Search Engine Optimization Primer
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Search Engine Optimization Primer

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An introduction to Search Engine Optimization and different techniques applicable. The presentation also goes into the history of web, and how things changed from time to time.

An introduction to Search Engine Optimization and different techniques applicable. The presentation also goes into the history of web, and how things changed from time to time.

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  • If you were not take anything away from this session today… and only understand how Spider or crawlers work you would have understood 50% of Search Engine Optimization.
  • If you were not take anything away from this session today… and only understand how Spider or crawlers work you would have understood 50% of Search Engine Optimization.
  • Today the undisputed leader in search engine usage is Google.
    Yahoo Claims to have the largest index of all search engines ranking over 5 Billion pages.
    MSN is the leading third, they have done a tremendous job at catching up to Google and yahoo but they still have a long time to catch up…. This a true example of the first mover advantage ☺
    I don’t usually talk about Ask Jeeves but I have been seeing an increased level of traffic from Ask.com and according to recent statistics, Ask is now representative of approximately 7-8% of all searches.
    Every search engine has a different algorithm and ranking…. Our main focus today will be to look at the common and basic elements that every search engine company uses to rank and index pages.
  • Today the undisputed leader in search engine usage is Google.
    Yahoo Claims to have the largest index of all search engines ranking over 5 Billion pages.
    MSN is the leading third, they have done a tremendous job at catching up to Google and yahoo but they still have a long time to catch up…. This a true example of the first mover advantage ☺
    I don’t usually talk about Ask Jeeves but I have been seeing an increased level of traffic from Ask.com and according to recent statistics, Ask is now representative of approximately 7-8% of all searches.
    Every search engine has a different algorithm and ranking…. Our main focus today will be to look at the common and basic elements that every search engine company uses to rank and index pages.

