SEO Strategies by Thirdparty Labs and Shovemedia

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Presentation on SEO strategies by Thirdparty Labs and Shovemedia for the NCSU Web Developer Group. April 22, 2009

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  • Key influencers wont’s share links to shabby looking sites.


  • Full article also provides great tips on positioning of hanging bullets & quotation marks,
  • Full article also provides great tips on positioning of hanging bullets & quotation marks,
  • Full article also provides great tips on positioning of hanging bullets & quotation marks,
  • Full article also provides great tips on positioning of hanging bullets & quotation marks,
  • Full article also provides great tips on positioning of hanging bullets & quotation marks,




















  • Questions from Mike Vysocka on the Ning Site:
    1. I pay quite a bit of attention to h1..h6 tags within my pages, I'm wondering (aside from accessibility) does it make a difference bots? - Yes, the bots give weight to H1-H3, not much if any to H4-H6
    2. Should news be listed as -h2- News -h2- with all of the headlines that follow as -h3- tags or should it be an unordered list? Is there an advantage to either? - lists are good for accessibility, but carry little or no SE weight. H3 is superior to LI.






  • We work with designers who create very complex layouts. Advanced CSS-fu is needed to implement them without compromising on accessibility or SEO.
  • We work with designers who create very complex layouts. Advanced CSS-fu is needed to implement them without compromising on accessibility or SEO.
  • We work with designers who create very complex layouts. Advanced CSS-fu is needed to implement them without compromising on accessibility or SEO.
  • RSS: Key influencers use RSS to keep track of many sites, once you’ve attracted them, don’t expect them to return to your site often
    Embed-able: Encourage viral propagation of your content
    Free PDFs: Content creators are more likely to reference your content
  • RSS: Key influencers use RSS to keep track of many sites, once you’ve attracted them, don’t expect them to return to your site often
    Embed-able: Encourage viral propagation of your content
    Free PDFs: Content creators are more likely to reference your content
  • RSS: Key influencers use RSS to keep track of many sites, once you’ve attracted them, don’t expect them to return to your site often
    Embed-able: Encourage viral propagation of your content
    Free PDFs: Content creators are more likely to reference your content
  • RSS: Key influencers use RSS to keep track of many sites, once you’ve attracted them, don’t expect them to return to your site often
    Embed-able: Encourage viral propagation of your content
    Free PDFs: Content creators are more likely to reference your content
  • sIFR is also represented in the downloadable demo from the previous slide
  • sIFR is also represented in the downloadable demo from the previous slide
  • sIFR is also represented in the downloadable demo from the previous slide








  • Avoid duplicate content issues arising from multiple domains resolving to the same site.
    More common problem: multiple subdomains.
  • Avoid duplicate content issues arising from multiple domains resolving to the same site.
    More common problem: multiple subdomains.
  • MYTH: Google cannot index pages with query paramsFACT: Google *does* spider pages with params, but query params *can* lead to SEO problems. More importantly, keywords in a URL carry SE ranking weight
  • MYTH: Google cannot index pages with query paramsFACT: Google *does* spider pages with params, but query params *can* lead to SEO problems. More importantly, keywords in a URL carry SE ranking weight
  • MYTH: Google cannot index pages with query paramsFACT: Google *does* spider pages with params, but query params *can* lead to SEO problems. More importantly, keywords in a URL carry SE ranking weight
  • MYTH: Google cannot index pages with query paramsFACT: Google *does* spider pages with params, but query params *can* lead to SEO problems. More importantly, keywords in a URL carry SE ranking weight
  • While spiders can index URLs with query params, no weight is given to query params. However, weight is given to semantic URLs. Also, semantic URLs are more likely to be passed around.
  • While spiders can index URLs with query params, no weight is given to query params. However, weight is given to semantic URLs. Also, semantic URLs are more likely to be passed around.
  • While spiders can index URLs with query params, no weight is given to query params. However, weight is given to semantic URLs. Also, semantic URLs are more likely to be passed around.
  • While spiders can index URLs with query params, no weight is given to query params. However, weight is given to semantic URLs. Also, semantic URLs are more likely to be passed around.
  • Optimizer: Measure the conversion stats from multiple variations of a page
    Sitemap file is benificial for 3 reasons:
    1. Specify which sections are most important to the content owners
    2. Tell Google how often sections change for efficiant spidering
    3. Tell Google where hard to reach pages reside
  • Optimizer: Measure the conversion stats from multiple variations of a page
    Sitemap file is benificial for 3 reasons:
    1. Specify which sections are most important to the content owners
    2. Tell Google how often sections change for efficiant spidering
    3. Tell Google where hard to reach pages reside
  • Optimizer: Measure the conversion stats from multiple variations of a page
    Sitemap file is benificial for 3 reasons:
    1. Specify which sections are most important to the content owners
    2. Tell Google how often sections change for efficiant spidering
    3. Tell Google where hard to reach pages reside






