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Improve Your Search Rankings with 10 Programming Tricks

10 Programming TricksCoding is often thought of as the infrastructure of a website, or in some cases as a product. It’s very rarely thought of as marketing. Yet coding is actually an incredibly vital tool when it comes to search engine optimization. Coding can help you direct search engine robots better, avoid duplicate content penalties, speed up your page load time (which has a correlation to ranking) and more.

Here are 10 ways to use code to improve your SEO.

#1 – Cache Your Pages

For dynamic websites like forums or WordPress blogs, websites are generated on the server each time a page is loaded, then sent to the end user. Because each page has to be generated dynamically, this can put a lot of load on the server, which slows down page load time. That decreases rankings.

Caching parts of the page that remain constant speeds up load time and thus increases your rankings, as well as makes your site a better experience for users.

#2 – Use Content Delivery Networks

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are cloud storage devices you can use to store files that you load frequently and need high delivery speeds for. It’s frequently used to store web video, which can stream very slowly off of shared and VPS servers. Again, faster load times helps increase your rankings. Amazon’s S3 service is a prime example of a high speed CDN.

#3 – Use is a microdata scheme supported by every major search engine. It allows you to put, in code, more detail about what’s on your page. This makes it more likely that search engines will be able to accurately predict what your page is about, thus ranking you for the right keywords.

#4 – Validate Your Code

Is your code WC3 compliant? Are there errors in your code? Even though code with errors in them can display correctly, it’ll have a negative impact on your SEO. Use code validators to check your code for errors.

#5 – Search Engine Friendly URLs

How are your URLs setup? Does it look like “&PID=2348oeu98290&page=3208dkdsfjdjkl”? Or do you have meaningful keywords in your URLs?

Setup your code and your infrastructure to display page URLs that make sense to search engines. This increases your relevenance and helps you rank.

#6 – Make Good Use of “Rel=Canonical”

The “rel-canonical” tag is one of the best ways to get around duplicate content issues. Instead of telling search engines not to look at a page at all with your robots.txt, you can just tell search engines that these two pages are “basically the same” and send them to the primary page. Use the “rel-canonical” to do that.

#7 – Boost Load Speeds With Single CSS & Script Files

If you separate your script files into many files and keep many different CSS style sheets, you’re going to increase your load times because each page load requires many server requests before it can render. By combining your CSS and script files, you’ll cut down on load times and boost your rankings. You can do this through code, or you can use a plugin if you’re using a CMS like WordPress or Drupal.

#8 – Give Script Text Alternatives to Display

Remember that search engines – as well as some browsers – Won’t be able to run your scripts properly. Having text alternatives in place will allow you to give your visitors something to see, even if they can’t see your site properly. This is important for search engine spiders, which can’t run your scripts.

#9 – Use 301 Redirects to Prevent PageRank Loss

When you move a page or a website, you’ll lose “credit” for all the links pointing to that page. The one way around this is to use a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect to a new page won’t give you all the PageRank of the old page, but you’ll at least get to keep a good portion of it. This makes moving sites or changing your site structure a lot less destructive.

#10 – Check for Broken Links

External or internal broken link checker tools can be a lifesaver. If you’re linking from your site to broken links, that’s a big downside in Google’s eyes. After all, how can your site be a high authority site if it’s linking to non-existent pages? Get in the habit of checking your entire site for broken links at least every quarter, if not every month.

These are ten different ways coding can help you boost your SEO. Don’t underestimate the power of automation, code and programming for search engine marketing.

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One Response to “Improve Your Search Rankings with 10 Programming Tricks”

  1. Nick Stamoulis on October 3rd, 2012 1:51 pm

    SEO is more a marketing function than a technical function but the coding on the back end does have an impact. SEO tools are beneficial in alerting website owners to potential problems. When redesigning or redeveloping a website it’s recommended to have an SEO consultant on hand to make sure that things move seamlessly from an SEO perspective.

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