Chapter 4 – Limitation of search engines.
In the last chapter, we learned how search engine works. Now we will discuss what are the limitation of search engines.
We now know that Google or search engines find new web pages by crawling the internet and then they index those web pages for search results. So now you would think, this is great I simply need to create website and that will be found by google. Yes, you are right to an extent, but you still need to help search engines to discover your website. Why? Simply because they are not humans, they are computer programs. A computer program cannot do everything what humans can do.
The limitation which we are going to discuss here will guide you about things which you need to avoid while building your website or things which you need to fix if you already have a website. Basically by discussing limitation of search engines we are also looking at ways to create website which are search engine friendly.
Search engines love content.
Yes, if you want something on your website to be found by google or indexed by Google, it should be in text or to say HTML text. Don’t worry if you are not aware of HTML. By using a CMS like WordPress, Drupal and other CMS, whatever content you post is HTML content. So you don’t need to learn HTML, but yes, you need to learn WordPress or other CMS.
Search engines can understand text better so you must make an effort to put up everything which you want to be searched on the web is in text. They are not good at understanding pictures. We as a human when we look at picture of fruit can distinguish between an apple and an orange, but the search engine has no way of doing this. So if you are thinking that putting up fancy pictures your website will become popular. Then you need to think again.
Yes, it would become popular if people are already aware of your website, but for search engine they don’t care about it as they don’t know what it is. So if you have to have to put up photographs, there should be text to complement it.
If you don’t have a choice and you only have to put pictures the Google still gives you an option to put ALT text to describe what it is. This ALT text is not visible to users but helps Google to find out what the picture is about. ALT text can be accomplished by coding or if you use WordPress or other CMS your life is easy they have an option to put ALT text when you upload photos to your website. Make sure that your ALT text describes your picture in best possible ways as this is what it will tell what this picture is about.
Search engines don’t like flash.
Now a day there is trend of fancy websites with loads of animation built in flash. There is no doubt that they are eye catching and much more appealing to users. However, when it comes to search engine they fail to impress them miserably. Spiders cannot crawl flash an if your content is embedded in flash there are fair chances of it not being read by Google. I am not saying that don’t use flash, but you should avoid over using them or I should say avoid using them where ever possible.
So if you are building your website in WordPress of CMS make sure that you avoid using flash for important content. If you are getting it built from web designer tell him not use flash or avoid using it for important content.
Frames or I Frames are enemy of Search engine.
This is something you need to avoid. If you don’t have it that is good, but if you have to have to have it, make sure that it is supplemented by content else anything in the frame or I frame will be hidden from search engines.
If you already have a website and you want to know what your website looks like to google you can use the spider emulator tool at below link.
You can also try this type “cache:” and then your website domain name without space in google search box and click on the search button (eg. Cache:www.techimoz.com). If your website has been indexed by google. Google will show you how your website looked to them. Click on the text only version on the right hand top of the screen to see real results.
Google bots can’t fill forms.
If you have content which can be accessed after filling up some form or possibly it is available for authenticated user and requires the login form of username and password to be filled then you are actually blocking google from those contents. These spiders or crawlers cannot fill forms so anything which is behind the form will be left untouched by spiders and will not be indexed. So you have to be calculative to take the risk of putting the content behind forms. You really have to decide whether it should be behind form or not.
Build a proper link structure.
We know that google finds new web pages by following the link on existing crawl pages. Although google finds almost all web pages automatically, however, it is still good practice to link your pages so that it is easier for them to find new pages and index them.
One of the easiest ways to build link if by building anchor text. Anchor texts are texts which have a link embedded in them. You will find an example of anchor text in my tutorial at several places. You can see text with a link which I have used to refer it to pages which you can read for further information. This type of internal link building gives you two benefit first it helps google bots to find new web pages and second it is also user friendly at helps users to find pages relevant to their interests.
So it kills two birds with one arrow. It not only brings bots to the new web page, but also brings users to the new web page.
Let us look at an example of anchor text.
<a href=http://www.yourwebsite.com>Your text here</a>
We need to keep one thing in mind is avoid using too many links on one page. Too many links on one page, may be considered spam by Google.