Search Engine Optimization

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Transcript Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization
Google this…
 In
real estate, the key is location, location,
 In the web-space, the key is content, content,
What is a Search Engine?
Software that lets users search the Internet using keywords.
What is Search?
 Query
Where you type your keywords
4-6 keywords now the norm instead of 1-2
Search Results are listed on the left-hand side of the
Paid Ad Results are listed on the right-hand side of
the page
Major Search Engines
 Google
feeds AOL, Netscape, Earthlink & others
 Yahoo
owns Overture, AltaVista, AlltheWeb,
FAST & others
 Google,
Yahoo & MSN results account for 8090% of all search traffic (rough estimate)
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Search Engine Relationship Chart
Anatomy of a Search Result
Search box
Sponsored Listings
aka PPC
“Organic” Results
aka SERPs
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Google Search Results
Yahoo Search Results
MSN Search Results
Who are the players
 Market
Share according to
Google reached 52% in June of US
Yahoo reached 25%
MSN reached 10%
Everyone else 13%
• Ask Jeeves
• Dogpile
• AOL et al
Share of Searches: July 2006
A Search Engine’s Goals & Objectives
 Accumulate
large index (database) of web
documents to search
 Provide
highly-relevant results to users (better
than competitors)
 Generate
revenue via paid advertising and
related business ventures that typically leverage
large amount of traffic
How Do Search Engines Work?
Spider “crawls” the web to find new documents (web pages, other
documents) typically by following hyperlinks from websites already
in the database
Search engine indexes the content (text, code) in these documents
by adding it to their huge databases and periodically updates this
Search engine searches its own database when user enters in a
search to find related documents (not searching web pages in realtime)
Search engine ranks resulting documents using an algorithm
(mathematical formula) that assigns various weights to various
ranking factors
What is a Algorithm?
 A set
of rules that a search engine uses to rank
the listings contained within its index, in
response to a search.
 Uses an algorithm to identify preferred links
 Algorithms may involve
Usage of keywords
“Popularity” (number of links pointing inward)
Other criteria—often proprietary
So What is the Algorithm?
Top Secret! Only select employees of the actual search
engines know for certain
Reverse engineering, research and experiments gives
SEOs (search engine optimization professionals) a
“pretty good” idea of major factors and approximate
weight assignments
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So What is the Algorithm?
Constantly changing, tweaking, updating is done to the
Websites and documents being searched are also
constantly changing
Varies by Search Engine – some give more weight to onpage factors, some to link popularity
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What a Search Engine Sees
 View
> Source (HTML code)
(HTML text, no images and little formatting)
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What is Search Engine Optimization?
 The
act of designing (or re-designing) your site
to be more search engine friendly.
Why Search Engine Optimization?
 85%
of all traffic on the internet is referred from
a search engine
 90%
of all users don’t look past the first 30
results (most only view top 10)
 Many
websites aren’t even indexed, most are
poorly optimized and get very little traffic from
the search engines
Basic Search Engine Optimization
Create usable, readable pages for people
because search engine algorithms calculate
relevance from a human perspective.
Ensure navigation allows crawlers to reach all
parts of your site.
Include title, description, and keywords meta
tags in the HTML header.
Use keywords in meaningful headings.
Use keywords at the beginning of the page in
Use keywords in the URL or filename, and don’t
change either unnecessarily.
Basic Search Engine Optimization
Create alt tags for graphics containing
Don’t try to spam a search engine by overuse or
hidden use of keywords.
Validate all HTML to ensure it can be ‘seen’ by
the search engine.
Use robots.txt and robots meta tags to keep
search engines from indexing what they
Avoid using frames.
Avoid putting content and links within script
Ranking Factors
 On-Page Factors (Code & Content)
• Title tags <title>
• Header tags <h1>
• ALT image tags
• Content, Content, Content (Body text) <body>
• Hyperlink text
• Keyword frequency & density
 Off-Page Factors
• Link Popularity (“votes” for your site) – adds credibility
• Anchor text
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Meta Tags
 Self-describing
text at the beginning of a web
page that is not visible to the user but can be
read by the search engine
 Appear
not to be significant for most search
engines today
Search Engine Optimization: Text
 Credible
repetition of key words
Frequently greater credit for
• Bolded words
• Words early in the document
 Identification
of desirable key words
Analysis of competing sites
Customer interviews
 Misspellings
Anti-Spam Detection Algorithms
 Excessive
repetition of key words in meta tags
 Use of “redirection”
 Use of “hidden text”
 Excessive use of keywords or bolding may be
Search Engine Optimization: Reciprocal
 Linking
from highly rated web sites greatly
increases the ranking of a site
 Linking from low rated sites does not appear to
help much
 The weight of a link may be determined by the
number of links at that page—one link among
many is worth less
 Linking to “spamming” sites may be penalized
Visibility (link popularity)
 Some
search engines rank your site higher if
many other sites link to yours
 Your goal is to get as many sites as possible to
link to you
 Make a list of every Web site that’s in your
space but not a direct competitor
 Find their email address and write a brief,
friendly letter suggesting a link exchange
 Get your partners, vendors, friends and relatives
to link to your site
 Submit those pages that link to you to Google
Search Engine Optimization: Other
 Domain
If the domain name features the keyword, more
weight is given
Google considers the underscore a space—e.g., .
