My Adventures in SEO

I sometimes take part in Twitter Q&A’s about stuff and the latest one was Tools Chat where the topic was about blogging and, in a nutshell, how you blog. One of the questions was: SEO Optimization tools are developing fast. What do we need to be using?

Since this blog is hosted on WordPress.com, I don’t have access or that much control over any plugins that are incorporated, but I do have a self-hosted WordPress installation (MentalGamers.com, if you didn’t already know), so I answered;

What I meant by better optimization is that although I had it set as well as I thought, running tests seemed to give low scores of around 60%, so I figured I’d run various tests by searching Google for SEO Score and testing the Mental Gamers site with as many as I could and see what results came up.

Some of the sites would give information about why certain things were affecting the score and it mostly seemed to be images missing titles, I knew that images in articles had titles, but it made me wonder if and why it’s necessary for the <img src> link to also have a title. Some images had titles due to it already being in the code I copied and pasted, some I added myself to see if it improved the score, but then another site gave another reason.

It seems that to have a good SEO score, you need to sacrifice some HTML validation. Apparently, using Height and Width HTML tags helps with SEO, but fails validation due to there being no Height tag, so why does it exist? What’s more important, HTML validation or SEO?

Due to various plugins, you can’t help if there are HTML failures, same for valid CSS, but as long as the site works and the SEO score is above 80%, that’s all that matters, right? One SEO site gives me 78% with mainly the aforementioned image title fails, another only gives 60%, yet the Firefox plugin SEO Doctor gives me 100%.

So, from my experience, don’t trust just one source when evaluating your websites SEO score, test with three of four different calculators and fix any issues they tell you about. It’s virtually impossible to achieve 100% unless you code the site yourself with minimal extras, so I’m just working on getting at least 80%.

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