The Muse Papers


SEO: Page Layout


What I’ve learned today could be considered deeply disturbing…  or not.

Here’s the scoop.  Google prioritizes (gives more link juice) to the first links on a page (in the code).  So, in order to highly optimize a page, backflips may be required.

For example, in the code usually it goes from top to bottom, left to right

So first, the header – usually overhead pages like Home, New Items, About Us and the like – pages who’s titles are not chock full of money keywords.

Second, the left navigation, which doesn’t usually offer enough space for good keyword usage.

Third, the content – the optimum place for keywords.

Finally, the footer – the keyword graveyard.


Re-organize the site from the code point of view so the way the page source content shows up is:

– Body content

– Breadcrumbs – if used

– Left Navigation

– Footer Navigation

with the Header navigation (Home, New Items and the like) magically javascripted out to another part of the site (okay – I don’t really understand this).

This is where I ask my programmer – very nicely – to figure out how to make this work.

SEO: Navigation


I’m going through Stompernet’s training material, keeping up to date on Search Engine Optimization.

Here is what I have learned today:

1.  Check your custom 404 page for spider traps

To do this, type in a random URL for your site, invoking the 404 page.  Then click every link on the custom 404 page to make sure that it does not lead to another 404 page (the spider trap)

2.  Use NoFollow tags on Overhead pages (privacy policy, return policy…) so you don’t dilute your link juice.

3.  Or, combine all your Overhead pages into one page and use anchor tags to send people to a specific portion of the page.

4.  To make sure that your second tier pages (category pages) don’t look like link farms, make each one has at least 300 words of unique content.

5.  If you have one category with a lot of links to products (say the Compound Bow Category – which will be quite long), and thus dilute the incoming link juice, create a second category with unique content at the top (see #4) and point it at all the same products in order to smooth out the link juice.

That’s it for now.