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Re: [Lynx-dev] Website
Re: [Lynx-dev] Website
Wed, 19 Mar 2008 14:20:05 +0000
Thunderbird 220.127.116.11 (X11/20080213)
Donna Warren wrote:
I have built my website through Frontpage because I do not know how
to build it without. It is about a 40 page website and while reading
These are not good signs.
through Google on how to make the search more beneficial it said we need
Lynx. I am unfamiliar with Lynx and although I read several information
pages, I am still lost.
If you are lost, it almost certainly means that the page is not good for
search engine indexing.
Any help you can offer is appreciated!
Tab to go from link to link. Return to activate a link. Left arrow to
return a level. Page forward and back. If you cannot access the whole
indexable site using just these, or if the result is gibberish to the
extent that indexing that gibberish would not produce a sensible index,
with sensible text, when viewed at a detail level (the hit context that
Google returns), it is not suitable for search engines. (Note there are
alternative keystrokes for performing many of the the above navigation
If the result is indexable gibberish, it is still bad HTML, but may be
good enough for search engines and unsophisticated GUI browser users.
(On the other hand, it is still possible to create a good appearance on
Lynx, and good indexability, without the HTML being well written. - Lynx
has some error recovery and it is still possible to mis-use, or fail to
use, proper heading markup.)
The best way of writing HTML is to write the document, in plain text,
with no markup other than the odd single or double newline. Then add
appropriate markup. Finally use CSS to style it.
In practice, you can violate this a bit by using table based layout,
providing that the text in each table cell is self contained, from the
point of view of indexing and returning hit contexts.
HTML was originally designed to allow ordinary people to mark up
documents. That's still possible until you start thinking that
appearance is more important than content. Most web pages are trying to
abuse HTML as something more like PDF.
If appearance is too important, consider using PDF, i.e. the right tool
for that job, but make sure you construct it using a word processor type
tool, not a graphics tool, so that there are machine identifiable
sentences and paragraphs in the document.
Note that, at least some versions of Frontpage are heavily reliant on
specific error recovery in Internet Explorer, and I don't think any are
capable of creating good HTML unless you understand how to hand code
HTML. In general, HTML authoring tools need to be treated as
productivity aids for people who understand HTML, not as substitutes for
For what its worth, the obvious web site for your email address doesn't
look too bad in Lynx. It has some obvious violations, but it looks like
it is not so over-designed as to be difficult for search engines.
The one problem that it has for search engines is the splash page. Look
at the major sites; none of them use splash pages. Also note that
Google are reported to favour hits on the home page in their page
ranking algorithms; the splash page is that site's home page. The sites
needs to replace the home page with the current Intro page.
It might also help to tone down the use of marketing language on that
page as nobody searches for "lifestyle", etc. (Generally try and have
lots of facts and use the language that your prospects would use, e.g.
research to see if they really look for "Olde Worlde", rather than some
synonym or more specific period term. It is no good using emotive
wording if the prospect will not consider searching on those words.)
(For the GUI browsers, it needs to specify a fallback font that users
will actually have on their machines! The site also needs checking with
http://validator.w3.org/ as it contains basic HTML syntax errors.)
Emails are not formal business letters, whatever businesses may want.
RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
that is no longer good advice, as archive address hiding may not work.