  • If your content is remarkable, visitors *want* to tell people about it. Make it easy for them!
  • If your content is remarkable, visitors *want* to tell people about it. Make it easy for them!






























  • Check out idek.net for URL shortening
  • Check out idek.net for URL shortening
  • Check out idek.net for URL shortening
















  • SEO Strategies by Thirdparty Labs and Shovemedia

    1. 1. Search Engine Optimization Rob Ruchte & Jon Williams April 22, 2009
    2. 2. Why should we trust your information about SEO? -Jonathan Champ
    3. 3. Why should we trust your information about SEO? -Jonathan Champ We’re not SEO salesmen - we’re developers
    4. 4. Why should we trust your information about SEO? -Jonathan Champ We’re not SEO salesmen - we’re developers What makes you an expert?
    5. 5. Why should we trust your information about SEO? -Jonathan Champ We’re not SEO salesmen - we’re developers What makes you an expert? We’ve been building sites since BG (Before Google), have witnessed the evolution of SE technology
    6. 6. Why should we trust your information about SEO? -Jonathan Champ We’re not SEO salesmen - we’re developers What makes you an expert? We’ve been building sites since BG (Before Google), have witnessed the evolution of SE technology We work for ad agencies who promise their clients big SE results - we have to deliver.
    7. 7. Why should we trust your information about SEO? -Jonathan Champ We’re not SEO salesmen - we’re developers What makes you an expert? We’ve been building sites since BG (Before Google), have witnessed the evolution of SE technology We work for ad agencies who promise their clients big SE results - we have to deliver. For which keywords do you rank well?
    8. 8. How does Google’s PageRank work? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank
    9. 9. Strategic Outline
    10. 10. Strategic Outline (Text) Content Tactics
    11. 11. Strategic Outline (Text) Content Tactics (Graphic) Design Tactics
    12. 12. Strategic Outline (Text) Content Tactics (Graphic) Design Tactics Technology Tactics
    13. 13. Strategic Outline (Text) Content Tactics (Graphic) Design Tactics Technology Tactics Social Tactics
    14. 14. Content: King is, was, and will always be.
    15. 15. Content: King is, was, and will always be. Secret sauce = snake oil
    16. 16. Content: King is, was, and will always be. Secret sauce = snake oil Spend 80% of your efforts developing great content.
    17. 17. Content: King is, was, and will always be. Secret sauce = snake oil Spend 80% of your efforts developing great content. Keyword refinement & SEM comes last. (20%)
    18. 18. Content: Be Remark-able! Be Remarkable. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/ seth_godin_on_sliced_bread.html
    19. 19. Content
    20. 20. Content Safe = Boring = Death
    21. 21. Content Safe = Boring = Death As fresh as possible, as often as possible.
    22. 22. Content: Semantics
    23. 23. Content: Semantics Sprinkle keywords (lightly!) across hierarchy of semantic tags. <TITLE> <H1>, <H2>, <H3>, etc <strong>, <emphasis> <img alt=”Image Description” /> <meta> (deprecated?) Yahoo still considers keywords
    24. 24. Content: Keywords
    25. 25. Content: Keywords Work your target keywords and keyword phrases into header, link, and paragraph content.
    26. 26. Content: Keywords Work your target keywords and keyword phrases into header, link, and paragraph content. Use synonyms: http://thesaurus.com
    27. 27. Content: K.I.S.S.
    28. 28. Content: K.I.S.S. Quality over Quantity
    29. 29. Content: K.I.S.S. Quality over Quantity Web users favor scanning over reading. Keep it short and specific.
    30. 30. Content: K.I.S.S. Quality over Quantity Web users favor scanning over reading. Keep it short and specific. Google favors pages with high (relevant) keyword density.
    31. 31. Content: K.I.S.S. Quality over Quantity Web users favor scanning over reading. Keep it short and specific. Google favors pages with high (relevant) keyword density. Break longer pages into parts.
    32. 32. Content: Generic vs Specific
    33. 33. Content: Generic vs Specific Both! Create a content hierarchy
