When Sumantra asked me "Do I need to know basics of SEO so that I can design more search-engine friendly templates?" I kept quiet for some time. I was thinking about Aji’s post – SEO a curse for Content Writers. But, as I think that people involved with Web Development should know basics of SEO, my answer to Sumantra was "Yes".
Here is what I told to him:
Since Search Engines are nothing but artificially intelligent software programs, they cannot sense if a design is good or bad. But, as a Designer you should read the pages from Search Engines’ perspective.
Suppose your site has a good, really good content. Now, while designing the site you place the navigation panel at the left hand side. What will happen now? Search Engines, while crawling the site will read the content of the panel (that may contain product list, site navigation, sponsored ads, AdSense and all) first and then go to the main content. So your main keywords are pushed down if they are not there in the panel.
Now, some SEO checklist makers believe that early appearance of keywords in the page makes positive result. And you are losing it there!
I showed Sumantra some Tools that output how Search Engines read the text of a page. Needless to say that Sumantra was happy with it.
Do you think I should say something more to him? Feel free post your feedback.
Technorati Tags: SEO, SEM, Search Engine Optimization, Web Design