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Web technologies -- Laboratory 13 -- 2009-2010 -- info.uvt.ro

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Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - is a technique for improving site visibility and increase traffic.

It is comprised of two categories: SEO (mostly for organic - natural - results) and SEA (mostly for payed - Pay Per Click: PPC - results):


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - is a technique for improving the traffic to a web site from web search engines.

High traffic is usually achieved by obtaining top results (inside the first 10 pages) when certain keywords are looked for from a search engine. These high positions can be achieved either by paying (eg. in Google: the sites in the right side of the page are paid results) for them or by naturally augmenting the web site code and content (eg. in Google: the left side results of the result page).

The techniques for improving traffic can be divided into syntactic and semantic augmenting:


When designing an (X)HTML page be sure to:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
		<title>Example page</title>
		<meta name="Description" content="Add your page description here" lang="en-us">
		<meta name="Keywords" content="keyword1, keyword2" lang="en-us">
		<meta http-equiv="Content-type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8">
		<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="style.css">
		<script src="scripts.js"></script>
  • eliminate any javascript and CSS code from the page - put the code into separate files
  • make sure the site does not use frame or iframe tags. If so eliminate them and use div or table tags instead
  • use absolute links (starting with http://) and NOT relative ones
  • use 301 (permanent) redirects instead of 302 (temporary) when redirecting a page request
  • do not use multiple domains with the same content. Put a 301 redirect from all of them to a single website. For example if mydomain.com and mynewdomain.com have the same content put a 301 redirect to mynewdomain.com when accessing mydomain.com
  • make sure your pages return the correct HTTP code. For example when a page is not found make sure the page displaying the error is accompanied by a 404 Not Found error
  • use URL rewriting (eg. through the .htaccess file in Apache Server) and avoid having more than 5 parameters in the URL:
    • for instance instead of mydomain.com/search.jsp?id=123&type=car&lang=en rewrite the URL as mydomain.com/search.jsp/en/car/123
      • the reason of the above is that every result should be indexed and when using parameters search engines only index once. When finding directory like structures they will index it as new pages
  • your main page should always be called index.html and not mainpage.html, main.html or any other name you might think of
  • use - and not _ in your filenames. They should also be relevant to the content of the page. For example use cat-breeds.html and not page.html if your page is about cat breeds
  • always use an alt attribute inside the img tag to describe your images
  • use separate folders for each language (eg. place your English pages in mydomain.com/en/ and the French ones in mydomain.com/fr/)
  • use h1 and h2 tags for content titles - ONLY one h1 is allowed. however more than one h2 can be used
  • link your sites from higher ranked pages. This will definitely increase your page rank
  • place a robots.txt file in your website's root directory. It should specify which folders/files are forbidden to crowler bots. For example you can exlude images, javascript or css files
  • check that links do not point to broken pages http://validator.w3.org/checklink
  • ensure that ALL your website pages adhere to the above rules!


Cleaning and optimising the (X)HTML code is not sufficient You also need to optimise the content in order to be placed on top results when certain keywords are entered.

  • add a relevant page title inside the title tag. The length should be of at most 67 characters since most search engines ignore characters beyond this limit
  • add a proper description of the page inside the meta description tag. The length should be at most 160 characters as most search engines ignore characters beyond this limit
  • add several keywords relevant to the page content inside the meta keywords tag (although crawlers tend to ignore this nowadays it is still good practice)
  • place the page title inside an h1 tag and the sub-titles in h2 tags
  • make sure each page has at least 500 characters of text and that keywords are included in it
  • each title, h1, h2, img alt and meta description should contain a call to action i.e. make the user want to read on further

What NOT to do when trying to obtain high ranking[edit]

  • use invisible text inside the page (font color the same as the backround color)
  • use invisible divs to place content
  • cloak techniques - show different pages to the search engines than the ones presented to human users
  • other methods that could reduces the ranking of your page or even ban the website from appearing in search results


Search Engine Advertising (SEA) Represents the paid version of SEO. They are complementary and SEA is mostly used by commercial sites.

Examples of tools for SEA include:

  • Google's adWords
  • Yahoo!'s advertising center
  • Microsoft's adCenter

Google adWords for instance lets you provide a cost for each click (pay per click strategy). Once a user has clicked your advertised site you will get charged a varying amount (around 0.01 - 0.05 dollars/euros) which you can set by yourself.

You can get your site listed for various keyword searches.


NOTE: most of the above links require free registration.



Optimise the pages given as assignment in http://beta.wikiversity.org/wiki/Web_technologies_--_Laboratory_2_--_2009-2010_--_info.uvt.ro by following the SEO guidelines provided on this page.