Monthly Archives: April 2013

List of Best & Worst Practices for SEO

1 Keywords in <title> tag This is one of the most important places to have a keyword because what is written inside the <title> tag shows in search results as your page title. The title tag must be short (6 or 7 words at most) and the the keyword must be near the beginning. +3
2 Keywords in URL Keywords in URLs help a lot – e.g. –, where “SEO services” is the keyword phrase you attempt to rank well for. But if you don’t have the keywords in other parts of the document, don’t rely on having them in the URL. +3
3 Keyword density in document text Another very important factor you need to check. 3-7 % for major keywords is best, 1-2 for minor. Keyword density of over 10% is suspicious and looks more like keyword stuffing, than a naturally written text. +3
4 Keywords in anchor text Also very important, especially for the anchor text of inbound links, because if you have the keyword in the anchor text in a link from another site, this is regarded as getting a vote from this site not only about your site in general, but about the keyword in particular. +3
5 Keywords in headings (<H1>, <H2>, etc. tags) One more place where keywords count a lot. But beware that your page has actual text about the particular keyword. +3
6 Keywords in the beginning of a document Also counts, though not as much as anchor text, title tag or headings. However, have in mind that the beginning of a document does not necessarily mean the first paragraph – for instance if you use tables, the first paragraph of text might be in the second half of the table. +2
7 Keywords in <ALT> tags Spiders don’t read images but they do read their textual descriptions in the <ALT> tag, so if you have images on your page, fill in the <alt> tag with some keywords about them. +2
8 Keywords in meta tags Less and less important, especially for Google. Yahoo! And Bing still rely on them, so if you are optimizing for Yahoo! Or Bing, fill these tags properly. In any case, filling these tags properly will not hurt, so do it. +1
9 Keyword proximity Keyword proximity measures how close in the text the keywords are. It is best if they are immediately one after the other (e.g. “Dog food”), with no other words between them. For instance, if you have “dog” in the first paragraph and “food” in the third paragraph, this also counts but not as much as having the phrase “dog food” without any other words in between. Keyword proximity is applicable for keyword phrases that consist of 2 or more words. +1
10 Keyword phrases In addition to keywords, you can optimize for keyword phrases that consist of several words – e.g. “SEO services”. It is best when the keyword phrases you optimize for are popular ones, so you can get a lot of exact matches of the search string but sometimes it makes sense to optimize for 2 or 3 separate keywords (“SEO” and “services”) than for one phrase that might occasionally get an exact match. +1
11 Secondary keywords Optimizing for secondary keywords can be a golden mine because when everybody else is optimizing for the most popular keywords, there will be less competition (and probably more hits) for pages that are optimized for the minor words. For instance, “real estate new jersey” might have a thousand times less hits than “real estate” only but if you are operating in New Jersey, you will get less but considerably better targeted traffic. +1
12 Keyword stemming For English this is not so much of a factor because words that stem from the same root (e.g. Dog, dogs, doggy, etc.) is considered related and if you have “dog” on your page, you will get hits for “dogs” and “doggy” as well, but for other language keywords stemming could be an issue because different words that stem from the same root are considered as not related and you might need to optimize for all of them. +1
13 Synonyms Optimizing for synonyms of the target keywords, in addition to the main keywords. This is good for sites in English, for which search engines are smart enough to use synonyms as well, when ranking sites but for many other language synonyms are not taken into account, when calculating rankings and relevancy. +1
14 Keyword Mistypes Spelling errors are very frequent and if you know that your target keywords have popular misspellings or alternative spellings (i.e. Christmas and Xmas), you might be tempted to optimize for them. Yes, this might get you some more traffic but having spelling mistakes on your site does not make a good impression, so you’d better don’t do it, or do it only in the meta tags. 0
15 Keyword dilution When you are optimizing for an excessive amount of keywords, especially unrelated ones, this will affect the performance of all your keywords and even the major ones will be lost (diluted) in the text. -2
16 Keyword stuffing Any artificially inflated keyword density (10% and over) is keyword stuffing and you risk getting banned from search engines. -3
Links – internal, inbound, outbound
17 Anchor text of inbound links As discussed in the Keywords section, this is one of the most important factors for good rankings. It is best if you have a keyword in the anchor text but even if you don’t, it is still OK. However, don’t use the same anchor text all the time because this is also penalized by Google. Try to use synonyms, keyword stemming, or simply the name of your site instead +3
18 Origin of inbound links Besides the anchor text, it is important if the site that links to you is a reputable one or not. Generally sites with greater Google PR are considered reputable. Links from poor sites and link farms can do real harm to you, so avoid them at all costs. +3
19 Links from similar sites Generally the more, the better. But the reputation of the sites that link to you is more important than their number. Also important is their anchor text (and its diversity), the lack/presence of keyword(s) in it, the linkage, etc. +3
20 Links from .edu and .Gov sites These links are precious because .edu and .Gov sites are more reputable than .com. .biz, .Info, etc. Domains. Additionally, such links are hard to obtain. +3
21 Number of backlinks Generally the more, the better. But the reputation of the sites that link to you is more important than their number. Also important is their anchor text, is there a keyword in it, how old are they, etc. +3
22 Anchor text of internal links This also matters, though not as much as the anchor text of inbound links. +2
23 Around-the-anchor text The text that is immediately before and after the anchor text also matters because it further indicates the relevance of the link – i.e. if the link is artificial or it naturally flows in the text. +2
