Optimizing for People




(and search engines)
80% of users click
on one of the first
  three results.
SEO is the process of
 getting your content to
appear at or near the top
   of search results.
SEO = good content + good structure
SEO != black magic, secrets, rocket science
who’s
responsible?
YOU
With good writers and good
web skills, SEO techniques are
           “obvious.”
        POWAZEK.COM/POSTS/2101
SEO is only useful
if you have good
content...

Useless if you
don’t.
Content
Content
Unique + Focused
Content
Unique + Focused
Fresh + Detailed
Content
Unique + Focused
Fresh + Detailed
Organized + Scannable
Content
Unique + Focused
Fresh + Detailed
Organized + Scannable
Connected + Valued
Organic methods
are rewarded.


ATTEMPTS TO GAME
THE SYSTEM ARE
PUNISHED.
“Organic” techniques
HIGH-QUALITY incoming links
Write for readers, not search
engines
Well-structured, semantic HTML
Good...
Write content for readers...
	 ...not search engines

✦ Cover what no one else is covering
✦ Shorter paragraphs, clearly m...
<title>Kick-Ass Title Tags</title>

• An HTML tag that appears in the <head> container
• Most important piece of metadata ...
Well-structured HTML




“Semantic” HTML: Use markup as intended
Semantic HTML
<h1>, <h2>, <h3>
<strong> <em>
<blockquote>
<p>
Doing META right
METADATA INCLUDES GOOD TITLE AND DESCRIPTION.
NO MORE THAN 155 CHARACTERS.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Much better
Much better


 HEADLINE
 INCLUDES
KEYWORDS
Much better


 HEADLINE
 INCLUDES
KEYWORDS
Keywords in Copy
Keywords in Copy
Headlines
Keywords in Copy
Headlines
Sub-heds
Keywords in Copy
Headlines
Sub-heds
Body
3.1
WORDS
Keywords and Images
Keywords and Images


filename
Keywords and Images


filename
alt tag
Keywords and Images


filename
alt tag
caption
Keywords and Images


filename
alt tag
caption
photo credit
Keyword Tools
Keyword Tools
Google Adwords
Keyword Tools
Google Adwords
Community Sites
Keyword Tools
Google Adwords
Community Sites
Google Insights
Keyword Tools
Google Adwords
Community Sites
Google Insights
Incoming links
200+ ingredients in Google’s “secret sauce,” but links
are #1 -- votes of confidence.

Use social networks

...
Be a the resource
Be a the resource
Link to competitors.
Be a the resource
Link to competitors.
Link to people who have related
content.
Be a the resource
Link to competitors.
Link to people who have related
content.
Quote, spotlight and praise people in
your...
Clean URLs
• URLs should be human-readable
• Won’t break when forwarded in email
• Can be read over the phone
• Provide a ...
Clean URLs
COMPARE:
HTTP://NEWS.CNET.COM/8301-17938_105-10381325-1.HTML?TAG=TOCMORESTORIES.0

HTTP://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2009/...
Clean URLs
COMPARE:
HTTP://NEWS.CNET.COM/8301-17938_105-10381325-1.HTML?TAG=TOCMORESTORIES.0

HTTP://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2009/...
Clean URLs
COMPARE:
HTTP://NEWS.CNET.COM/8301-17938_105-10381325-1.HTML?TAG=TOCMORESTORIES.0

HTTP://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2009/...
Clean URLs in WordPress



 COMPARING-WIDESCREEN-TVS-OUR-TESTERS-TRIED-SAMSUNG-SONY-PIONEER




SEE ALSO: WORDPRESS.ORG/EX...
Canonical Homepage URL
BAD
HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM
HTTP://MYSITE.COM
HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/INDEX.HTML
HTTP://MYSITE.COM/INDE...
Build a sitemap!
Eliminates the guesswork
Provides hints
Machine-readable
Human-readable
A good CMS or framework can gener...
Sitemaps make life easy for search
 engines




WORDPRESS.ORG/EXTEND/PLUGINS/GOOGLE-SITEMAP-GENERATOR
SEO tips
Keep your site focused on a topic

More pages on a topic = more cred

Min. 200 words to a page

Keep it fresh! Go...
More SEO tips
Don’t use Javascript-driven menus

Don’t link to index.html (don’t split links)

Frames, Flash, Ajax: Can’t ...
Still more SEO tips
Don’t use graphics for navigation

Make sure images have alt=”foo” tags
(Google is the net’s largest b...
Yet more SEO tips
Give link love, get link love

Links from .edu domains have more weight

Optimize RSS feeds too! (descri...
“Avoid tricks intended to
improve search engine
rankings.”

