Dangerous factors

In addition to spam, there are some other factors that can sabotage your SEO efforts.

Click the following headlines to learn more about potential problems:

1. Frames can cause problems

If possible, avoid frames. Many search engines have difficulty with frames and it is very difficult to get high search engine rankings for websites that use frames. Even Google has difficulty with frames. Here's Google's official statement about frames:

"Google supports frames to the extent that it can. Frames can cause problems for search engines because they don't correspond to the conceptual model of the web. In this model, one page displays only one URL. Pages that use frames display several URLs (one for each frame) within a single page."

2. Pure Flash sites won't get high rankings

Most search engines cannot index Flash pages. The normal text content on your web pages matters most to search engines. If you must use Flash on your website, make sure that you also offer normal text for the search engines. Most text in Flash elements is invisible to search engines.

3. Welcome pages drive search engines and visitors away

Some websites use a "Welcome to our website" image with a link to the actual site as the index page for the website. Don't do this. Some search engines might not follow the link on the welcome page and your index page won't contain any useful content for search engines.

In addition, most web surfers don't like these welcome pages. Your index page should not look like www.zombo.com.

4. Website downtime and slow pages impact your rankings

Your web page should be hosted by a reliable hosting service. Otherwise, it could happen that your web server is down when a search engine spider tries to index it. If your website fails to respond when the search engine's index software program visits your site, your site will not be indexed.

Even worse, if your website is already indexed and the search engine spider finds that your site is down, you could be removed from the search engine database. It's essential to host your website on servers that are very seldom down.

Search engine crawler programs that index Web pages don't have much time. There are approximately 4-6 billion Web pages all over the world and search engines want to index all of them. So if the host server of your Web site has a slow connection to the Internet, you may experience that your Web site will not be indexed by the major search engines at all.

Google has made it clear that website speed is a ranking signal so your website should be fast.

5. The robots.txt file of your website must be correct

Imagine you're an Internet marketing service company and you keep trying very hard to get top rankings in the search engines for your customer. Even after several weeks, the customer's website hasn't been listed in any search engine.

Then you see that your customer blocked the search engine spiders by not properly configuring the robots.txt file. Details about the robots.txt file can be found here:

6. The wrong HTTP status code blocks search engine robots

Some web servers are not properly configured and they return an error code when someone requests a web page. Although the page is displayed fine in your web browser, search engine spiders might receive an error code. The Top 10 Optimizer will inform you if the analyzed website uses the wrong status code.

7. Pages with thin content don't get high rankings

If your website consists of only one or two optimized pages it will be difficult to get good search engine rankings. Search engines try to find web pages that offer valuable content to web surfers.

Search engines need text to index web pages. The more related pages you have on your website, the better.

8. The web page code should be error free

Search engines have to parse the HTML code of your website to find the relevant content. If your HTML code contains errors, search engines might not be able to find everything on the page.

If there's a major mistake in your web page code, search engine robots might stop crawling your website and they might lose what they've collected so far because of the error.

Although most major search engines can deal with minor errors in HTML code, a single missing bracket in your HTML code can be the reason if your web page cannot be found in search engines.

You can check the code of your web pages here.

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