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Web Design: Non-searchable Text

Web design pulls from many different schools of thought in the development and implementation of the pages ultimately designed. It is possible to use creative graphics imposed over text for a creative look, but in the end it will not help achieve positive site rankings. You can employ Flash design and still find a lackluster response by search engines. You can even develop beautiful brochures that are downloadable by Portable Document Files (pdf) and have little positive gain in site rankings. Why does all this work seem fruitless? The answer lies in the title of this article. In each case the information presented is absolutely unsearchable by search engines.

To be clear, the content on a web page is only useful to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes if the content that is read is a text format. If the content is not text it will have no value to your SEO objectives. Text in JPG (or other graphic file) This method of showing text has been around the longest and is probably the least used today. Essentially the premise is to create text and graphics, save them as a photographic element and then place them on the website. It would be much better to place all text in the body of your web page and then insert optimized photos throughout the text.

Portable Document File Some web designers may want to deliver an attractive brochure, manual, or other document as a pdf file that is downloadable by the end user. This does, in fact, provide a great tool for those individuals that may already know of the file and a download in a fully produced format is just what they need. However, if the text would benefit your website in SEO strategies you might consider allowing a text version to appear on your site with an alternate pdf download for those who need it. If you are concerned about copyright infringement you may not want to make the full text available online. In this case you should develop a keyword rich summary that will be searchable while refraining from publishing the full text (except in a non-altering pdf). Flash The use of flash combines great imagery with audio and animation, however, this creative design feature does not assist search engines in ranking your site in more favorable ways. Some sites are developing a hybrid site. The first side of the website is pure Flash, with the other side is text driven. In this case the end user has the opportunity to utilize all the features of Flash while the text driven side provides search engines with all the searchable information needed for positive site rankings. Today’s rule of thumb – when seeking improved site rankings, use text.


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