- Google Webmaster Guidelines
Gaming the system
Break search engine rules
Present content differently to
search engine than to user
Link farms, link exc...
Blog about…
Blog about…
•   Plans
•   Staff
•   Wireframes
•   UGC
•   Design
•   Testing
•   <more>
Don’t pay for SEO
 "LOOK UNDER THE HOOD OF ANY SEO PLAN AND
YOU’LL FIND ADVICE LIKE THIS: MAKE SURE TO USE
    KEYWORDS IN...
The One True Way
WHICH BRINGS US, FINALLY, TO THE ONE TRUE WAY TO GET A
LOT OF TRAFFIC ON THE WEB. IT’S PRETTY SIMPLE, AND...
SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)
SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)
SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)
SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)
SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)
SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)
SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)
SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)
SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)
SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)
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SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)

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SEO has an ugly side and a useful side. The useful side is about best practices, great content, and semantic HTML. This presentation was developed for the PMC's Beast Bloggers Camp 2 in Oakland, October 2009.

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  • Test
  • The average number of words people type into the search field is 3.1

  • SEO does not put lipstick on a pig. If your site was made with MS FrontPage in 1998 and is a steaming pile behind the scenes, you can&apos;t buy your way to the top of SERPs with an SEO consultant. You need to re-build your site.
  • SEO does not put lipstick on a pig. If your site was made with MS FrontPage in 1998 and is a steaming pile behind the scenes, you can&apos;t buy your way to the top of SERPs with an SEO consultant. You need to re-build your site.
  • Duct tape analogy. There are people out there doing good work in the SEO field and thats&apos; what they&apos;re teaching. Unfortunately they get lumped in with the bad guys.
  • Google&apos;s own documentation: Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. People who &amp;#x201C;employ botnets, third-world labor, and zombie computers to blanket the web with link spam
  • Don&apos;t even think about trying to get onto the first page unless your content rocks.
  • Don&apos;t even think about trying to get onto the first page unless your content rocks.
  • The problem with SEO is that the good advice is obvious, the rest doesn&amp;#x2019;t work, and it&amp;#x2019;s poisoning the web. Best practices. Powazek: Blogger, HotWired, Technorati
  • Don&apos;t even think about trying to get onto the first page unless your content rocks.
  • Cover what no one else is covering
    Update your content frequently
    Develop good links from credible related sites.
    Be connected to the community...

  • Cover what no one else is covering
    Update your content frequently
    Develop good links from credible related sites.
    Be connected to the community...

  • Cover what no one else is covering
    Update your content frequently
    Develop good links from credible related sites.
    Be connected to the community...

  • Cover what no one else is covering
    Update your content frequently
    Develop good links from credible related sites.
    Be connected to the community...

  • When you search on something, you want those first few links to be the most useful, not things that are there because some webmaster wants more traffic. What you want is what everyone wants - good, organically useful content. The exact formula for displaying search results is Google&apos;s &quot;Secret Sauce&quot; and is not published



  • Demo KDMC titles


  • Google is the internet&amp;#x2019;s largest blind user. When we build accessible sites we&amp;#x2019;re adamant about this kind of thing. &amp;#x201C;What should we call it when I counsel someone to use an h2 tag instead of bold text?&amp;#x201D; I call that making good websites. That&amp;#x2019;s why pro web devs are worth their price tag.



  • Headline totally lacking informational content for a search engine





  • The average number of words people type into the search field is 3.1
  • The average number of words people type into the search field is 3.1




  • adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    google.com/insights/search
  • adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    google.com/insights/search
  • adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    google.com/insights/search
  • adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    google.com/insights/search
  • Each link to a page on your site from another site adds to your site&apos;s PageRank.








  • Sitemaps do not directly impact your place in search results. Sitemaps put information about how to search your site and what has changed on your site in one place.



  • Google has a 404 widget you can drop into place.

  • Google&apos;s own documentation: Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. People who &amp;#x201C;employ botnets, third-world labor, and zombie computers to blanket the web with link spam





  • Transcript of "SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)"

