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Take a Look at Your Website Through the Eyes of the Web Crawler

Do you know that spiders have as many as four pairs of eyes? Their visual acuity allows them to scan the environment more effectively and quickly comparing to other insects. Moreover, their compound eyes give them a significant advantage over their prey. Sadly, but this is not applied to web spiders :). Web crawlers‘ scanning and processing skills are a bit inferior to the ones of the real spiders.

As a rule, search engine spiders are limited to processing texts and text-based features (backlinks, for instance) only. However, there are some surefire workarounds allowing crawlers understand and adequately process non-textual pieces of your website content. So, let’s try to see your website through the eyes of a web spider for you to estimate the attractiveness of your pages to the search engines. Arachnophobes allowed :).

Text

Textual information is their favorite, easy-digestible food. They can easily extract all information they need to know about your website: the theme, the overall quality of your content, etc. In order to get the most out of your textual content ensure it has no formatting inconsistencies.

Images

Images aren’t as bad from the SEO standpoint, as they’re painted. Surely, spiders can’t discern texts incorporated into your pictures (for instance, if your website name and tagline are introduced with the help of a graphical header). As an alternative, you can accompany your site images with textual descriptions.

Flash and Javascript

Flash is also often blamed for poor SEO value. Similarly to images, Flash elements aren’t read and indexed by the search bots. However, this doesn’t mean you should completely refuse the very idea of adding Flash elements to your website. Flash elements are very engaging and can add a little extra oomph to your website look. Just bear in mind that the most valuable info must be represented in the text format. The same is about Javascript – it offers insanely great features, but is ignored by the crawlers.

PDFs

Although there are many misconceptions surrounding SEO value of PDF files, these can be processed by the crawlers. Web spiders are capable of understanding certain PDF files’ elements: author, title, keywords, subject, as well as the image caption. So, you shouldn’t avoid PDFs entirely – just pay attention to the tags you integrate into your PDFs.

Bottom Line

It’s important to keep your content diverse and engaging, even if it has poor SEO value – you should always put your visitors’ experience first. There are many SEO workarounds allowing you to compensate using non-textual elements: just add some transcripts to your audio and video files, accompany your images with texts and watch your PDFs’ keywords :).

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