24 Age of inbound links The older, the better. Getting as many new links in a short time suggests buying them. +2
25 Links from directories Could work, though it strongly depends on which directories. Being listed in DMOZ, Yahoo Directory and similar directories is a great boost to your ranking but having tons of links from PR0 directories is useless or even harmful because it can even be regarded as link spamming, if you have hundreds or thousands of such links. +2
26 Number of outgoing links on the page that links to you The fewer, the better for you because this way your link looks more important. +1
27 Named anchors Named anchors (the target place of internal links) are useful for internal navigation but are also useful for SEO because you stress additionally that a particular page, paragraph or text is important. In the code, named anchors look like this: <A href= “#dogs”>Read about dogs</A> and “#dogs” is the named anchor. +1
28 IP address of inbound link Google denies that they discriminate against links that come from the same IP address or C class of addresses, so for Google the IP address can be considered neutral to the weight of inbound links. However, Bing and Yahoo! May discard links from the same IPs or IP classes, so it is always better to get links from different IPs. +1
29 Inbound links from link farms and other suspicious sites Presumably, this does not affect you, provided the links are not reciprocal. The idea is that it is beyond your control to define what a link farm link to, so you don’t get penalized when such sites link to you because this is not your fault. However, some recent changes to the Google algorithm suggest the opposite. This is why, you must always stay away from link farms and other suspicious sites or if you see they link to you, contact their webmaster and ask the link to be removed. 0
30 Many outgoing links Google does not like pages that consists mainly of links, so you’d better keep them under 100 per page. Having many outgoing links does not get you any benefits in terms of ranking and could even make your situation worse. -1
31 Excessive linking, link spamming It is bad for your rankings, when you have many links to/from the same sites (even if it is not a cross- linking scheme or links to bad neighbors) because it suggests link buying or at least spamming. In the best case only some of the links are taken into account for SEO rankings. -1
32 Outbound links to link farms and other suspicious sites Unlike inbound links from link farms and other suspicious sites, outbound links to bad neighbors can drown you. You need periodically to check the status of the sites you link to because sometimes good sites become bad neighbors and vice versa. -3
33 Cross-linking Cross-linking occurs when site A links to site B, site B links to site C and site C links back to site A. This is the simplest example but more complex schemes are possible. Cross-linking looks like disguised reciprocal link trading and is penalized. -3
34 Single pixel links when you have a link that is a pixel or so wide it is invisible for humans, so nobody will click on it and it is obvious that this link is an attempt to manipulate search engines. -3
35 <Description> metatag Metatags are becoming less and less important but if there are metatags that still matter, these are the <description> and <keywords> ones. Use the <Description> metatag to write the description of your site. Besides the fact that metatags still rock on Bing and Yahoo!, the <Description> metatag has one more advantage – it sometimes pops in the description of your site in search results. +1
36 <Keywords> metatag The <Keywords> metatag also matters, though as all metatags it gets almost no attention from Google and some attention from Bing and Yahoo! Keep the metatag reasonably long – 10 to 20 keywords at most. Don’t stuff the <Keywords> tag with keywords that you don’t have on the page, this is bad for your rankings. +1
37 <Language> metatag If your site is language-specific, don’t leave this tag empty. Search engines have more sophisticated ways of determining the language of a page than relying on the <language>metatag but they still consider it. +1
38 <Refresh> metatag The <Refresh> metatag is one way to redirect visitors from your site to another. Only do it if you have recently migrated your site to a new domain and you need to temporarily redirect visitors. When used for a long time, the <refresh> metatag is regarded as unethical practice and this can hurt your ratings. In any case, redirecting through 301 is much better. -1
39 Unique content Having more content (relevant content, which is different from the content on other sites both in wording and topics) is a real boost for your site’s rankings. +3
40 Frequency of content change Frequent changes are favored. It is great when you constantly add new content but it is not so great when you only make small updates to existing content. +3
41 Keywords font size When a keyword in the document text is in a larger font size in comparison to other on-page text, this makes it more noticeable, so therefore it is more important than the rest of the text. The same applies to headings (<h1>, <h2>, etc.), which generally are in larger font size than the rest of the text. +2
42 Keywords formatting Bold and italic are another way to emphasize important words and phrases. However, use bold, italic and larger font sizes within reason because otherwise you might achieve just the opposite effect. +2
43 Age of document Recent documents (or at least regularly updated ones) are favored. +2
44 File size Generally long pages (i.e. 1,500-2,000 words or more) are not favored, or at least you can achieve better rankings if you have 3 short (500-1,000 words) rather than 1 long page on a given topic, so split long pages into multiple smaller ones. On the other hand, pages with 100-200 words of text or less are also disliked by Google. +1
45 Content separation From a marketing point of view content separation (based on IP, browser type, etc.) might be great but for SEO it is bad because when you have one URL and differing content, search engines get confused what the actual content of the page is. -2
46 Poor coding and design Search engines say that they do not want poorly designed and coded sites, though there are hardly sites that are banned because of messy code or ugly images but when the design and/or coding of a site is poor, the site might not be indexable at all, so in this sense poor code and design can harm you a lot. -2
47 Illegal Content Using other people’s copyrighted content without their permission or using content that promotes legal violations can get you kicked out of search engines. -3
