Search Engine Optimization

After navigating few sites and going through Aaron Matthew Wall’s book on SEO ‘SEO BOOK’ I learned few things about SEO.

Note: Google is targeted mainly in this article.

Parts of Search Engine: Every crawling search engine has the same basic parts

* a crawler * an index (or catalog) * search interface

Crawler: It scours the web following links, updating pages, and adding new pages when it comes across them. Search engines have time of deep crawling and shallow crawling.

Note: We can get page crawled frequently if we get already frequently crawling page point to our page through a hyperlink.

Index: The index is where the spider collected data is stored.

Example: When you search Google and it displays 1-10 out of 143,000 website it means that there are 143,000 web pages which either have the words in your keyword phrase on them, or have inbound links containing the words in the phrase.

Note: To see which pages of a site are indexed by google type site:www.sitename.com

Search Interface: The search algorithm and search interface are used to find the most relevant document in the index based on the user search.

Note: In most major search engines a portion of the relevancy calculations are stored ahead of time and some of them are calculated in real time.

Factors and Guidelines Influencing Page Ranking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization + Google Guidelines + SEO BOOK

SEOs widely agree that the signals that influence a page’s rankings include

1. Use keywords in the title tag. 2. Use appropriate domain name. Tips: a. Avoid long domain names b. Avoid dashes in domain names. E.g. googleads.com is better than google-ads.com c. If site is hosted in UK then use .co.uk domain. Also buy the .com version of domain and redirect to .co.uk. d. If possible use domain name with keywords in it. e. Register your domain at ICANN accredited registrar. f. Don’t go for free hosting. g. Try hosting the site in country it targets e.g. host googleads.co.uk in United Kingdom. Note: Dreamhost and Pair are recommended sites by SEO BOOK for hosting 3. Use keywords in links pointing to the page. 4. Use keywords appearing in visible text. 5. Keywords in Heading Tag H1, H2 and H3 Tags in webpage. 6. Use proper linking from one page to inner pages. 7. Try placing punch line at the top of page. 8. Have other relevant sites link to yours. Note: This is most important and time consuming in SEO. For more details see Creating Inbound Links 9. Make sure all the sites that should know about your pages are aware your site is online. 10. Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link. 11. Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the site map into separate pages. 12. Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it. 13. Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn’t recognize text contained in images. 14. Make sure that your TITLE and ALT tags are descriptive and accurate. 15. Check for broken links and correct HTML. Xenu Link Sluth is a free downloadable link checking program. 16. If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a “?” character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few. 17. Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).

There are many other signals that may affect a page’s ranking, indicated in a number of patents held by various search engines, such as historical data. For more details see the Nitty-Gritty section.

Note: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask.com do not disclose the algorithms they use to rank pages.