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Using External Coding to Improve Search Engine Placement

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George Peirson
April 10, 2007

George Peirson
George Peirson is a successful Entrepreneur, Internet Trainer and author of over 30 multimedia based tutorial training titles. Read morearticles by George Peirson at http://www.howtogurus.com/free-articles.htmlArticle copyright 2005 George Peirson
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Do you have lots of JavaScript coding in the header section of your web pages? Do you re-list your CSS styles at the top of every page? Do you have JavaScript coding spread throughout your web pages?

If you answered yes to any of these questions your site may be driving away search engine spiders and losing search engine position ranking.

As you can imagine search engine spiders have a lot of pages to get through on the web when they are indexing sites. To improve their speed and efficiency search engines program their spiders to give up easily if they have problems with a page or if they have to wade through too much code to find the relevant content.

This is one of the reasons why it is so important to put your keywords as close to the top of the page as possible. This way the search bot will see the keywords before giving up and moving on to the next page.

But what do you do if you have lots of JavaScript code or CSS styles pushing your keywords down the page in your coding? You need to find a way to cut down on all that code that gets in the way of the search engines properly indexing your page.

We do this by moving the JavaScript and CSS styles off the page and into external files. This is a fairly easy and straight forward process and can have the added benefit of making your pages load faster as well, which the search engines also like.

In many ways CSS styles and JavaScript work in a similar fashion. You set up functions in a script or formatting in a style sheet section, and then refer to that section in your html code. For instance if you have a JavaScript that displays a clock on your page you would have the JavaScript functions for the clock listed in your head section, then you would simply call that function from the place on the page where the clock would be displayed.

Similarly with CSS you set up your styles ahead of time in a Styles section of the page head, then you simply refer to the styles as needed in your html coding. One benefit of this is that it cuts down dramatically on the amount of formatting code needed when compared to using Font tags.

If you want to use the same JavaScript or CSS styles on a different page you could copy all that code onto the new page. But this would cause two distinct problems, first you would be adding a lot of code to each page and second if you wanted to make a change to the JavaScript or CSS styles you would need to do so on every page that the code had been copied onto.

Both of these problems can be solved simply by using external files. You create one external file for your CSS and another file for your JavaScript. These could be named mysite.css for the CSS and mysite.js for the JavaScript. These files can be created in any plain text editor or html code editor, they are nothing more than files that contain most of the CSS or JavaScript code from the web pages.

With JavaScript you have an opening JavaScript tag, then a comment tag, then assorted functions and what not, followed by a closing comment tag and a closing JavaScript tag. Your external file would start with the opening comment tag, contain all the functions and such, and end with the closing comment tag. You would leave both the opening and closing JavaScript tags in the html page. If you have more than one JavaScript on the page you can move all the code into one external js file. Simply copy it into the file in the same order as it exists in the JavaScript tags on the html page. You will only need the one pair of opening and closing comment tags.

Once your JavaScript is moved off the page you will need to tell the web page where to find it. This is done in the JavaScript tag that was left on the page in the head section. Right now this will be an opening JavaScript tag placed right up against the closing JavaScript tag, with no additional code in between. You will place the reference to the external JavaScript code inside the opening JavaScript tag like this:

script language="JavaScript" type="text/JavaScript" src="mysite.js"

Placing CSS styles in an external file is handled in exactly the same manner. Move the styles into the external file, and then refer to that external file with your style tag in the head section of the web page like this:

link href="mysite.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"

An added benefit of moving the code into external files is that you can then change the styles of your whole site simply by changing the code in the one external file.

Once you have moved the code into external files you will have greatly simplified the code on each page. This will take you a long way towards making your pages lean and mean, and very search engine friendly.

You can find sample external files for this article on my web site at: www.howtogurus.com/free-articles.html

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