I came across an interesting Powerpoint presentation on Yahoos Search Blog called Search Friendly Design [ppt file].
(NOTE: to view the Powerpoint file without Powerpoint, download a free copy of OpenOffice.)
Interesting points about Yahoo's engine from the horse's mouth:
- The Yahoo spider won't crawl 'Spider "traps" (dynamic content)'
- An acceptable alternative to GUIs is to create HTML text links in the footer
- Spiders love hierarchial, link-based navigation
- "Always link back to your home page" (fairly obvious to most)
- When using 301s to redirect to new locations of old pages, "don't be afraid to leave the 301s in place as long as necessary" (no surprise to anyone that checks their logs closely)
- "Avoid unnecessary URL depth". "Very deep URLs typically don't rank as well". A specific example given was that depth 6 URLs are probably not good. Depth 3 URLs are probably OK. ("Depth" refers to the directory depth of a file in the URL.)
- Crawlers like static pages, and "dynamic pages with in-links from static pages". IMPORTANT: "Links between dynamic pages are problematic for crawlers (some get crawled, some don't)"
- "Off topic links dilute valuable links"
- Flash: "Create both 'flash' and 'html' site versions". This is echoed in Google's Flash recommendations.
- Flash: put "href links in html as a footer on each page"
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