In a perfect world, a web site’s presentation details would not affect its search engine rankings
more so than it affects a human visitor ’s perception of value — his “rankings.”
is what users are after, and the goal of a search engine is to provide it. In this perfect world,
web pages that contain the same information would rank similarly regardless of the on-page
technologies used in their composition.
Unfortunately, in many cases, quite the opposite is true. Using Flash or AJAX to present informa-
tion, for example, may render much of your web site invisible to search engines. Likewise, using
The good news, however, is that applying a deep understanding of these presentation concerns
will yield an advantage for you over other web sites that exhibit more naivete. This chapter explores
these concerns. It provides solutions and outlines best practices for web site content presentation.
By the end of this chapter you will acquire knowledge that will enable you to use on-page technolo-
gies effectively without detriment to search engine rankings. This chapter will teach you how to:
Generate crawlable images and graphical text using two techniques.
Improve the search engine-friendliness of your HTML.
Analyze when and how to use AJAX and Flash in your web site.
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