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Big Site? Make the most of it on Google

By John Saxon
Posted Tuesday, October 19, 2004

For many people a five or six page web site is all they need or want, but for others, selling services and products on the internet, a hundred page site is barely adequate – if you’re one of those companies then here are some tips on making the most of your site on Google and other deep search engines.

One of the sites we manage is 520 pages packed with content and informative articles. It has some 10 / 12 levels of pages in its structure and we became aware that Google only indexed 126 of those 520 pages, what was going on?

Maximising each page

We worked diligently with the web site owner to optimise each page, ensuring it had a unique and the page content was rich in the KEYWORDS for that topic, for instance if you’re trying to get onto Google with ‘content management systems’ and the phrase ‘content management systems’ does not appear on the page in HTML text then you won’t hit the top 1000!! Similarly if the phrase ‘content management system’ appears lots you will still fail because Google sees ‘system’ and ‘systems’ as 2 totally separate words

Remember, each page has a , , and ALT TAGS if you, or the designer has simply duplicated another page, as a template, in the design all your pages will have the same attributes as far as the spider is concerned.

Spider depth

Most spiders do not index below level 3 and therefore they do not find what may be very important pages at all. In addition we noticed with Google Page Ranking that the Index Page was 5/10, a level 2 page on the same site was 4/10 and a level 3 page was 3/10. Presumably pages beyond level 3 are considered so insignificant that the spider has been programmed to ignore them.

In addition the spider was stopping dead at drop down menus and graphic links it could not move beyond. Spiders essentially follow HTML text links and that’s about it. If you stick to that rule you won’t go too far wrong.

Our challenge was therefore to bring every page, no matter where it was in the site, to a level 3 position at least – without changing the structure of the site itself, so the spider would index it and the page ranking would be higher. This would give us 520 marketable, optimised pages rather that 126.

The solution was quite simple. A site map – we simply spent a few hours setting up a site map with a link from the index page ( making the site map level 2) and then an HTML text link to every page on the site, making every page on the site at least level 3.

The next time the site was spidered by Google, there it was, 520 content rich optimised pages and an increase in traffic of 1000%

Big sites, make the most of them, don’t keep your content hidden under a bushel!!

About the Author
John Saxon is technical director of site-pro limited a site offering free tips, tools and articles for web site optimisation – the site may be visited at (http://www.site-pro.co.uk)