    34. 34. Content: Generic vs Specific Both! Create a content hierarchy From more generic to more specific.
    35. 35. Content: Generic vs Specific Both! Create a content hierarchy From more generic to more specific. Allow users to read (and link to) the appropriate level of detail.
    36. 36. Content: Generic vs Specific Both! Create a content hierarchy From more generic to more specific. Allow users to read (and link to) the appropriate level of detail. For example: http://www.instructables.com/
    37. 37. Content: ISO Perfection In Search Of Perfection http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/ malcolm_gladwell_on_spaghetti_sauce.html
    38. 38. Content There is no perfect page. There are only perfect pages.
    39. 39. Content: Outgoing Links
    40. 40. Content: Outgoing Links Your outgoing links help search engines place you in the right “neighborhood.”
    41. 41. Content: Outgoing Links Your outgoing links help search engines place you in the right “neighborhood.” Pick a neighborhood with high PageRank.
    42. 42. Content: Outgoing Links Your outgoing links help search engines place you in the right “neighborhood.” Pick a neighborhood with high PageRank. Misconceptions
    43. 43. Content: Outgoing Links Your outgoing links help search engines place you in the right “neighborhood.” Pick a neighborhood with high PageRank. Misconceptions PageRank dilution
    44. 44. Design Before you’ve read a single word, you’ve already formed an opinion about a site’s quality based purely on an emotional response to the design. So do visitors to your site. Don’t give them an excuse not to link to you.
    45. 45. Design: Typography
    46. 46. Design: Typography Typography for Dummies: http://www.markboulton.co.uk/journal/comments/ five_simple_steps_to_better_typography/
    47. 47. Design: Typography
    48. 48. Design: Typography No more than 2 - 3 alphabets per line in length. (~80 characters)
    49. 49. Design: Typography No more than 2 - 3 alphabets per line in length. (~80 characters) Leading wider than word spacing
    50. 50. Design: Typography No more than 2 - 3 alphabets per line in length. (~80 characters) Leading wider than word spacing White text on black?
    51. 51. Design: Typography No more than 2 - 3 alphabets per line in length. (~80 characters) Leading wider than word spacing White text on black? Increase the leading & tracking
    52. 52. Design: Typography No more than 2 - 3 alphabets per line in length. (~80 characters) Leading wider than word spacing White text on black? Increase the leading & tracking Decrease your font-weight.
    53. 53. Design: Typography
    54. 54. Design: Typography size relationships between body copy, headers, subheaders, etc. For example:
    55. 55. Design: Typography size relationships between body copy, headers, subheaders, etc. For example: <H1> 24px, <H2> 18px, <H3> 16px, <H4> 13px, <body> 11px
    56. 56. Design: Typography size relationships between body copy, headers, subheaders, etc. For example: <H1> 24px, <H2> 18px, <H3> 16px, <H4> 13px, <body> 11px weight relationships - For example: primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, QUINTARY
    57. 57. Design: Whitespace
    58. 58. Design: Whitespace http://www.alistapart.com/articles/whitespace
    59. 59. Design: Whitespace http://www.alistapart.com/articles/whitespace Striking a balance between the page’s whitespace and areas of high detail allow you to guide the eye from element to element in a predictable way.
    60. 60. Design: Whitespace http://www.alistapart.com/articles/whitespace Striking a balance between the page’s whitespace and areas of high detail allow you to guide the eye from element to element in a predictable way. Notice how bullet-to-bullet linespacing is greater than the linespacing within rows of a single bullet?
    61. 61. Design: Minimalism
    62. 62. Design: Minimalism Minimalist designs:
    63. 63. Design: Minimalism Minimalist designs: are more easily achieved because there are fewer page elements to create and make work together.
    64. 64. Design: Minimalism Minimalist designs: are more easily achieved because there are fewer page elements to create and make work together. can be scientifically compared for effectiveness.
