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  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Prepared by: Larry Stewart

  2. Topic Outline • Introduction • How Search Engines Work • SEO Building Blocks • Keywords • Crawler • Links • SEO Tools • Black Hat Methods • Summary and Conclusion

  3. Introduction

  4. Definition of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)1 "Natural," or "organic," search engine optimization (SEO) is designing, writing, and HTML-coding a Web site to maximize the chance its pages will appear at the top of spider-based search engine results for selected keywords and phrases Organic Listings: Listings that search engines do not sell (unlike paid listings)

  5. SEO • Iterative process • Dynamic environment • Art • Science

  6. Why is it important? • Internet advertising 1H 2006 : $7.9 Billion2 • Search ranking more site visitors • Internet users tend not to click through • Depends on webs role in your economic model

  7. Variation in Approaches White Hat • Abide by terms and conditions set forth by search engines Black Hat • Breaches search engine terms and conditions • May provide short-term gains • You run the risk of being penalized by search engines

  8. Defining Success (Context) Search-Friendly (SEO) • High ranking • Terms and conditions set by search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN Search) User-Friendly • Site must satisfy the needs of visitors Persuasive • Profitable for site owner

  9. How Search Engines Works

  10. Search Engine Operations • Gather Content • Crawler or spider moves recursively downloading content • Builds sophisticate index • Individual web searches run against index • Results are retrieved and ordered • PageRank & Relevance

  11. Google Search Placement4 Placement: importance and relevance • PageRank (importance) • Counts links • Weights links • Query matching (relevance) • sophisticated text-matching techniques • examines all aspects of the page's content (and the content of the pages linking to it)

  12. SEO Optimization

  13. SEO Optimization Categories • Keywords • Keyword selection and keyword-rich text • Crawler • A crawler-friendly site navigation scheme • Links • Link popularity

  14. Keyword Recommendations1 • Page title: visible HTML text ,“Above the fold” • Page Size: "100 KB" limit is still is still widely held. The optimum page size is 500-3000 words (or 2000 to 20,000 characters) • Be specific • Example: “Apple iPod” verses “iPod” • exact phrase should appear generously throughout your site copy on every page

  15. More Keyword Recommendations5 Meta tags: use but don’t stuff • <meta name="description" content="Free Web tutorials on HTML, CSS, XML, and XHTML"> Alt tags: use for graphics • <IMG src="star.gif" alt=“star logo"> Content is king • Write good content with relevant and important keywords in mind. Geo Targeting • Add geocentric terms to target local areas Domain Names • Use keywords as part of domain name

  16. Crawler-friendly • Engine spiders are primitive beings • choose simplicity over complexity • Goal • All your web pages seen by crawlers • Google: enter in searchbox “allinurl:utexas.edu”

  17. Suggestions to be Crawler Friendly5 • Traditional <a href> tag • Keywords in subfolder names • Minimize quantity of subfolders • Cross link relevant terms and phrases within the site • Multiple paths to pages to eliminate orphans

  18. Avoid or Minimize: May Negatively Impact Crawler5 • Flash (slow to load and difficult to navigate) • Frames • Java navigation • Session ID to track visitors • exact same Title tags on every page • set to require a cookie when a visitor gets to the page

  19. Link Development Inbound Links Impact PageRank PageRank (Popularity, importance) • Number and quality of links pointing to a website • Measure of usefulness of site

  20. Link Development Tradeoffs • Advantage • it is dynamic, cumulative, and difficult to imitate • Disadvantage • takes time (vs. advertising)

  21. Link Development Approaches (White Hat)7 • Quality content to start with • Cultivate quality link (not quantity) • Begin with web directories • Harness online publicity • Use Blogs and forums wisely • Investigate competitors • Understand their strategy • Online publicity, blogs and forums • See inbound links ("link:domain.com" in Google, "linkdomain:domain.com" in Yahoo)

  22. SEO Tools

  23. Search Engine Term and Conditions • Google • Yahoo • MSN Search

  24. Vendor Tools Example: Seo Administrator8 • Ranking monitor: site positioning in for keywords • Link popularity checker: checks inbound links • Site indexation tool: check site indexation • Server Log-analyzer: Administrator log analyzer • PageRank analyzer: analyze competitor sites • Keywords tool: suggestions, associations, competitor analysis • HTML analyzer: dissect html text in the same way that a search engine would (syntax, keyword density)

