Thursday, September 18, 2008

AltaVista's policy on doorway pages and cloaking

AltaVista's policy on doorway pages and cloaking

AltaVista is opposed to doorway pages and cloaking. It considers doorway and cloaked

pages to be spam and encourages people to use other avenues to increase the relevancy of

their pages. A description of doorway pages and cloaking is given later on in this guide.

Meta tags

Though it indexes Meta tags, considering them to be regular text, AltaVista claims it

doesn't give them priority over HTML titles and other text. Though you should use meta

tags in all your pages, some webmasters claim their doorway pages for AltaVista rank

better when they don't use them.

If you do use Meta tags, make your description tag no more than 150 characters and your

keywords tag no more than 1,024 characters long.

Keywords in the URL and file names

It's generally believed that AltaVista gives some weight to keywords in filenames and

URL names. If you're creating a file, try to name it with keywords.

Keywords in the ALT tags

AltaVista indexes ALT tags, so if you use images on your site, make sure to add them.

ALT tags should contain more than the image's description. They should include

keywords, especially if the image is at the top of the page. ALT tags are explained later.

Page Length

There's been some debate about how long doorway pages for AltaVista should be. Some

webmasters say short pages rank higher, while others argue that long pages are the way to

go. According to AltaVista's help section, it prefers long and informative pages. We've

found that pages with 600-900 words are most likely to rank well.

Frame support

AltaVista has the ability to index frames, but it sometimes indexes and links to pages

intended only as navigation. To keep this from happening to you, submit a frame-free site

map containing the pages that you want indexed. You may also want to include a

"robots.txt" file to prohibit AltaVista from indexing certain pages.