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HTML TAGS & TIPS


TIP NO 1:Streamline image maps

If you have an image that you want hyperlinked to various parts of your site, you have three options: 1. Break apart the image and link the individual pieces 2. Use a client-side image map 3. Use a server-side image map Streamlining your code for such linking can be tricky if you have complicated images with numerous "hot spots," or link areas. What's the best solution? The more complicated your images are, the more you should lean toward client- or server-side image mapping. For example, when using a client-side image map as opposed to just hyperlinking images, you need only call an image once and specify the hot spots in your tags: To get the same effect with hyperlinking, you first have to break up the image into smaller pieces, lay them out with additional HTML, and make separate calls for each: TABLE width=300 cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0 border=0> TR valign=top>IMG src="first.gif" width=50 height=50 border=0> TD width=50 height=50> TD width=50 height=50> If you must have wildly polygonal images on your site, you can slim down the HTML by using server-side image mapping. The coordinates and URL references for a server-side image map are stored in a separate file. An

tag in your HTML references the map file and an associated image. Server-side image maps can get tricky because they involve a bit of CGI programming. And while it only requires one line of HTML, the map file adds a substantial amount of code. Finally, server-side image maps are slightly less interactive--they indicate the image's hot spots to the user with bland coordinates instead of the URLs or page titles, which can be written into client-side image maps. TIP NO 2:Tighten META tags

The META tag indicates keywords related to a Web site's content in order to make it easier for search engines and indexers to find your pages. Although they make your site more visible, META tags are also a prime place to cut code. For one thing, it isn't worth including more than 50 or 60 characters' worth of keywords. Most Web crawlers and robots don't read farther than that into your pages. Also, keep in mind that crawlers and robots no longer rank relevancy by the number of times you repeat a keyword. They're even smart enough to register minor variations such as Oracle 8, oracle 8, and Oracle8 as only one keyword, so it's no use adding all three spellings to your META tag. If you use a Wysiwyg HTML editor such as Claris Home Page 3.0, you may find that your HTML documents contain the following tag: META name=GENERATOR content="Claris Home Page 3.0" or something similar. Yank these wasteful META name tags out of your pages. Some thoughtful HTML editors even let you flick a switch to avoid adding these promotional META tags. - make the most of META tags You can control how search engines catalog your site with two types of META tags. META tags are part of the HTML code that some search engines, such as AltaVista and Infoseek, look for but most visitors to your pages never see. META description tags let you specify a short summary that appears below the page's title on a search response. (If a page doesn't have a META description, search engines usually list the page's first dozen or so words instead.) META keyword tags let you specify the keywords that a search robot should give precedence to when cataloging the page.META keywords are typically given less importance than words in the title, but more importance than words found in the page's body. META tags typically go after the title and between the head tags of an HTML page: HTML HEAD TITLE KillerGardens - The online source for man-eating plants and landscapin /TITLE META NAME="description" CONTENT="KillerGardens is located in Berkeley, California, and specializes in man-eating plants and landscaping."> META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="gardens, gardening, plants, landscaping, dangerous, man-eating, Venus flytraps, fertilizers"> /HEAD> Make sure your keyword list includes both general and specific words related to your site. It's best to make them plural where appropriate and to include derivatives, since you can't rely on all search engines to account for such instances. Having trouble thinking of keywords? Check out eyescream interactive's list of top 200 search words (smuggled from Yahoo). To ensure that you're making the most of your tags, go to the Meta Medic site and submit your site's URL. This free Perl script checks your page's META> tags and suggests ways to improve the descriptions or keywords.

TIP NO 3: Submit your Website to S.Engines Register via submission sites and services

Sure, you could register with search engines and directories one by one, but there's a better way. At free sites such as Submit-It and Add-It, you fill out one form with your Web site's title, URL, keywords, and other pertinent information. The sites guide you through the submission process for the most popular search engines and Web directories, filling in the appropriate fields in each form. All you have to do is click Submit buttons to send your information. If you're not satisfied registering with the dozen or so sites that account for 99 percent of the searches on the Web, you can use fee-based submission sites and companies to register sites with hundreds of specialized search engines and directories. These services, some of which are high-powered versions of free submission sites, submit your site even to niche search engines such as ChurchSurf, TextileWeb, and Curioscape. - Register via Web promotion software

Web promotion software is similar to online submission sites: the program asks you for the information required by a slew of search engines and directories, then goes online to submit that information. As with fee-based submission Web sites, paying for this software gets your site listed in many more search sites than a free submission site would. Most of the applications offer free updates, so you can keep up when new search engines go online and existing search engines change their formats. The Promotion Artist ($60; Windows 95) guides you through the process of submitting your Web site to 250 search engines and directories. Submit It Desktop (price varies depending on the number of URLs you want to register, starting at $60 for two; Windows 95/NT/3.1) is an offline companion to the popular Submit It Web site. You enter your Web site information into the software, which then connects to the online server that submits your site to hundreds of search sites. WebSeek Promotion Spider ($49; Windows 95/NT) helps you submit your site to 250 search sites. www.SitePromoter ($129; Windows 95/3.1, Mac) is standalone software that submits your site to more than 150 search sites and has tools to help track how your site places on keyword searches.

- Register multiple pages from your site Registering the URLs of more than one page from your site is a good idea. Search engines vary in the depth to which they'll catalog your pages. Some, such as HotBot, are thorough, following all available links and cataloging each site in its entirety. Other search engines, such as AltaVista, go down only two or three levels of links before stopping. If your site has important pages that are more than a couple levels down, register them separately.

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