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  1. 1. SEO – HIGH TRAFFIC ROUTING Global Information Internship Program from BUDNET
  2. 2. Today’s Agenda  What is SEO?  The Seven Steps to Higher Rankings  Get Your Site Fully Indexed  Get Your Pages Visible  Build Links & PageRank  Leverage Your PageRank  Encourage Clickthrough  Track the Right Metrics  Avoid Worst Practices
  3. 3. Part 1: What Is SEO?
  4. 4. EverythingRevolvesAround Search
  5. 5. Search Engine Optimization 6 times more effective than a banner ad Delivers qualified leads 80% of Internet user sessions begin at the search engines (Source: 55% of online purchases are made on sites found through search engine listings (Source:
  6. 6. SEO is NOT Paid Advertising SEO – “Search Engine Optimization” – seeks to influence rankings in the “natural” (a.k.a. “organic”, a.k.a. “algorithmic”) search results PPC – paid search advertising on a pay-per-click basis. The more you pay, the higher your placement. Stop paying = stop receiving traffic. SEM – encompasses both SEO and PPC
  7. 7. PaidNatural Paid
  8. 8. Google Listings – Your VirtualSales Force making 6-7 figures a month from  Savvy retailers natural listings  Savvy MFA (Made for AdSense) site owners making 5-6 figures per month  Most sites are not SE-friendly  Google friendliness = friendly to other engines  First calculate your missed opportunities
  9. 9. Not doing SEO? You’re Leaving Money on the Table  Calculate the missed opportunity cost of not ranking well for products and services that you offer?# of people engine share expected click- average averagesearching for (Google = through rate conversion rate transactionyour keywords x 60%) x x x amount  E.g.10,000/day x 60% x 10% x 5% x $100 = $3,000/day
  10. 10. Most Important SearchEngines Google (also powers AOL Search,, iWon, etc.) – 60.29% market share (Source: Hitwise) Yahoo! (also powers Alltheweb, AltaVista, Hotbot, Lycos, CNN, A9 ) – 22.58% Live Search (formerly MSN Search) – 11.56% Ask – 3.63%
  11. 11. People Are Googling… Are YouThere?
  12. 12. What Are Searchers LookingFor? Keyword Research  “Target the wrong keywords and all your efforts will be in vain.” The “right” keywords are…  relevant to your business  popular with searchers
  13. 13. Keyword Research Tools to check popularity of keyword searches   Trellian’s  Google’s Keyword Tool  Google Trends  Google Suggest
  14. 14. Pros  Based on last 60 days worth of searches  Singular vs plural, misspellings, verb tenses all separated out  Advanced functionality: keyword “projects”, import data into Excel, synonyms, … Cons  Requires subscription fee ($260/year)  Data is from a small sample of Internet searches (from the minor search engines Dogpile and MetaCrawler)  Contains bogus data from automated searches  No historical archives
  15. 15. KeywordPopularity –According toWordTracker
  16. 16. Trellian’ Pros  Full year of historical archives  Data is from a large sample of Internet searches (9 billion searches compiled from 37 engines)  Singular vs plural, misspellings, verb tenses all separated out  Can segment by country  Advanced functionality: keyword “projects”, import data into Excel, synonyms, … Cons  Access to the historical data requires subscription fee (~$30/month)  Contains bogus data from automated searches
  17. 17. Keyword Popularity–According toKeywordDiscovery
  18. 18. Google AdWords Keyword Tool Pros  Free! (Must have an AdWords account though)  Data is from a large sample of Internet searches (from Google)  Singular vs plural, misspellings, verb tenses all separated out  Can segment by country  Synonyms Cons  No hard numbers Augment this tool with other free Google tools:  Google Suggest (  Google Trends (
  19. 19. Keyword Popularity –According to Google AdWordsKeyword Tool
  20. 20. Keyword Popularity –According to Google AdWordsKeyword Tool
  21. 21. Keyword Popularity – According toGoogle Trends
  22. 22. KeywordPopularity –According toGoogleSuggest
  23. 23. Keyword Research Competition for that keyword should also be considered  Calculate KEI Score (Keyword Effectiveness Indicator) = ratio of searches over number of pages in search results  The higher the KEI Score, the more attractive the keyword is to target (assuming it’s relevant to your business)
  24. 24. SEO. A Moving Target.  A lot is changing…  Personalization & customization  Vertical search services (Images, Video, News, Maps, etc.)  “Blended Search” – aka “Universal Search”  Fortunately, the tried-and-true tactics still work…  Topically relevant links from important sites  Anchor text  Keyword-rich title tags  Keyword-rich content  Internal hierarchical linking structure  The whole is greater than the sum of the parts
  25. 25. The Search Engines Are YourFriend Webmaster tools (e.g. Google Webmaster Central, Live Search Webmaster Center, Yahoo Site Explorer) Rel=“nofollow” tag Meta NOODP tag Speaking at search engine conferences Publishing blogs dedicated to helping webmasters Participating on SEO forums “Weather reports”
  26. 26. SEO Can Dramatically ImproveTraffic/Sales Non-optimal site with Optimized site with many few pages indexed pages indexed =$Few visits/sales per day Many visits/sales per day!
