Chelsea's Blog

Search Engine Optimization

Posted on: November 4, 2009

How many times have you looked online at something before you buy it? I don’t know about you, but I am constantly seeking for information online about the products I am going to buy, and usually I purchase them online too!  Not only am I searching for consumer product information, there are so many times where I am unsure about something… so what do I do? I boot up my laptop or grab my phone and “Google” it.  You will never know how many times a disagreement has been settled by “googling” something on my BlackBerry.

Google seems to be my answer for many things in life.  When I search something online, I look at the first five listings and almost always choose the top one.  I’ve always wondered how the first listed web page gets to top, and sometimes how more relevant websites are the third or fourth listing, when they should be the first.  For instance, I was trying to find a cosmetic company the other day, so I searched the brand name.  I could not find the website, until I typed in the keyword “cosmetics”. I thought this was strange because this brand is fairly well known.  Well the answer to all my questions rests in the term “Search Engine Optimization”.  SEO is a way to organize a web page and imbed specific techniques in order for the page to register within the top search engine results.  Search Engine Optimization is critical, because if you don’t put effort into this aspect of website creation, your web presence will go virtually unnoticed!

So how do you get your page in a favourable position on the results page? There are many things to do which include using keywords, title tags, and even paying people to ensure you rank high; however, the most interesting to me is something called Google PageRank.  Google described PageRank as follows: “PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important”. Interestingly enough, not only are there many factors that affect PageRank, but there are actual mathematic equations involved, here is Wikipedia’s very extensive page of information about Google PageRank.

This website provides a good visual of Google’s top five ranking factors, the top five negative factors, and the top five most contentious factors weighed in order to get great search engine results.

As previously mentioned there are people whose job it is to be an “optimizer” such as the company Prime Visibility. They are referred to as “Google Boys”.  Watch the following video showcasing the company Prime Visibility and Search Engine Optimization.

The following video features Matt Cutts appearing on a USA Today Talking Tech video, he is a Google engineer and discusses a few things that are important to consider to get your page viewed.



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