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Links like these will look something like this:
<a href="index.html" rel="nofollow">Home Page</a>
Page addresses to avoid
Spiders will also ignore pages if they don't like URL (the address needed to find page).
For example, a Web site that has URLs containing several variables can cause spiders to ignore page content. You can spot pages like these as they have a ? in them, and &, for instance:
This URL has three variables, parts with = in them, between ? and &s. We find that if a page has one variable, or even two, top search engines will spider them without any problems. But if a URL has more than that, often search engines will not spider them.
Spiders particularly avoid URLs that look like they have 'session IDs' in them. They look something like this:
The set of numbers and letters do not make much sense to humans, but some Web sites use them to keep track of who you are, as you click through their Web site.
Spiders will generally avoid URLs with Session IDs in them, so if your Web site has them, you need to talk to people who developed site about re-writing it so they do not use these IDs, or at least that you can get around Web site without them.
Clean links = happy spiders
If you use clean, easy to follow links without several variables in them, your Web site should be spidered without problem. There are, of course, many other facets to successful Search Engine Optimization, but if search engines can't spider your content, your site will fall at first hurdle.
Paul Silver and David Rosam are Head of Technical SEO and Head of SEO Copywriting at Web Positioning Centre (http://webpositioningcentre.co.uk). Paul has been involved with the Web commercially since 1996 and David has been writing marketing copy for 20 years, and writing for the Web for a decade.