SEO = search engine optimization.

In order to make sure that the WERC (and any other future wordpress site) gets indexed and appropriately ranked by Google and other search engines, there are particular things that needed to be addressed.

  • have H1 tags appear once and more or less match the title of the page
  • use Description meta tags where possible. I designed a custom field in wordpress called “meta_description”. If there is a value here, then a meta tag will be placed into the page. This should be done for all page content.
  • have repeating elements like side bar menus appear lower on the page. If you block the style sheet for any of the WERC pages you will see the sidebar menu drop to the bottom of the page. Removing the stylesheet more closely renders the page as a search engine would see it.
  • avoid duplicate content. Some people tried to trick search engines into higher search rankings by duplicating content on their site. As a result Google and others penalize sites that have obvious duplicate content. The problem is that WordPress has tons of duplicate content. A single post for instance, might show up in a search page, a dated archive page, an rss feed, etc. Using a combo of a robots.txt file and “noindex” meta tags on certain archive pages means that Google and others will not index archive pages, just the pages themselves, which is what is desired.
  • create an xml sitemap. I have not done this yet. This helps a search engine find content that is “blind linked” or link orphaned, but otherwise being served. There are no pages like this yet, but I will remember about this. At some point I will make a sitemap anyway.
  • submit the site to various places. I am starting on this now.