Picture, if you will, a Rocky-style montage. A driving, inspirational song begins. A team is involved in Web site creation from the ground up. The first scene is a highly contentious meeting, with a sweating and nervous marketing executive frantically drawing away at a whiteboard in front of a hostile audience. Flash to copywriters, fingers cracked and bleeding, churning away at their keyboards. Jump to Web designers, sporting blurry eyes rimmed with dark circles, peering into their monitors in obvious discomfort. Finally, we see signs of it all coming together. A beautiful homepage briefly appears. The music ends. A bell rings. And...
Nothing happens. The Web site would seem to have tripped over its own shoelaces and fallen right through the canvas, disappearing into cyberspace. The credits roll, to the eternal shame of those whose names appear.
What went wrong?
The team engaged in Web site creation without any regard for the role of the search engine spider.
You see, there is quite a difference in what is seen by humans on a Web site and what is seen by a search engine "spider" (a program that routinely combs the Internet indexing Web sites).
An untold numbers of expensive Web sites out there are beautiful to behold from a human perspective, yet all but invisible to search engine spiders (and thus searchers).
What follows is a small list of common Web site elements, in two categories: what search engines cannot see, and what they can see.
Three Things a Search Engine Spider Can't See