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Understanding Search Engines

An insight into search engines.
by

Alan Shaw

on 17 March 2015

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Transcript of Understanding Search Engines

Understanding Search Engines and SEO.
What is a Search Engine?
A tool that lists content on the internet based on the criteria set by the searcher.


Crawlers, spiders or robots (bots)
like Google and Ask Jeeves.
Directory or Human
Powered like ChaCha.com
Meta
which take the results of the popular search engines then generate a new set of results: Dogpile.com is a good example
There are 3 types of Search Engines:
Search Engine Market Share
UK
USA
This lecture will focus on:
Your domain name will play a big part in the optimisation of your website. It should be linked to your keywords: you are however limited if you are building a site related to an existing company or brand.

You can check your domain ranking by going to www.alexa.com.

Use Whois to identify the owner of a web domain.
Domain Names
Alexa will give you a wealth of information:
Google will display search results in 3 formats:
Sponsored and organic results: here we can see there is a lot of competition for the word insurance. We can see the primary sponsors (at the top in the pink box) and the secondary sponsors on the right.
This is another example of sponsored and organic results: here there is little competition for the keyword. We can only see one primary sponsor.
Here there is no competition for the keyword, so Google only displays the organic results.
So, what is Google actually showing you?
What you can see here is the Meta or SEO Title
What you can see here is the Meta Description.
Your content management system (cms) should allow you to add all the Meta information and keywords you need. Here is an example of a cms from Wordpress:
You can find these details on any web page:
Here you can see the Meta Title:
Now, right click on the page and click on "View Source"...
You can see the Title, Description and Keywords in your source. Why not check out your competitors sites to see what they are doing (focus on those one page 1 of Google).
Note, there use to be a
Hybrid
version, this used a combination of crawler and directory results: MSN was the example, but has been superseded by Bing.
Data as at Feb 2012.
Keywords
If you are serious about optimising your website then you need to select the right keywords.

Here we can see Google's tool to help you manage key words:
It shows you how many Global and Local monthly search take place for the keyword.
It also shows other related possibilities and their monthly searches.
Understanding User Habits
To be successful you need to understand your "Users" habits.

Don’t just rely on what you think the key words should be. You really need to understanding user habits, do some surveys, try and find out exactly how they do the search?

Have you got the right keywords?
Link Building
Link building is a very important aspect of search engine optimisation.
You will need develop link building programmes:
Organic – create great content (including apps, games or contests). Something which will make you standout.
Developed – get involved in related online debates about your area of interest. This needs to be authentic otherwise you may be seen as a spammer.
Use sites like www.backlinkwatch.com/ to track how your link building is going.
Thank You, Any Questions?
Google Searches via a Smart Phone.
Learning Objectives:
To provide you with a basic understanding of Search Engines and the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Process.


Learning Outcomes:
1. Able to differentiate between the various types of Search Engines and their outputs.
2. Identify the key processes needed to facilitate the SEO process.
3. To be aware of the various tools that can be utilised to support the SEO process.
4. To know the difference between White and Black Hat SEO.
Let's now look at the results of a Google Search:
URLs
The URL helps the spiders (and users) determine the relevance of the page:

www.strategic-planet.com/16773xcs55gg.html
www.strategic-planet.com/understanding-e-marketing

Which is more relevant?


Getting To The Top Of Google:
Getting to the Top Google can be done in 2 ways:

a. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
b. PPC (Pay Per Click)

Today our focus is on SEO.




SEO Requirements
The exact algorithms for determining SEO are hidden but best practice has identified a number of factors that must me considered:

Domain Name.
URL
Content
Meta Information
Keywords
Links
Indexing


Content:
Meta Information and Tags:
But What is SEO?

It is a process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
It is the content on your website that drives people to it. This will lead to an increase in reputation of the site which can be measure by the links created and the site ranking either through Google with their Page Ranking system or Alexa (discussed earlier).

There is also a relationship between the number of times your site is crawled with the frequency of your new posts.

If you have nothing new to say why would people return to your site?
Meta information and Tags are part of the HTML code that helps categorise a page and tells a search engine what it is all about. The important elements for SEO are:
Title tags
Alt tags
Keyword tags.

We must not forget Description Tags (not relevant in the SEO algorithms but critical in getting users to select your link)
Link Building Explained
Check that your site is indexed.
"Black Hat" Examples
Thank You.
Any Questions?
Alan Shaw
Strategic Planet
Full transcript