The fascinating world of SEO


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A primer on the structured content tips and tricks used by the BBC to boost the search rankings of their content. Link density good, keyword stuffing bad! Written by me and @fantasticlife, and published under a CC license. Feel free to download and stick up on your wall :)

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The fascinating world of SEO

  1. 1. HOW DO WE Improve our Google ranking? ™ Search me. Link titles influence the search INBOUND LINKS terms your content ranks against, dex.php I AM IN NEW EPISODE. YOU WILL BLOG ABOUT ME. What’s the link ? so use consistent, descriptive ?action=wtf&page=foo bar eeek! George W Bush: President of the United States ssion=018118055 ing! Biography of the President from the official &se Sure th White House website titles where you can. BLEURGH. YUM! Try not to move or remove pages, but if Don’t include session data you must then redirect in your URL. RESTful URLs appropriately using Links to a page from within the serve the same content Reach out to online communities HTTP 301. same site also boost ranking, so resource to everyone. and encourage them to link to ensure your site cross-links extensively. your content. k If making data or APIs available to Shepherd’s ury b 3rd parties, ask for attribution in the Pie /glaston Plan for the future so the rammes/b0094j1x SY 2009 meaning of your URL MAD MEN form of links back to your content. 0 EXTRAS doesn’t change. Existing HOME LATEST EPISODE SERIES GUIDE 201 2011 links have equity so don’t Avoid adding rel-nofollow to outbound ND Marketing URLS are good for on-air promotion Delia’s... LOADS substitute replacement links. Link sinks are bad, and some engines but ensure they can resolve to persistent URLs Jamie’s... content at the same URL. will reward pages with outbound links to for more permanent linking. similar content. ICA Trending now Heston’s... 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RT @BBC Giant Pand 0t teh pandas rock w0 network activity. Be sure to tweet those links! 505 <--- L E OP PE Enrich your pages with BBC: Mad Men - Season 4 user activity, but ensure Drama series set in one of New Yorks most prestigious each comment or blog ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s. post can be linked to. Characters - On Air - Watch online - Extras Structure your site to have Submit XML search sitemaps - Cached - Similar Meh. I’d rather one page per concept, and Build your site around to expose new content.GOOD watch Doctor Who! one concept per page. Two the mental models <meta name="rob pages on the same concept? and language most "content="noodp ots Titles and descriptions can be influenced Automotive transport , noy dir"> Use rel-canonical to denote people use for your Automobile by inbound link titles and page copy, or ww I OBEY. forced to use your metadata. the main one. subject. Personal motor-based TR transportation ANSPOR T w.b Root Vegetables bc .co. 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Do what thou wilt. ional Prince (with emot coping Keyword stuffing hurts content and doesn’t always search forms. Radishes negotiation to Enrich your results by intelligence, who is Where possible, with bereavement and ) help ranking. Write for your audience, using their serve appropriate publishing microformat or parental alienation MY VISION IS IMPAIRED. reuse web-scale of Denmark, language. Don’t write for search bots. I CANNOT SEE FLASH. representations. RDFa rich snippets. the Netherlands, identifiers in URLs. nce I AM A SEARCH BOT. in Elsinore, a Pri Human-readable URLs may be subject to ymbol European Castle. YUM! HTML CONTENT Cute animals IS EASIER TO EAT. S Above all, make *BLEEP* *WHIRR* change. With large amounts of content nce Pri knows? ! good, interesting, consider persistent identifiers, like ho Hello. W Ideas and cleverness: Michael Smethurst / Jokes and colouring-in: Mike Atherton funny, entertaining artist/018118055 Don’t expose your content that Use HTML for text content with id=4815162342 technology in your URLs. people actually foo/index.php?action=show& ALT attributes for content images. It will change over time. care about! Huh? Add text transcripts to AV. Above all, remember <h1> Use well-formed markup to cool URLs don’t change. describe content, such as BLIND TO SOME CONTENT. Design always for denoting headline priority CANNOT SEE. *BEEP* https persistence. with <h1>, <h2>, <h3> tags. AJAX and CSS tricks to hide content Only consider make it harder to crawl. Make sure https if you need v1.0 / Oct 2010 by BBC Navigation and Service those pages degrade gracefully to secure submission straightforward HTML. of sensitive data. Optimising pages for search engines is complex, but it isnt difficult. Product managers, editorial strategists, information architects, designers and developers can all lend their skills to a cohesive effort to model, write and expose compelling content based around popular and trending search queries. SEO starts with the things we model. We’ll need to change the way we stitch our content into the wider web. Together well build a better site; not just for search bots, but for everyone. Lets get to work.