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					Search Engine Optimization
        White Hat
       Dr. Drew Hwang
      White Hat Optimization
• Techniques that search engines recommend
  as part of good design
• Conforms to the search engines' guidelines
• Tend to produce results that last a long time




                                                  2
     Search Engine Optimization
                   3 Focus Areas
• On-page optimization
  – Refers to the keyword optimizations you make in
    your web page code
  – Has fairly little SEO importance but is easy to control
• On-site optimization
  – The navigation and linking structure of the site
  – Very important and within your control
• Off-site optimization
  – Promotion
  – Backlinks
  – Extremely important but very difficult to control.

                                                              3
      Search Engine Optimization
                   Finding Keywords
• Use “~” in Google search for related terms
• Use a lexical database for keyword suggestions
• Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool for
  keyword suggestions
  (adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal)
• Use Google Trend to compare regional volumes
  (www.google.com/trends)
• Use Google Insights to further compare search
  volume patterns across specific regions,
  categories, time frames and properties
  (www.google.com/insights/search/#)
• Use keywords suggested by various keyword
  suggestion tools

                                                    4
     Search Engine Optimization
             Keywords Guidelines
• Don’t be too broad – you cannot be everything
  to all people
• Find what people are actually searching for
• Find low competition & high search volume
  phrases
• For example:
  A long title: “Your source for discount iPod
  accessories, including FM transmitters, cases,
  skins, chargers, and much more.”
  A better, short title: “Discount iPod Accessories,”


                                                    5
      Search Engine Optimization
                    Keyword Density
• A measure (shown as a percentage) of how often a
  keyword or phrase appears on a page.
• A page containing 10 words total, one of which is a
  keyword, would have a keyword density of 10%.
• Increasing keyword density will increase search
  engine rank. (Zhang and Dimitroff, 2005)
• Use the Keyword Density tool from SEOchat.com for
  keyword density analysis
  (www.seochat.com/seo-tools/keyword-density)
• Approach 1: Simply adding line after line of the
  keyword or adding it out of context - will cause the
  search engines to penalize the site
• Approach 2: Reducing the overall number of nonkey
  words on the page.
                                                         6
      Search Engine Optimization
               Finding Domain Name
• With more then 46 Million active dot com domain
  names registered, it is difficult to find a good
  domain name that matches a product, service, or
  website concept that is not already taken.
• Use Domain Name Suggestion Tool
  (domain-suggestions.domaintools.com)
• Guidelines:
  –   Register domain for more than a year
  –   No dashes in domain name (they look spammy to Google)
  –   .com is better than .info, .net, etc.
  –   Use shorter words
  –   Use plural words

                                                              7
       Google's SEO Starter Guide

• A SEO white hat guide
• Doesn’t release any of Google’s algorithm secrets
• Covers Google’s best practices for title tags, meta tags,
  URL structure, navigation, content, anchor text,
  headers, images and of course, Robots.txt, etc.
• Claiming that following the best practices outlined
  below will make it easier for search engines to both
  crawl and index your content.
• However, the guidelines do not necessarily yield what's
  best for Internet users and do not leave much room for
  innovation around Web site design (e.g., Flash, Flex.
  Etc.).
  (www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf)

                                                                                  8
     Google's SEO Starter Guide
                     <title>
• Reveals what the topic of a particular page is
• Ideally a unique title for each page
• Shown in the snippet of the SERP
• Homepage : list the name of the business and
  other important information like the physical
  location of the business or its main focuses or
  offerings
• Deeper pages: accurately describe the focus of
  that particular page and include the business
  name.


                                                    9
     Google's SEO Starter Guide
                          <title>
• Good practices:
  – Accurately describe the page's content
  – Create unique title tags for each page
  – Use brief, but descriptive titles
• Avoid:
  – choosing a title that has no relation to the content on the
    page
  – using default or vague titles like "Untitled" or "New Page
    1“
  – using a single title tag across all of your site's pages or a
    large group of pages
  – using extremely lengthy titles that are unhelpful to users
  – stuffing unneeded keywords in your title tags


                                                                10
     Google's SEO Starter Guide
           <meta> – Description
• A summary of what the page is about
• A sentence or two or a short paragraph
• Might be used as snippets or in the Open
  Directory Project
• Add it to each page




                                             11
     Google's SEO Starter Guide
              <meta> – Description
• Good practices:
  – Accurately summarize the page's content
  – Use unique descriptions for each page
• Avoid:
  – Writing a description meta tag that is not relevant to the
    content on the page
  – Using generic descriptions like "This is a webpage" or
    "Page about baseball cards“
  – Filling the description with only keywords
  – Copy and pasting the entire content of the document into
    the description meta tag
  – Using a single description meta tag across all of your
    site's pages or a large group of pages


                                                             12
     Google's SEO Starter Guide
                URL Structure
• Creating descriptive categories and filenames
  for better crawling and indexing
• Making backlinks clear and easy to
  remember
• Dynamic URLs: better than static ones, but if
  done incorrectly, could cause crawling issues