Transcript

  • 1. Search Engine Optimization Primer Presented by: Nadeem Khan http://www.arkhitech.com
  • 2. History of Internet
  • 3. Web 1.0 • When internet was only used for “as information source” • Static pages
  • 4. Web 2.0 (2004 onwards) • Web 2.0 websites allow users to do more than just retrieve information • Web now used as “a participation platform” • Rich User Experience • User as a Contributor
  • 5. Web 3.0 – The Future • When “computers will be generating new information” • Semantic Web (common/structured data formats)
  • 6. Search Engine Marketing / Search Engine Optimization
  • 7. 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 their database • Search engines indexes the content (text, code) in these documents by adding it to their databases and then periodically updates this content • Search engines search their own databases when a user enters in a search to find related documents (not searching web pages in real-time) • Search engines rank the resulting documents using an algorithm (mathematical formula) by assigning various weights and ranking factors
  • 8. How Do Search Engines Work (Continued)?
  • 9. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) • the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through SEO as well as through advertising (paid placements, contextual advertising, and paid inclusions).
  • 10. SEO - Search Engine Optimization • The process of improving web pages so they rank higher (naturally) in search engines for your targeted keywords. • SEOer considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines.
  • 11. Why SEO should be Done? • 81% of Internet consumers find web sites via search engines. • 85%* of all Website traffic and 70%* of all online purchases originate from a search engine. (*Jupiter Research) • “4/5 Internet users say they use a Search Engine daily” • The top three organic positions receive 58.4% of all clicks from users • 90% of all users don’t look past the first 30 results (most only view top 10)
  • 12. Popular Search Engines 2012
  • 13. Popular Search Engines 2013 (no major change in years – Google’s Monopoly)
  • 14. Types of SEO • • • • On-Page SEO Off-Page SEO Site-wide SEO Negative SEO (Note: Site-wide SEO is usually considered to be a part of on-Page SEO by most SEOers.)
  • 15. On Page SEO Activities done on the pages of the website itself that can involve: • editing content and HTML of a page to increase its relevance to specific keywords • removing barriers to the indexing activities of search engine spiders Note: Humans and bots view sites differently See Yourself: http://www.seo-browser.com/
  • 16. On Page SEO (Continued) • What is the point in having a website that looks great if it can’t be found? • Is there any point of being easy to find if the website isn’t engaging?
  • 17. Off Page SEO • Revolves around increasing the number of backlinks for a particular keyword to rank higher naturally for that particular keyword in SERPs
  • 18. Site Wide SEO • Tweaking linking and navigation structure that is deployed across an entire website • Most SEOers consider it a part of On-page SEO
  • 19. Negative SEO • Evil backlinks, content scraping, evil crawlers • Google denied its existence for 14 years, then finally released Link Disavow tool on October 16, 2012 to help webmasters get rid of evil backlinks • Still works against newbie webmasters
  • 20. SEO Tactics • White Hat SEO Tactics Techniques that search engines recommend - produces results that last a long time but are extremely slow • Black Hat SEO Tactics Techniques that improve rankings in ways that are disapproved by the search engines or involve deception – should be avoided • Grey Hat SEO Tactics Something in between both white hat and black hat techniques – what everyone actually does
  • 21. Keyword Analysis – The Real Thing • Techniques used by webmasters to get more visibility and traffic for their sites in search engine results pages • Extremely versatile (defers from person to person)
  • 22. How Google Works
  • 23. How Google Search Used to Work • It started out with ‘PageRank’ algorithm • In simple words, Google’s spider crawls a URL and its content and saves it in its index. When users write a search on Google Search, it checks its index and compiles a list of relevant pages. After that it ranks pages according to their link authority (PageRank) and displays the result to a user.
  • 24. How Google Search Works Now • More than 200 separate coded equations – that power Google's endless trawl for answers through pretty much all of history's recorded knowledge! • No one except people at Google know the exact recipe of ranking in Google Search • Google Search is constantly changing at a rapid pace Matt Cutts (http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/) (Head of Google’s Webspam Team)
  • 25. How Google Search Works Now (Continued) • Google Dances (2000-2002) • Boston (1st to be officially named – index refresher) and Florida (keyword stuffing) (2003) • Austin (deceptive on-page tactics) and Brandy (LSI) Updates (2004) • Allegra (LSI 2.0), Bourbon (www vs non-www, duplicate content) and Jagger (reciprocal links, link farms) Updates + nofollow and Local Maps introduced (2005)
  • 26. How Google Search Works Now (Continued) • Universal Search introduced (News, Video, Images, Local, and other verticals)(2007) • Vince (big brands friendly) and Caffeine (realtime indexation) Updates + rel=canonical and Real time search introduced (2009) • May Day (long tail low quality) and Brand (same domain to appear multiple times) Updates + Google Instant and Social signals (data from Twitter and Facebook) introduced (2010)
  • 27. How Google Search Works Now (Continued) • Panda (revolutionary) and Freshness (time sensitivity) updates along with Google+, +1 & structured data introduced (2011) • Search + Your World (personalized results), Penguin (poor link profiles), EMD, Venice (integrate local search data), Ads Above Fold and DMCA Penalty, 7-Result SERPs updates … Link Warnings and Knowledge Graph introduced (2012) • Phantom (unknown), Payday Loan (Porn, Payday), Hummingbird (major core algorithm update), In-depth Articles(new type of news), and Authorship Shake-up Updates (2013) Under the Hood: ‘Author Rank’ , Co-citation algorithm
  • 28. Google Panda Update • Human quality testers rated thousands of websites based on ‘User Experience’ • PageRank got automatically downgraded in importance as new factors got into picture • Technically a new factor not an algo update
  • 29. Google Penguin Update • An algo update that targeted the link profiles of websites • Main target: exact match anchor texts in link profiles
  • 30. Exact Match Domain Update (EMD) • Main target: low quality exactly matching websites built around exactly matching keywords
  • 31. Hummingbird Update (2013) • The biggest overhaul to Google since 2009’s 'Caffeine’ update (which focused on speed and integrating social network results into search). • It affects 'around 90% of searches.’
  • 32. Author Rank • In August of 2005, Google filed a patent for “Agent Rank” • Google+ is the future, do you have a Google+ profile? • Google Authorship Mark Up already being widely adapted
  • 33. SEO Changing Rapidly
  • 34. Co Citation Algorithm • Anchor text to be replaced entirely (o.O)
