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as written in the title the website on which I try to do Search Engine Optimization has following two properties:

  • doesn't have any content in the SEO sense: it doesn't hold any information and only offers functionality
  • consists of only one page/URL

since most of the SEO tips/tricks I read are based on content how do I perform SEO optimization on such a website?

for more info: the website is basically just a timer/alarm/stopwatch (http://www.timer-tab.com)

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please don't cross-post questions to multiple Stack Exchange sites -- pick one and stick with it, unless you don't get any answers... –  Jeff Atwood Sep 12 '11 at 10:21
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I am not sure what your goal is but it sounds like you want to game the search engines and I think that is a waste of time. Sure it might work for a while but Google made 500+ algorithm updates in 2011.

If you have something that actually offers value to people then make it available/visible. Tell people about it, make it easy for them to bookmark and share, make connections in the world (even if just contacting site administrators and telling them who you are and what your site does). List your site in the Open Directory Project, etc.

Out of curiosity, I looked at www.brillout.com which led me to www.timer-tab.com. I can tell you that having your < h1 > set to display:none is a no-no (you have hidden text for the purpose of manipulating search engines...on both sites).

You also have the title set to a dynamic countdown so how can a search engine index that?...and what would it index you as?

I don't know if the mixing of microformat markup into the metatags would be problematic or not but I would look into it...

And then an iframe also set to 'display:none.'

Truth be told, I couldn't code a site this dynamic, maybe the things that are hidden are made visible under certain conditions but remember search engines often (more or less) crawl the static site and yours (if it is this app) is a bit thin.

As others have touched on, use the title and description tags judiciously and don't be deceptive, trying to show one thing to search engines and another to users.

I just came back to this question and had a couple more thoughts and feedback.

First, I think you made a slight error in the initial schema.org markup. Your html element currently says:

< ... itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/CreativeWork/WebApp/Utility/Timer">

I thought it looked overly specific and what I think you meant is this:

< ... itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/WebApplication">

Right now you are using fictitious microformat markup.

Instead of having this:

<title>Timer Tab</title>
...
<h1 style='display:none'>Online Web App for Timer Countdown, Alarm Clock, and Stopwatch.</h1>

I think you'd do much better with something like this:

<title>Timer Tab | Online Web App for Timer Countdown, Alarm Clock, and Stopwatch.</title>

And for that matter I'd get cut down on 'stopwords' and maybe add something people are likely to search for, like 'free.'

<title>Timer Tab | Free Online Web App: Timer Countdown, Alarm Clock &amp; Stopwatch</title>
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The only real & long term way to promote your page is to get inbound links (other websites linking to you) with good anchor text.

For a clear example of this, search for "click here" on Google.

There are so many links with the text "Click here" pointing to the Adobe page, that it doesn't matter that the term "Click Here" is not in the page. It's still no. 1 in the SERPs.

All the <title>, <h1> tags are nice, but won't do the trick unless they are very uncommon keywords. :)

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something i would consider is making a small embeddable widget, that someone can place on their site at the bottom of the widget say "stopwatch by brillout.com" or any other keyword that you want to optimise for and have that as a link pointing back to you, this will allow you to have a backlink back to your site.

Its half as effective as it used to be because google has now cottoned on to links like this, but it still holds some value.

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@John his main issue isn't lack of interlinked pages. It will be lack of external incoming links which have more weight than internal links. It's not a theory but if he had 100,000 quality links for a keyword he'd probably rank well for that keyword regardless of copy on the page. That's why Adobe ranks high for the phrase "click here" and the page ranking for that term doesn't even contain it.

So your best bet for SEO to rank high is get a lot of relevant authoritive one way links back to your site. Feel free to also link to maybe one very authoritive site from your single app page.

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Although all this recommendations might improve your overall presentation and score more points. But in the light of the new changes at google centered on authenticity and the fact that you might run against people that might have this content added you may not increase so much.

Its a question of arithmetic that they will score better, if you do all the things other than content right you can get 100% from say 15%, but someone that gets 40% from say 85% representing content might get better.

So you might consider adding also content, I see no reason why you should not add a content but visually secondary to your functionality, you can easily add a description, a story and a history. If this is well presented could enhance also the overall experience of your page.

Of course all the advice above are useful (some as how-to other as how-no-to["content-cloaking"]).

Looking at the actual page, is very smooth and although it may seem that adding content might ruin it that, it seem to me that white space is too much and can be filled with content, and you ca also make it move to other free white spaces when the dark-grey moves accordingly with the selected option.

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There's no other choice than to get your name out there! You need inbound links to your site, try to reach out to bloggers to talk about your site, start your own blog and talk and link to it.

Get on social medias: Facebook Pages, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Remember to fill out information about your web site.

Search for your keywords and check the results for potential sites where you could ask to get a link back to your site. Find forums where you can get involved in communities that would be interested in your website.

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Make sure to put emphasis on perfecting your <title>, <meta>, and <h1> tags. Thats about all you can do on-site. You might also want to look into Dublin Core and Open Graph tags to give search engine's some more context.

If you want more gritty details, there are sites available that will generate complete reports for you (WooRank comes to mind).

Other than that, you want to do high-quality backlinking offsite. Try getting high PageRank links from reputable sites and blogs. A simple Google search will show you the plethora of services that will do this for you.

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The simplest way to accomplish your task is to:

These steps give you content, internal and external links pointing to your single-page webapp.

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I think what you are looking for is called " content cloaking".

Cloaking is a search engine optimization (SEO) technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user's browser. Here are some useful links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloaking

This is some information about content cloaking from Google:

http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66355

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"Cloaking" is considered black hat and could get your site penalised in the SERPs. –  w3d Nov 7 '12 at 8:33
    
You are thinking wrong... read carefully the question –  Tom Sarduy Nov 7 '12 at 8:35
    
+1 for presenting a true well known black hat technique in an absolutely stoic manner with the intention to help - and even link to an official google page that states that this violates their terms. Sensational! –  initall Nov 7 '12 at 12:04
    
Worst advice ever. You should never be cloaking. –  foamcow Nov 7 '12 at 12:43
    
lol, sorry about this I totally missunderstood your request, I was thinking that you asked how can you present different content for users and google bot. My point was to illustrate that is a black-hat method and you shouldn't use this. –  Alecs Nov 8 '12 at 13:42
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The usual rules of SEO apply to one page sites as multi-page sites since SEO is mostly per page as opposed to per site. This includes a proper <title> tag, <h1> tag, etc.

What your main issue is going to be is a lack of interlinked pages. Internal links are very valuable stuff and often overlooked in SEO. But they do transfer PageRank (for Google) and their anchor text is an SEO factor. Without those internal links you are handicapped against multi-page sites.

But it can be overcome. If your timer is very good you should be able to get quality external links to your page which will definitely help your SEO efforts.

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