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Hi everybody,

im new to this forum, and to web design in general. i recently built a website and it has been online for about a month now. my site has a terrible rank in google and thats probably because i didnt have a clue about SEO until a few days ago. now i am working on the optimization and even though i have only just began i already have a few questions:

1. how do i check when google's spider last visited my site?

2. ill be done with the modifications in a few days after which i will desperately need it to come visit again.. how long will it take it, how can can i find out such a thing, and is there a way to rush it a little bit?? (like applying again to have my site checked)

3. i learnt that the ALT tags in images are very important. i checked the code for a certain website. in his menu there is a small image of a circle next to each entry. i guess the ALT tag for each entry in that menu really helps to boost the site's ranking. im planning to do the same, but i though of something else:
since i dont really need those little circles, i can just put an image of a white pixel next to each link. that way i get another ALT tag for each pixel. comming to think about it, i can have just about amillion of those pixels in a page. but, the question is: will i get penalized for doing it?? are the search engines aware of such tricks?

4. last one. my site is in two languages and each version runs in its own directory. so i have pages with the same name in both directories. like "page1.html" with english contents in the /english directory and page1.html" with hebrew contents in the /hebrew directory. does having multiple files with the same name in different directories relate to SEO in any way?

ok, thats its for now :cheesy:

any help i get will be highly appreciated

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Last Post by Optimist
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1. how do i check when google's spider last visited my site?

Look in your web logs for a referrer called 'googlebot' or 'freshbot'.

2. ill be done with the modifications in a few days after which i will desperately need it to come visit again.. how long will it take it, how can can i find out such a thing, and is there a way to rush it a little bit?? (like applying again to have my site checked)

The only real way to rush it is to get a link to your site from a site that has a high Page Rank. Even then google may only spider the page which is linked. There's no real way of rushing a 'deep crawl' where deeper links on your site get indexed. Basically the more links to your site, the more important Google considers it, and the more often it will visit.

3. i learnt that the ALT tags in images are very important. i checked the code for a certain website. in his menu there is a small image of a circle next to each entry. i guess the ALT tag for each entry in that menu really helps to boost the site's ranking. im planning to do the same, but i though of something else:
since i dont really need those little circles, i can just put an image of a white pixel next to each link. that way i get another ALT tag for each pixel. comming to think about it, i can have just about amillion of those pixels in a page. but, the question is: will i get penalized for doing it?? are the search engines aware of such tricks?

Generally ALT tags are considered to have little to no value. Consider this, Google recommends that you build a site as if there was no such thing as a search engine, basically build it for usefulness and useability. Would you do this trick if there was no search engines? Plus, this little trick sounds a little (well very) spammy to me and personally I wouldn't do it.

4. last one. my site is in two languages and each version runs in its own directory. so i have pages with the same name in both directories. like "page1.html" with english contents in the /english directory and page1.html" with hebrew contents in the /hebrew directory. does having multiple files with the same name in different directories relate to SEO in any way?

Well I'd be naming the files something sensible from an SEO point of view. So if for example you were optimizing a page for 'black' in english you could call it 'black.htm', and black in french 'noir.htm'.

Mark

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Look in your web logs for a referrer called 'googlebot' or 'freshbot'.

Actually, you are looking for a User-Agent containing the string 'Googlebot/' ... this string will vary, but NEVER contains 'Freshbot'. Freshbot is the name given by SEO's to google's daily crawler which finds the newest content.

Of course, you could write a script to check the User-Agent and write the details to a text file.... that way you wont have to trawl through countless lines of server-logs.

2. ill be done with the modifications in a few days after which i will desperately need it to come visit again.. how long will it take it, how can can i find out such a thing, and is there a way to rush it a little bit?? (like applying again to have my site checked)

As mnemtsas pointed out, the best thing you can do is to get as many links as you can on the web, in as short a time as possible. In an experiment, I managed to get a page indexed and listed in google at No. 1 (for it's 2 word keyphrase) in 4 days using this method. Dont manually submit to Google, it will only slow the process of getting a deep crawl.

3. i learnt that the ALT tags in images are very important. i checked the code for a certain website. in his menu there is a small image of a circle next to each entry. i guess the ALT tag for each entry in that menu really helps to boost the site's ranking. im planning to do the same, but i though of something else:
since i dont really need those little circles, i can just put an image of a white pixel next to each link. that way i get another ALT tag for each pixel. comming to think about it, i can have just about amillion of those pixels in a page. but, the question is: will i get penalized for doing it?? are the search engines aware of such tricks?

