay-off could be extremely large and provide you with a significant source of sales or referrals from new prospects.

Todd Jamieson is Founder and President of EnvisionOnline.ca, an Ottawa-based web development and consulting firm. He holds a Bachelor of Business in Marketing from Bishops University and has over ten years experience with Internet and database technologies. Jamieson has worked as Project Manager on more than 200 web sites, web applications and Internet e-business initiatives for small and medium sized enterprises. He is also actively involved in a number of other small businesses and is Associate Director of Exploriem.org, Professional Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs Organization. He lives in Ottawa with his spouse, Erin.