48 Invisible text This is a black hat SEO practice and when spiders discover that you have text specially for them but not for humans, don’t be surprised by the penalty. -3
49 Cloaking Cloaking is another illegal technique, which partially involves content separation because spiders see one page (highly-optimized, of course), and everybody else is presented with another version of the same page. -3
50 Doorway pages Creating pages that aim to trick spiders that your site is a highly-relevant one when it is not, is another way to get the kick from search engines. -3
51 Duplicate content When you have the same content on several pages on the site, this will not make your site look larger because the duplicate content penalty kicks in. To a lesser degree duplicate content applies to pages that reside on other sites but obviously these cases are not always banned – i.e. article directories or mirror sites do exist and prosper. -3
Visual Extras and SEO
52 JavaScript If used wisely, it will not hurt. But if your main content is displayed through JavaScript, this makes it more difficult for spiders to follow and if JavaScript code is a mess and spiders can’t follow it, this will definitely hurt your ratings. 0
53 Images in text Having a text-only site is so boring but having many images and no text is a SEO sin. Always provide in the <alt> tag a meaningful description of an image but don’t stuff it with keywords or irrelevant information. 0
54 Podcasts and videos Podcasts and videos are becoming more and more popular but as with all non-textual goodies, search engines can’t read them, so if you don’t have the tapescript of the podcast or the video, it is as if the podcast or movie is not there because it will not be indexed by search engines. 0
55 Images instead of text links Using images instead of text links is bad, especially when you don’t fill in the <alt> tag. But even if you fill in the <alt> tag, it is not the same as having a bold, underlined, 16-pt. link, so use images for navigation only if this is really vital for the graphic layout of your site. -1
56 Frames Frames are very, very bad for SEO. Avoid using them unless really necessary. -2
57 Flash Spiders don’t index the content of Flash movies, so if you use Flash on your site, don’t forget to give it an alternative textual description. -2
58 A Flash home page Fortunately this epidemic disease seems to have come to an end. Having a Flash home page (and sometimes whole sections of your site) and no HTML version, is a SEO suicide. -3
Domains, URLs, Web Mastery
59 Keyword-rich URLs and filenames A very important factor, especially for Yahoo! and Bing. +3
60 Site Accessibility Another fundamental issue, which that is often neglected. If the site (or separate pages) is unaccessible because of broken links, 404 errors, password-protected areas and other similar reasons, then the site simply can’t be indexed. +3
61 Sitemap It is great to have a complete and up-to-date sitemap, spiders love it, no matter if it is a plain old HTML sitemap or the special Google sitemap format. +2
62 Site size Spiders love large sites, so generally it is the bigger, the better. However, big sites become user-unfriendly and difficult to navigate, so sometimes it makes sense to separate a big site into a couple of smaller ones. On the other hand, there are hardly sites that are penalized because they are 10,000+ pages, so don’t split your size in pieces only because it is getting larger and larger. +2
63 Site age Similarly to wine, older sites are respected more. The idea is that an old, established site is more trustworthy (they have been around and are here to stay) than a new site that has just poped up and might soon disappear. +2
64 Site theme It is not only keywords in URLs and on page that matter. The site theme is even more important for good ranking because when the site fits into one theme, this boosts the rankings of all its pages that are related to this theme. +2
65 File Location on Site File location is important and files that are located in the root directory or near it tend to rank better than files that are buried 5 or more levels below. +1
66 Domains versus subdomains, separate domains Having a separate domain is better – i.e. instead of having, register a separate domain. +1
67 Top-level domains (TLDs) Not all TLDs are equal. There are TLDs that are better than others. For instance, the most popular TLD – .com – is much better than .ws, .biz, or .info domains but (all equal) nothing beats an old .edu or .org domain. +1
68 Hyphens in URLs Hyphens between the words in an URL increase readability and help with SEO rankings. This applies both to hyphens in domain names and in the rest of the URL. +1
69 URL length Generally doesn’t matter but if it is a very long URL-s, this starts to look spammy, so avoid having more than 10 words in the URL (3 or 4 for the domain name itself and 6 or 7 for the rest of address is acceptable). 0
70 IP address Could matter only for shared hosting or when a site is hosted with a free hosting provider, when the IP or the whole C-class of IP addresses is blacklisted due to spamming or other illegal practices. 0
71 Adsense will boost your ranking Adsense is not related in any way to SEO ranking. Google will definitely not give you a ranking bonus because of hosting Adsense ads. Adsense might boost your income but this has nothing to do with your search rankings. 0
72 Adwords will boost your ranking Similarly to Adsense, Adwords has nothing to do with your search rankings. Adwords will bring more traffic to your site but this will not affect your rankings in whatsoever way. 0
73 Hosting downtime Hosting downtime is directly related to accessibility because if a site is frequently down, it can’t be indexed. But in practice this is a factor only if your hosting provider is really unreliable and has less than 97-98% uptime. -1
74 Dynamic URLs Spiders prefer static URLs, though you will see many dynamic pages on top positions. Long dynamic URLs (over 100 characters) are really bad and in any case you’d better use a tool to rewrite dynamic URLs in something more human- and SEO-friendly. -1
75 Session IDs This is even worse than dynamic URLs. Don’t use session IDs for information that you’d like to be indexed by spiders. -2
76 Bans in robots.txt If indexing of a considerable portion of the site is banned, this is likely to affect the nonbanned part as well because spiders will come less frequently to a “noindex” site. -2
77 Redirects (301 and 302) When not applied properly, redirects can hurt a lot – the target page might not open, or worse – a redirect can be regarded as a black hat technique, when the visitor is immediately taken to a different page. -3

