07 Search Engine Optimization.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Communication, Culture and Technology
Michael Jones

07 Search Engine Optimization/ Marketing Search Engines – A Brief History  Early days of Internet – Yahoo! And others as browsing portals, similar to library categorization = unsustainable model  Google’s revolution – crowded out browsing based options and less sophisticated search engines  Now Google and some alternatives (e.g., Bing) Strategic Considerations  Searches are goal-oriented – searchers must want what you have to offer  Visibility is key – hardly anyone goes to page 2 (or more)  Trust in organic search results – first options are perceived to be good  Trust is a battle – Google fights to sustain it  Search as gateway – many people have search embedded in browser or as homepage Mechanics  Spider – goes out to find pages to add to index  Index – a cache of all pages spidered, on which search terms correlate with (implications?)  Engine – runs massive eigenvector centrality measure (among 200+ other factors at Google) on search terms vs. index to generate results Search Results  Paid placement – highlighted results based on payment (Google’s revenue model)  Organic – “earned” placement based on relevance to search terms  Two different strategies – one paid but more guaranteed, one free but based on strategic content creation  SEM = SEO+PPC SEO vs. PPC SEO PPC  Long term ROI  Easy to set up ads  Natural exposure, potential for high  Measureable and trackable volume  Can leapfrog SEO sites  Difficult to quantify/track results  Expensive  Requires ongoing content generation  Can lead to bidding wars  Prone to changes in engine rules Google as Integrated Search  Search among Google platforms – not just pages, but maps, images, videos, etc.  Even more tight integration to come with recent changes in Google privacy policy – one policy for all services = tighter integration and linking (for better or worse?) Bing as Integrated Search  Microsoft making a solid push to break the Google monopoly with (annoying?) ads  Don’t be evil angle is smart – but is Microsoft less evil?  Similar features, although still catching up – Google still has a lot of advantages SEO History  Spider index page content and metadata  Quick realization that some tags/words would enhance placement  “White hat” SEO – creating quality content gets you results (e.g, the Oatmeal)  “Black hat” SEO – a dishonest attempt to game the search engine (examples?)  Reaction of engines – why Googles care about black hat techniques? SEO Friendly Infrastructure  What do spiders access?  What *can’t* they access?  Page design should be as much (or more!)
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