    65. 65. Design: Minimalism Minimalist designs: are more easily achieved because there are fewer page elements to create and make work together. can be scientifically compared for effectiveness. can be aggregated into more complex designs.
    66. 66. Technology: Semantics
    67. 67. Technology: Semantics <TITLE>, <H1><H2><H3>, <strong><emphasis>, <img alt=”Image Description” />, <a href=”http://domain.com/human-readable.html” />
    68. 68. Technology: HTML
    69. 69. Technology: HTML Google uses the first 70 characters of page titles
    70. 70. Technology: HTML Google uses the first 70 characters of page titles Titles should be More Specific -> Less Specific
    71. 71. Technology: HTML Google uses the first 70 characters of page titles Titles should be More Specific -> Less Specific For example: Product Feature | Product Name | Company instead of: Company | Product Name | Product Feature
    72. 72. Technology: CSS Use advanced CSS to implement the designer’s vision
    73. 73. Technology: CSS Use advanced CSS to implement the designer’s vision Style lists with sprites for attractive yet usable multi- state navigation
    74. 74. Technology: CSS Use advanced CSS to implement the designer’s vision Style lists with sprites for attractive yet usable multi- state navigation Style headings with background images for non- standard fonts
    75. 75. Technology: CSS Use advanced CSS to implement the designer’s vision Style lists with sprites for attractive yet usable multi- state navigation Style headings with background images for non- standard fonts Download demo of these techniques: http://karoshiethos.com/seo/ http://karoshiethos.com/seo.zip
    76. 76. Technology: Syndication
    77. 77. Technology: Syndication Indicates that you want people to share and promote your content
    78. 78. Technology: Syndication Indicates that you want people to share and promote your content RSS
    79. 79. Technology: Syndication Indicates that you want people to share and promote your content RSS embed-able content For-example: YouTube video
    80. 80. Technology: Syndication Indicates that you want people to share and promote your content RSS embed-able content For-example: YouTube video free PDFs
    81. 81. Technology: Multimedia
    82. 82. Technology: Multimedia Search Engines see HTML replaced via Progressive Enhancement (requires JavaScript)
    83. 83. Technology: Multimedia Search Engines see HTML replaced via Progressive Enhancement (requires JavaScript) Flash Video - http://karoshiethos.com/seo/video/
    84. 84. Technology: Multimedia Search Engines see HTML replaced via Progressive Enhancement (requires JavaScript) Flash Video - http://karoshiethos.com/seo/video/ sIFR - http://wiki.novemberborn.net/sifr3/
    85. 85. Technology: Bookmarked Video http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/link-to-youtube- minute-second/
    86. 86. Technology: Accessible Flash
    87. 87. Technology: Accessible Flash SwfAddress: http://www.asual.com/swfaddress/
    88. 88. Technology: Accessible Flash SwfAddress: http://www.asual.com/swfaddress/ Gaia Flash Framework: http://www.gaiaflashframework.com/
    89. 89. Technology: Accessible Flash SwfAddress: http://www.asual.com/swfaddress/ Gaia Flash Framework: http://www.gaiaflashframework.com/ Example: http://therepublik.net
    90. 90. Technology: Apache mod_rewrite
    91. 91. Technology: Apache mod_rewrite If your site is accessible via multiple domains, choose and enforce a canonical domain for your site: RewriteCond %{http_host} ^(www.)?site.com$ [NC] RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.site.org/$1 [R=301,L]
    92. 92. Technology: Apache mod_rewrite If your site is accessible via multiple domains, choose and enforce a canonical domain for your site: RewriteCond %{http_host} ^(www.)?site.com$ [NC] RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.site.org/$1 [R=301,L] Choose and enforce a canonical subdomain too: RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www. [NC] RewriteRule .* http://www.site.edu%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]
