Last month we had informed our readers of Google's incredibly valuable tips for the Webmasters, instructing them as to how they could create more crawlable and accessible websites. Picking up from its previous post about accessibility, Google has now come out with new tips and suggestions. But this time these suggestions are aimed at the designing structure of the web content for the websites. According to Google Webmaster Central Blog, these suggestions would enable a Webmaster's content reach to the masses and be smoothly crawled and indexed.
Spurious XMLHttpRequests should be Avoided:
Most web pages use XMLHttpRequests to help users perform searches and at the same time provide additional information after the page has been loaded. Webmasters should be extra careful while performing this action and should keep into consideration the fact that their initial landing page should have user-useful information on it. In the absence of such information, many users who might have disabled scripting in their browsers as well as Googlebot might find that the webpage's content is only the message 'loading'.
CSS sprites and navigation links:
It is extremely important that text should always be accompanied by meaningful links, as Googlebots and many users can't extract the message that a Webmaster wants to convey via an image. By using ' tags within elements' a Webmaster can place the descriptive text as an 'alt attribute' on the ' tag'. However, if a Webmaster is using CSS sprites to optimize page loading, it is still very much possible to include the crucial descriptive text.
Printer-friendly Versions should be easy to find:
Most websites these days offer printer friendly versions of interactive webpages which are embedded with enriched images and other media. This feature shows a simplified text version of the webpage. Webmaster should create actual URLs for such versions and should link to them through plain HTML anchors. This will greatly improve the quality of the crawled content.
<a href="http://example.com/page1-printer-friendly.html" target="_blank">Print</a>
The threat of Duplicate Content can also be resolved by selecting a preferred version of the content and submitting Sitemap with the preferred URL.
URLs for important content should be devised:
URLs should be created for important content and should be linked via plain HTML hyperlinks. This step offers the following advantages:
- Googlebot can crawl that content.
- User accessibility of the content increases.
- User will be able to Bookmark the content, for further reference.
These suggestions might seem like basic Web Development tips, but in fact these tips can virtually be the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful website.