This month, July 2013, a new web search engine appeared on the market: Blippex. Its algorithm ranks websites by the duration of time a searcher spends on a given website. The theory is that good websites will be visited for a longer period of time whereas poorer websites will have a higher bounce rate, whereby a user visits site-a and leaves quickly for site-b, thus a shorter viewing time.
Blippex’s simple and effective interface. Source
DwellRank, people and behaviour
DwellRank, similar but different from Google’s PageRank, ranks websites by a user’s viewing duration. In order to improve this ranking Blippex allows its users to download an extension which allows Blippex to monitor the amount of time spent on a given website.
“Search shouldn’t be about links…it should be about people and their interests.”
Posted by Gerald Murphy
- Archify. (11th July 2013) A SEARCH ENGINE BUILT BY THE CROWD, THAT DOES NOT SUCK. [Online] [Accessed on 20th July 2013]
How can I make my website popular?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a method of improving a websites visibility by designing and building a user friendly website. Today search engines are looking to improve the overall user experience rather than just looking at some text. So online, or digital, marketing companies follow trends to get your website to rank high.
Close-up of Google
Ultimately ‘Google wants to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’ but how does Google “organise” this information? There are, in short, a lot of factors but some data has always played a larger role than other data as highlighted below:
- Update frequency
- Popularity / Usage
An early photo of Google’s logo. Source
The earliest SEO tips
We can see that SEO has been around for a long time and popular (reputable), fresh (update frequency), quality, well-used webpages (popularity) with lots of references (citations) have always been valued by Google. Search today, however, is moving towards a user centred approach because the overall search experience gets points, if you like, which leads to higher ranking.
Posted by Gerald Murphy
Would you like me to write about a search engine topic? What would you like to know, e-mail or tweet Gerald.
- Brin, S. and Page, L. (no date) The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine. [Online] [Accessed on 28th May 2013] http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html
- Google. (no date) Google’s mission… [Online] [Accessed on 28th May 2013] http://www.google.com/about/company/
Hyperlinks, websites and users
On the whole hyperlinks help a user to navigate from page-a to page-b but if there are too many links on a page it can cause a lower attention span causing users to jump around. Hyperlinks, from a web accessibility viewpoint, take a blind user longer to view a webpage because screen readers will read aloud the actual text, as well as, metadata within those hyperlinks. So limiting the number of hyperlinks on a website is very important for everyone.
Simplified photo showing that hyperlinks are complex. From: FastCodesign
What to include in a hyperlink?
Having full hyperlink data is very important, and good practice, so everyone can benefit. All hyperlinks should make use of metadata (e.g. alt=”…”, title=”…”). Write call to actions rather that “click here”. Check that your hyperlinks are not broken, the most common reason for changing a hyperlink, and remember to be informative when writing links.
W3C have a good example of a good call to action hyperlink.
Hyperlinks, SEO and rel=”nofollow”
Hyperlinks are important for ranking because links count as votes, if you like, which allows a search engine to know whether or not a website is a good quality website. It is highly unlikely that website-a will link to website-b if they did not like the content. But it is possible that a poor website may have an excellent image. In this case you should consider using the rel=”nofollow” command just before the title=”…” tag. The rel=”nofollow” tells search engines not to go onto that link; thus this link will not be counted as a vote. So all links, strictly speaking, do not boost a website’s ranking.
There is lots of detailed information on hyperlinks online, for instance rel=”me”, if want to find out more after reading this post. Is there anything you would like clarification on? Do you have good examples of hyperlinks you would like to share? E-mail or tweet Gerald.
Posted by Gerald Murphy
- Gunter, S.K. and Valade, J. (2008) Master Visually. Canada: Wiley Publishing Inc.
- Mohamed, M. Rahman, R.A. Tin, L.C. Hashim, H. Maarof, H. Nasir, N.S.M. Zailani, S.N. Esivan, S.M.M. and Jumari, N.F. (2011) Reading behaviours of students in Kolej Datin Seri Endon (KDSE). International Journal of Educational Management. 26(4) pp. 381 — 390
- W3C. (no date) [Online] Don’t use “click here” as link text
What types of people use Google?
- Specific Googler
- Specific Googlers know what they are looking for. Most Specific Googlers will use Google’s advanced search features and/or use several words rather than a broad informational term.