  27. 27. Part 2: Seven Steps to High Rankings
  28. 28. Begin The 7 Steps1) Get Your Site Fully Indexed2) Get Your Pages Visible3) Build Links & PageRank4) Leverage Your PageRank4) Encourage Clickthrough6) Track the Right Metrics7) Avoid Worst Practices
  29. 29. 1) Get Your Site Fully Indexed Search engines are wary of “dynamic” pages - they fear “spider traps” Avoid stop characters (?, &, =) ‘cgi-bin’, session IDs and unnecessary variables in your URLs; frames; redirects; pop-ups; navigation in Flash/Java/Javascript/pulldown boxes  If not feasible due to platform constraints, can be easily handled through proxy technology (e.g. GravityStream) The better your PageRank, the deeper and more often your site will be spidered
  30. 30. Common Barriers to Spidering: !  Lack of links down into all content pages; navigation; Non-textlink sitewide • Search-form-only; • Javascript/Java-only (ie: dynamic menus); • Flash apps / Splash pages; Non-optimal URL formats of pages; URL Framed Content
  31. 31. 1) Get Your Site Fully Indexed(cont’d) Page # estimates are wildly inaccurate, and include non-indexed pages (e.g. ones with no title or snippet) Misconfigurations (in robots.txt, in the type of redirects used, requiring cookies, etc.) can kill indexation Keep your error pages out of the index by returning 404 status code Keep duplicate pages out of the index by standardizing your URLs, eliminating unnecessary variables, using 301 redirects when needed
  32. 32. Results in“Supplemental Hell”
  33. 33. Example of Non-Optimal Site Design:PR 8 site has META refresh redirect on homepage – spiders notredirected to destination page:Also, indexed “shell” page doesn’t contain any text content!
  34. 34. Not Spider-Friendly GET --> 302 Moved Temporarily GET --> 302 Moved Temporarily GET .do&CookieSet=Set --> 302 Moved Temporarily GET --> 200 OK
  35. 35. 2) Get Your Pages Visible 100+ “signals” that influence ranking “Title tag” is the most important copy on the page Home page is the most important page of a site Every page of your site has a “song” (keyword theme) Incorporate keywords into title tags, hyperlink text, headings (H1 & H2 tags), alt tags, and high up in the page (where they’re given more “weight”) Eliminate extraneous HTML code “Meta tags” are not a magic bullet Have text for navigation, not graphics
  36. 36. Pretty good title
  37. 37. Not so good title –where’s the phrase“credit card”?
  38. 38. Dynamic Site Leaves Session IDs inURLs: Titles not specific to page (“jewelry”) Main text on page just nav labels – Little text/keyword content
  39. 39. Good link textand body copy
  40. 40. Good link textand body copy
  41. 41. No link text orbody copy
  42. 42. No link text orbody copy
  43. 43. Take a peekunder thehood
  44. 44. The “meta tags”
  45. 45. Unnecessarilybloated HTML
  46. 46. 3) Build Links and PageRank “Link popularity” affects search engine rankings PageRank™ - Links from “important” sites have more impact on your Google rankings (weighted link popularity) Google offers a window into your PageRank  PageRank meter in the Google Toolbar (  Google Directory ( category pages  3rd party tools like’s “PageRank Lookup” & “PageRank Search” Scores range from 0-10 on a logarithmic scale Live Search and Yahoo have similar measures to PageRank™
  47. 47. Google’s Toolbar –with handy PageRankMeter
  48. 48. GoogleDirectory –listings areorganized byPageRank
  49. 49. Conduct anyGoogle queryand get resultsorganized byPageRank
  50. 50. 4) Leverage Your PageRank Your home page’s PageRank gets distributed to your deep pages by virtue of your hierarchical internal linking structure (e.g. breadcrumb nav) Pay attention to the text used within the hyperlink (“Google bombing”) Don’t hoard your PageRank Don’t link to “bad neighborhoods”
  51. 51. Ideal internal site linkinghierarchies: Homepages often will be Good link trees inform highest-ranking site search engines about pages since they which site pages are typically have most most important. inbound links.*Sitemaps can also be used to tell SEs about pages, & to definerelative priority.
