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Friday, October 15, 2004

Using CaRP for Search Engine Optimization 

You may have noticed search engine optimizers talking a lot about RSS lately. Briefly, before getting into using CaRP for SEO, the idea is that adding newsfeeds to your pages gives your website a steady stream of fresh, relevant content. Even if you never update the rest of the page, the search engine sees a page that gets updated often.

So how can you best use CaRP for SEO? Here are a few tips to get you started:

1) Be sure to embed CaRP's output directly in your page as HTML rather than using JavaScript output and just putting the script tag into your page. Why? Because search engines don't see the JavaScript output, so if you do it that way, the feed is invisible to them.

2) It probably goes without saying, but you need to find a relevant newsfeed. If you're trying to optimize your page for the words "fly fishing", a newsfeed about the latest in computer isn't going to do you much good! Finding feeds on some topics can be difficult. Try browsing or searching at Chordata and other newsfeed directories, or even just searching Google. For example, to look for a fly fishing feed, search for 'RSS "fly fishing"'.

3) Use semantic markup. If the feed's title has your keywords in it, do this in your PHP code:

CarpConf('bctitle','<h2>');
CarpConf('actitle','</h2>');

You may want to use a little CSS to alter the presentation of the contents of the H2 tag, but that's a topic for another time. If the feed's headlines often contain your keywords, you might do this:

CarpConf('bilink','<h3>');
CarpConf('ailink','</h3>');

Those header tags tell search engines that the words between them are important.

4) Don't bleed PageRank through the links. Take a look at the JavaScript linking style on this post to see how you can make links that don't look like outbound links to search engines.
// posted by Antone Roundy @ 4:11 PM

2 Comments:

By Optimus, at October 05, 2005 3:39 PM  

Weird. I find that if I choose to display *only* the link in IORDER, Carp ignores anything I put in AILINK. Any ideas on why?

By Optimus, at October 05, 2005 3:47 PM  

Actually, let me clarify: It ignores my BR tags. It allows the BR tags as long as an   is placed after them. Which, of course, mucks up my formatting. BOO.

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