Dan Cohen, Hands On Seo from Internet World 2009


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Dan Cohen delivered this SEO presentation as part of the Internet World 2009 sessions.

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Dan Cohen, Hands On Seo from Internet World 2009

  1. 1. Hands-on SEO<br />Dan Cohen<br />Global SEO Engineering Lead<br />dan.cohen@microsoft.com<br />
  2. 2. What is Search Engine Optimization?<br />2<br />Paid<br />Organic<br />
  3. 3. Why should you care?<br />Large Sites<br />&gt;2M<br />Visitors/ month<br />Medium Sites<br />2M - 100k<br />Visitors/ month<br />Small Sites<br />&gt;100k<br />Visitors/ month<br />
  4. 4. MSN: We Are Our Audience<br />Statistics:<br />465M People<br />42 Countries<br />Russia<br />Germany<br />France<br />China<br />21 Languages<br />
  5. 5. MSN: Complete Online Experience<br />APPLICATIONS<br />CONTENT<br />SEARCH<br />
  6. 6. Programmed Content Providers<br />
  7. 7. MSN and Windows Live: A Dual Portal Strategy<br />I know exactly what I want.<br />What&apos;s going on in the world today?<br />I can do it myself.<br />Make it easy for me.<br />
  8. 8. Search Explosion<br />95% of web <br />Users Search<br />61B Queries<br />142M Websites<br />+$13B Revenue<br />18,000 websites<br />has grown to <br />142 million websites *1<br />30 billion queries<br />per month has <br />grown to 61 billion <br />queries per month *2<br />95% of internet <br />users search the web*2<br />Search revenue <br />increased from <br />$7.6 billion<br /> to $13 billion *3<br />* Source: <br /> 1. NetCraft Monthly User Survey<br /> ( October 2007 )<br /> 2. comScore q Search 2.0 Monthly Tracking<br /> ( September 2007 )<br /> 3. ZenithOptimedia Report <br /> reflecting SearchAdvertising Revenue<br /> from 2005 to 2007 ( December 2006 ) <br />MICROSOFT CONFIDENTIAL<br />
  9. 9. Evolution Of Search<br />Phase 1<br />Directories<br />Search<br />Immature<br />Market<br />CPM/Paid Inclusion<br />Economics<br />Reach<br />Advertisers<br />Passive<br />Publishers<br />Browse<br />Consumer<br />
  10. 10. Evolution Of Search<br />
  11. 11. Evolution Of Search<br />
  12. 12. Evolution Of Search<br />Phase 1<br />Phase 2<br />Keyword<br />Directories<br />Search<br />Immature<br />Closed<br />Market<br />CPM/Paid Inclusion<br />CPC<br />Economics<br />Reach<br />ROI<br />Advertisers<br />Passive<br />Reactive<br />Publishers<br />Queries<br />Browse<br />Consumer<br />
  13. 13. Search Perception<br />MICROSOFT CONFIDENTIAL<br />
  14. 14. Search Reality<br />MICROSOFT CONFIDENTIAL<br />
  15. 15. Search Fatigue<br />People can’t find what <br />they are looking for…..<br />40% of queries <br /> go unanswered<br />50% of queries <br /> need refinement<br />* Source: <br /> Internal Microsoft Research<br />MICROSOFT CONFIDENTIAL<br />
  16. 16. What Consumers Want<br />Relevant results<br />In-depth &<br /> authoritative content<br />Convenience<br />* Source: <br /> Sterling Market Intelligence Report (June 2007) / Internal Microsoft Research<br />MICROSOFT CONFIDENTIAL<br />
  17. 17. Evolution Of Search<br />Phase 1<br />Phase 2<br />The Next Phase<br />Keyword<br />Rich Semantics & <br />User Experience<br />Directories<br />Search<br />Trends<br />Unknown<br />Open<br />Closed<br />Market<br />CPM/Paid Inclusion<br />CPA/Paid Engagement<br />CPC<br />Economics<br />Reach<br />E2E Visibility<br />ROI<br />Advertisers<br />Trends<br />Passive<br />Proactive<br />Reactive<br />Publishers<br />Task<br />Accomplishment<br />Queries<br />Browse<br />Consumer<br />Trends<br />
  18. 18. The Computer Science Challenge<br />Index the world’s information<br />Decipher the intent of question<br />Simultaneously across geographies<br />Within milliseconds, and<br />Present the information for discovery<br />
  19. 19.
