Search Engine Optimization is the process of managing web content in a manner that elevates page rankings in search engines. Search engines are the predominant place where people research information and make informed decisions. From prospective students researching schools to the academic community researching topics, Web Users look for academic information on Google and other popular search engines.
SEO is a winner takes all marketing tactic. There is very little benefit in being listed number 11 on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP.) It is important to focus on optimizing important web pages, such as the home page, or admissions content, using keywords and phrases which are popular but also have relatively limited competition. By optimizing for “niche terms” an organization has highest probability of success.
When it comes to SEO Google is the search engine that matters most. Google has the lion share of search traffic and should be the foundation of any search engine marketing program. Bing and Yahoo!, are rising in importance, but still only command a relatively small percentage of search traffic.
So this is how Google Works:
1. The “bot” or “spider” which crawls the web and indexes web pages
2. The index which contains all of the information on a page
3. The search query which end users enter into a search engine to find content
A successful SEO program will take into account all of these factors by ensuring web pages are accessible and easy to index, by writing good content and meta data that gets indexed, and lastly by understanding the search terms prospective audiences are using to find content and optimizing pages to match those terms.
Google indexes pages on a fairly frequent interval. One way to ensure that new content gets indexed is to register an XML site map with instructions on how often to index a site and what content to index.
Ingeniux provides a Site Maps feature that can automate when pages are indexed. You can also add instructions to the header of a web page to tell Google how to index a specific page. Google returns web pages during a search in order of their page rank for that search term. Google uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate page rank. The specifics of the algorithm are perhaps more closely guarded then the recipe for Coke, however Google generally looks at four factors to establish page rank:
1) The popularity of a web page roughly measured by how many sites link to it
2) The authority of a web pages measured by
a. The age of the domain (an older domain is considered to have more authority)
b. The top level domain (TLD). .za websites have the most authority
c. The popularly and authority of the external pages that that link to the page
3) The relevance of a web page based on its contents and meta data or information about the information, as well as the relevance of the external or “inbound” links pointing to the page as expressed in the anchor text of those links
4) The location of a web page based on where it lives in the overall information architecture of the site and how well it can be indexed by a search engine spider or bot (the higher up a page is on your site better it will rank).
-with thanks for Ingeniux- The search engine for Students