    1. 1. Optimizing for People (and search engines)
    2. 2. 80% of users click on one of the first three results.
    3. 3. SEO is the process of getting your content to appear at or near the top of search results.
    4. 4. SEO = good content + good structure
    5. 5. SEO != black magic, secrets, rocket science
    6. 6. who’s responsible?
    7. 7. YOU
    8. 8. With good writers and good web skills, SEO techniques are “obvious.” POWAZEK.COM/POSTS/2101
    9. 9. SEO is only useful if you have good content... Useless if you don’t.
    10. 10. Content
    11. 11. Content Unique + Focused
    12. 12. Content Unique + Focused Fresh + Detailed
    13. 13. Content Unique + Focused Fresh + Detailed Organized + Scannable
    14. 14. Content Unique + Focused Fresh + Detailed Organized + Scannable Connected + Valued
    15. 15. Organic methods are rewarded. ATTEMPTS TO GAME THE SYSTEM ARE PUNISHED.
    16. 16. “Organic” techniques HIGH-QUALITY incoming links Write for readers, not search engines Well-structured, semantic HTML Good metadata Clear, specific page titles Great keywords Meta descriptions Clean URLs
    17. 17. Write content for readers... ...not search engines ✦ Cover what no one else is covering ✦ Shorter paragraphs, clearly marked sections ✦ Get to the point quickly ✦ The web rewards specifics and related information ✦ Don’t stuff keywords ✦ Don’t hide content
    18. 18. <title>Kick-Ass Title Tags</title> • An HTML tag that appears in the <head> container • Most important piece of metadata in your document • Name by which page appears in user bookmarks and SERPs • Unique on every page of site • No more than 70 characters • Include site name, section name (?), content title • Put site name LAST in title, keyworded phrase up front
    19. 19. Well-structured HTML “Semantic” HTML: Use markup as intended
    20. 20. Semantic HTML <h1>, <h2>, <h3> <strong> <em> <blockquote> <p>
    21. 21. Doing META right METADATA INCLUDES GOOD TITLE AND DESCRIPTION. NO MORE THAN 155 CHARACTERS.
    22. 22. What’s wrong with this picture?
    23. 23. Much better
    24. 24. Much better HEADLINE INCLUDES KEYWORDS
    25. 25. Much better HEADLINE INCLUDES KEYWORDS
    26. 26. Keywords in Copy
    27. 27. Keywords in Copy Headlines
    28. 28. Keywords in Copy Headlines Sub-heds
    29. 29. Keywords in Copy Headlines Sub-heds Body
    30. 30. 3.1 WORDS
    31. 31. Keywords and Images
    32. 32. Keywords and Images filename
    33. 33. Keywords and Images filename alt tag
    34. 34. Keywords and Images filename alt tag caption
    35. 35. Keywords and Images filename alt tag caption photo credit
    36. 36. Keyword Tools
    37. 37. Keyword Tools Google Adwords
    38. 38. Keyword Tools Google Adwords Community Sites
    39. 39. Keyword Tools Google Adwords Community Sites Google Insights
    40. 40. Keyword Tools Google Adwords Community Sites Google Insights
    41. 41. Incoming links 200+ ingredients in Google’s “secret sauce,” but links are #1 -- votes of confidence. Use social networks OK to ask for links, but be real about it Links from comment sections of blogs are ignored Build reputation (with good content) Be liberal with outbound links (but don’t overdo it)
    42. 42. Be a the resource
    43. 43. Be a the resource Link to competitors.
    44. 44. Be a the resource Link to competitors. Link to people who have related content.
    45. 45. Be a the resource Link to competitors. Link to people who have related content. Quote, spotlight and praise people in your topic niche that publish good content.
    46. 46. Clean URLs • URLs should be human-readable • Won’t break when forwarded in email • Can be read over the phone • Provide a form of “breadcrumbs” • Meaningful to search engines • If you change URL structures, redirect!
    47. 47. Clean URLs COMPARE: HTTP://NEWS.CNET.COM/8301-17938_105-10381325-1.HTML?TAG=TOCMORESTORIES.0 HTTP://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2009/10/19/ARTS/MUSIC/19ARTS-PUERTORICOCA_BRF.HTML?REF=MUSIC HTTP://WWW.BERKELEYSIDE.COM/2009/10/22/TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE-BERKELEY-HOUSES-FOR-1/ HTTP://MULTIMEDIA.JOURNALISM.BERKELEY.EDU/2009/OCT/14/BLOGGING-EXPERTS/ PARAMETERIZED URLS: NO MORE THAN 2 HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/BRANDS.PHP?OBJECT=1&TYPE=2&KIND=3&NODE=5&ARG=6 HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/BRANDS.PHP?NIKE
