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Updated: April 15, 2010 15:24 IST

Dos and don’ts before your site is up

D. Murali
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Title: Fourth Edition HTML, Bewginner's Guide.
Special Arrangement Title: Fourth Edition HTML, Bewginner's Guide.

You have prepared you homepage and it is time for the public debut. But before you upload your site to a host computer and submit it to directories and engines, tidying it up a little is best, advises Wendy Willard in ‘HTML: A beginner’s guide,’ fourth edition (www.tatamcgrawhill.com).

Dos

In the list of three dos that the author lists what comes first is the need to ensure all images have alternative text. Directories and engines can’t see the images – they only ‘look’ at the alternative text for descriptions, she explains.

The next ‘do’ is to give your pages descriptive 5- to 13-word titles, using keywords from the page. “Directories and engines look at the titles of your pages and often use them to list your site. So ‘Page 2’ would definitely not entice as many visitors as, say, ‘Lawn Care Products for Sale.’”

And the third suggestion is to repeat keywords throughout the page. For example, on a page entitled ‘Lawn Care Products for Sale,’ you should include those same words in the headlines, body text, and alternative text for images on the page, Willard instructs. Reason: This increases the relevancy of the page when someone searches for those words.

Don’ts

Then come three don’ts, beginning with the exhortation not to stray from the topic. If, for instance, the page is about lawn care products, it may be unwise to include information about your favourite links or television shows on that same page. As the author elaborates, extraneous information only weakens the relevancy of your pages; ‘search engines typically show pages with the most relevant information at the top of the results list.’

The second caution is that you should not repeat the keywords too many times, because search engines can drop the sites when spamming is suspected. “A word repeated too many times on a page is a big red flag for spamming. Be realistic and honest. Use the words whenever they seem appropriate and you’ll be fine.”

And the third no-no is to use irrelevant keywords just to draw in people. Don’t include keywords that aren’t appropriate for your site, Willard warns. “Users will get annoyed and complain, causing your site to be dropped from the search engine altogether.”

Starter material.

**

Tailpiece

“Giving everyone the ‘Right to Internet access’ can be…”

“Expensive?”

“Yet, cheaper than implementing the Right to Food or Education!”

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