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Guide to determining SEO-friendliness

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by EveryQuery, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. #1
    The question keeps being asked on this forum: "What is SEO-friendly?" When people refer to a directory as "SEO friendly" what they actually mean is that this particular directory does not use redirects, jump links, or no follow tags. How do can you determine whether a directory uses these quickly? Here's how:


    The main thing to being search engine friendly is NOT having redirects. In other words, make sure you are providing me with a direct link to my site. for instance:

    (1) http://www.mysite.com (good)
    (2) http://www.directory.com/dir.cgi?id=1431434817612. (very bad)

    Redirects won't count as a backlink in search engines, after all, the directory is not actually linking to YOUR site. To check a directory to see if it's using redirect links, simply place your mouse over a few listings. If the status bar in your browser shows a url that belongs to the directory (like ex. 2 above), then the link is a redirect, and being listed is of no value.

    One word of caution. I have found a couple directories in the past that use redirects, but use javascript to deceptively show you your address in the status bar, to make you think it's SEO-friendly.


    Nofollow tags tell search engine spiders to ignore your link, rendering the directory practically worthless to be listed in. To check for nofollow tags:

    (1) Check the robots.txt file to see if spiders are not disallowed from crawling the pages where the listings are shown.
    (2) Check the meta tags of listings page to make sure that spiders are not prevented from indexing the page. Ex: meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow". If it says noindex or nofollow, then don't bother submitting.
    (3) Check a few typical links for the anchor tag contains rel="nofollow". If present, then your link won't be followed by search engine spiders.
    (4) THE EASIEST WAY TO CHECK for nofollow is for Firefox users. Download this really nice extension from this page. It includes many useful features for webmasters including an option to highlight all NOFOLLOW links on a page.


    Another good idea for a directory is having mod rewrite, although not as big a sin as redirects and nofollow tags. What is mod rewrite? It's changing a directory structure that looks something like this #1 below, into #2:

    (1) http://www.directory.com/cat.php?id=234. (not as good)
    (2) http://www.directory.com/Computers/Internet/Forums (better)

    Mod rewrite was very important a few years ago when the major search engines had trouble indexing URLs with strange characters in them, such as the "?". However, mod rewrite isn't as neccesary these days as Google, Yahoo, and MSN seem to have no trouble indexing pages of the latter type of URL now.
    EveryQuery, Apr 5, 2006 IP
  2. navacell

    navacell Well-Known Member

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    navacell, Apr 8, 2006 IP
  3. EveryQuery

    EveryQuery Well-Known Member

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    No. The part of my post above I was referring to as VERY BAD is using redirects for the links. The links in that directory, as well as my other sites, are all direct links (ie. www.yoursite.com). Simply move your cursor over one of the listings to check out the address in the status bar of your browser.

    PS. I see now that you might have been referring to the category structure in that I don't use mod rewrite on that site. Google has no problems indexing the category pages though.
    EveryQuery, Apr 8, 2006 IP