    93. 93. Technology: Apache mod_rewrite
    94. 94. Technology: Apache mod_rewrite Implement human/search engine friendly URLs for systems that use query parameters
    95. 95. Technology: Apache mod_rewrite Implement human/search engine friendly URLs for systems that use query parameters Turn /page.php?id=231 into /page-title.html RewriteRule ^page-title.html page.php?id=231 [nc]
    96. 96. Technology: Apache mod_rewrite Implement human/search engine friendly URLs for systems that use query parameters Turn /page.php?id=231 into /page-title.html RewriteRule ^page-title.html page.php?id=231 [nc] Turn /search.php?q=term into /search/term RewriteRule ^search/(.*) search.php?q=$1 [nc]
    97. 97. Technology: Apache mod_rewrite Implement human/search engine friendly URLs for systems that use query parameters Turn /page.php?id=231 into /page-title.html RewriteRule ^page-title.html page.php?id=231 [nc] Turn /search.php?q=term into /search/term RewriteRule ^search/(.*) search.php?q=$1 [nc] mod_rewrite docs: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.0/ misc/rewriteguide.html
    98. 98. Technology: On-site Search
    99. 99. Technology: On-site Search Lucene - http://lucene.apache.org/java/docs/
    100. 100. Technology: On-site Search Lucene - http://lucene.apache.org/java/docs/ Zend Framework Implementation
    101. 101. Technology: On-site Search Lucene - http://lucene.apache.org/java/docs/ Zend Framework Implementation Done correctly, represents a dynamic index of content matching search criteria. Linkable, bookmarkable, sharable.
    102. 102. Technology: On-site Search Lucene - http://lucene.apache.org/java/docs/ Zend Framework Implementation Done correctly, represents a dynamic index of content matching search criteria. Linkable, bookmarkable, sharable. Use semantic URLs to link to Lucene searches to auto-categorize content using chosen keywords/ phrases eg. http://example.com/search/engineering
    103. 103. Technology: Google Tools
    104. 104. Technology: Google Tools Analytics Measure what's working, what isn't.
    105. 105. Technology: Google Tools Analytics Measure what's working, what isn't. Optimizer https://www.google.com/analytics/siteopt/splash? hl=en
    106. 106. Technology: Google Tools Analytics Measure what's working, what isn't. Optimizer https://www.google.com/analytics/siteopt/splash? hl=en Google Sitemap File https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/docs/en/ protocol.html
    107. 107. Social
    108. 108. Social The Cluetrain Manifesto http://www.cluetrain.com
    109. 109. Social The Cluetrain Manifesto http://www.cluetrain.com The first markets were markets. Not bulls, bears, or invisible hands. Not battlefields, targets, or arenas. Not demographics, eyeballs, or seats. Most of all, not consumers.
    110. 110. Social The Cluetrain Manifesto http://www.cluetrain.com The first markets were markets. Not bulls, bears, or invisible hands. Not battlefields, targets, or arenas. Not demographics, eyeballs, or seats. Most of all, not consumers. These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. Whether explaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can't be faked.
    111. 111. Social: Bookmarking
    112. 112. Social: Bookmarking Digg (and delicious, and StumbleUpon, and...)
    113. 113. Social: Bookmarking Digg (and delicious, and StumbleUpon, and...) Make it easy for visitors to share your content (sharethis.com)
    114. 114. Social: Viral
    115. 115. Social: Viral Flickr
    116. 116. Social: Viral Flickr More than just photos, you can upload documents & video
    117. 117. Social: Viral Flickr More than just photos, you can upload documents & video YouTube (Vimeo, Revver, etc...)
    118. 118. Social: Viral Flickr More than just photos, you can upload documents & video YouTube (Vimeo, Revver, etc...) Avoids encoding/format issues
    119. 119. Social: Viral Flickr More than just photos, you can upload documents & video YouTube (Vimeo, Revver, etc...) Avoids encoding/format issues Sharing is built into the player
    120. 120. Social: Viral Flickr More than just photos, you can upload documents & video YouTube (Vimeo, Revver, etc...) Avoids encoding/format issues Sharing is built into the player Save bandwidth, server space