    48. 48. Clean URLs COMPARE: HTTP://NEWS.CNET.COM/8301-17938_105-10381325-1.HTML?TAG=TOCMORESTORIES.0 HTTP://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2009/10/19/ARTS/MUSIC/19ARTS-PUERTORICOCA_BRF.HTML?REF=MUSIC HTTP://WWW.BERKELEYSIDE.COM/2009/10/22/TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE-BERKELEY-HOUSES-FOR-1/ HTTP://MULTIMEDIA.JOURNALISM.BERKELEY.EDU/2009/OCT/14/BLOGGING-EXPERTS/ LIMIT URL DEPTH TO 4 LEVELS PARAMETERIZED URLS: NO MORE THAN 2 HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/BRANDS.PHP?OBJECT=1&TYPE=2&KIND=3&NODE=5&ARG=6 HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/BRANDS.PHP?NIKE
    49. 49. Clean URLs COMPARE: HTTP://NEWS.CNET.COM/8301-17938_105-10381325-1.HTML?TAG=TOCMORESTORIES.0 HTTP://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2009/10/19/ARTS/MUSIC/19ARTS-PUERTORICOCA_BRF.HTML?REF=MUSIC HTTP://WWW.BERKELEYSIDE.COM/2009/10/22/TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE-BERKELEY-HOUSES-FOR-1/ HTTP://MULTIMEDIA.JOURNALISM.BERKELEY.EDU/2009/OCT/14/BLOGGING-EXPERTS/ LIMIT URL DEPTH TO 4 LEVELS PARAMETERIZED URLS: NO MORE THAN 2 HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/BRANDS.PHP?OBJECT=1&TYPE=2&KIND=3&NODE=5&ARG=6 HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/BRANDS.PHP?NIKE
    50. 50. Clean URLs in WordPress COMPARING-WIDESCREEN-TVS-OUR-TESTERS-TRIED-SAMSUNG-SONY-PIONEER SEE ALSO: WORDPRESS.ORG/EXTEND/PLUGINS/SEO-SLUGS
    51. 51. Canonical Homepage URL BAD HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM HTTP://MYSITE.COM HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/INDEX.HTML HTTP://MYSITE.COM/INDEX.HTML GOOD HTTP://MYSITE.COM/
    52. 52. Build a sitemap! Eliminates the guesswork Provides hints Machine-readable Human-readable A good CMS or framework can generate one for you
    53. 53. Sitemaps make life easy for search engines WORDPRESS.ORG/EXTEND/PLUGINS/GOOGLE-SITEMAP-GENERATOR
    54. 54. SEO tips Keep your site focused on a topic More pages on a topic = more cred Min. 200 words to a page Keep it fresh! Google rewards new content Spend extra effort sharpening homepage SEO Use text links for nav, not images
    55. 55. More SEO tips Don’t use Javascript-driven menus Don’t link to index.html (don’t split links) Frames, Flash, Ajax: Can’t deep link to content When link building, quality over quantity Keyword links + descriptive adjancent text Registering a domain? Don’t take privacy option
    56. 56. Still more SEO tips Don’t use graphics for navigation Make sure images have alt=”foo” tags (Google is the net’s largest blind user!) Create an HTML sitemap as well as XML Make sure you have a good “About” page Don’t use “click here” links Clean up 404s & add search to your 404 pages Don’t obsess: “What is the googlebot hungry for now?”
    57. 57. Yet more SEO tips Give link love, get link love Links from .edu domains have more weight Optimize RSS feeds too! (description, title) Use captions with images and videos Make a separate video sitemap Broaden your range (podcasts, social, etc.) Avoid duplicate content (See Google Webmaster Tools)
    58. 58. “Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.” - Google Webmaster Guidelines
    59. 59. Gaming the system Break search engine rules Present content differently to search engine than to user Link farms, link exchanges Keyword stuffing False doorways Submission ‘bots User experience suffers
    60. 60. Blog about…
    61. 61. Blog about… • Plans • Staff • Wireframes • UGC • Design • Testing • <more>
    62. 62. Don’t pay for SEO "LOOK UNDER THE HOOD OF ANY SEO PLAN AND YOU’LL FIND ADVICE LIKE THIS: MAKE SURE TO USE KEYWORDS IN THE HEADLINE, USE PROPER FORMATTING, PROVIDE SUMMARIES OF THE CONTENT, INCLUDE LINKS TO RELEVANT INFORMATION. ALL OF THIS IS A GOOD IDEA, AND NONE OF IT IS A SECRET. IT’S SO OBVIOUS, ANYONE WHO PAYS FOR IT IS A FOOL." -POWAZEK
    63. 63. The One True Way WHICH BRINGS US, FINALLY, TO THE ONE TRUE WAY TO GET A LOT OF TRAFFIC ON THE WEB. IT’S PRETTY SIMPLE, AND I’M GOING TO GIVE IT TO YOU HERE, FOR FREE: MAKE SOMETHING GREAT. TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT. DO IT AGAIN. IT’LL TAKE TIME. A LOT OF TIME. BUT IT WORKS. AND IT’S THE ONLY THING THAT DOES.

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