Tag Archives: seo

Search Engine Optimization checklist for DevCom Brussels

Tomorrow at DevCom Brussels, I will be doing some basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) analysis live, in the framework of the 7 minute one to one demos. For this, I have prepared a checklist with some basic points to take home by the clients / visitors. I’m sure I will not have enough time to cover all of them, but they will at least have a clue of where to start looking and about some of the things SEO professionals can help get right.

Some marketing and communication professionals wrongly despise SEO, considering it just a bunch of technical tricks used to divert Internet users towards sites not worthy of their attention. The truth is that they should look at it from the perspective of their clients: good SEO helps users find the content they are looking for.

SEO is not some arkane cult or ritual. Most marketing and communication professionals know some of its basics thanks to their education in journalism, and most of the rest are very easy to imply using a little reasoning and common sense or even better: reading.

The key of SEO and of any communication effort is relevance. As search engines are getting better to analyze and categorize the millions of pages we are publishing, user signals are gaining importance, and guess what: it is the users themselves that give them. So concentrate on your users and see the world through their eyes. If what you are offering is not clearly relevant to what they are looking for, you will either never get them to visit your page, either never convert their actions into something fruitful for your organization.

Danny Sullivan has recently published a great article about why Bill Gates needs better SEO in his blog. This post is a great and educative example of why and how to get the basics right. You can see that It is not complicated to get the basics right.

Google’s Site Management Guidelines

If you want to go beyond the basics of Internet usage and understand how to build better sites and make better content for your audience, take a look at this series of links provided by Google’s Webmaster Central.

Easy and brief information that will help you be more relevant and findable.

Search Engine Ranking Factors 2009

Top 5 Ranking Factors

  1. Keyword Focused Anchor Text from External Links

    73% very high importance
    73%
  2. External Link Popularity (quantity/quality of external links)

    71% very high importance
    71%
  3. Diversity of Link Sources (links from many unique root domains)

    67% very high importance
    67%
  4. Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag

    66% very high importance
    66%
  5. Trustworthiness of the Domain Based on Link Distance from Trusted Domains (e.g. TrustRank, Domain mozTrust, etc.)

    66% very high importance
    66%

See all ranking factors


Top 5 Negative Ranking Factors

  1. Cloaking with Malicious/Manipulative Intent

    68% very high importance
    68%
  2. Link Acquisition from Known Link Brokers/Sellers

    56% high importance
    56%
  3. Links from the Page to Web Spam Sites/Pages

    51% moderate importance
    51%
  4. Cloaking by User Agent

    51% moderate importance
    51%
  5. Frequent Server Downtime & Site Inaccessibility

    51% moderate importance
    51%

See all negative ranking factors


Top 5 Most Contentious Factors

  1. Cloaking by Cookie Detection 16.3% strong contention
  2. Cloaking by JavaScript/Rich Media Support Detection 15.4% moderate contention
  3. Hiding Text with same/similar colored text/background 15.3% moderate contention
  4. Cloaking by IP Address 15.3% moderate contention
  5. Cloaking by User Agent 15.2% moderate contention

Note: Consensus and contention percentages are calculated based on the standard deviations of contributor answers.

Participants were asked to apply the ranking factors to Google’s search engine, and although we’ve found that it’s largely applicable to other major US engines (Bing, Yahoo! & Ask), some variance almost certainly exists.

Overall Ranking Algorithm

Algorithm Elements

  • 24% Trust/Authority of the Host Domain
  • 22% Link Popularity of the Specific Page
  • 20% Anchor Text of External Links
  • 15% On-Page Keyword Usage
  • 7% Traffic and Click-Through Data
  • 6% Social Graph Metrics
  • 5% Registration and Hosting Data

See more detailed SEO opinions

Good and brief SEO summary from SEOmoz, with the few things not to ever ignore if you want to optimize your search engine results. It is also a good view on the core of Google’s search algorithm.

SEO experts are the new alchimists, always looking for the philosophical stone (Google’s algorithm) to turn their websites into gold.

Google SEM/SEO/SEA tools links

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Analytics

Google Website Optimizer

Google Zeitgeist

Google Trends

Google Insights for Search

Google Traffic Estimator

Google Keyword Tool

Google Search Based Keyword Tool

Google Ad Planner

An easy to copy and share list for friends, colleagues and clients.