- Browser Googler
- A Googler who wants to simply search for general areas of interest, for example, where was my [manufacturer] laptop made? Browser Googler’s casually want to find information on a loose subject rather than a specific topic.
- Now Googler (I want it!)
- The first handful of hits are examined rather than taking into account the domain name or how relevant the description meta data is, for example.
- Relaxed Googler
- A laid back Googler who is easily persuaded by auto-completion and auto-suggestion technologies. A relaxed Googler and a browser are related since their choice of search topics are loose.
- Complete Googler
- Uses Google for everything, for instance, maps, weather and Google search, of course. This type of Googler favours personalisation and most Google products.
- Way Googler
- This Googler will check cache webpages and will monitor the changes of specific keywords to find out if rankings increase/decrease.
Photo of a “Googler”
Source: Blogs Independent
Posted by Gerald Murphy
A slightly different post today that aims to make you, as a user of search engine technology, explore your online presence because other persons will.
Why Google yourself?
A Google search is not only quick and free to carry out but a Google search can change an opinion to pretty much any event or person. Claypoole and Payton (2012) identify that recruiters, for example, may review a CV and then Google that candidate. These results can change whether or not a person will or will not be shortlisted because recruiters are more likely to place more weight on what they find on a person’s social network. So if you Google yourself before your potential employer does then you will be able to see what they are likely to see (give or take a few results since Google personalises results to suit your needs).
“Your name here” on Google’s search box. Click image for source.
Search engine blog
This blog is about search engines. Browsing is probably the most used application on your PC next to e-mail and videos (Mediati 2013:72). Search engines, arguably, are the most popular method of browsing so it is important to be aware of your online self.
Posted by Gerald Murphy
- Claypoole, T. and Payton, T. (2012) Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You Naked Online? pp. 215 — 215
- Mediati, N. (2013) Which Browser Is Best? PC World. 31(1) pp. 71 — 76
Search history, provided by a search engine and produced by the searcher, has become a well-used feature that is easy to store because it does not use a lot of memory (Leung et al 2012:3065); however, this memory is used to personalise the searcher’s services (Anonymous 2005:8). Google, Bing and Yahoo! all collect search histories alongside paid services.
A Google user, theoretically, has control over their search history because they may delete it from their user account. But search history may be stored by other technologies, for instance, cookies.
Does Google personalise searches?
In short, yes! Fox (2007:24) identified what technologies are used with Google’s personalised search; they include:
- Previous click behaviour
- Search history
- Web history
- Use of other Google services
- Country restriction
All Google users, from 2009, automatically opt-in to Google’s Personalised Search allowing a users’ web history to be monitored (Horling and Kulick 2009: online).
So it is clear that there are several technologies which might influence one single search.
- Fox, V. (2007) ‘The anatomy of personalized Google results. Information Today. 24(11) pp. 24 — 24
- Horling, B. and Kulick, M. (2009) Personalized search for everyone. [Online] [Accessed on 11th Feb 2013] http://is.gd/BVwG11
- Leung, S.W. Yuen, S.Y. and Chow, C.K. (2012) ‘Parameter control system of evolutionary algorithm that is aided by the entire search history.’ Applied Soft Computing. 12(9) pp. 3063 — 3078
What is keyword searching?
Keyword searching can be summarised by (Rowley 2001:359):
- The searcher is presented with a form that contains a text entry box
- Keywords may be typed into the text entry box and the “search” button can be pressed
- A HTTP request is triggered once the searcher presses the “search” button which copies the text box keywords into the URL of the search service’s web server
- Once the server processes these keywords the results are displayed in place of the text entry box
- Results are usually ranked by relevance and are presented ten at a time
- Each record has a hyperlink which can be clicked on by the searcher
SEO’s relationship with keyword searching
Having an understanding of how search works allows an SEO to develop an understanding of why we search for information.
Why is it useful to know about keyword searching?
(i) shows the importance of keywords in search even though keywords are not used as a SEO ranking factor, (ii) gains an understanding of how we search for information, and, (iii) explains to a client how keyword searching actually works when they type and hit the “search” button.
Would you like me to write a post on a specific search engine topic?
Posted by: Gerald Murphy
(WordPress) A blog about search engines. Search “gerald murphy seo”
- Rowley, J. (2001) ‘Knowledge organisation in a Web-based environment.’ Management Decision. 39(5) pp. 355 – 361.