Help! My site is invisible{Comments Off on Help! My site is invisible}


by Penny C

"search engine ranking system"

picture obtained from http://www.toprankmarketing.com/search-engine-optimization/

Assume that I finish my class project which is a web site that sells workout DVDs and I eventually got to buying a domain name and putting the site on the web.  Now I have an e-commerce site, but hm… no customers!!  As Dr. Zhang had said at the beginning of the quarter that just having a site out there is not enough.  In the sea of bizillion of web sites, who is going to know my little site even exists?  Everyone uses search engine to search for stuff online, be it make up, clothes, a new laptop, a car, a place to rent… list goes on.

According to the site I was reading, the most popular commercial search engines are Google, Yahoo and Bing in the U.S.  If those search engines can’t find my site and place my site content into their database, my site will remain buried among those bizillion sites and will never get visitors, let alone make sales.  Here is a little summary on what and how search engines index web sites.  Search engines use “crawlers” and “spiders” to search for links on web sites.  Once these crawlers find the links, they find the corresponding page, picture …whatever by parsing the code and storing the information in those massive datacenters.  The search engines then return results based on relevance and importance of the page based on the keyword users entered in search field.

Search engines use complicated mathematical formulas to calculate “relevance” and “importance” of a page and rank the page.  Below is a short list of what the three search engines’ recommendation on web design and content:

Yahoo!

  • # of other sites linking to your site
  • content of the page
  • update to indices

Bing

  • One topic per page
  • HTML page without picture should be below 150kb
  • each page must be linkable from at least one static text link

Google

  • write pages for users, not for bots
  • each page must be linkable from at least one static text link
  • have clear hierarchy between pages and text links.
  • web site should be useful and information rich.

Now I have a little better idea of how to make my site visible to the bots, but this process is a continual process.  As the picture shows on top right, the process is iteration.  Improve the site, test it again and again.  Once improvements are made, the result may not be apparent at first because there is a little delay.  The bots have to reach the site again, look through the site, index the content.  According to the article, there may be up to a week or longer delay.

What I read in the article and my summary does not even scratch the surface of SEO process and eventual conversion of visit to sales.  This topic requires deeper reading and understanding of web optimization and web related technology and a few hours of reading and research is nearly not enough.

How long did I spend on the assignment:

Search the web for articles: 2 hours +

Reading and writing the article: 1 hour

reading classmates posts: 30 minutes (5 min each or so)

actual feedback on posts: 3 mins

Work Cited:

The beginners guide seo. (2011, March). Retrieved from http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo