In the feature article of this week’s StepForth newsletter, we speculate that Google, as we know it, is ill and perhaps beyond repair. If that is the case, the new methods of search engine optimization will need to be revised as older methods are revisited. Here is a few quick tips to look at when considering SEO friendly design.

> Heading Tags have always been extremely important and will likely provide a bonus at Google if used early on the page. Be sure that at least one instance of your target keywords is phrased in H1 or H2 tags.

> Tighten up the Title, Description and Keyword tags in the HEAD section of your source code. Inktomi and AltaVista both love good tight descriptions and keyword enriched titles.

> Provide a basic path for spiders to follow by using text links to each site in the page. For larger sites, be sure to construct a text-based site map.

> Pay for inclusion in all major search databases, including LookSmart. Be certain your site is being fed to as many search tools as possible and is being spidered as often as possible.

Google is still the #1 search tool on the web but search-engine users can be fickle when they don’t get the information they were looking for. If Google is not serving up relevant information, other search tools such as AlltheWeb, AltaVista, Teoma and MSN will be used by searchers to fill the information gap.