The Architecture of a Website
Website architecture refers to the specific design and layout of the web pages on a given website. There are some things that should be considered for both a visitor point of view, and a search engine point of view.
It’s important to have a web design that is appealing to the human eye so that visitors stay a while and come back often. The problem is that often what is appealing to the human eye is not so appealing to Google’s algorithm. This can create problems when it comes to getting the web pages to rank well in the search engines.
If Flash is included on a page, it should only be used in a small percentage of the overall code. The Flash files should contain keywords that the search engines are able to read. When browsing the internet, you often see intro pages that are nothing more than videos that take up the entire page. Other than the keywords, the search engine spiders are not able to crawl these types of pages to gauge their content.
It’s also important that images be kept small because they can cause the page to take too long to load. If a large image file is a requirement, it can be a good idea to include a thumbnail version of the image on the page and link it to a copy of the full size image that resides on the server.
Another common coding style that has recently led to issues is the use of frames within a website. You know you are looking at a “framed” web page when it appears there is a smaller, scrollable window embedded in the larger page of your browser window. It is actually, a separate web page. The problem with this style is that Google has to divide its Page Rank evaluation between 2 pages instead of one. If the larger page is being optimized for a specific set of keywords, and the framed page is not, this creates what is called Page Rank Dilution. If Google gave a value rank of 2 to the larger page, and only 0 to the smaller framed page, the overall ranking of the page may only be 1.
It’s also important that the page links are text links rather than image links. Remember, Google reads text very well and it’s ranking pages that most accurately relate to a search term higher. It does that by checking the page text content against the search query. If it can’t read the text that is embedded within an image, it might not be able to give the site the ranking would otherwise deserve.
Links should be included in the site menu that is usually placed at the top, or in the left or right column of the page. It’s a good idea to also include the menu links horizontally across the bottom of each page. Links should also be added in the body text of your pages wherever there is an occurrence of a keyword or key phrase. Use these links to connect to the other pages of your site that contain more information relevant to those keywords.
The coding of a website makes up a good percentage of its optimization and ranking on the search engines. Its essential to find a good balance between the visual appeal for visitors and the overall coding for the search engine spiders. However, if a website is built, managed, and regularly updated with a focus on the visitor experience the rest will likely take care of itself.