How to Grow website Traffic on Search Engine

The pages are perfectly optimized for search engines (SEO).  The interesting thing is many companies say they optimized their website, but only do a 50% or 75% optimization. Web designers may think they know everything there is, but may be overlooking key aspects of the keyword consistency. So, how does one come to discover that they don’t know everything?

The Some Steps are given below:

1a.  Keyword research!

Use Google Keyword Tool to discover the phrases that are the most popular, with competition that is the least optimized and least prominent (in terms of links) and use it consistently across your site.

We don’t want to (and can’t) compete with Wikipedia, so scratch that competitor off the list. Lets say a site farming project want to compete for ‘Portland Oregon cars’, but someone already has and their page looks optimized for SEO and is prominent- then choose a different phrase! The keyword tool will allow us to discover phrases people type in and how many estimated people search it per month. We could assume that if you rank #1, we’ll get at least 30% of the traffic Google estimates through its Keyword Tool. Go after the low hanging fruit, so choose a phrase that’s more specific, but as general as we can with virtually no competitors with optimized sites. Once we find this, get the EXACT domain matching the keyword phrase. Like or something. If the .com is taken, but they didn’t optimize their site, then just get another domain extension (.org .cc .net .biz .Co, etc.) and register it using hostpapaya. Then host it on a hostpapaya host that allows unlimited add-on domains, like web hosting pad or host monster. After we build and optimize our project site, we’ll likely be #1 soon after we complete the steps on this list. Simple as that. You’ll more than make up your investment of $8 domain fee + $72 hosting fee = $80/yr or $6.66/mo.