  52. 52. 4) Leverage Your PageRank Avoid PageRank dilution  Canonicalization ( vs.  Duplicate pages: (session IDs, tracking codes, superfluous parameters)  In general, search engines are cautious of dynamic URLs (with ?, &, and = characters) because of “spider traps”  Rewrite your URLs (using a server module/plug-in) or use a hosted proxy service (e.g. GravityStream)  See web/
  53. 53. Duplicatepages
  54. 54. Googlebot gotcaught in a“spider trap”
  55. 55. Search enginespiders turntheir noses upat such URLs
  56. 56. Thus, importantcontent doesn’tmake it into thesearch engineindices
  57. 57. 5) Encourage Clickthrough Zipf’s Law applies - you need to be at the top of page 1 of the search results. It’s an implied endorsement. Synergistic effect of being at the top of the natural results & paid results Entice the user with a compelling call-to-action and value proposition in your descriptions Your title tag is critical Snippet gets built automatically, but you CAN influence what’s displayed here
  58. 58. Where dosearcherslook?(Enquiro, Did-it,Eyetools Study)
  59. 59. Searchlistings – 1 good,1 lousy
  60. 60. 6) Track the Right Metrics Indexation: # of pages indexed, % of site indexed, % of product inventory indexed, # of “fresh pages” Link popularity: # of links, PageRank score (0 - 10) Rankings: by keyword, “filtered” (penalized) rankings Keyword popularity: # of searches, competition, KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Indicator) scores Cost/ROI: sales by keyword & by engine, cost per lead
  61. 61. Indexation tool –
  62. 62. Link popularity tool –
  63. 63. Avoid Worst Practices Target relevant keywords Don’t stuff keywords or replicate pages Create deep, useful content Dont conceal, manipulate, or over-optimize content Links should be relevant (no scheming!) Observe copyright/trademark law & Google’s guidelines
  64. 64. Spamming in Its Many Forms… Hidden or small text Keyword stuffing Targeted to obviously irrelevant keywords Automated submitting, resubmitting, deep submitting Competitor names in meta tags Duplicate pages with minimal or no changes Spamglish Machine generated content
  65. 65. Spamming in Its Many Forms… Pagejacking Doorway pages Cloaking Submitting to FFA (“Free For All”) sites & link farms Buying up expired domains with high PageRanks Scraping Splogging (spam blogging)
  66. 66. BMW.dehosted many “doorway pages” like this one
  67. 67. “Sneakyredirect” sent searchers to this page
  68. 68. Not Spam, But Bad forRankings content-less home page, Flash intros Splash pages, Title tags the same across the site Error pages in the search results (eg “Session expired”) "Click here" links Superfluous text like “Welcome to” at beginning of titles Spreading site across multiple domains (usually for load balancing) Content too many levels deep
  69. 69. What Next? Conduct an SEOAudit! Is your site fully indexed? Are your pages fully optimized? Could you be acquiring more PageRank? Are you spending your PageRank wisely? Are you maximizing your clickthrough rates? Are you measuring the right things? Are you applying “best practices” in SEO and avoiding all the “worst practices”?
  70. 70. Review Errors/Messages in Webmaster Tools
  71. 71. Content Opt Opportunities via WebmasterTools
  72. 72. Check Robots.txt Exclusions in WebmasterTools
  73. 73. Case Study: What worked  Comprehensive SEO & usability audit  Intensive on-site training sessions with their IT and marketing teams  6 months of support What didn’t work  No significant changes to the look of the home page were allowed for political reasons, significantly reducing the options available
  74. 74. Case Study: Results  Within 8 weeks of launch of some preliminary optimization work, on page 1 for “website hosting” in Google  With our audit as a blueprint, later that year launched an internally built site redesign which landed them the #1 Google position for “website hosting”  Consistently held #1 position for 2 years
  75. 75. In Summary Focus on the right keywords Have great keyword-rich content Build links, and thus your PageRank™ Spend that PageRank™ wisely within your site Measure the right things Continually monitor and benchmark
  76. 76. Further Reading
  77. 77. Q&A! Special White Papers Available: Image Search Optimization Local Search Optimization Tactics New Link Building Paradigms Online Marketing Tips for Universities Tips & Tricks for Local Search Ads