Search Engine Optimisation
Having appropriate indexing in search engines is an important way of increasing web traffic to your website. Most importantly, however, is the exposure of your website address, which must be built into your marketing strategy.
Search engine optimisation has proven to be an important strategy for maximising exposure to websites. Techniques for search engine optimisation, are varied and depend on the search engine and the means by which they index pages. How a search engine's algorithm works is a closely-kept trade secret.
At Charles Sturt University we endeavor to design all of our pages so that the keyword will be picked up directly and easily from the content of our pages. We do not rely solely on meta data tags.
How do they work?
Large commercial search engines like Google and NineMSN do not rely completely on meta data for indexing their pages. Only the top-level page from a website needs to be submitted for indexing; you do not need to submit each individual page to their search engine. The search engines crawler, (Googlebot and MSNBot) will be able to find everything within that domain name. Updates are made on a regular basis, so updated or outdated link submissions are also not necessary. Dead links will 'fade out' of their indexes on the next crawl when they update their entire index.
Tips for successful indexing
Ensure your site validates and comply with current web standards.
- If you move a website or page, make sure the old page directs people to it's new location, and tell them whether the move is permanent or temporary.
- Make sure there are not permissions setup on your website that prevent web crawlers from accessing your information.
- Use meta tags to help some web crawlers index your site.
- Keep your web site addresses simple and static. Complicated or frequently changed locations are difficult to use as link destinations.
- Use location and frequency of keywords on a web page to your advantage.
- Don't get involved in search engine "spamming" techniques. If a search engine detects these they may penalize your pages or exclude them from the index.
- Keep pages small - search engines have a limit on how much of the page they index. Google has in the past had a 101K limit, only the first 101K worth of text was indexed by Google.
Meta tags are not a magic solution and won't solve all of your indexing problems. All search engines provide some support for Meta Tags, but AltaVista, AllTheWeb and Teoma make most use of these tags. The following meta tags examples are useful and should be included in the head of the HTML code.
Meta tag - "description" is widely used amongst a range of search engines. An example of it's use is provided below.
<meta name = "Description" content = "Charles Sturt University (CSU) located in the cities of Albury-Wodonga,Bathurst and Wagga Wagga, three of the fastest growing cities in NSW." / >
Meta tag - "keywords" is used by some search engines however not all. Google for example does not make use of the meta tag keywords. See example below.
<meta name = "KeyWords" content = "distance education, online learning, Australia, Australian, NSW, Wagga, Bathurst, Albury, Canberra, Dubbo, Sydney, Thurgoona, Research, University, HSC, School, Faculty" / >
The university is currently upgrading it's statistics package on the public server, a number of packages are being considered to decide on the best solution for our environment.
If you are interested in receiving statistics on your website, please contact Marketing & Communications to arrange to be added to their current list.