All right, another update:
I thought I was pretty much done with all the search engine optimization on car-wallpapers.net, however on my religious daily reading of Matt Cutt's blog
, I had a realization hit me like a brick. Meta tags! While the indexable content of the site was diversified and dynamic to provide a nice sized landing spot, the title, meta-description, and meta-keywords were all static! There was a single php template file I was referencing for the header of every page in the site, and that header template file had those tags hardcoded. Oh no, this will not do... I dug in to the code again. Now when you view the browse page (by category, tags, or tag-filter) or view wallpaper page, it adjusts the title of the page for accurate readings on the SERPs (ie, instead of the fluff promoting the site, it shows the description of the browse page related to their search query). It also adjusts the description based on the page you're viewing (also for SERP [search engine result page] output purposes), and the meta keywords are dynamically adjusted to mix the generic wallpaper-oriented keywords with content-related keywords based on the individual wallpaper or category being viewed. On the view wallpaper page, I even went as far as rewriting the flow of the page to add all the tags attached to the image in the meta-keywords. This way if a search engine crawler reads the page, in addition to reading the keyword landing content
at the bottom of the page, it is further emphasized by the meta tags supporting it. Hopefully this will raise our returns in the SERPs for very specific wallpaper searches, such as "e34 wallpapers", rather than just the generic "BMW wallpapers" search. Also, Google is more likely to assign pagerank to inside pages that are not a clone of the homepage's meta information.
Also, while I was working on the meta tweaks, I realized that search engines (Google especially) place a pretty high importance on the alt tags of images. Then I realized that on the view wallpaper page, the only place the tags are visible in the indexable content are as the anchor text from the tag links. This means when you view an e34 BMW wallpaper, the text "e34" does not appear anywhere as plaintext on the entire page, and anchor text is not weighted very heavily for a page's own content, as it's more accurately describing the content of the page it's linking to. Based on these two facts, I went in and added an ALT tag to the large thumbnail on the view wallpapers page that describes the category the wallpaper is in (such as BMW), as well as all tags attached to it (such as e34). While this still isn't plaintext, it's solving the missing-alt-tag problem, as well as adding more dynamic content to each view page. If I added the link list in plaintext on that page, it'd begin to detract from the usability and friendliness of the page. There has to be links to each tag page, and rather than duplicating the entire list, it's better design practice (and more focused toward the users) to only have the link list. While the ALT tag isn't as effective as plaintext, it's definitely a step in the right direction and in this situation the best of all possible worlds
That's the technical / geeky side of car-wallpapers.net. Now what you guys are probably more interested in, widescreen support. I've done a bit of research on different resolutions and aspect ratios of widescreen monitors, and decided the best move forward is going to be redesigning the auto-resizing engine of the site based around aspect ratios, rather than hardcoded sizes. I also realized (in math and theory first, but then looked and saw in practicality) 1280x1024 is a different aspect ration than the standard 4:3 resolutions (such as 1024x768), and as such, most 1280x1024 images are stretched and distorted. 1280x1024 is unique as XSGA, and while it's the default size for many LCDs, it breaks the rules of standard aspect ratio practices. I'm probably going to have to keep it in the 4:3 ratio bank and deal with the distortions unless someone has a better suggestion. Anyway, my plan for revising the uploads auto-resizing system is to, rather than create a static set of accepted resolutions, create a static set of accepted ratios, then check the uploaded image's ratio against that static list, and confirm it's larger than 800x600 overall. At that point, the system will automatically flag it as widescreen (if it is) on the view page, and automatically generate new wallpapers on a simple algorithmic step down, continuing recursively until breaking when the size drops below 800x600. This would allow you to upload a 1600x1200 and generate all the standard 4:3 background images, as well as uploading a 1920x1200 and stepping all the way down the widescreen list. When it's rewritten, it will probably only support 3:2 (only because Apple went and changed things with Powerbooks), 4:3, 16:9, and 16:10. I was considering adding support for HDTVs and projectors (for the higher-income geeks), however I think that would be in vein, and add more junk to the galleries than anything else. I'm going to do a bit more research on this over the next week and ensure I'm not missing something so I can develop it correctly the first (or second, if your a pessimist) time. I'd appreciate any suggestions, comments, or ideas on this. Thanks!