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• What is a Search Engine? • What a Search Engine Sees(1/2) • So What is the Algorithm?• What is a Search Engine? • What’s an SEO?(2/2) • What Does a (good) SEO Do?• Why Search Engine • What SEO is NOTMarketing? • Farms, Black Hats & “Ethics”• Major Search Engines (1/2) • Pay Per Click SEM• Major Search Engines (2/2) • Pay Per Click vs. “Organic” SEO• A Search Engine’s Goals &Objectives • Basic Tips & Optimization Techniques• Anatomy of a Search Engine • Resources• How Do Search EnginesWork?• Ranking Factors
• Def: An internet-based tool that searches an index of documents for a particular term, phrase or text specified by the user. Commonly used to refer to large web-based search engines that search through billions of pages on the internet.• Different than a Directory• Common Characteristics: • Spider, Indexer, Database, Algorithm • Find matching documents and display them according to relevance • Frequent updates to documents searched and ranking algorithm • Strive to produce “better”, more relevant results than competitors
85% of all traffic on the internet is referred from a search engine 90% of all users don’t look past the first 30 results (most only view top 10) Many websites aren’t even indexed, most are poorly optimized and get very little traffic from the search engines Cost-effective advertising Clear and measurable ROI Operates under this assumption: More (relevant) traffic + Good Conv. Rate = More Sales/Leads
What Search Engines Are the Most Popular? Figures below show what percentage of US internet users accessed the corresponding sites at least once during a given month. Counts only search-specific visits. (Nielsen//NetRatings – June 2004) Google – 41.6% Yahoo – 31.5% MSN – 27.4% AOL – 13.6% Ask Jeeves – 7.0%
Google feeds AOL, Netscape, Earthlink & others Yahoo owns Overture, AltaVista, All the Web, FAST & others Google, Yahoo & MSN results account for 80- 90% of all search traffic (rough estimate)
• Accumulate large index (database) of web documents to search• Provide highly-relevant results to users (better than competitors)• Generate revenue via paid advertising and related business ventures that typically leverage large amount of traffic
Spider “crawls” the web to find new documents (web pages, other documents) typically by following hyperlinks from websites already in the database Search engine indexes the content (text, code) in these documents by adding it to their huge databases and periodically updates this content Search engine searches its own database when user enters in a search to find related documents (not searching web pages in real-time) Search engine ranks resulting documents using an algorithm (mathematical formula) that assigns various weights to various ranking factors
Top Secret! Only select employees of the actual search engines know for certain Reverse engineering, research and experiments gives SEOs (search engine optimization professionals) a “pretty good” idea of major factors and approximate weight assignments Constantly changing, tweaking, updating is done to the algorithm Websites and documents being searched are also constantly changing Varies by Search Engine – some give more weight to on-page factors, some to link popularity
SEO = Search Engine Optimization Refers to the process of “optimizing” both the on-page and off-page ranking factors in order to achieve high search engine rankings for targeted search terms. Refers to the “industry” that revolves around obtaining high rankings in the search engines for desirable keyword search terms as a means of increasing the relevant traffic to a given website. Refers to an individual or company that optimizes websites for its clientele. Has a number of related meanings, and usually refers to an individual/firm that focuses on optimizing for “organic” search engine rankings
Search Engine Submission only “Submit your website to 5,000 search engines” An overnight process (typically takes 3-4 months to show significant results) A one-time process (in many cases requires a continual, long-term focus for best results) A $29.95 one-time fee!
• Black Hat SEO – refers to various “tricks of the trade” that are often questioned as “ethical” by some SEOs. Typically refers to a tactic intended to misrepresent a website by displaying different information to the search engine versus the user. >> hidden text, redirects, etc.• “Ethical SEO” – refers to methods used to improve rankings while still presenting the same information to both users and search engines.• Link Farms – sites/pages that may have thousands of links, often to unrelated sites. Typically they provide these links in exchange for links to their site in an attempt to improve their rankings. Reciprocal linking is common and generally accepted when not excessive and an attempt is made to provide value to the site visitor.• Google Bombing – establishing links with certain anchor text in order to achieve a high ranking for that term. Again, this becomes questionable when an attempt is made to misrepresent the website. (Miserable Failure example)
• PPC ads appear as “sponsored listings”• Companies bid on price they are willing to pay “per click”• Typically have very good tracking tools and statistics• Ability to control ad text• Can set budgets and spending limits• Google AdWords and Overture are the two leaders
Pay-Per-Click “Organic” SEO• results in 1-2 days • results take 2 weeks to 4 months• easier for a novice or one without much • requires ongoing learning and experienceknowledge of SEO to reap results• ability to turn on and off at any moment • very difficult to control flow of traffic• generally more costly per visitor and per • generally more cost-effective, doesn’tconversion penalize for more traffic• fewer impressions and exposure • SERPs are more popular than sponsored• easy to compete in highly competitive adsmarket space (but it will cost you) • very difficult to compete in highly• can generate exposure on related sites competitive market space(AdSense) • can generate exposure on related• ability to target “local” markets websites and directories• better for short-term and high-margin • more difficult to target local marketscampaigns • better for long-term and lower margin campaigns
Basic Tips & Optimization Techniques Research keywords related to your business Identify competitors, utilize benchmarking techniques and identify level of competition Utilize descriptive title tags for each page Ensure that your text is HTML text and not image text Use text links when possible Use appropriate keywords in your content and internal hyperlinks (don’t overdo!) Obtain inbound links from related websites Monitor your search engine rankings and more importantly your website traffic statistics and sales/leads produced Educate yourself about search engine marketing or consult a search engine optimization firm or SEO expert