Category Archives: information

Explains what information is and its relationship with search engines.

Page content and text

Sometimes organisations’ do not think that content is a high priority because it is not directly related to the bottom line profits (Anon no date: online). Having said that excellent content does lead to more hits which allows more products to be sold on an e-commerce website, for example. Thus content is related to profits, let alone an excellent user experience.

SEO: The role of page content

Effective content, comprised of keywords which flow freely through sentences and heading tags, plays a large part in any SEO campaign. Term frequency is determined by page content: The more times a keyword appears on a page the more likely that page is about that keyword. For this reason page content identifies what a webpage is about which, in turn, allows a searcher to find your website by using a search engine: SEO and page content are closely related.

Excellent page content also adds to the overall user experience. Excellent page content, for instance, can help a user find out key information or answer a question they wanted an answer for. So page content is vital for SEO.

Image of 'content is king'. SEO, references, blog posts and images help with excellent content.

Image of ‘content is king’. SEO, references, blog posts and images help with excellent content.

The search engine results’ page (SERP) viewpoint

Recently the SERP has started to by-pass the typical page description tag by opting for a snippet of text from the body of the text. In other words the search engine now ‘reads’ your webpage and makes note of the important terms on that page: Knowing what words appear and where (term location) allows the search engine to build up a picture of what your page is about.

How can I have excellent page content?

Content will vary, and should vary, to suit your target audience. Adapting the language you use is very important because it allows you to become a hit for a specific group of searchers. Excellent content is written to make complete sense on its own (i.e. sentences are clear and well-constructed), as well as, being comprised of suitable and specific keywords. Excellent page content allows the target audience to find out about a topic. Good research is vital to include specific details. You should consider asking (and answering) the following questions are you write (and read) the content you have just wrote:

  • What age range is your audience? Does the language/choice of words reflect this age range?
  • What are the most relevant keywords for [your topic]?
  • Are the sentences well-constructed?
  • Are the written paragraphs clear and well-constructed?
  • What is the point of this sentence / paragraph?
  • Would it be better to include an introduction, body of text and identify conclusions? Can any of these points be referenced?
  • Have you utilised HTML tags (e.g. heading 1 – 6, strong…) to allow the search engine to ‘read’ all your text?

Posted by: Gerald Murphy
(Twitter) @GeraldMurphySEO
(WordPress) A blog about search engines. Search “gerald murphy seo”

Reference

  1. Anonymous. (no date) Content is King for SEO. [Online] [Accessed on 03rd April 2013] http://tinyurl.com/cl9qtou
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Quality, SEO and Google

What is ‘quality’ information?

One of my objectives for an undergraduate dissertation is to examine what the ‘added value’ of subscription services are. To do this I have to attempt to define what ‘quality’ is.

Markland (2005:23) states that there have been many attempts to define quality information but the following words are related to what ‘quality’ information might be:

  • Accurate
  • Current
  • Reliable
  • Peer reviewed
  • Speed
  • Relevance
  • Usefulness

Why does quality matter to Google?

Google (2013: online) suggests that the following four principles should be applied to every website: (i) make user-based pages, not search engine focused pages, (ii) don’t deceive your users, (iii) Avoid tricks to improve Google rankings (would you be comfortable explaining to someone what you have done?) (iv) Have unique, valuable or engaging information on your site to stand out from the crowd.

Quality information and Google

If your website is relevant and useful, or any other words identified by (Markland 2005:23), it is a quality website. Quality websites will have excellent rankings. Focusing on obtaining a quality website, therefore, will allow you to rank very high on Google.

From this post, alone, you can see that focusing on ‘quality’ is very important. If you want your website (blog, wiki…) to rank well on search engines you need to create quality information. Wikipedia’s relationship with Google, arguably, could explain why Wikipedia articles rank high for a lot of Google searches. Does this suggest that Google is placing more weight on quality information?

A personal case study of quality

This blog is attracting hundreds of hits for the following question: Is Bing better than Google? One could argue that this post is well written, a comment made by another blogger, which has allowed it to rank well on Google UK. To help with accuracy it is a good idea to include references on your website / blog post. A reference acts as an accurate, relevant factor for a topic by identifying that you have completed research.

References

  1. Google (2013) Webmaster Guidelines: Best practices to help Google find, crawl, and index your site [Online] [Accessed on 01th April 2013] http://alturl.com/s87u8
  2. Markland, M. (2005) Does the student’s love for the search engine mean high quality online academic resources are being missed? Performance Management and Metrics. 6(1) pp. 19 — 31.

Gerald Murphy’s Search on Technorati

Expanding your blog

A good blog utilises the various technologies, especially social media, to become a reliable and popular resource for information. Technorati helps you to do this.

Other good ways to promote your blog

  • Get a Twitter account
  • Like other posts on WordPress
  • Create good comments on other blogs
  • Set up a Facebook page for your blog (I have not, and will not, do this because I dislike Facebook’s lack of privacy)
  • Get involved in other social media outlets, such as, Pinterest, PhotoBucket etc
  • Don’t forget to use traditional methods (i.e. e-mail and telling people about your blog in person)
  • Use HTML effectively to make the search engines’ job easier
  • Above all, create excellent quality content for your audience

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What might a solicitor call ‘quality’ information?

Solicitor’s seem to be more corporate about defining ‘quality’ information. Whereas, librarians tend to view ‘quality’ from an editoral angle.

Solicitors, like librarians, have three different viewpoints:

Business viewpoint
Information is regulated and not commercialised
Search engine results page (SERP)
Results are relevant, accurate and subscription results do not have to pay their way to be at the top
Information viewpoint
Information itself is more specialised, more reliable and subscription results tend to be less biased

Subscription services vs free access

Unsuprisingly, members of the information society (both librarians and solicitors) value subscription services. Subscription services seem to offer ‘added value’ because their results are, generally speaking, reflective on what keywords we search for rather than the search engine thinking, or predicting what information we search for.

Google Reader retires

In a blog post yesterday Google announced that Google Reader would retire on 1st July 2013. It said they wanted to focus on fewer products to improve the user experience, as well as highlighting that the number of people using Google Reader has declined recently.

Obviously Google Reader is not the only RSS reader but it does make one think about the future of RSS feeds. Do you think they will be used in, say, five years’ time?

Gerald’s simply put posts

In an effort to help identify search engine technologies, I will publish a series of ‘simply put posts’ which will identify and briefly explain, in simple English, what a technology is. These posts will be published alongside other posts in this blog. So what things will be included and posted within the coming weeks?

  • What is PageRank?
  • What is a search engine?
  • Why do search engines produce different results?

Search technology explained

I am passionate about search, but I also want to share this passion with other people. One of the best ways to do this is to help inform/educate those from non-search backgrounds on search engine technologies: The simply put series will identify and explain important search technologies.

What do I want to know about search?

Is there anything you would like to know about search engine technology? Do you want me to include it in a simply put post? Please let me know: