Search Engine Simulators
In order to see exactly how your pages are seen by search engines you can use an online ‘search engine simulator’. There are plenty of them about but there may be some variations in the results. Using this facility will show you what words and phrases are going to be indexed in that page.
It’s an excellent way to look at your pages. Its takes away the distraction of graphics or flash and strips the site down to its most basic. And that’s the way the site will be seen by and indexed by search spiders.
A word of caution, some sites look absolutely fantastic to the human eye, readable and navigable. Take for example the retail site of Brown Thomas. A lot of care and attention has been taken with this site and it’s very easy to negotiate. However the home page is all flash and therefore cannot be read easily by a search engine.
You can see the results of what a spider sees in that page below – very little. More importantly the rest of the site is a blend of Flash and HTML and would be of some use to a spider. But the home page has no spider navigable links to the rest of the site and therefore it’s like a bullet in the head of a spider entering that page.
Its not exactly a big meal for a spider!