Web 2.0 Expo: 7 Reasons Why Search Engines Are Your Friends

Chris “Silver” Smith of NetConcepts explains how search engines are working with you to improve rankings and deliver qualified results

This week I’m at O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Expo in NYC. Today in a workshop called SEO 101, Chris “Silver” Smith, Lead Strategist at NetConcepts discussed how search engines are working with you.

1. Sitemaps are widely supported and encouraged. According to sitemaps.org: “Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.”

In other words, sitemaps provide hints for web crawlers to do a better job of crawling your site. Google, Yahoo!, MSN and most other search engines support (and encourage) sitemaps.

2. They are creating webmaster tools. Google Webmaster Central, MSN’s Live Search Webmaster Center and Yahoo! Site Explorer are all tools created by search engines to help you succeed in search engine optimization.

3. The Rel=”nofollow” tag was created. This tag was created by Google, and they call it “a way to make sure that spammers get no benefit from abusing public areas like blog comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists.” Soon after the tag was created, MSN and Yahoo! jumped on the bandwagon to support it. For more information, read the Google Blog.


4. The Meta NOODP tag was created. The NOODP tag prevents Google from replacing your meta description with content from the Open Directory Project in the absence of a defined meta description. Here is the NOODP tag.

5. They’re speaking at search engine conferences. No longer are search engines a black box, employees from Google, Yahoo!, MSN and other search engines now speak openly at conferences about best practices and the algorithms they use.

6. They’re publishing blogs dedicated to helping webmasters. Instead of making webmasters discover things for themselves, they are publishing blogs, white papers and reports on current trends and new technology. The Google Webmaster Central blog is a great example of this.

7. They’re putting out “weather reports”. Search engine weather reports consist of the latest search engine news. When new algorithms, research, services or features are announced, they’re announced in what they call a weather report.


More notes and quotes from the Web 2.0 Expo (and still more to be added so stay tuned):

A (Mostly) Free SEO Toolbox

7 Ways to Get Ranked in Google

Web 2.0 Supply & Demand Metrics

Is Web 2.0 Worth It?

Customer Service is the New Marketing

Why is SEO Important?

7 Reasons Why Search Engines Are Your Friends


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