1b. SEO basics

Use site keyword phrase within:

  • Page title
  • Meta title
  • Meta keywords
  • Meta description
  • Header tags: <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4>
  • <Strong> tags and/or <b> tags
  • <EM> tags and/or <I> tags
  • Three times exact in the body copy, and more with broken variations of it.
  • At least once in a URL link <a href=”link”>keyword phrase</a>
  • Make a folder with the keyword phrase as its name; use hyphens – between multiple words.
  • Image ALT tags
  • Image filenames, e.g. Keyword-Phrase. JPG
  • Link ‘title’ text. title=’keyword’
  • Create multiple pages with similar variations of that keyword and interlink those pages with the link text being the exact keyword phrase of the page title, etc. Once you’re done with internal linking, link each page (treat each separately) from social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Digg,99factors and all other social bookmarking sites, with link text being the exact name of that page’s keyword phrase.

1c. Use a highly functioned cms blog as your website.  

A lot of the optimization is done by this, plus it ‘pings’ crawler websites and gets recognized more easily in blog searches. To quickly turn your WordPress blog into an SEO monster, follow these 10 essential steps for killer SEO in cms.

Steps for a Killer SEO in CMS- sample report 

Work doing structure in the ShuffleClick for automating deep processes for targeted segment of work.

  • Change Permalinks. In admin, click Settings > Permalinks, change Common settings to Custom Structure and type in the following. Also, change the tag and category names so it contains a keyword related to your content.
  • Activate Akismet (to block spam). In admin, go to Plugins and under Akismet in the middle of the screen, click Activate. Click the link ‘enter your Akismet API key’ and enter yours or click ‘get your key’ if you don’t have one.
  • Add URLs to ping, increasing your online exposure (don’t add too many, as pingomatic already distributes to multiple sites). In admin, go to Settings > Writing. At the bottom, where it says ‘Update Services’ remove what is there and paste in these URLs…
  • Install the ‘Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger’  Copy to the content > plugins folder via an FTP program such as FileZilla . Return to the admin and choose Plugins, locate your newly added plugin and activate it. Now, go to Settings > UP Smart Update Pinger and ensure ‘Enable pinging’ is checked, and you may adjust any other settings on this page. This plugin allows more accurate pinging when posting remotely and not to ping when editing.
  • Add SEO friendly code to the header. In Admin, go to Appearance > Editor > then on right side click to edit Header (header.php)
    Then find the following code approx 10 lines down from the top. This code does not yield good SEO, because it appends a pipe and the name of your blog to each title, making each page title less effective for SEO (I have no idea why they made that default). So…
  • Find this…
    * Print the <title> tag based on what is being viewed.
    global $page, $paged;
    // Add the blog name.
    //bloginfo( ‘name’ );
    // Add the blog description for the home/front page.
    $site_description = get_bloginfo( ‘description’, ‘display’ );
    if ( $site_description && ( is_home() || is_front_page() ) )
    echo ” | $site_description”;
    // Add a page number if necessary:
    if ( $paged >= 2 || $page >= 2 )
    echo ‘ | ‘ . sprintf( __( ‘Page %s’, ‘twentyten’ ), max( $paged, $page ) );

And replace with this…
global $page, $paged;
if ( is_home() ) { ?>
<?php } else if (is_category()) { echo single_cat_title(); } else { the_title(); }
// Add a page number if necessary:
if ( $paged >= 2 || $page >= 2 )
echo ‘ | ‘ . sprintf( __( ‘Page %s’, ‘twentyten’ ), max( $paged, $page ) );?></title>
<meta name=”title” content=”<?php if (is_home()) {bloginfo(‘name’) ;} else {wp_title(‘ ‘) ;}?>” />
<meta name=”description” content=”<?php if (is_home()) {bloginfo(‘name’) ;} else {wp_title(‘ ‘) ;}?>” />
<meta name=”keywords” content=”<?php if (is_home()) {bloginfo(‘name’) ;} else {wp_title(‘ ‘) ;}?>” />

