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Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

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Search Engine Optimization

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  1. Search Engine Optimization An introduction to optimizing your web site for best possible search engine results.

  2. Search Engine Optimization Presented by: Chris Pfeiffer, University of Utah Office of Information Technology

  3. Presentation Overview • Search Engine Basics • Why Optimize? • Key Concepts • Optimization • Content Management Systems • Summary • Resources

  4. Search Engine Basics • Crawling the web: Search engines run automated programs, called “robots" or "spiders", that use the hyperlink structure of the web to "crawl" the pages and documents that make up the World Wide Web.

  5. Search Engine Basics • Indexing documents: Once a page has been crawled, its contents can be "indexed" - stored in a giant database of documents that makes up a search engine's "index".

  6. Search Engine Basics • Processing queries: When a request for information comes into the search engine, the engine retrieves from its index all the document that match the query.

  7. Search Engine Basics • Ranking results: Once the search engine has determined which results are a match for the query, the engine's algorithm (a mathematical equation commonly used for sorting) runs calculations on each of the results to determine which is most relevant to the given query.

  8. Search Engine Basics • Directories: Human edited search indexes • Yahoo Directory! • DMOZ = The Open Directory Projectwww.dmoz.org

  9. Search Engine Basics • Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) • Organic: Results based on content and keyword relevancy (as per algorithm) • Paid Placement (PPC): • Google AdWords • Yahoo! Search Marketing (YSM)

  10. Search Engine Results Pages Paid Placement Results Organic Results

  11. Why Optimize? • Web Search as a navigational tool • On average, 45% of visitor trafficthrough Utah.edu use the search engine to navigate. • 72% of searchers stop with the top ten search results, and 90% stop with the top 30.

  12. How much is too much? • Competition for keywords • Evaluating page rank • Baseline • Ongoing

  13. Evaluating page rank • Page rank calculation tools • Google Toolbar • www.faganfinder.com/urlinfo/ • www.alexa.com • Frequent queries • Web traffic analysis • U Web Resources

  14. Key Concepts • Target audience • Keyword choices • Directory submission

  15. Key Concepts • Conversion • Web site user doing what you intended them to do • Sales • Course registration • Forms & downloads • Page views • Conversion paths and funnels

  16. Key Concepts • Search-friendly Usability • Home Page vs. Landing pages • Top-down vs. Shallow-wide design

  17. Top-down design HOME

  18. Shallow-wide design HOME

  19. Key Concepts • Persistent Navigation • Orients visitor to site • Provides spiders pathway through site

  20. Key Concepts • Accessibility • Flash • Javascript • SSL – authentication • Firewalls and closed ports • Databases & query string URLs • Forms

  21. Key Concepts • Site Maps • Non-HTML Documents • MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF

  22. Key Concepts • Canonical URLs • http://utah.edu • http://www.utah.edu • Redirects • 301 server redirect • Meta-refresh page redirect

  23. Key Concepts • Robots.txt file • Decides which robots to allow in and which to exclude • Site wide • Directory-by-directory • Page-by-page • Robots meta-tag

  24. Optimization • Get indexed • Register URL with University Webmaster • Submit URL to directories

  25. Optimization • Meta-data <html> <head> <title>The University of Utah</title> <meta name="description" content="Founded on February 28, 1850, The University of Utah offers 75 undergraduate degree programs, more than 50 teaching majors and minors, and 96 graduate majors."> <meta name="keywords" content="University of Utah, UU, Utes, Utah, Salt Lake City, university, universities, colleges, higher education, academic, research, admissions">

  26. Optimization • Meta-data • HTML Page Title • Number one optimization factor • Included in results display • Unique title for each landing page

  27. Optimization HTML Title Utility in Dreamweaver • Meta-data

  28. Optimization • Meta-data • Meta-description tag • 50% weight of HTML Title in Ultraseek • Included in Ultraseek results display • Less weight given by Google • Rarely used in Google results display

  29. Optimization • Meta-data • Meta-keywords tag • Equal to meta-description tag in Ultraseek • Ignored by Google • Common misspellings

  30. Optimization • Meta-data • Image alt-tags • H1 tags • Body text

  31. Optimization Relative weight given HTML tags by U of U Ultraseek Search Engine

  32. Optimization • Popularity • Inbound links • Remote anchor links & text • Anchor link – http://www.url.com • Anchor text – words used in link

  33. How/What to Optimize • Popularity • Inbound links • Example Anchor link text Anchor link

  34. Optimization • Popularity • Inbound links • Remote anchor links & text • GooglebombingWhen a web page places high in search engine results due to frequent anchor links using rude or insulting keywords.

  35. How/What to Optimize • Popularity • Inbound links • googlebombing

  36. How/What to Optimize • Popularity • Inbound links • googlebombing

  37. Optimization • Reliability • .edu and .gov domains • Domain age

  38. Black Hat SEO • Black Hat SEO:Unscrupulous or deceptive optimization practices intended to spam users or compete unfairly • Invisible text • Keyword stuffing • Duplicate pages • Domain cloaking: serving different content to search engine robots than to human visitors • Link farms

  39. Optimization Spam Detection Threshold:The number of repeating keywords required for U of UUltraseek search engine to penalize for spamming

  40. Content Management Systems • Dynamic URLs • Querystring enabled • Consistent, crawl-able URLs • Cookies and session IDs

  41. Summary • Accessible pages • Think landing pages • Unique HTML page title for every landing page • Content relevant keywords • Avoid Black Hat SEO

  42. Resources • University Webmaster • www.utah.edu/uwebresources • webmaster@utah.edu • 581-6113 • www.seamoz.org • www.searchenginewatch.com • “The ABC of SEO” David George

  43. Search Engine Optimization THANK YOU!