Jarle Aase

Stbl and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

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What is SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results.

I am generally negative towards SEO, as it's a treasure trove for unscrupulous scammers to make money by luring corporations to waste money on techniques to artificially raise the search engines trust in untrustworthy sites. Effectively making it harder for us to find relevant sites on the Internet.

However, SEO, as layed out in for example Google Webmaster Guidelines and Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide is quite OK. It not only improve the search engines chance understand what your site provides, it also make your site better for human users.

So why should we care?

If you, like me, spend significant time researching and writing about interesting subjects, it's cool if people searching for those things gets a realistic chance to find it. It's kind of foolish to spend hundreds or thousands of hours writing about things that some people for sure care about, if no one ever finds it.

When I wrote stbl, I took care to follow all best practices I knew about, and I will add more features for better ethical Search Engine Optimizations as needed.

What does stbl do right?

sitemap: Stbl generates a sitemap file, where you can set the priority on each article, or use default values. It also generates a robots.txt file (unless you make your own) and declares the sitemap there so that search engines will find it.

title: Page Titles are handled correctly and assigned to the HTML <title> tag in the pages header. This also sets the correct title in the web browser application when you view a page.

meta/description: The abstract in an articles header is assigned to the pages meta/description tag. This is used by search engines both for search relevance, and some times to present a brief overview of a page.

Easily add sites from Google Search Console stbl can add a meta-tag for google-site-verification in the front-pages header-section to make it easy to validate the ownership of a site with Google. (I added explicit support for this, because I don't log on to Google from my main machine, and it's a bit work to download and copy files from the Virtual Machine where I log on to Google, and the main machine where I run stbl).

Besides that, stbl also use logical paths to articles (if you name your articles logically!) and it makes it simple both to humans and search engines to find everything.

The themes I make are tested with html and css validation services to avoid any silly syntax errors that may hurt the search engine ratings.