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Chapter 10. Web Site Optimization > What Do Search Engines Want?

What Do Search Engines Want?

Search engines love simple web site designs. Fancy “bells and whistles,” such as Flash, hinder a site's ability to score a premium position in the natural search results. What's assumed to be alluring to consumers is opposite of what search engines want.

Have you ever browsed the sites that rank well for a keyword and thought, “That's the UGLIEST site in the world. Why is it #1?” Unfortunately, ugly can often equal good rankings. Ugly to consumers usually means text-heavy web pages that seem to scroll down forever and are absent of ample images or multimedia. These are a perfectly delicious meal for search engine spiders; they don't have to sift through lengthy lines of complex code to find keywords. There's no code clutter.


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