Saturday, 12 April 2008

Search Engine Optimization

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines like Google, Yahoo, Msn via natural or organic search results for targeted keywords.

Usually, the higher a site is presented in the search results or the higher it "ranks", the more searchers will visit that site. Most searchers do not go beyond the first 2- 3 pages of search engine results, therefore the higher you site ranks for the targeted keywords, more the customers. And to get into those few coveted positions the whole of SEO business is based.

SEO can also target different kinds of search, including image search and local search.

As a marketing strategy for increasing a site's relevance, SEO considers how search algorithms search engine indexing programs from fully spidering a site. Other, more noticeable efforts may include adding unique content to a site, ensuring that content is easily indexed by search engine robots, and making the site more appealing to users. Another class of techniques, known as black hat SEO or spamdexing, use methods such as link farms and keyword stuffing that tend to harm search engine user experience. Search engines look for sites that employ these techniques and may remove them from their indexes.

Are Long Link pages dead!

This question has been on my mind for some time now!

If you see some of the old sites that have not been updated you will see link pages with hundreds or thousands of links on them, on the other hand if you see the newer sites you will see hardly any links or very few and that too in their own niche.

So had some discussions and saw what google says on its site for link schemes.

The following is what Google publishes on its site for Link Exchanges and schemes!

Link schemes

Your site's ranking in Google search results is partly based on analysis of those sites that link to you. The quantity, quality, and relevance of links count towards your rating. The sites that link to you can provide context about the subject matter of your site, and can indicate its quality and popularity. However, some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. This is in violation of Google's webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact your site's ranking in search results. Examples of link schemes can include:

  • Links intended to manipulate PageRank
  • Links to web spammers or bad neighborhoods on the web
  • Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging ("Link to me and I'll link to you.")
  • Buying or selling links that pass PageRank - so DONT do this ever, ever.

The best way to get other sites to create relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the Internet community. The more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it. Before making any single decision, you should ask yourself the question: Is this going to be beneficial for my page's visitors?

It is not only the number of links you have pointing to your site that matters, but also the quality and relevance of those links. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the buzzing blogger community can be an excellent place to generate interest. In addition, submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites.

In summary, the relevance of long link pages in the current Search Engine Optimization environment is very little and is frowned upon.

What is a Blog!

Blog is a short form for a weB LOG. A blog is a website where the posts are listed in reverse chronological order.

Blogs can be used to provide information, personal view point ( used as personal web diaries ) and can provide news etc. A blog comprises of text, images, links to other blogs and can also be used to earn money from the internet.

A blog can be on any topic - polictics, health, fitness, IT, how to help other bloggers, news and as a personal diary.

The term "weblog" was coined by John Barger on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May of 1999.

In a decade since 1997, blogs have come to dominate the on line market - according to estimates by Technorati- there are more than 100 million blogs.

Tools like Blogger - help anyone to blog for free. Try it yourself and you can call yourself a "Blogger" and join the online community of Bloggers.

Happy Blogging!

Title Tags: Importance to SEO

Title Tags are the tags that are shown in the top bar of the browser and as well as in the Search Engine Result’s page (SERP’s). See the screen shot below to see an example of the title tags.

Title Tags are important from the Search Engine optimization view, as they are what the search engine’s look at while searching for your query, as well as several other different things. The title tags help the search engine’s to find relevant results. Therefore it is important to have the correct title tags related to the content of your website and the keywords that you are targeting. This holds true for most of the websites that rely on organic search engine traffic.

Many SEO’s consider title tag to be the most important of all tags in On- site optimization of a web page. Not only do you have to try to get your targeted keywords into the title tag, but also the order in which they appear is also important.

Needless to say that the you should use the same keywords in the page content and the meta description of your web page. Failure to do so, will lead to dilution of the title tag and you will find that your web page is not ranked well in the SERP’s.

Tips for Better Title Tags

1. Don’t over do them – Search engines apparently look at the first 80 to 90 words in the title tags – so try to keep within this range.

2. Keyword density does not matter – so avoid repeating it.

3. Remember to change the title tag of each page to match the content and meta description of the page.

4. Since it is seen in the SERP’s – try to make it crisp- so that it entices people to click on your site.