                                              13
       Google's SEO Starter Guide
                        URL Structure
• Good practices:
   – Use words in URLs
   – Create a simple directory structure
   – Provide one version of a URL to reach a document
• Avoid:
   – Using lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs
   – Choosing generic page names like "page1.html“
   – Using excessive keywords like "baseball-cards-baseball-cards-
     baseballcards.htm”
   – Having deep nesting of subdirectories like
     ".../dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/dir6/page.html"
   – Using directory names that have no relation to the content in them
   – Having pages from subdomains and the root directory (e.g.
     "domain.com/page.htm" and "sub.domain.com/page.htm") access
     the same content
   – Mixing www. and non-www. versions of URLs in your internal linking
     structure
   – Using odd capitalization of URLs (many users expect lower-case URLs
     and remember them better)
                                                                       14
      Google's SEO Starter Guide
                       Navigation
• All sites should have a home or "root" page
• Sitemap page: a simple page on your site that displays the
  hierarchical structure of the website to guide viewers and
  search engine
• Submit XML Sitemap: can be submitted through Google's
  Webmaster Tools to help Google navigate the site; also one
  way (though not guaranteed) to tell Google which version of
  a URL you'd prefer as the canonical one (e.g.
  http://brandonsbaseballcards.com/ or
  http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com)
• Google Sitemap Generator
  http://code.google.com/p/googlesitemapgenerator/
                                                            15
      Google's SEO Starter Guide
                     Navigation
• Good practices:
  – Create a naturally flowing hierarch
  – Create a simple directory structure
  – Use mostly text for navigation
  – Use "breadcrumb" navigation (a row of internal links
    at the top or bottom of the page that allows visitors
    to quickly navigate back to a previous section or the
    root page)
  – Put an HTML sitemap page on the site, and submit
    an XML Sitemap file to Google
  – Consider what happens when a user drops off a part
    of the URL in the hopes of finding more general
    content; use 404 redirect page
                                                        16
     Google's SEO Starter Guide
                      Navigation
• Avoid:
  – Creating complex webs of navigation links, e.g. linking
    every page on the site to every other page
  – Going overboard with slicing and dicing the content
  – Having a navigation based entirely on drop-down menus,
    images, or animations (Google likes text.)
  – Letting the HTML sitemap page become out of date with
    broken links
  – Creating an HTML sitemap that simply lists pages without
    organizing them
  – Allowing the 404 pages to be indexed in search engines
    (make sure that the web server is configured to give a
    404 HTTP status code when non-existent pages are
    requested)
  – Using a design for your 404 pages that isn't consistent
    with the rest of the site
                                                           17
    Google's SEO Starter Guide
                  <a>

• Tells Google something about the
  page is linking to
• The better the anchor text is, the
  easier it is for Google to understand.




                                           18
         Google's SEO Starter Guide
                                 <a>
• Good practices:
     – Write short but descriptive text
     – Format links so they're easy to spot between regular text and
       the anchor text
•   Avoid:
     – Writing generic anchor text like "page", "article", or "click
       here“
     – Using text that is off-topic or has no relation to the content of
       the page linked to
     – Using the page's URL as the anchor text in most cases
     – Writing long anchor text, such as a lengthy sentence or short
       paragraph of texts
     – Using CSS or text styling that make links look just like regular
       texts
     – Using excessively keyword-filled or lengthy anchor text just for
       search engines
     – Creating unnecessary links that don't help with the user's
       navigation of the site
                                                                       19
     Google's SEO Starter Guide
                    <img>
• The filename and contents of the alt attribute
  provide information about the picture.
• When image is used as a link, the alt text for
  that image will be treated similarly to the
  anchor text of a text link
• Optimizing the image filenames and alt text
  makes it easier for image search projects like
  Google Image Search to better understand
  the images.

                                               20
        Google's SEO Starter Guide
                           <img>
• Good practices:
    –  Use brief, but descriptive filenames and alt text
    –  Supply alt text when using images as links
    –  Store images in a directory of their own
    –  Use commonly supported filetypes
•   Avoid:
     – Using generic filenames like "image1.jpg", "pic.gif",
       "1.jpg”
     – Writing extremely lengthy filenames
     – Stuffing keywords into alt text or copying and pasting
       entire sentences
     – Writing excessively long alt text that would be
       considered spammy
     – Using only image links for your site's navigation
                                                                21
     Google's SEO Starter Guide
         Quality Content and Services
• Good practices:
  – Write easy-to-read text
  – Stay organized around the topic
  – Use relevant language (use Google keyword tool)
    https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
  – Create fresh, unique content
  – Offer exclusive content or services
  – Create content primarily for your users, not
    search engines


                                                            22
      Google's SEO Starter Guide
           Quality Content and Services
• Avoid:
  – Writing sloppy text with many spelling and grammatical
    mistakes
  – Embedding text in images for textual content (users may want
    to copy and paste the text and search engines can't read it)
  – Dumping large amounts of text on varying topics onto a page
    without paragraph, subheading, or layout separation
  – Rehashing existing content that will bring little extra value to
    users
  – Having duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content
    across the site (Google is fine with "regular" and "printer"
    version of each, but will penalize sites with intentionally
    created duplicated content.)
  – Inserting numerous unnecessary keywords aimed at search
    engines but are annoying or nonsensical to users
  – Deceptively hiding text from users, but displaying it to search
    engines