  • NOTE: This WordPress theme changes the straight apostrophes to the smart apostrophes (that are curved). Unfortunately, you can’t literally copy and paste it, but need to first manually change all apostrophes in the code to the straight, dumb, normal ones. The easiest way to do this is to copy into Notepad++ and search/replace the curved apostrophes for regular ones.
  • Download FeedBurner plugin and FTP upload to your WordPress plugins folder. Activate, and enter your FeedBurner URL in the plugin under Settings > FeedBurner. If you don’t have a URL, go to Feedburner and make one.
  • Download Google XML Sitemaps plugin. Copy to plugins folder via FTP, then activate it, then under Settings, click XML-Sitemap, then click the top link ‘Click here’ to build it for the first time.
  • Add Google Analytics code to site. You don’t need a plugin for this simple task, unless you plan on switching themes often. To add the code, in the Admin, go Appearance > Editor, then choose Header.php on the right side. Scroll down and find the </head> tag about 1/3 down the page. Copy your Google Analytics code you got when registering with them and paste the code immediately before the </head> tag. Note, this is only for the latest Analytics code. If you are using the legacy code, then you want to put it in the footer above the </body> tag. For either case, click ‘Update File’ and you’re done. Wait a day, then check Google Analytics and you should see your data. If you have no visitors, you need to make sure your blog is indexed, then start driving traffic to your site. To see if Google has indexed your site, type your URL in Google’s search field.
  • Add your blog URL to Google Webmaster Tools. This will allow you to track the indexing frequency and # of indexed pages, and determine if your blog has any errors.
    10. Download and install Windows Live Writer for super-easy posting (and for multiple accounts). Then within that program, choose the menu item Blogs > Add Blog Account… then choose Other Blog Service. It will then configure the blog. You can drag and drop onto the writing area, including images, which you can tell it to automatically add a shadow or make rounded corners on, for instance. You can also adjust images’ brightness/contrast. See an example of a Free Images blog which uses Live Writer for its rounded images. If you don’t believe this tool is essential, just download and try it for a while.


11. Publish RSS feeds as a post. Install (for publishing [syndicating] RSS feeds from other sources into your content). Cms also has a built-in RSS widget you can drag (from Admin > Appearance > Widgets) to a sidebar, but it only gives a direct link, instead of actual posts, which feed cms can do. To mashup (mix together and filter) your RSS content sources, you can use Yahoo Pipes. See 10 steps to mashup RSS content with Yahoo Pipes.

12. Add easy quick-links to your post for adding it to Digg, Facebook, and other social media. AddThis. After each posting, add it to Digg and others- having links to your pages will do wonders for Google deciding whether to index them.

13. Add a CreativeCommons license. Did you know that Google’s advanced search engine will find sites with CreativeCommons licenses? Bloggers may search this to find content to syndicate. If you use links to your own site woven into your articles, you can benefit by having your links syndicated across multiple other websites. To add a Creative Common slicense, fill out the form and click Select a License. On the next page, copy the code, then return to your WordPress blog Admin area, and click Appearance > Widgets, then choose the Text widget and drag over to the right to your Primary Widget Area. Open the Text widget and paste in your code. I prefer removing all the text junk after the <br /> tag to make it look cleaner. Save. The CreativeCommons logo should now appear and Google and will recognize this site as having a shareable content.

14. Add a contact form- Fast Secure Form takes hardly any time to configure and uses Akismet for spam prevention.

15. Add a contact form plugin. Not all work, but this one does.

16. Change category name under Posts > Categories, so it contains a keyword related to your cont.

Website Farming Concept – Architectural Considerations for High Traffic Web Portals

Almost everyone today is aware of internet based companies such as Yahoo!, MSN and Google. These are sites concurrently handling several million visitors from across the globe every hour. Have you ever wondered about what goes into designing such high volume websites? This blog discusses the factors that need to be kept in mind while designing such portals.

There are several aspects to architecting high traffic web portals, which are expected to serve high concurrency with high availability and without degrading the performance. Apart from the architecture, other SDLC phases such as design, development and deployment also need special considerations. Since architecting the system is the very first step towards building the portal, this post will highlight some of the important architectural considerations.

To withstand the heavy traffic, the system should primarily be scalable, be highly available and should be able to intelligently delegate/distribute the traffic to improve the overall performance. Each of these aspects is discussed in turn below.


Scalability is about concurrency and expandability. In the current context, it is related more to servers which are serving the application. Higher the capacity of the server, more the traffic it can serve. There are two types of scaling with their own pros and cons and it is a judgmental decision to choose which one (or even both, in combination) to go for depending on the expected traffic.