  25. Black Hat Methods

  26. Head of the webspam group at Google • Matt Cutts • Worked on his Ph.D Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Undergrad Comp Sci and Math (Graduated with M.S.). • Moved into information retrieval after classes from the university's Information and Library Science department

  27. http://www.searchenginegenie.com/seo-blog/images/matt.gif http://www.searchenginegenie.com

  28. Link Exchange Advertisement

  29. Keyword Consulting Advertisement

  30. Black Hat Terms • Link Farming: exchanging reciprocal links • Keyword Stuffing: Hidden text, Stuffing text in every nook and cranny • Cloaking: stealth, deliver different page to a search engine for indexing • Doorway Pages: bridge, jump page, designed to appeal to search engine spiders • Fast meta refresh: used to quickly switch doorway pages to the page the user is supposed to see • Code swapping: swap it on the server with the "real" page once a position has been achieved. also sometimes done to keep others from learning exactly how the page ranked well. • Bait and Switch: loads the page with a popular search words such as sex, travel or antivirus when is irrelevant to site

  31. Online Resources

  32. Search Engine Standards Google http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769 http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=40349&ctx=related Yahoo http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/basics/basics-18.html http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/basics/basics-17.html http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/basics/index.html MSN http://search.msn.com/docs/siteowner.aspx?t=SEARCH_WEBMASTER_REF_GuidelinesforOptimizingSite.htm Web Robots http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/robots.html http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/slurp/index.html http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/topic.py?topic=8843

  33. Keyword Tools Overture tool http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion Wordtracker tool [recommended] http://our.affiliatetracking.net/wordtracker/a/12246 Google Sandbox Tool https://adwords.google.com/select/main?cmd=KeywordSandbox Espotting Tool http://www.espotting.com/popups/keywordgenbox.asp Related Pages http://www.related-pages.com/adwordskeywords.aspx

  34. Conclusion and Summary Website Success • Search-friendly • User-friendly • Persuasive Search-friendly Optimization components • Keywords • Crawler • Links

  35. Bibliography 1Thulow, Shari. “What Search Engine Marketing Does Your Site Need?” Clickz. 15 Nov. 2006 < http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3105241 >. 2 “2006 Second Quarter Results (October 4, 2006) .” Interactive Advertising Bureau. 15 Nov. 2006 < http://www.iab.net/resources/ad_revenue.asp >. 3 “Event Homepage.” Search Engine Strategies 2006 Conference and Exposition. 15 Nov. 2006 <http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/sew/winter06/index.html >. 4 “Our Search: Google Technology.” Google Website. 15 Nov. 2006 < http://www.google.com/technology/index.html >.

  36. Bibliography 5Laratro, Joe. “Dos and Don’ts of Search Engine Optimization.” MoreVisibility. 15 Nov. 2006 <http://www.morevisibility.com/whitepaper/2006/SEO_Do_and_Donts_WP.pdf> 6 Thulow, Shari. “Link Development: The Key to Successful SEO ” Clickz. 15 Nov. 2006 <http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3431741 >. 7 link farming. webopedia. 15 Nov. 2006 <http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/l/link_farming.html>. 8 SSEO Tools. SEO Administrator. <http://www.seoadministrator.com/seo-tools.html> <http://seo-tutorial.seoadministrator.com/>

  37. Backup

  38. Vendor Tools Example: Seo Administrator8 Ranking monitor: monitor web site positioning in the major search engines for keywords Link popularity checker: checks inbound links across a number of search engines Site indexation tool: check site indexation in Google, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines Server Log-analyzer: Administrator log analyzer automates (Number of unique IP addresses, Number of visitors… ) PageRank analyzer: analyze competitor sites Keywords suggestion tool: Keyword suggestion services, Keyword Associations, search query suggestions, Competitor analysis HTML analyzer: dissect html text in the same way that a search engine would (syntax, keyword density)

  39. Black Hat Terms • Link Farming: exchanging reciprocal links with Web sites in order to increase search engine optimization • Keyword Stuffing: Hidden text, Stuffing text in every nook and cranny • Cloaking: stealth, deliver one page to a search engine for indexing while serving a different page to everyone else. • Doorway Pages: A Web page that is designed to appeal to search engine spiders. • Fast meta refresh: used to quickly switch doorway pages to the page the user is supposed to see • Code swapping: swap it on the server with the "real" page once a position has been achieved. also sometimes done to keep others from learning exactly how the page ranked well. • Bait and Switch: Another technique combines word stuffing with "bait-and-switch," which loads the page with a popular search word such as sex, travel or antivirus, even though the word has nothing to do with the site content.