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Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation – Part 2

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In a recent post I covered the first part of “Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation”, a brief rundown of the 4 basic categories which search engines consider when calculating a ranking.

  • Content
  • Links
  • Age
  • Pages

In Part 2, I will cover the recent changes in Google’s algorithm, how to use this knowledge effectively, and the difference between text and images from an SEO perspective.

Google Caffeine, Google Updates, and Google Instant

These 3 changes or modifications all lead to 1 point: updating your website is much better than not updating it. The primary reason is that it shows users and Google that your website is current and has up-to-date information.  Think of it this way – if you managed a news website and only posted your articles once per month for that whole month’s news, how useful do you think that would be?

Google Caffeine was an algorithm update released perhaps 5 months ago now – which is old news in Online Marketing, but the changes are important nonetheless.  This update was 100 petabytes in size. What’s that? You don’t know what a petabyte is? Neither did I until I heard of this update. 100 Petabytes loosely converts to 100,000,000 Gigabytes… Think you can fit that on your external hard drive?  I think not!

What this update did was put a higher emphasis on websites that are getting updated more frequently.  I haven’t noticed to much of a difference on client websites – but on a testing site of mine I have been able to shoot up the rankings in an industry with medium competitiveness just by updating it regularly.

Google Updates is a search setting that was released a while back. It basically shows Twitter feeds in real time.  So if you go to Google Updates and type in SEO it will show you updates on the search term which roll over every time a new post is made.  This isn’t great for searching for shoes, or a new laptop, but it shows the move that Google is making to move into the instant search market.  Perhaps all searches will change to look something like this in the future.

Google Instant search was release in Australia on the 10th of October, and has been appearing on and off to Australian searchers ever since.  Basically what this does is it changes the Organic and PPC results as you type your search query into the search field.  I did think this would increase the likelihood of people searching for longer tail keywords, but conclusive evidence of this is yet to show.

Google’s Caching Cycle

I have covered this in a previous blog post, so I won’t do it again – but it is very important to know, especially because of the changes such as Google Caffeine. Please read over this!

Text vs. Images

Some of you might have heard of text / code ratio. Basically, if your website is too code-heavy it will take a long time for Google to read each page, and therefore won’t have much time to crawl the rest of the website – which is very important for getting deeper pages indexed. 

Below is an example of the “home” button on www.ewebmarketing.com.au

<a rel=”nofollow” href=”http://www.ewebmarketing.com.au/” title=”E-Web Marketing &amp; Optimisation Home”><img src=”http://www.ewebmarketing.com.au/images/sem_seo.gif” width=”184″ height=”40″ border=”0″ alt=”E-Web Marketing &amp; Optimisation Home” /></a>

The text vs code ratio on this image is very high – it is all code.  This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a alt attribute or a title tag – these are very important, but if possible minimise code that isn’t essential for the site.

Below is a copy of the first paragraph of the E-Web marketing home page:

<p class=”sem101_paratitle”>What is SEM &amp; SEO? </p>
<ul>
<li class=”content”><strong>Search Engine Marketing (SEM)</strong> involves a combination of free website submissions and paid search engine listings, to ensure your website reaches customers using search engines to research purchase decisions.<br />
 </li>
<li class=”content”><strong>Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)</strong> is the art and science of increasing your website&#8217;s visibility to search engines for those important keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business.<br />
 </li>
<li class=”content”>Search Engine Optimisation typically includes keyword research and development, competitive analysis and industry benchmarking, backend coding optimisation, website submissions and results reporting.
</li>
</ul>

As you can clearly see the ratio of text to code is MUCH higher than the image above – Content is King!! The more text and content the better for Google – and Users! Which is why it is best SEO practice to include text above images wherever possible. It might not look as flashy but it works for getting rankings.

Homework

As per my presentations I send clients homework for this course, I will do the same here!  Feel free to post your replies with your answers.

What does CLAP stand for?
What is the most important element of CLAP?
How do you find out when a website was last cached?
What is your website’s caching cycle?
What is better for Google? Images or Content?

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