Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for a search engine to update my site in their index?

That depends on both the website and the search engine. We get your website ready with the onsite changes we’ve made. Now we just have to wait for the search engines. Google, for example, gets through more pages per day than any of the other search engines, so your changes should start showing up on all search engines in the next few weeks.

Redirects

What is a redirect?

A redirect takes a visitor from one similar URL to the main URL. You see, “www.yourdomain.com,” “yourdomain.com,” and “yourdomain.com/index.php” are three different pages to a search engine without a redirect. That splits your website’s power and searchability three ways (and that’s very bad). We focus all the addresses—and searches—to one site.

It’s called a server-side 301 redirect, and Google has a nifty article about it.

Website Copy

What is content/copy?

That’s the written stuff—the words—on your site.

What is keyword stuffing? Is it good?

Keyword stuffing is repeating your keyword throughout your site to make it more relevant. Too many keywords will damage your online cred, but content that honestly talks about your keyword is very helpful.

Image Alt-Tag Edits

What is an alt-text image tag?

All the parts of a website besides the body text need a tag describing what it entails, so that search engines can recognize it properly. We write alternate text (“alt text”—it’s all coming together now, eh?) so that there are no holes in your site for flash buttons, links, or pictures.

Why don’t I just stuff the alt text with repetitive keywords?
Well, that used to work, but search engines put the kibosh on that once it started getting out of hand. If you want to have a more relevant site, it’s better to have well-written, straightforward alt text that includes your keyword.

Title-Tag Edits

Why don’t I just repeat keywords in my title tags?
That also used to work, but search engines feel like “stuffing” anything—alt tags, title tags, meta tags, copy—is cheating. If you want to have a more relevant site, it’s better to have well-written, human-friendly title tags that include your keyword.

Meta-Tag Edits

Why don’t I just repeat keywords in my meta tags?
That used to work, but search engines feel like “stuffing” anything—alt tags, title tags, meta tags, copy—is cheating. If you want to have a more relevant site, it’s better to have well-written, straightforward meta tags that include your keyword.

Robots.txt

Why should I upload robots.txt to my website’s server?

Search engines use robots to categorize and archive websites. Webmasters also use it to proofread source code. The robots.txt is a file of instructions for robots and spiders when they get to your site.

What does a robots.txt file do?

A robot.txt file tells a search engine what it can and can’t search for on your site. A robots.txt file makes sure that none of your pages or content is blocked from search engines or consumers.

Does the robots.txt guarantee privacy?

No. The file is a really strong suggestion that search engines pay attention to, but it doesn’t take your content off the internet.

Sitemap.xml

What is a sitemap.xml file?

It’s a map that shows all the parts of your websites so search engines have no problem finding and indexing what you have. When search engines have an easier time finding info, searchers have an easier time getting to it.

How does the sitemap.xml file help me and the search engines?

Sitemap.xml files put everything in order. When you add new stuff, search engines can go straight to it instead of crawling your entire site. That saves time and energy, which saves you money. When you have sitemap.xml and robot.txt files together, your site is primed for searchers.

Does having a search engine Sitemap improve my website’s keyword rankings?

It doesn’t improve your rank, but it does help with indexing. That’s the first step of the whole process.

What’s the deal with search engine Sitemaps?

Google first introduced Sitemaps 0.84 in June of 2005 so web developers could publish lists of links from across their sites.

Google, MSN, and Yahoo! announced joint support for the Sitemaps protocol in November of 2006. The schema version was changed to “Sitemap 0.90,” but no other changes were made.
In April 2007, Ask.com and IBM announced support for Sitemaps. Google, Yahoo, and MSN also announced auto-discovery for Sitemaps through robots.txt.

In May 2007, the state governments of Arizona, California, Utah, and Virginia announced they would use Sitemaps on their websites.