    121. 121. Social: Networking
    122. 122. Social: Networking Facebook
    123. 123. Social: Networking Facebook Network with other subject matter experts
    124. 124. Social: Networking Facebook Network with other subject matter experts Post links to your content
    125. 125. Social: Networking Facebook Network with other subject matter experts Post links to your content Twitter
    126. 126. Social: Networking Facebook Network with other subject matter experts Post links to your content Twitter More than just, “I forgot how much I like pickles!”
    127. 127. Social: Networking Facebook Network with other subject matter experts Post links to your content Twitter More than just, “I forgot how much I like pickles!” Follow subject experts, stay in tune with your subject
    128. 128. Social: Networking Facebook Network with other subject matter experts Post links to your content Twitter More than just, “I forgot how much I like pickles!” Follow subject experts, stay in tune with your subject Tweet about your subject
    129. 129. Social: Networking Facebook Network with other subject matter experts Post links to your content Twitter More than just, “I forgot how much I like pickles!” Follow subject experts, stay in tune with your subject Tweet about your subject Link to relevant content on your site and others.
    130. 130. Social: Networking Facebook Network with other subject matter experts Post links to your content Twitter More than just, “I forgot how much I like pickles!” Follow subject experts, stay in tune with your subject Tweet about your subject Link to relevant content on your site and others. Join the conversation.
    131. 131. Pitfalls
    132. 132. Pitfalls 100% Duplicate Content http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/02/specify-your-canonical.html
    133. 133. Pitfalls 100% Duplicate Content http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/02/specify-your-canonical.html Redirects Use 301 redirects to retain the “juice” from incoming links. Avoid using 302 redirects in all but a few specific cases (eg. same-domain page redirects) http://www.bigoakinc.com/blog/when-to-use-a-301-vs-302-redirect/
    134. 134. Pitfalls 100% Duplicate Content http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/02/specify-your-canonical.html Redirects Use 301 redirects to retain the “juice” from incoming links. Avoid using 302 redirects in all but a few specific cases (eg. same-domain page redirects) http://www.bigoakinc.com/blog/when-to-use-a-301-vs-302-redirect/ If you use a URL shortener for posting links to your site (tinyurl.com, bit.ly, etc...), make sure they use 301 redirects.
    135. 135. Pitfalls
    136. 136. Pitfalls Paid Links use nofollow in <a> <a href=”http://advertiser.com” rel=”nofollow”>
    137. 137. Pitfalls Paid Links use nofollow in <a> <a href=”http://advertiser.com” rel=”nofollow”> Incestuous Linking Sites that only link amongst themselves
    138. 138. Pitfalls Paid Links use nofollow in <a> <a href=”http://advertiser.com” rel=”nofollow”> Incestuous Linking Sites that only link amongst themselves Keyword/Link Stuffing Overloading pages with terms and links that do not provide benefits to visitors
    139. 139. Pitfalls
    140. 140. Pitfalls Spamdexing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamdexing
    141. 141. Pitfalls Spamdexing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamdexing Shared Servers Double-check server blacklists
    142. 142. Pitfalls Spamdexing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamdexing Shared Servers Double-check server blacklists Bot DOS “Attack” Crawl-Delay: 10 in robots.txt
    143. 143. Q&A
    144. 144. Useful Links http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/ http://www.seomoz.org/article/beginners-guide-to- search-engine-optimization http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-web-developers-seo- cheat-sheet http://www.addedbytes.com/apache/url-rewriting-for- beginners/ http://www.addedbytes.com/apache/mod_rewrite- cheat-sheet/

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