Frequently Asked Questions
We have answers!
Below you will find a collection of frequently asked questions related to Zee Designs, websites and print topics. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us.
What are the things that can cause my ranking to go down?
Too much of a good thing, shortcuts, or tricky programming can create unintended consequences!
- Text presented in graphics form only, without ACTUAL text on the page. Text represented graphically is invisible to search engines. Using alt tags for images is good for screen readers and search engines. This is a ZDI standard procedure.
- Affiliate sales sites with little or no unique content are seen as placeholders. Customize any affiliate sites you have to make them your own.
- Over Optimization - over-compliance with well-established, accepted web optimization practices can get you in trouble. "Red Flags" may include:
- Too high keyword repetition (keyword stuffing)
- Overuse of H1 tags
- Meta tag stuffing – using too many tags
- Links to bad neighborhoods, like link farms, Free-For-All sites (sites that allow anyone to add a link). Check EVERY site you link to periodically. A site may go "bad," and you can end up being penalized, even though you did nothing wrong. For instance, some failed sites have been taken over by unscrupulous webmasters, just for the traffic. This is not good for you, if you think you are linking to the originally legitimate URL.
- Forwarding your visitor to another page other than the one he/ she clicked on, (using meta refresh) will lower your rank.
- Vile language such as ethnic slurs or the George Carlin seven (7) bad words you can't say on TV, plus the 150 or so that followed lower your rank. Be sensitive to combinations of normal words, which when used together, become something else entirely.
- Poison words - The word "Links" in a title tag has been suggested to be a bad idea. There are many other words that go in and out of fashion or suggest spam.
- Excessive cross-linking - If you have many sites (>10) with the same web host, prolific cross-linking (linking to each other) can indicate that the sites are more of a single entity than separate sites. Easy to spot, easy to penalize.
- Stealing images and text blocks from another domain
- Copyright violation – Search engines respond strongly if you are reported.
- Keyword dilution - Targeting too many unrelated keywords on a page, which detract from the theme, reduces the importance of your REALLY important keywords.
- Page edits - can reduce consistency in your keywords. If your last edit substantially altered your keywords or theme, the search engine may draw information from both the new page and the saved information from the old page, reducing your rank. Over time this will correct.
- Frequency of Content Change - Too frequent changes lowers your rank as much as too infrequent updates. News sites are an exception to this rule.
- Pages generated from databases - These kinds of pages can be shielded from the web spiders and the ZD-CMS™ takes care of this. One disadvantage of some other content managers is that they are unable to provide this built-in service.
- Flash pages - Provide an HTML alternative, or experience lower ranks. Even with the progress that has been made in the past few years, Flash sites are still more difficult for most search engines to navigate.
- Use of Frames – Spiders still have problems with Frames, which is one of the many reasons that frames are rarely used in modern websites.
- Robot exclusion "no index" tag in the header programming where inappropriate - Intentional self-exclusion can be a positive strategy that redirects the spiders away from pages you wish to remain private or which would lower your ranking if included.
- Single pixel links - A red flag for one reason only: this is a sneaky link, a trick that unscrupulous programmers used to play that modern search engines are too smart to miss.
- Invisible text - The text is the same color as the background, so is unseen by the viewer. It is still visible to the search engine spiders and seen as an attempt to manipulate rank.
- Duplicate content –Engines pick one (usually the oldest), and shoves it to the top, and pushes the second choice down, often far down.
- HTML code violations - Simple and correct HTML verification contributes to your page quality score and increases the rankings. Zee Designs web pages are clean and correct.
- Spam-like phrasing - Some phrases have been associated and correlated with known spamming techniques, so you will be penalized when using them.
- Traffic Buying - Have you paid a company for web traffic? It is probably low quality traffic, with a zero conversion rate.
- Rapid incoming link accumulation (often accomplished through the tactic of link buying) - Old links are valued, new links are not.
- Using obsolete terminology - The meaning of words can change over time, due to current events. For example, “twitter” and “tweet” mean something different today than they did years ago.
- Zero links to your site - You MUST have at least one (1) incoming link (back link) from some website somewhere, that Google is aware of, to remain in the search index.
- Link-buying - Google hates link-buying, because it corrupts their PR model in the worst way possible. Does your page have links it really doesn't merit? Did you get tons of links in a short time period? Do you have links from high-PR, unrelated sites? Any of these things may make your site suspect.
- Cloaking - Presenting one webpage to the search engine spider, and another webpage to everybody else. This is done via the server, delivering content based on the IP addresses or the header of the user requesting the page. When a user is identified as a search engine spider, a script on the server delivers a different version of the web page, one that contains content not present on the visible page. The purpose of cloaking is to deceive search engines so they display the page when it would not otherwise be displayed. Google promises to ban any site that does this.
- Violating Terms of Service
- Poor Server Reliability - over >99.9% is good. Zee Designs delivers this with their hosting. What is your uptime?
Things you may not have much control over include:
- No more room in the search directory – Because of the sheer number of sites today, adding up to many millions of pages, some pages of large sites are being dropped from the directory. The assumption is that only the “most important” pages on a large site are worth tracking. After people get to right part of the site, they will find the page they require. Balancing this is the fact that larger sites get points for their size.
- Rank Manipulation by Competitor Attack – Some businesses use hijacking, redirection, and content theft to ruin their competitors.
- Search Engines change their ranking factors and priorities – on a daily basis – sometimes more than once a day. This means your ranking may change without warning.
It is important to be vigilant, check your ranking and traffic, and make modifications when required.