  20. 20. Search Engine Results Page<br />Number of relevant Webpages<br />Title of a page<br />Content Description of a page<br />Additional SEO Information<br />Unique URL<br />
  21. 21. Relevance  User vs. Machine<br />Goal of Users and Search Engines<br />Find relevant results related to the search query. <br />Rank related Webpages in a order of Relevance.<br />How to decide what is most or more relevant?<br />How would you decide, which Webpage matches best with your search query?<br />
  22. 22. Relevance  User vs. Machine<br />
  23. 23. SEO Matrix<br />Engineering<br />Editorial <br />
  24. 24. Content Strategy<br />
  25. 25. SEO Content Strategy<br />
  26. 26.
  27. 27. On-page Editorial<br />
  28. 28. URL Consistency<br />
  29. 29. URL Consistency<br />Search engines assign value to URLs<br />A single URL is given a score from 1 to 10 called PageRank (Google) or StaticRank (Live) based on many factors<br />Each URL is assumed to be an individual “page”<br />When a site has multiple versions of a page under the “same” URL, this score is divided between them<br />http://travel.msn.com/<br />http://travel.msn.com/default.aspx<br />
  30. 30. URL Consistency<br />http://www.example.com/<br />http://example.com/<br />http://Example.com<br />http://Example.com/<br />http://www.Example.com/<br />http://www.example.com/index.html<br />http://www.Example.com/index.html<br />http://www.example.com/Index.html<br />http://www.Example.com/index.html<br />www.example.com<br />Example.com<br />example.com/ <br />Example.com/index.html<br />Example.com/Index.html<br />
  31. 31. Image content and ALT text<br />Images are content too!<br />An ALT property on an &lt;IMG&gt; tag is supposed to describe the content of this image<br />Meant for accessibility, also used by Search Engines to discern meaning of an image, especially one that’s also a link<br />Content images should describe what’s in the image and then list any copyright information required<br />Navigation images should describe the destination page’s content<br />ALT text treated similarly to Anchor Text<br />Filenames matter!<br />How not to do it<br />
  32. 32. On-page Technical<br />
  33. 33. Flash and Silverlight<br /><ul><li>MYTH: Search Engines can’t read Flash
  34. 34. Search Engines are starting to have the capability to extract links and text from simple .SWF files
  35. 35. This does not apply to all sites or all Flash movies
  36. 36. This does not apply to Silverlight movies
  37. 37. MYTH: Silverlight and Flash are BAD for SEO
  38. 38. Flash and Silverlight should be used correctly and never for navigation – do you NEED that Flash movie?
  39. 39. Can you offer a downlevel version of the movie to lower-spec browsers and crawlers?
  40. 40. Downlevel version must contain exactly the same content to survive manual review if one should occur
  41. 41. No sniffing for capability should take place
  42. 42. Page-load order and DIV substitution to achieve downlevel experience</li></li></ul><li>Flash and Silverlight<br />Separate content of Flash movie from presentation layer. Externalize in XML.<br />Render XML as XHTML in your content &lt;DIV&gt;<br />Use JavaScript to overwrite the content &lt;DIV&gt; innerHTML property with the Flash or Silverlight movie<br />Flash or Silverlight movie should reference the same XML for its content<br />
  43. 43. Flash and Silverlight<br />&lt;DIV&gt;<br />&lt;DIV&gt;<br />(XHTML)<br />&lt;DIV&gt;<br />(SWF)<br />XML<br />
  44. 44. Flash and Silverlight<br />http://specials.uk.msn.com/ford-fiesta<br />
  45. 45. Flash and Silverlight<br />http://specials.uk.msn.com/ford-fiesta<br />
  46. 46. Flash and Silverlight<br />http://rally.no.msn.com/<br />
  47. 47. Flash and Silverlight<br />http://rally.no.msn.com/<br />
  48. 48. URL Structure<br />Some links are more equal than others<br />Javascript links and anchor links won’t get crawled<br />The closer a page is to the root, the better<br />A URL should include keywords if possible<br />Always use absolute URL not relative<br />Always use lower case<br />Here’s how not to do it<br />&lt;A HREF=“javascript:goToPage(“1”)”&gt;Bad link&lt;/A&gt;<br />&lt;A HREF=“#section1”&gt;Another Bad Link&lt;/A&gt;<br />&lt;A HREF=“/my-folder/danspage.html”&gt;Not another bad link!&lt;/A&gt;<br />&lt;A HREF=&quot;http://msn.com/my-folder/another-folder/yetanotherfolder/page.html&quot;&gt;You&apos;re kidding. ANOTHER bad link?&lt;/A&gt; <br />
