Search Engine Optimization Prepared By Shimona Chadha
An internet-based tool that searches an index of documents for a particular term, phrase or text specified by the user. Commonly used to refer to large web-based search engines that search through billions of pages on the internet.
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)
Google – 41.6%
Yahoo – 31.5%
MSN – 27.4%
AOL – 13.6%
Ask Jeeves – 7.0%
Figures below show what percentage of US internet users accessed the corresponding sites at least once during a given month. Counts only search-specific visits.
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
Search Box Sponsored Links Organic Results
Refers to the process of “optimizing” both the on-page and off-page ranking factors in order to achieve high search engine rankings for targeted search terms.
Researches desirable keywords and search phrases ( word tracker, overture, Google Adwords )
Identifies search phrases to target (should be relevant to business/market, obtainable and profitable)
“ Cleans” and optimizes a website’s HTML code for appropriate keyword density, title tag optimization, internal linking structure, headings and subheadings, etc.
Helps in writing copy to appeal to both search engines and actual website visitors
Studies competitors (competing websites) and search engines
Implements a quality link building campaign
Pushes for more content!
Monitors rankings for targeted search terms
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 text.
Use keywords in the URL or filename, and don't change either unnecessarily
Create alt tags for graphics containing keywords.
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 shouldn't.
PPC ads appear as “sponsored listings”
Companies bid on price they are willing to pay “per click”
Typically have very good tracking tools and statistics
Can set budgets and spending limits
Google Adwords and Overture are the two leaders
Pay-Per-Click “ Organic” SEO
results in 1-2 days
easier for a novice or one without much knowledge of SEO
ability to turn on and off at any moment
generally more costly per visitor and per conversion
fewer impressions and exposure
easy to compete in highly competitive market space (but it will cost you)
can generate exposure on related sites (AdSense)
ability to target “local” markets
better for short-term and high-margin campaigns
results take 2 weeks to 4 months
requires ongoing learning and experience to reap results
very difficult to control flow of traffic
generally more cost-effective, doesn’t penalize for more traffic
SERPs are more popular than sponsored ads
very difficult to compete in highly competitive market space
can generate exposure on related websites and directories
more difficult to target local markets
better for long-term and lower margin campaigns
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
On-Page Factors (Code & Content)
Title tags <title>
Header tags <h1>
ALT image tags
Content, Content, Content (Body text) <body>
Keyword frequency & density
Link Popularity (“votes” for your site) – adds credibility
Have HTML links on your home page for each major page within your site
Most SE's, like Google, cannot follow image map links
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
Titles are a short and concise description of a webpage
The title is displayed at the top left of your web browser...
The title is displayed at the bottom of the screen...
The title is also displayed as "tabs" in the new Internet Explorer and in Firefox...
The two most common mistakes made by webmasters are:
each page of their website having the same title
having the titles on their website list their keywords instead of accurately describing the page
Make sure that TITLE and ALT tags are descriptive and accurate
Google uses title tag information heavily to determine the relevant key phrases for which to rank a site.
Key phrase use in the title tag is the number one "on page" factor affecting search engine rankings.
Company name should not appear in the title tag unless you actually expect to derive traffic from searches involving your company name
A word is used in a page title, MUST also show up in the main body of the page!
Use descriptive image alt tags
Check to see what page looks like without images! (Firefox developer toolbar)
Use descriptive file naming, image naming no spaces! Use "_" to separate words for ease of readability
The more opportunity to use keywords the better
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
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 engine.
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.
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 on
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)
Black Hat SEO – refers to various “tricks of the trade” that are often questioned as “ethical” by some SEOs. Typically refers to a tactic intended to misrepresent a website by displaying different information to the search engine versus the user. >> hidden text, redirects, etc.
“ Ethical SEO” – refers to methods used to improve rankings while still presenting the same information to both users and search engines.
Link Farms – sites/pages that may have thousands of links, often to unrelated sites. Typically they provide these links in exchange for links to their site in an attempt to improve their rankings. Reciprocal linking is common and generally accepted when not excessive and an attempt is made to provide value to the site visitor.
Google Bombing – establishing links with certain anchor text in order to achieve a high ranking for that term. Again, this becomes questionable when an attempt is made to misrepresent the website.
Don't load your meta tags with irrelevant keywords just because they get searched for a lot
Don't repeat your keywords several times in a row.
Don't hide text on your pages by making it the same color 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 names.
Don't use re-directs or other technology that will confuse the search engine's spider