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There are some obvious improvements that you can make with your website to aid it to perform better in the search engines, and some simple tricks that you can employ to insure that you are not committing search engine sins. On page factors are the things that you can do *on* and in the web pages themselves. There are numerous guides on the web that show what tags can be used, which have been done to death but hopefully this post can show some of the more recent 2008 trends.
You have got yourself a Google sitemap haven’t you? Sitemaps both help you to get indexed faster and provide an entire list of URL’s instantly to Google, which can speed up the robot repeat visits. MSN, Yahoo and Google have all agreed on the sitemap protocol, so you can now provide this information to the other sites via their webmaster Central.
Google Webmaster Central
MSN / Live Webmaster
Yahoo Webmaster Tools
Styled with css heading tags break up a page and provide obvious detailed headings for Google and others.to determine where to place emphasis.
More or less dead. Some marketers have reported increased ranking when using the relatively unknown title tag, in addition to the regular title tag.
<meta id=“title” name=“title” content=“”>
The one meta tag that makes a difference – your meta description. If you are not providing unique meta descriptions on your site this can hurt you in the engines. A simple way to test if you have duplicate meta descriptions is to do a site wide search for your website on Google using the site operator.
Normally this will bring back the meta description. If this is a duplication or the meta description is not present, Google and other engines will parse your page content, which in some case is good, and in some cases is bad – especially if you have textually content quite early in your page. For example if you ask your visitors to subscribe to your feed in a feedreader on every page of your site, and provide no meta description, it is often these repeated words that make there way into the index.
<b> rather than <strong>?
There is a noticeable difference between <b> and <strong>. Although <b> is considered deprecated, both MSN and Yahoo give a higher ranking when using <b> tags. Google does not consider the attribute in it’s algorithm at all, and this will most likely become retired to the graveyard before long.
The most important on page factor in on page ranking factors. What many people forget is that the title tag is also your “hook”. Keyword stuffing may help you to rank on many different phrases, but it will not necessarily convert into a click in the SERP’s.
Also worth stating that many people have noticed that generating random page titles can negatively impact them in the SERP’s.
If you are taking your site seriously – you can’t expect to rank for anything if you are copying and pasting from Wikipedia. Make your content unique and you will reap rewards.
If you haven’t already seen it, and are interested in a definitive SEO guide, get yourself over to this post on SEOMoz. Read rinse and repeat.