  49. 49. &lt;HEAD&gt; tag<br />The &lt;HEAD&gt; tag should follow this order<br />&lt;head&gt;<br /> &lt;title&gt;A unique title that describes what a user can find on this page&lt;/title&gt;<br /> &lt;meta name=&quot;description&quot; content=&quot;This is a unique description of the content of this page, different to the TITLE tag.&quot; /&gt;<br /> &lt;meta name=&quot;keywords&quot; content=&quot;one, two, three, four, five&quot; /&gt; <br /> &lt;metaHTTP-EQUIV=&quot;Content-Language&quot; content=&quot;EN-GB&quot; /&gt;<br /> &lt;meta http-equiv=&quot;Content-Type&quot; content=&quot;text/html&quot; /&gt;<br />&lt;!-- anything else you need --&gt;<br />&lt;/head&gt; <br />
  50. 50. Crawlability<br />
  51. 51. 404 pages<br />Is this Page Not Found? Are you sure?<br />The 404 page should return a 404 (Not Found) or 410 (Gone) Status Code<br />Some 404 pages return a 200 (OK) Status Code, this is a “soft” 404<br />These soft 404 pages can make it into the index as valid pages<br />
  52. 52. XML Sitemaps and Robots.txt<br />The Search Engines need a helping hand to find your pages<br />By submitting an XML Sitemap (http://sitemaps.org) you can inform the search engines which pages you would like them to crawl<br />&lt;?xml version=&quot;1.0&quot; encoding=&quot;UTF-8&quot;?&gt;<br />&lt;urlsetxmlns=&quot;http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9&quot;&gt;<br /> &lt;url&gt;<br /> &lt;loc&gt;http://www.example.com/&lt;/loc&gt;<br /> &lt;lastmod&gt;2005-01-01&lt;/lastmod&gt;<br /> &lt;changefreq&gt;monthly&lt;/changefreq&gt;<br /> &lt;priority&gt;0.8&lt;/priority&gt;<br /> &lt;/url&gt;<br />&lt;/urlset&gt; <br />Tell the crawler what not to crawl<br />By adding a robots.txt file to the root of a domain, you can exclude pages or sections of a site from being crawled<br />Useful for transactional pages or “print version” pages and the like<br />
  53. 53. Server Optimization<br />HTTP Compression<br />Having a large website and millions of pages or URLs means a crawler takes a long time to crawl and index your entire site<br />XML Sitemaps and proper link strategy aren’t always enough<br />HTTP Compression works like a .zip file<br />Reduces download time for users and crawlers<br />Conditional GET<br />Do your pages change often? <br />Why waste time having crawlers re-spider your site?<br />Tell browsers and crawlers that your pages haven’t changed<br />Improves index coverage quickly<br />
  54. 54. Case Study<br />SEO for MSN Video<br />
  55. 55. Case Study: MSN Video<br />http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-gb<br />
  56. 56. Case Study: MSN Video<br />http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-gb<br />Flash<br />Video in Flash<br />AJAX and Flash<br />AJAX<br />
  57. 57. Case Study: MSN Video<br />http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-gb<br />
  58. 58. Case Study: MSN Video<br />http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-gb<br />
  59. 59. Case Study: MSN Video<br />Real URLs – One page per video<br />http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-gb&vid=b098ff42-994c-4ebd-8741-1c34737318b7&playlist=search:q:plane:mk:en-gb:sf:ActiveStartDate:vs:1:cs:ENGB_Stupid%20Videos&tab=s1204718424896&from=video_module<br />...becomes http://uk.video.msn.com/videos/woman-in-airport-strop/<br />Build links to the Video pages<br />Empower users to share via Social Media and blogging with a single click<br />Achieve scale by using the inline player on MSN content pages<br />Show related videos<br />Make the pages Crawlable<br />Get rid of the AJAX<br />Correct down-level experience<br />Build topic relevance<br />Expose user generated content such as ratings, comments, submitted videos<br />Display relevant content from around the network in an automated fashion<br />Full index coverage<br />Geo-target individual countries’ Video destination site with Webmaster Tools validation, META tagging and domain<br />XML Sitemaps and Robots.txt for each market<br />
  60. 60. Thank you<br />Questions?<br />