Is your website invisible? If it's not designed to be found by search engine spiders, it might as well be. The key to visibility? Keeping content clear and simple. An untold number of expensive Web sites out there are beautiful to behold, but rarely seen by searchers. To help clarify what works and what doesn't in SEO site design, Scott Buresh, in a recent MarketingProfs article, provided a list of common Web site elements that search engines can and cannot see.

Three things a search engine spider can see are:

HTML text, which spiders index, making distinctions between differences in how the text is presented (ie, bold vs regular).

Text links that are easily understood by the spider, and tell it what your page is about. However, Buresh warns that a spider can't see links like those in a pull-down menu that uses scripting language.

Tags, such as "keyword" tags, which should list key phrases that describe the page; "description" tags, which describe the page; and "title" tags, which contain the words you'll see in the (usually) blue bar at the top of your Web page.

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