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Your website layout code and structure effects search engine rankings


With the tools available, I honestly didn't think in todays world of professional services and the importance of how your website functions that there would still be sites that are poorly constructed.
How wrong I was.
Every link exchange I do for every client, I visit the site requesting the link. I have seen thousands of link pages and websites.

Basic link exchange critera for BSC clients:
  • The page the link is on must be in the Google cache, proving it is indexed.
  • The page must have a link to the home page of the site.
  • The home page of the site must have a link to the directoy or link page.
  • The page must be relevant to my site content.

So during the process of evaluating if i will consider a link exchange I have discoved that over 50% of the sites i look at are not up to basic standards.

I Have decided to write this page so i can link it in my denyal emails in stead of writing in each email why i cannot link to thier site.
This will also be a great guide for all those who are trying to build their site on thier own.

Determin what code to use.

If your site does not have a database to drive it then most choose to use html.
But if you have not considered how many pages you want, and the fact that you will adding more pages in the future basic html will fall short if you have to go back to every page to add links to the new page.
The solution. use shtml.
shtml allows you to create server side includes. Other code languages that can use server side includes are php ( this is what we use) asp.
The great benifit to includes are each element of the page is a seperate file on the server. so if you want to have a new image at the top of your website you simply change the header file, add a new page? change the navigation file.
in short you change one file and it updates the changes on every page. more on this below.

The content of your site will determin the kind of structure that works best.
All websites contain 4 basic elements.
  • Header
  • Navigation
  • Content area
  • Footer
Top navigation if you use one
Side Navigation

Content area




Hosting Service Abilities

Many of the free and low cost hosting services do no support anything more than basic html pages. Servier side includes, php, asp, shtml all require a real hosting package. You Hosting provider may provide upgrades to these services.
IMPORTANT SEO NOTE: If you are hosted at any of the big registars and are on the basic plans, you can be graded lower by almost all search engines regardless of what you try to do. Most spam site and here today gone tmorrow scams use these services because thay can be untraceable to the real owners.

Now the how to do it.
If you have an exsisting website and Goggle has indexed it and it is already showing up for some searches that are useful you need to be very careful to do one of 2 things to keep the page indexed.
#1 if you have limited experiance or are usein programs like mocrosoft word to create your webpages... STOP RIGHT NOW! you will need someone with experiance to help you. Make sure they understand how to create a .htaccess file and how to use MOD REWRITE to create a 301 REDIRECT command.

#2 do not take down the current home page while creating this new code. make a new page and call it something like "masterpage.shtml or .php. get this page to work like you want. then goto the current pages and add their content to the page save the file as the old page name .shtml or .php
create a 301 redirect from old pagename to the new one. so homepage.html redirects to homepage.shtml or homepage.php here is an example :
Redirect permanent

in html create a file and call it header.shtml.
Take all the stuff on the top of you current page that you want to appear on every page and put it in this file.
where the old code was on the page add <!--#include virtual="header.shtml" -->
do the same with all the other files. if you are using java script for navigation it is reccomended that the script code be placed betweed the
</head> tag and the <body> tag. not in the include file. use only the script call in the include file.

Now you have create a template for your site.
So if you use a linkng service like and want to add their directoyt to your site it will easily be install in the content area of your template.
New pages to add, no problem just open the masterpage file and resave it as the new page name.
Then edit the meta tags to fit the new conent, go to the navigation file and add a new link to the page and it is done!

Create a Cascading Style Sheet or CSS file

The style sheet is what controls the look and feel of a website. it determons the font colors and can even build the whole structure of a page.
Use the style sheet at the very least to reduce font calls and other tags that you would use over and over , I could write a whole page just about CSS use
but most do it yourselfers will not undersand any of it. So if you are interested in learning more about style sheets visit

Validate your pages.

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional offers THE standard for a page to be valid. click here to check ths pages validation and enter some of your own to see how they do. One of the options that is handy is to select "show source" to print out the code if the page does not vailidate. this wil help you to find the errors and correct them.

Next check your style sheet

Valid CSS!

If your html code is valid there will be a link to the css validation service. it will automaticly look for your style sheet and if there are any errors it will tell you what line they are on and what the error is. Warnings are show for issues that may make the page look different in mutliple browsers.

When you have fixed all the errors be sure to look at your site using IExplorer and Firefox. as these are most common, check Safari if you can since it is the default for all Apple Computers.




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