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New Jersey Web Design Blog

SEO Myths Part 5: Website Construction and Accessibility

Although content gets a great deal of attention within the search engine optimization industry, the reality is that the way the Website is constructed and the tools used for accessing the site also have a significant impact on search engine rankings. Therefore, it is important to keep these myths in mind.

Myth #1: Having an XML Sitemap Will Increase Google Rankings

While Google does use sitemaps to file for discovery and to search for duplicate content, it will not give your site a boost in rankings. Even if you assign your sitemaps.xml a high priority level, it won’t assist with your rankings.

Myth #2: Having Sites That are Country-Specific Will Be Viewed as “Duplicate Content” by Google

Although duplicate content is certainly frowned upon, having country-specific sites will not be an issue. Google is able to differentiate between sites that are presented with country-specific URLs, so feel free to create sites for each country you are targeting.

Myth #3: Search Engines Don’t Index Pages Linked with JavaScript or Read CSS

Google has acknowledged that it is crawling JavaScript links on a more frequent basis and there are many documented cases of the search engine doing just that. Similarly, Google does scan CSS for spam tactics. Therefore, you shouldn’t assume these links and pages won’t be scanned and crawled. Of course, you shouldn’t count on them being crawled by the Google spiders either.

Myth #4: Selectively Cleaning URLs for Spiders is Considered “Cloaking”

Doing things such as removing tracking parameters, session IDs and other unnecessary parameters can actually be viewed favorably by the search engines if your intentions are honorable. Even Yahoo does it, so don’t be afraid to remove parameters because you don’t want to take a hit in your search engine rankings.

Myth #5: Sitemaps are Only Meant for Search Engine Optimization

While a sitemap can help increase your search engine rankings, it is important to realize that they are also a good tool for site visitors. Therefore, when creating sitemaps, it is important to consider the search engine spiders as well as those who will be visiting your site. This means you should make the sitemap aesthetically pleasing while also ensuring all of your pages are linked to each other.

Myth #6: Google Doesn’t Index Pages That Can Only Be Accessed by the Site’s Search Form

While it is true that Google didn’t used to index pages that could only be accessed by the site’s search form, this has not been true since 2008. Of course, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about making your site accessible to search engine spiders, as you aren’t likely to achieve the results you are after if you don’t address this concern. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t assume your pages won’t be indexed just because they are only accessible through the search form.


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