Understand Google's Guidelines
Meet Google, the "coolest kid" on the cyberblock!
Google is popular, and popularity means it may be tough to get in initially. Even if you do everything right, it could take months to see results, at least if you use their URL submission page. However, there is hope! There's a method to get indexed in 24 hours, so don't even bother submitting through the URL page.
But before you get to that, you should know about the guidelines you must follow to ensure that your site not only gets listed, but also doesn't get banned. Plus, you should learn about elements of your website that Google won't look at.
How to Get Google to Read Your Keywords First
Google's bots read web pages from the topmost left corner of your site to the bottom right. However, most sites are designed with all of the links on the left side, and the content on the right. In fact, earlier in this book you learned that this is the recommended website design you should use. Yet the problem with this design is instead of seeing your content first, Google sees the links first. Your links may not be seen to be as optimized as your content.
One solution is to use three panes rather than two. Keep the normal left and right panes, but add an extra pane at the top left of the layout. Don't put keywords in this extra pane. With this area "blank" when the Google bots read the site, rather than going for the links as they normally would, the bots see that a portion of where the links are is "blank." This then forces it to read the content first, which is more keyword-rich than the links.
Note that not all search engines read sites this way, which is why this guideline was provided in this special section dedicated to optimizing for Google. You could be on the safe side and use the layout anyway, especially if you do plan to submit to Google, which you should. It doesn't take away from the look of the site, and by using it you ensure that your content gets read first. If you don't use it, you aren't giving yourself the best opportunity to rank highly in Google search engine listings. Making tables isn't very hard to do. Most word processors and even WYSIWYG HTML editors provide them, so take advantage of it.
Things That Google Ignores
There are some HTML attributes that Google pays no attention to when it goes through its crawling process. While you won't get penalized if you use these attributes, why waste your time with them if they're not going to count anyway?
Of course, there are exceptions to these rules, as noted in the numbered list below. There are also some elements listed that you will choose not to include.
1. The keywords and description attributes of the meta tag. The keywords and description attributes are read by other search engines. However, the boost you get from having them isn't as much as if you follow the other techniques, such as proper link building. If you submit to Google only, you may not want to include the keywords attribute, but focus on a smart "upsell" or "positioning," "branding" of your message in the description attribute. Other search engines use them, so you should go on and include them.
2. The tag. The comments tag is an optional tag designed more for the website designer than for search engines or browsers. You use it to make personal notes related to what the upcoming coding does. It's especially useful if other webmasters are working on web pages that have been started by someone else. Still, it isn't a necessary tag, so you can omit it if you want.