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#1NWebinar - Transparency in SEO: A Look Inside the Black Box


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Historically, search engine optimization (SEO) has been predicated on a mysterious, black box model for page rankings. However, as Google and other search engines have provided transparency into the rules used to order and return search results, that is no longer the case. Google is urging website owners to “make pages primarily for users, not search engines” and is regularly updating its algorithms to penalize sites that try to ‘game’ SEO.

So, what does SEO mean now? Join One North’s Managing Director of Technology, Ryan Horner, as he shares a simple and straightforward explanation from industry experts on how search engines really work and what factors contribute to search engine rankings. Discover how your firm can develop a strategy that will maximize your visibility, in a clear and transparent way.

To view a recording of the webinar, visit

Published in: Technology, Design
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#1NWebinar - Transparency in SEO: A Look Inside the Black Box

  1. 1. 9 July 2013 Transparency in SEO: A Look Inside the Black Box Webinar
  2. 2. Agenda How do Search Engines Work? What Has Changed? Big Picture View of Page Rank Factors Tools
  3. 3. How Do Search Engines Work?
  4. 4. How Do Search Engines Work?
  5. 5. What Has Changed?
  6. 6. Relevant Results Are Essential *Search from April, 2009
  7. 7. Google is Being Transparent • SEO is about creating a great website with great content that users want to visit and share. – “…focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience.” -Matt Cutts, head of Google WebSpam team • From Google’s perspective: – Sites that deserve to be on top should be on top. – You earn the top spot by being what Google users would consider the best result for a keyword.
  8. 8. Big Picture View of SEO
  9. 9. The Big Picture
  10. 10. Factors Work Together
  11. 11. On-the-Page SEO
  12. 12. Off-the-Page SEO
  13. 13. On-the-Page: Architecture Goal: Is it easy to access your website? Source: • Can search engines easily ‘crawl’ pages on the site? • Does the site manage duplicate content issues well? • Does the site load quickly? • Are URLs short & do they contain meaningful keywords? • Does your site work well for mobile visitors, on smartphones and tablets? • Do you show search engines different pages than humans?
  14. 14. On-the-Page: HTML Source: • Do HTML title tags contain keywords relevant to page topics? • Do meta description tags describe what pages are about? • Do headlines & subheads use header tags w/ relevant keywords? • Do pages use structured data to enhance listings? • Do you excessively use words you want pages to be found for? • Do colors or design ‘hide’ words you want pages to be found for? Goal: Are you making it clear what your pages are about?
  15. 15. On-the-Page: Content Source: Goal: Are you providing unique value to visitors? • Are pages well written & have substantial quality content? • Have you researched the keywords people may use to find your content? • Do pages use words & phrases you hope they’ll be found for? • Do visitors spend time reading or ‘bounce’ away quickly? • Are pages fresh & about ‘hot’ topics? • Is content ‘thin’ or ‘shallow’ & lacking substance? • Is your content ad-heavy, especially ‘above the fold?’
  16. 16. Off-the-Page: Links Source: Goal: Do other quality sites link to you? • Are links from trusted, quality or respected websites? • Do links pointing at pages use words you hope they’ll be found for? • Do links point at your web pages? • Have you purchased links in hopes of better rankings? • Have you created many links by spamming blogs, forums or other places?
  17. 17. Off-the-Page: Trust Source: Goal: Are you trustworthy? • Do links, shares & other factors make your site a trusted authority? • Has your site or its domain been around a long time, operating in the same way? • Does your site use means to verify its identity & that of authors? • Has your site been flagged for hosting pirated content?
  18. 18. Off-the-Page: Social/Personal Source: Goal: Do people share you on social networks and visit often? • Do those respected on social networks share your content? • Do many share your content on social networks? • What country is someone located in? • What city or local area is someone located in? • Has someone regularly visited your site or socially favored it? • Have your friends socially favored the site?
  19. 19. The Big Picture
  20. 20. Tools
  21. 21. Tools • SEOMoz Site Explorer – • Microsoft SEO Analysis Tool – • Google Webmaster Tools – • Google Analytics –
  22. 22. Tools – SEOMoz
  23. 23. Tools – Microsoft SEO Analysis Tool
  24. 24. Tools – Google Webmaster Tools • Search Appearance – mark up your pages – potentially influence how your pages appear • Search Traffic – how people find your site – who links to your site • Google Index – Page count – Keyword matches – URL Removal • Crawl – Crawl Errors – What Google sees
  25. 25. Tools – Google Analytics • Browser and Device Usage – Make sure you are serving all your users • How users get to your site – Inbound links, search engine keywords • Social Media Usage – Facebook, google+, Delicious, etc. • Page Speed – With Recommendations
  26. 26. An Ongoing Process Maintain Big Picture SEO View Prioritize Efforts Have Great Content Have a Great User Experience Get Inbound Links Get Visibility Through Tools
  27. 27. Thank you! Questions?