Vertical Scaling vs. Horizontal Scaling

Vertical Scaling: Also known as scaling up. This means adding more hardware resources in terms of number of processors, memory etc. To the existing server to cope up with increasing traffic. The ease of implementation of this method also comes with some disadvantages, such as:

  1. Continuous upgrading of server is expensive.
  2. There is always a limit for a given server to upgrade to.
  3. If the server crashes, the application is not available.

Horizontal Scaling: Also known as scaling out. In this approach, instead of adding hardware resources to the existing server, extra server machines (maybe with comparatively lower capacity) are added to the pool. All the servers serve the same application. This is a cheaper approach since individual servers need not have very high end configuration. Additionally, even if one server crashes, the others in the cluster will still continue to serve the application. The only drawback is that it requires more administrative efforts in terms of configuring and monitoring the cluster.

High Availability Backup Server

In this configuration, two servers are deployed for the same application. The primary server serves the application and the second server acts as a backup for the primary. If the primary server goes down for some reason, the backup server takes care of the user requests. There are two configurations possible with this:

Active-Standby: where the standby server is passive while the primary server is active. In case the primary server goes down, the current user sessions are not maintained when the backup server takes over.

Active-Active: In this case, the user sessions are maintained and are continued to be served by the backup server when the primary goes down.


For very high traffic, the clustered approach (Horizontal Scaling), which ensures high availability of the application, is effective. With the clustered environment, the user gets a seamless experience. This kind of environment can be configured to maintain the user’s web sessions in case any of the servers go down. Most of today’s application servers provide clustering as an inbuilt feature. Using proper load balancing mechanisms in place, one can have different servers of different capacity in the same cluster.


Performance refers to how efficiently a site responds to browser requests according to predefined benchmarks. The application performance can be designed, tuned, and measured. As said earlier, it can also be affected by many complex factors, including application design and construction, database connectivity, network capacity and bandwidth, back office services (such as mail, proxy, and security services), and hardware server resources. In the scope of this post, below are some of the considerations for performance while architecting the system.

Load Balancers

In a clustered environment, it may be possible that all the servers are not of the same capacity in terms of CPU, RAM, etc. Software load balancers are available which can enforce a policy on the site while distributing the load across the servers. The simplest policy could be of a “round robin” type where requests are passed sequentially to all servers, thus utilizing cycles of each server in the cluster. Some of these tools also allow configuring the rules for individual servers on the basis of its CPU capacity, RAM or current load on the server. For example, servers having low capacity would serve comparatively lesser number of requests to maintain the performance benchmarks.

Delegating the Traffic

While loading any web page, a browser sends several HTTP requests to the server to download associated content such as images, CSS and JavaScript files, video files etc., which are required to be rendered on the page. It is possible to distribute the implicit requests for this content across different servers to allow the main application server to serve the dynamic contents of the main page. Several techniques can be adopted to achieve this, as discussed next.

Proxy Web Server

This is a commonly used technique where the web server acts as a proxy to the application server. All the static content (such as images, CSS, JavaScript and video files) used by the site is deployed and served by the web server. Only relevant requests are forwarded to the application server, which reduces the direct load on the application server. These web servers can also form a cluster in front of the application server cluster.

Use of CDN

A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a system of computers placed at various geographical locations in a network so as to maximize bandwidth for access to the data from clients throughout the network. All the servers in the network deploy and serve the same content. A client accesses a copy of the data nearest to it, as opposed to all clients accessing the same central server, so as to avoid a bottleneck near that server. These systems implement routing algorithms such that the nearest server serves the request for the fastest delivery.

Various vendors in the market provide this service with a high quality, low cost and low network load. A CDN can offer 100% availability, even with large power, network or hardware outages.

Third Party Storage Services

This approach refers to using third party services to store the data on their servers. These services help in reducing the initial investments in infrastructure. The storage space can be bought on demand. Generally, these services are used to store contents uploaded by users.

There are services such as Amazon S3 which provide online storage through a simple web services interface at a very nominal cost to store and retrieve the contents.

Although this approach is generally useful in reducing the hardware cost, it can also help in performance improvements in this context. Since the contents are stored on third party servers and are also available as URI, the overall load on the main server is reduced to some extent.


In summary, some of the important architectural considerations for designing high traffic web sites and portals have been discussed in this blog. There are also several other factors at different phases of the design, which need to be considered to achieve good concurrency and performance.