SEO for Developers: DOs and DON'Ts

Normally I’m not one to repost, but I was cleaning my office and came across an old handout from Click Equations and wanted to share it. It’s a good summation of most of what I know about SEO so maybe some others can learn from it too. Hopefully no-one from Click Equations minds, but I’ll be happy make modifications if they do.


  1. Consider the needs of search engines when setting up Web sites and coding pages
  2. Validate HTML, CSS, Links and 508standards before publishing content
  3. Remember that HTML content can be crawled and indexed - but not JavaScript
  4. Use XML Sitemaps to feed to the search engines every URL that you want crawled and indexed
  5. Use Robots.txt to block any files or sub-directories that you do not want the search engines to crawl and index
  6. Ensure that every image has a keyword-relevant filename, Alt Tag, and text description close to where the image is displayed on the page
  7. Use descriptive, keyword-rich URLs for all pages (rather than dynamically-generated alphanumeric URLs)
  8. Make sure that you’re most important pages are linked to in the site’s browsable interface (and with keyword-rich anchor text); the more difficult it is to “find” a page, the less likely it is to rank well
  9. Render in the HTML as much information (i.e., Meta data) as you have about the media files
  10. Include a “Link to this Page” capability as a quick-and-easy means of attracting backlinks from your user community


  1. Place heading tags around hyperlinks or snippets of text used on more than one page
  2. Implement URLs that neither a user nor a search engine can understand
  3. Include “stop words” in URLs (and, to, in, etc.)
  4. Have more than one URL resolve to the same page
  5. Let any page return a 404 error; use temporary (302) or permenant (301) redirects depending on whether the original page will [sic]
  6. Hide text to users that you want the engines to see; deliver a consistent experience to both
  7. Use different sub-domains unless your content covers very diverse topic and/or the hosting platform is too inflexible
  8. Use iFrames
  9. Use JavaScript or AJAX extensively; while Google processes some JavaScript, the other engines do not
  10. Do anything solely because of its SEO benefit (think of your users first)