Search Engine Optimization
Tips for Ringmasters
The heart of any webring is the navpanel or navbar. However, a search engine when spidering a webring's navpanel doesn't find much of anything, if it has not been optimized for a search engine! With most navpanels a search engine just finds allot of nexts and prevs, some very long urls, and not much else. Just think, you've got your webring's navpanel on many other websites, and they are doing absolutly nothing for you as far as most search engines are concerned... :-(
The use of ALT (within the "img" element), TITLE (within the "a" and "img" elements if a link) and SUMMARY (within the "table" element) attributes is a great way to improve the search engine rank for your webring's website, and especially the webring's navpanel (when displayed on member websites). Doing so makes webring navigation easier, increases accessibility to disabled ring surfers, and will obtain for your webring the most relevant ranking possible with most search engines.
Seeing that most navpanels are usually a bunch of nested tables, using the 'summary' attribute within the "table" element is the perfect place to enter a short description of your webring (for example summary="Examples Demoring - A webring of examples for the Ringlink program. A Perl program that provides the tools you need to run one or more webrings, i.e. systems of links between related web sites". If using 'next' and 'previous' images within your navpanel, then using the 'title' attribute within the "img" element is a simple way to elaborate on what clicking 'next' and 'previous' accomplishes (for example title="Takes you to the next site in the Examples Demoring"). If using just text within your navpanel, then you would use the 'title' attribute within the "a" elements to elaborate on what clicking these various text links (Next, Prev, Random, List, and...) accomplishes.
If using a image map for your webring's navpanel, then you could use the 'alt' attribute within the "img" element for the description of the webring, and the 'title' and 'alt' attributes within the "area" elements to elaborate on what clicking these various areas within the image map navpanel accomplishes.
Some webring systems such as Ringlink use 301 re-direct to help you get your navpanel and webring website optimized for a search engine.