                                                                   23
       Google's SEO Starter Guide
                         robot.txt
• Tells search engines whether they can access
  and crawl parts of your site
• Placed in the root directory of your site
• Use the robots.txt generator in Google
  Webmaster Tools create this file
• Example:
   User-agent: *
   Disallow: /include/
   Disallow: /docs/
   Disallow: /temp/
• robotstxt.com tutorial (www.robotstxt.org)
• User-agents list (www.robotstxt.org/db.html)

                                                 24
        Google's SEO Starter Guide
                          robot.txt
• Good practices:
     – Use more secure methods for sensitive content. (One
       reason is that search engines could still reference the
       URLs you block if there happen to be links to those
       URLs somewhere on the Internet. Also, search engines
       that don't acknowledge the Robots Exclusion Standard
       could disobey the instructions of your robots.txt.
       Finally, a curious user could examine the directories or
       subdirectories in your robots.txt file and guess the URL
       of the content that you
•   Avoid:
     – Allowing search result-like pages to be crawled
     – Allowing a large number of auto-generated pages with
       the same or only slightly different content to be
       crawled
     – Allowing URLs created as a result of proxy services to
       be crawl                                                25
     Google's SEO Starter Guide
                rel="nofollow"
• Use rel="nofollow“ in the <a> tag to tell
  Google that certain links on your site
  shouldn't be followed (If a site has a blog
  with public commenting turned on, links
  within those comments could pass the site’s
  reputation to the linked.)
• Use content="nofollow“ name="robots“ in a
  <meta> tag to tell Google not to follow all of
  the links on a page

                                                   26
         Google's SEO Starter Guide
                   Off-site Optimization
• Good practices:
     – Blog about new content or services
     – Don't forget about offline promotion (e.g., business card,
       newsletter, etc.)
     – Know about social media sites
     – Join Google's Local Business Center
     – Reach out to those in your site's related community
•   Avoid:
     – Attempting to promote each new, small piece of content; go
       for big, interesting items
     – Involving the site in schemes where the content is artificially
       promoted to the top of these services
     – Spamming link requests out to all sites related to the topic
       area
     – Purchasing links from another site with the aim of getting
       PageRank instead of traffic

                                                                         27
        Off-site Optimization
                   XML Sitemap
• Create Google Webmasters Tools account and
  submit Sitemap from time to time
• Yahoo! & MSN search engines now use the
  same XML format
• Creating sitemap:
 Google Webmaster Tools
 xml-sitemaps.com (www.xml-sitemaps.com)
• XML sitemap sample


                                           28
       Off-site Optimization
                 RSS Feeds
• An acronym for Really Simple Syndication
  or Rich Site Summary
• RSS (noun) - an XML format for distributing
  updated information on the Web
• Update multiple RSS online directories
• Perform bulk updates (e.g., Pingomatic XML-
  RPC call)



                                                29
      Off-site Optimization
          RSS Feeds in Working
                                                           YOU
                New feed content
              pulled back into reader




http://                                            RSS
                                                  Reader



           Reader “pings” to check if
           feed (page/site) has been
                   updated)             Titles | Dates | Links |
                                         Authors | Content**

                                                                   30
         Off-site Optimization
                 Creating RSS Feeds
• Text Editor: You must be familiar with all of
  the fields and accepted formats.
  RSS Specifications (www.rss-specifications.com)
  Make RSS Feed (www.make-rss-feeds.com)
• Desktop Software: allows users to quickly
  and easily, create, edit and publish RSS feeds
  that conform to specifications in wizard that
  makes feed creation very easy.
  FeedForAll (www.make-rss-feeds.com)


                                                    31
        Off-site Optimization
              Posting RSS Feeds
• Feeds can be exported to HTML or HTML
  tables and included in the website as a server
  side include.
• RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS search
  engines. For example: http://www.rss-
  specifications.com/rss-submission.htm




                                               32
          Off-site Optimization
                    DMOZ Directory
• DMOZ.org (www.dmoz.org)
   – The Internet’s largest directory system containing over 4
     million web sites
   – Maintained by human editors
• DMOZ submission (www.dmoz.org/add.html) works hand in
  hand with search Engine Optimization (SEO) for:
   – more website visits
   – more website backlinks (because other directories will
     also copy DMOZ content)
   – getting established as the leader in a certain category
• Google takes URL-s from DMOZ, matches URL-s with
  their PageRank number on Google and copies into
  Google Directory


                                                                 33
        Off-site Optimization
              Posting RSS Feeds
• Feeds can be exported to HTML or HTML
  tables and included in the website as a server
  side include.
• RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS search
  engines. For example: http://www.rss-
  specifications.com/rss-submission.htm




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