Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Search Engine Optimisation - Have you been crawled over?


Published on

Valentine's Day on 2011 was a little different. I was invited to present a talk on the topic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to a group of students from Tunku Abdul Rahman College (Kuala Lumpur). Here are my slides on the love and hate between a search engine and a website.

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Search Engine Optimisation - Have you been crawled over?

  1. 1. Search Engine OptimisationHave you been crawled over?Marshal E. Yung, Chief Software ArchitectSynapses Systems Sdn Bhd
  2. 2. Overview● Learning from the Past ● Optimisation through Design● SEO – The Whole Idea ● Search Engine Submissions● Getting Indexed ● SEO Tools● Optimisation through Meta Tags ● Black Hat SEO● Optimisation through Contents ● In a Nutshell
  3. 3. Learning from the PastA little History Lesson
  4. 4. Since the mid 90s...● SEO was introduced in 1997● ALIWEB ● First search engine ● Site ranking depends solely on meta data ● Failed due to meta data abuse; eventually inaccurate site ranking● Larry Page & Sergey Brin introduced PageRank ● Site ranking based on the probability of a site being discovered by a web user through inbound links ● Later enhanced to tackle content and link spamming
  5. 5. Search Engine OptimisationThe Whole Idea
  6. 6. SEO – The Whole Idea● Optimise contents: ● Images – search engines can index images too ● Texts – heading tags and SEO copywriters● Titles, descriptions, contents, and links● Visibility and ranking: website, web page● Organic search results● What about paid results? ● Usually very expensive, may not necessary work ● Does not improve page ranking
  7. 7. On-Page Factors● <title> tag● Meta description● Heading tags● Content optimisations● Hyperlinks
  8. 8. Off-Page Factors● Inbound links! ● Who are linking to your sites? ● Make use of comments in community forums, blogs, etc.● Competition ● What are you competition doing that may affect your ranking?● User defined ranking ● Is your website the favourite among all?● Advertising ● Paid advertising also creates inbound links
  9. 9. Getting IndexedSpiders, Crawlers, Bots
  10. 10. Spiders, Web-bots, Crawlers, etc.● Spiders, web-bots, crawlers, bots ● They are all the same thing ● Computer programmes that browses the internet for website hyperlinks ● Based on complex algorithms for website browsing
  11. 11. Web Crawling Concept● Visits a list of URLs (seeds)● Identifies hyperlinks on seeds page and add them to the URL queue (crawl frontier)● URLs from the frontier are visited recursively according to a set of policies to identify more hyperlinks● Create copies of visited pages to be indexed by the search engine
  12. 12. Web Crawling Concept● Download only partial part of the web page● Must oblige to web crawling policies: ● Selection policy: which page to download ● Revisit policy: only visit updated web pages ● Politeness policy: do not overload websites ● Parallelisation policy: coordination of distributed crawlers
  13. 13. Web Crawler Architecture Internet Web pages Downloader and Scheduler Parser DB URL and Indexes Storage Queue
  14. 14. Optimisation through Meta TagsKeywords and Descriptions
  15. 15. Keywords – ABANDONED!● Since 2002, most (if not all) major search engines no longer use keywords for site ranking ● Inaccurate ● Misleading ● Keyword stuffing
  16. 16. Descriptions● Use description attribute in <meta> tag to summarise page contents ● Place within the <head></head> section ● Description shows up in search results ● Helps users to easily understand page contents ● Use unique description to describe different pages ● Preferably to have less than 150 characters
  17. 17. Optimisation through ContentsContent is King!
  18. 18. The Title Says it All● Use <title> tags to indicate page titles: ● Place it within the <head></head> section ● Each web page should have a unique title ● Title tags are what is shown in search results ● Meaningful page title attracts and helps users in finding your website
  19. 19. Content is King!● All contents should be optimised, including: ● Textual contents; and ● Graphical contents● Use appropriate heading tags in page contents: ● <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, <h6> ● Search engine loves heading tags● Use text instead of images as headings ● It works better with search results ● Crawlers do not recognise texts within images
  20. 20. Content is King!● Body contents are where search engines collect and index words seen by web crawlers● Create optimised body contents by: 1.Identifying the gist, objective, and message of your body content 2.Create a list of keywords representing these gist, objectives, and messages. 3.Construct sentences and paragraphs with these keywords● Or, you may hire professional help from an SEO copywriter
  21. 21. Optimising Content Keywords● Good keywords have low competitions and high probabilities● Low competition keywords: ● Keywords less likely used on other websites similar to yours● High probability keywords: ● Keywords with very high likelihood to be used by users as the search word● Use phrases instead of single words as keywords
  22. 22. Optimising Image Contents● Web crawlers can see images● Images can be indexed by search engines ● Image file name ● Image description● Use the alt attributes in <img> tags to describe the image ● <img src=”images/seo_book.png” alt=”SEO in a Nutshell” />● Use meaningful file names for images● Image search engine is getting popular and advancing
