In a fluke, I was able to notice something about the way Google indexes content from web directories. Excluding your template, the most important line of code is the first title you add to your main body.
Search through Google and see for yourself!
Try searching for “something” in “yourcity”,”province/state” and look for a web business directory that you recognize. Once you find a directory, take a good look at the description of that particular listing (not the title). It may be a good idea to write it down. Once complete, click on the “cache” of that page within Google to highlight the content and view the web directory page.
9 out of 10 times the description of your website listing within Google is partly taken from the first line of code you have within your main body of content (excluding your header, footer, & sidebar). You will notice that this only applies for a web directory. Any personal or business related website gets indexed differently. If you take a look at the Google directory, we find the same thing: Take a look here: http://www.google.com/dirhp?hl=en
Browse to any sub-category and look at the first line of text. You will find that the title within the main body of content before anything else, is within an H1 tag.
H1 tags & H2 tags are nothing new to the development community but, there may still be many directories online that can increase their search engine rankings by changing a few things.
Here’s an example we see very often online; (I am also guilty of this)
You have just developed an impressive web directory and you are very proud of your creation. In the process of organizing your massive directory you were faced with a problem on how to allow people to browse your website and how to let search engines browse through your categories with ease. So with that in mind, you create the “alphabetical solution”.
THE ALPHABETICAL SOLUTION IS THIS:
Search Categories By Alphabetical Order:
The problem with this alphabetical solution (I am also guilty as charged) is that we tend to add this development solution to the top of our page so that our visitors and possibly search engines can find these extra categories easily. << This is probably hurting your results in many ways. 1) Your alphabetical solution is probably necessary but instead, you should add it a little lower below some more important page specific content. 2) No matter where you add your ABC's, search engines will find them anyway. 3) You don't want 10,000 pages to be indexed with a description that goes... abcdefg... The Solution: If you own a directory and you are faced with this problem, let's get our development hats on and switch a couple of things around. Try adding the main "topic" description to the top of your main body of content and create this description within one of these tags: H1,H2,H3,H4, etc. 2nd: Once you have your main title description, try adding more related content to that specific page within "bold tags" BEFORE you add your alphabetical solution. At least this way, when search engines browse through your massive web directory, they do not leave thinking that you like singing the alphabets. One Last Thing: If you are seriously targeting specific local markets on the web, try adding the city, province/state, & country! Being in Canada, we are faced with many brick walls when it comes to promoting certain cities. Perfect example of this is my home town of "Hamilton, Ontario, Canada". If you don't promote this city properly, you might actually be targeting people from "Hamilton, Ontario, California" ! ! ! Did you say ouch??? As you can see, this can be easily mistaken by many visitors coming to your web directory and probably won't help your conversion rate whatsoever. Making sure that you target the right industries and the right locations could be crucial for the success of your web directory. I hope this article helps you out!