  • 35. What Does Google Actually Want? • Content should add ‘Unique Value’ to web (Google’s index) • Content designed for users not for Google Bot • Implement a search engine friendly design that makes it easy for Google Bot to crawl and understand your site • Focus on improving user experience and how to best answer a user’s query Note: At the end of the day its “500+ Engineers Vs Tricksters”, whose going to win in the long run?
  • 36. Counter Tactic by Webmasters Link Pyramids
  • 37. Increased Focus on Premium SEO Tools/Plugins • • • • • • • Single tool to perform many tasks Built-in diagnostics to uncover macro and micro issues The ability to stay up-to-date with the search engines Automated and highly customized reporting Competitive edge Better ROI Effective KPIs
  • 38. 200+ Equations/Factors at Work Domain: 13 factors • Domain age; • Length of domain registration; • Domain registration information hidden/anonymous; • Site top level domain (geographical focus, e.g. com versus co.uk); • Site top level domain (e.g. .com versus .info); • Sub domain or root domain? • Domain past records (how often it changed IP); • Domain past owners (how often the owner was changed) • Keywords in the domain; • Domain IP; • Domain IP neighbors; • Domain external mentions (non-linked) • Geo-targeting settings in Google Webmaster Tools
  • 39. Server-side: 2 factors • Server geographical location; • Server reliability / uptime Architecture: 8 factors • URL structure; • HTML structure; • Semantic structure; • Use of external CSS / JS files; • Website structure accessibility (use of inaccessible navigation, JavaScript, etc); • Use of canonical URLs; • “Correct” HTML code (?); • Cookies usage;
  • 40. Content: 14 factors • Content language • Content uniqueness; • Amount of content (text versus HTML); • Unlinked content density (links versus text); • Pure text content ratio (without links, images, code, etc) • Content topicality / timeliness (for seasonal searches for example); • Semantic information (phrase-based indexing and co-occurring phrase indicators) • Content flag for general category (transactional, informational, navigational) • Content / market niche • Flagged keywords usage (gambling, dating vocabulary) • Text in images (?) • Malicious content (possibly added by hackers); • Rampant mis-spelling of words, bad grammar, and 10,000 word screeds without punctuation; • Use of absolutely unique /new phrases.
  • 41. Internal Cross Linking: 5 factors • # of internal links to page; • # of internal links to page with identical / targeted anchor text; • # of internal links to page from content (instead of navigation bar, breadcrumbs, etc); • # of links using “nofollow” attribute; • Internal link density, Website factors: 7 factors • Website Robots.txt file content • Overall site update frequency; • Overall site size (number of pages); • Age of the site since it was first discovered by Google • XML Sitemap; • On-page trust flags (Contact info ( for local search even more important), Privacy policy, TOS, and similar); • Website type (e.g. blog instead of informational sites in top 10)
  • 42. Page-specific factors: 9 factors • Page meta Robots tags; • Page age; • Page freshness (Frequency of edits and % of page effected (changed) by page edits); • Content duplication with other pages of the site (internal duplicate content); • Page content reading level; • Page load time (many factors in here); • Page type (About-us page versus main content page); • Page internal popularity (how many internal links it has); • Page external popularity (how many external links it has relevant to other pages of this site);
  • 43. • • • • • • • • • • • • • Keywords usage and keyword prominence: 13 factors Keywords in the title of a page; Keywords in the beginning of page title; Keywords in Alt tags; Keywords in anchor text of internal links (internal anchor text); Keywords in anchor text of outbound links; Keywords in bold and italic text ; Keywords in the beginning of the body text; Keywords in body text; Keyword synonyms relating to theme of page/site; Keywords in filenames; Keywords in URL; No “Randomness on purpose” (placing “keyword” in the domain, “keyword” in the filename, “keyword” starting the first word of the title, “keyword” in the first word of the first line of the description and keyword tag…) • The use (abuse) of keywords utilized in HTML comment tags
  • 44. Outbound links: 8 factors • Number of outbound links (per domain); • Number of outbound links (per page); • Quality of pages the site links in; • Links to bad neighborhoods; • Relevancy of outbound links; • Links to 404 and other error pages. • Links to SEO agencies from clients site • Hot-linked images
  • 45. Backlink profile: 21 factors • Relevancy of sites linking in; • Relevancy of pages linking in; • Quality of sites linking in; • Quality of web page linking in; • Backlinks within network of sites; • Co-citations (which sites have similar backlink sources); • Link profile diversity: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Anchor text diversity; Different IP addresses of linking sites, Geographical diversity, Different TLDs, Topical diversity, Different types of linking sites (logs, directories, etc); Diversity of link placements Authority Link (CNN, BBC, etc) Per Inbound Link Backlinks from bad neighborhoods (absence / presence of backlinks from flagged sites) Reciprocal links ratio (relevant to the overall backlink profile); Social media links ratio (links from social media sites versus overall backlink profile); Backlinks trends and patterns (like sudden spikes or drops of backlink number) Citations in Wikipedia and Dmoz; Backlink profile historical records (ever caught for link buying/selling, etc); Backlinks from social bookmarking sites.
  • 46. Each Separate Backlink: 6 factors • Authority of TLD (.com versus .gov) • Authority of a domain linking in • Authority of a page linking in • Location of a link (footer, navigation, body text) • Anchor text of a link (and Alt tag of images linking) • Title attribute of a link Visitor Profile and Behavior: 6 factors • Number of visits; • Visitors’ demographics; • Bounce rate; • Visitors’ browsing habits (which other sites they tend to visit) • Visiting trends and patterns (like sudden spiked in incoming traffic) • How often the listing is clicked within the SERPs (relevant to other listings)
  • 47. Penalties, Filters and Manipulation: 12 factors • Keyword over usage / Keyword stuffing; • Link buying flag • Link selling flag; • Spamming records (comment, forums, other link spam); • Cloaking; • Hidden Text; • Duplicate Content (external duplication) • History of past penalties for this domain • History of past penalties for this owner • History of past penalties for other properties of this owner • Past hackers’ attacks records • 301 flags: double re-directs/re-direct loops, or re-directs ending in 404 error More Factors (6): • Domain registration with Google Webmaster Tools; • Domain presence in Google News; • Domain presence in Google Blog Search; • Use of the domain in Google AdWords; • Use of the domain in Google Analytics; • Business name / brand name external mentions. Courtesy: Search Engine Journal
  • 48. SEO Periodic Table (From SEL)
  • 49. SEO is Really Complex and Unpredictable Now