Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Search engine optimization is effected by our choices of structure - our site layout. With so many ways to create a web page - some lend to better search engine "look". (More info in my previous article SEO - HTML - Body Text. )

I mentioned using this great tool: The Delorie.com Online LYNX Viewer Tool. This will help you compare one HTML page against another for it's layout's effectiveness at search engines.

Websites that rely heavily on graphical look and flash presentations, often suffer at the search engines. Here are some cool links to articles describing website layouts that create high performance search engine friendly sites:

The Table Trick
The table is trick is a strong HTML search engine optimization tehnique. Quoted directly from the site: "Table-based layout usually works well with search engines. However, a traditional design that contains the menu on the left and the content on the right does have one downside. In many cases, such a layout will cause your navigation menu to appear above your content in the source code. This is unlikely to create any major problems, but might make it slightly harder for your pages to obtain good rankings. Correcting this issue seems relatively simple, at least at first. It can be done by making some minor changes to the way your tables are arranged. The procedure is widely known in SEO circles as 'The Table Trick'".

This site assumes some basic HTML skill. Here, in essence is the "Table Trick":

<!-- Spacer Gif located in upper-left cell -->
<td><img src="/images/spacer.gif" width="1" height="1" alt=""></td>
<!-- main content cell first, with rowspan=2 -->
<td valign="top" align="left" rowspan="2">
... Put your main Content Here...
<td valign="top" align="left" width="25%">
... Put your Navigation Bar here...

* adapted from another great article regarding the table trick from http://diveintoaccessibility.org/

Search Engine Optimized CSS layout

While there is still a lot of argument for and against the use of strict XHTML, one can definately benefit by making sure their choices in table layout or CSS are search engine friendly. I personally think that either is OK. Tables may still be stronger, and offer more platform compatibility - but XHTML strict positioning is a possible way of the future. Here is a great site regarding Search Engine Friendly Layout.

3 Column CSS Search Engine Friendly Layout

This page contains what many consider the "The Holy Grail" of layout. It offers the best of both worlds: 3 column layout, CSS positioning, and search engine optimization. Though it may produce trouble in some browsers, most will see exactly what you intend to present! Be sure to check that one out!

Added (Feb 2006):

Another fantastic, open licensed layout:


Blogger Jeffrey Lee said...

Please contact me @ jeff@reflex8.com as I would like to learn more about SEO. I do a lot of coding with PHP and dynamic content and my pages dont seem to get good rankings...

Please offer any advice you can.

11:30 PM  
Blogger K. Carrington said...

Your problems seem upon quick appearance to be KEY WORD related. Tighten up your key word usage based on research, fix your TITLE, description meta, and consider adding some content keywords at the top in [H1] and [H3] as well as description on the bottom. A good example of this is at: http://topdrawerantiques.net
A balance of "flair" and Keywords. Brilliant SEO Design!

2:18 AM  
Blogger Marketing man said...

Hello, I was just blog surfing and found you! You have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to

bookmark you!

I have a bc seo site. It pretty

much covers bc seo related stuff.

Feel free to drop by and tell me what you think :-)

2:20 AM  
Blogger Johnjon said...

Wow, I really like this one. I have a website that talks mostly about seo resource You should check it out sometime.

4:11 AM  

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