 Listing
in the Open Directory Project
( .
Use Robots.txt Files Wisely
 Create
and maintain a robots.txt
 Robots.txt Tutorial,
Let Spiders In
Have HTML links on your home page for each major
page within your site
 Most SE’s, like Google, cannot follow image map links
 Search engines can follow <a href> JavaScript mouseover links,
but not all
Have a site map that contains links to all of your pages;
link with <a href> link from home page
Search engines follow links to more resources - so make
sure you do not have broken links
Using your keywords:
html title
The html title of the page is what you see at the top of your
browser when you are on that page.
It’s what displays as the link for your listing on a search
Keep it under 75 characters.
Make each title relevant to the page it’s on.
Spend the most time writing the title for your home page.
Write a title for the starting page of each major section of
your site.
For all other pages, either use the same title as the major
section, or use breadcrumbs.
Using your keywords:
meta description
 The
meta description tag describes in a little
more detail what’s on your page
 It’s what displays below the title in your search
engine listing
 Keep it under 150 characters to be sure it
doesn’t get cut off
 Make each description relevant to the page it’s
 Try to entice potential visitors with clever copy,
so they’ll click
Using your keywords:
meta description
 It’s
not really about ranking, it’s about describing
your page to potential visitors
 Not all search engines use it, but if they do, it’s
what shows up on the search results page below
the title of the page
Using your keywords:
meta keywords
 The
meta keywords tag can be the same for all
the pages on your site
 Not all search engines use this tag when
ranking sites – but it can’t hurt to include it
 Use a list of words and phrases with no
commas in between (search engine spiders
are programmed to read only a certain number
of characters in the keyword tag if they read it
at all – commas just take up space)
Using your keywords:
ALT tags
 every
image on your Web site should have a
carefully written ALT tag
 the ALT text is what visitors see if they move
their mouse over an image
Using your keywords:
file names
don’t use abbrv.
Using your keywords:
on your home page!
Work your keywords into the copy of your home page
(and on other pages, if you can) as many times as you
can without making it sound ridiculous.
This may seem obvious but it ain’t necessarily so.
Focusing on your keywords when writing the copy for
your pages also helps reduce jargon.
an example…
Create Quality Page Content
Relevant, authoritative content
Current content - will be visited more often by crawlers
Create keyword rich titles, descriptions, <H1>
Best to have at least 200 words of visible text
Mark content through use of metatags, RDF, and XML
to allow search tools to understand the context,
meaning, and relationship of words
Create content people want (and that other sites like
yours will link to)
What NOT to do
Don’t load your meta tags with irrelevant keywords just
because they get searched for a lot (like “sex”).
Don’t repeat your keywords several times in a row.
Don’t hide text on your pages by making it the same
colour as the background.
Don’t use a string of keywords for the title of your page.
Don’t submit exact copies of pages with different file
Don’t use re-directs or other technology that will confuse
the search engine’s spider
Get Listed in the Directories
Get Listed in DMOZ, the Open Directory
How to add a site to the Open Directory
Get Listed in the Yahoo Directory ; How To Suggest Your Site on Yahoo
Submitting your site to Google
(this is the easy part)
Go to
Open a second browser window and go to your home
Highlight the URL of your home page, press CTRL/C,
then go to Google’s submission page and paste in your
If your site is small enough, submit all your pages this
way. If your site is large, submit the first pages of the
main sections of your site — the pages with titles and
(this is also the hard part)
it can take from two weeks to four months for your site to
be included in the database
it can take weeks after that before you see your site
appear in the search results
every time the database is re-indexed, your ranking will
re-submit every month and monitor your results
Design Issues
 Search
engines prefer big, dumb ugly pages
 Design
issues that can impact ranking (or just
indexing) especially include
 Splash pages, frames & dynamic delivery…
 Consider
these issues when building a site,
though don’t change everything just for search
There’s No Magic Formula
 Do
not agonise over SEO issues
 Design
it right – users and search engines
 Engines
always one step ahead of the “tricks”
 Don’t
design for search engines
 Design for your audience
 Know your message / know your keywords
 Change your content often
 Quality is most important