First of all, Alt text is fairly important. Not so much for the search engines (Although it does make a small difference... they can tell what the image is for a start) but for your visitors with either image challenged browsers, or those browsing with images turned off. Alt text is also a requirement for XHTML compliance... even if you have alt="", then thats ok, but the omission of the alt property in the img tag altogether is a violation of the XHTML standard.

Use the alt text, but not in a spammy way... dont for instance apply alt text to a small invisible image as that is undeniabally spam, and google can see this as such. Alt text should basically describe the image and/or link destination (If it's a link too) and thats all.

4. last one. my site is in two languages and each version runs in its own directory. so i have pages with the same name in both directories. like "page1.html" with english contents in the /english directory and page1.html" with hebrew contents in the /hebrew directory. does having multiple files with the same name in different directories relate to SEO in any way?

Exactly what mnemtsas said, but to elaborate, you should really think of what key phrase that page is likely to be found under, to use mnemtsas example, you may want to call it color_black.htm and coloeur_noir.htm for french. It is my personal opinion (and this dates back a long long time) that underscores are far better for SEO than hyphens in filenames.

seffi, for everything you do on your site, ask yourself 'Would the people at google be happy if they knew I was doing this?' ..... if the answer is no, then simply dont do it.

High ranking is very much about having good and original content that is well written with some keywords and key phrases used in the right context (so as not to sound stupid or repetitive to a real visitor). It is also about spending much of your time adding more content and finding good links.

It is no longer about fooling the search engines... it used to be so easy to get a No. 1 rank using countless underhand techniques, but doing this today wont work..... or if it does for only a short time, until you are reported and/or penalised and maybe even banned entirely.

Search Engines are all competing with each other.... it is a MASSIVE market, and each one wants to have the best indexes with the most relevant results. They spend millions of dollars on weeding out spam and developing new detection methods to keep the spam from entering and degrading their Seach Engine Result Pages (SERPS)

Just one other piece of advice.... Pick a published (X)HTML standard to aim at, and make sure your site complies with said standard... check your site validates using the HTML validation tool at www.w3.org.

Remember a lot of search engine robots follow published HTML guidelines to determine what is content, and what is code... if your site has HTML errors, then some robots will get a little confused over how to deal with your page.

I hope you have found the above helpful.

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i found both replies to be very useful indeed.

thanks to both of you for the detailed answers!

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Actually, you are looking for a User-Agent containing the string 'Googlebot/' ... this string will vary, but NEVER contains 'Freshbot'. Freshbot is the name given by SEO's to google's daily crawler which finds the newest content.

I ... must ... remove ... foot .... from .... mouth :D

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LOL mnemtsas .... easy error.
Maybe you could check out my SEO forums..... it's pretty new, although the other forums are not.

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Hi everybody,

im new to this forum, and to web design in general. i recently built a website and it has been online for about a month now. my site has a terrible rank in google and thats probably because i didnt have a clue about SEO until a few days ago. now i am working on the optimization and even though i have only just began i already have a few questions:

1. how do i check when google's spider last visited my site?

2. ill be done with the modifications in a few days after which i will desperately need it to come visit again.. how long will it take it, how can can i find out such a thing, and is there a way to rush it a little bit?? (like applying again to have my site checked)

3. i learnt that the ALT tags in images are very important. i checked the code for a certain website. in his menu there is a small image of a circle next to each entry. i guess the ALT tag for each entry in that menu really helps to boost the site's ranking. im planning to do the same, but i though of something else:
since i dont really need those little circles, i can just put an image of a white pixel next to each link. that way i get another ALT tag for each pixel. comming to think about it, i can have just about amillion of those pixels in a page. but, the question is: will i get penalized for doing it?? are the search engines aware of such tricks?

4. last one. my site is in two languages and each version runs in its own directory. so i have pages with the same name in both directories. like "page1.html" with english contents in the /english directory and page1.html" with hebrew contents in the /hebrew directory. does having multiple files with the same name in different directories relate to SEO in any way?

ok, thats its for now :cheesy:

any help i get will be highly appreciated

Hi,
I hope that your optimization efforts are progressing,thought in addition to the other great info you recieved you may like to read these tutorials designed for newer do it yourself optimist
Website Promotion Tutorials

Best Of Luck

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