  23. 23. Optimisation through DesignCode Base Tweaking
  24. 24. Friendly URLs● Avoid using URL with parameters ●● Use friendly URL ● ● More meaningful and easier for users to remember and understand ● Easier and faster for web crawlers to identify contents
  25. 25. Site Structure● Simplify directory structure● Deep sub-directories slow down web crawling● Meaningful file names
  26. 26. Make it Easy for Crawlers● Use external CSS files● Use external JavaScript files ● Place lengthy JavaScript codes at the end of the document● Prioritise web pages with rel=”canonical” attribute in <link> tag● Reduce line of codes ● Simplify HTML coding with <div> tags over <table> tags when possible ● Shorter LOC reduces crawling and page loading time ● NOTE: Reduce LOC but dont disregard good coding standards
  27. 27. Search Engine SubmissionsGoogle, Yahoo!, Microsoft Bing
  28. 28. Kick-Start● Search engine submission ● First step to launching website ● Fastest way to introduce website to search engine ● Speed of indexing and ranking depends on quality of content optimisation● Free search engine submissions ● Google ● Yahoo! ● Microsoft Bing● Search engines also accept XML based site-map definition to speed up website crawling ● ●
  29. 29. Sample XML Sitemap<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><urlset xmlns=""> <url> <loc></loc> <lastmod>2005-01-01</lastmod> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> <priority>0.8</priority> </url> <url> <loc>;desc=vacation_hawaii</loc> <changefreq>weekly</changefreq> </url> <url> <loc>;desc=vacation_new_zealand</loc> <lastmod>2004-12-23</lastmod> <changefreq>weekly</changefreq> </url></urlset>
  30. 30. Sample XML Sitemap<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><urlset xmlns="" xmlns:image="" xmlns:video=""> <url> <loc></loc> <image:image> <image:loc></image:loc> </image:image> <video:video> <video:content_loc></video:content_loc> <video:player_loc allow_embed="yes" autoplay="ap=1"></video:player_loc> <video:thumbnail_loc></video:thumbnail_loc> <video:title>Grilling steaks for summer</video:title> <video:description>Get perfectly done steaks every time</video:description> </video:video> </url></urlset>
  31. 31. SEO ToolsSearch Engines Little Helper
  32. 32. Google● Site submissions ●● Google Webmaster Tools ● Collection of website analysis and SEO tools by Google ● Website SEO management tools for web masters ● Site and sitemap submissions ●
  33. 33. Google● Google Analytics ● Website SEO performance reporting ●● Google Website Optimizer ● Create experiments to gauge existing SEO strategy effectiveness ●
  34. 34. Yahoo! and Microsoft● Yahoo! Site Explorer ● Site and feed submissions● Microsoft Web SEO Toolkit ● Free install base SEO toolkit ● Analyse SEO strategy performance ●
  35. 35. Yahoo! and Microsoft● Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools ● Site and sitemap submissions ● SEO performance analysis ● Requires Microsoft Silverlight ●● Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance ● Microsoft provides content listings ● Yahoo! improves on search engine capabilities ● Worldwide content transition completes by early 2012
  36. 36. Submit to which search engine?Google, Yahoo!, or Microsoft Bing a little foresight... and disclaimer
  37. 37. Black Hat SEOWelcome to the dark side of SEO
  38. 38. Overview● Unethical SEO methods to achieve high page ranking● Search engines have policies to identify websites using Black Hat SEO methods● Websites using Black Hat SEO methods can be blacklisted by search engines● List of blacklisted websites are shared among search engines
  39. 39. Taboos!● Spamdexing ● Manipulates search engine indexes with irrelevant and inconsistent keywords or phrases● Keyword stuffing ● Overusing keywords in page contents, alt attributes, and meta tags ● Repetitive keywords ● Sometimes considered as a type of spamdexing method
  40. 40. Taboos!● Hidden texts ● Hiding texts behind images ● Transparent font colours ● Setting font colours similar to background colours ● Normally achieved using CSS● Doorway and cloaked pages ● Spamming search engine indexes with inaccurate information ● Contents presented to the user is different from contents indexed by search engines ● Redirects the user to another website when the page is visited
  41. 41. Taboos!● Link farming ● A group of websites created merely to contain hyperlinks to each other ● Link farming sites normally generate links using a computer programme ● Affiliate programmes and link exchanges are not considered as link farming● Comment spamming ● Posting of irrelevant comments with hyperlinks in blogs and community forums ● Can be easily prevented by users – Captcha
  42. 42. In a NutshellBest Practices?
  43. 43. Guidelines...● Avoid any Black Hat SEO methods● Put yourself in the users shoes● Consider a wide variety of user experiences● Perform website optimisation for human rather than search engines – its more effective● Submit your website and sitemap to search engines● Paid ranking rarely works and normally avoided by users● Promote your site (URL) in your on-line communities in an ethical manner – good way to generate inbound links● Keep website updated and fresh all the time
  44. 44. More Guidelines...● Search engines cannot index rich media contents● Use texts with heading tags – not images● Meaningful file names – scripts and image files● Optimise website coding for web crawlers – shorter LOC● Always use keywords and phrases in alt attributes
  45. 45. SEO Life-Cycle?
  46. 46. Thank You and Happy Valentines DayQuestions?Slides available,,