Monday, December 1, 2008

Search Engine Optimiztion for Dummies

My hope was to develop a general knowledge of the basics of search engine optimization; understanding the priorities of optimization and how to develop a web site that has the best opportunity of being optimized with regard to organic search….with the constraints of time, capital and knowledge. This book was developed for someone like me, a layman, with no real knowledge of search engine optimization. This text gives an excellent reason for why-to-optimize and how-to-optimize.

As a review of the book, the title is what you get. For the person that has no technical background that needs to optimize a web site, they would have an outline to go by that explains what is needed to achieve search engine optimization. While this person may not be able to design the pages, he would be able to explain in detail and review plans to increase the chances of improving the web pages organic search results.

The how-to-optimize is spelled out so that anyone with some knowledge of the internet, a company website and knowledge of the HTML or access to someone with a base of knowledge in HTML can develop and implement a strategy to optimize a web site and improve the organic search results for that web site within the search sites. The book organizes planning your search engine strategy in 6 steps.

1. Web site design…web designers are not typically concerned with search engine optimization. It is important to recognize and use content that is identifiable and readable by search engines. It is pointed out to make a Web page well, multimedia should be limited, utilize text and limit graphics, do not be cute or cool and do not utilize the very latest development software. Of these suggestions, content is the most important. Search engines do not read frames well and content that is included in images cannot be read or indexed!

2. Keywords. Keywords are the foundation of developing an effective search engine optimization strategy. Keywords should be integrated throughout the web site and web pages. Title tags, content, density and placement should be watched and keywords should be prominent in all. The text recommends optimizing one or two keywords or phrases per page.

3. Content. Search engines index text. To optimize your site, you will need a lot of text that incorporates keywords and phrases. Again, key words should be integrated throughout your web site. Keywords should be in not just the above but also Meta tags headers and links.

4. Page optimization. As a rule, the author suggests limiting multimedia, avoiding framing, using text—no graphics, do not use the latest development software. It is of the upmost importance to develop your content and ensure that the content is readable by the search engines.

5. Submissions. In some aspects, the author suggests that this step is not as important as some would think. It is recognized that if all the other steps are followed, search engines should, in theory index your web site. There was one exception to this theory; and that was site maps. A site map is place in a Web site’s root directory and lists the links to all the pages of your web site…allowing search engines to find all the pages and thus index your site more readily.

6. Links. With the exception of keyword use, Links tends to be the most important strategy to improve a web sites organic search results. Links from other web sites pointing to your web site factor in the organic search results. Not only are the links important but also the “value” or page rank of the pages that link to your site are important. The text describes in detail a plan of a”linking strategy”. The author points out four points of the importance of links. First, “Links make it easier for search engines to find the page. Search engines use the number of links pointing a page as an indication of the page’s value. Links provide information to search engines about the page they’re pointing to. Links not only bring searchbots to a page, but may also bring people to the page.”

7. Time. While time cannot be stopped, it is suggested that the sooner you start, the older your site is….which is important because search sites weight older sites more heavily than newer ones.

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