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Search Engine Optimization Bible, Second Edition

Book Description

Detailed, practical guide to increasing your Web traffic through better search results

Wonder how some companies pop up high in search engine rankings? It's all about search appeal. Master the strategies, techniques, and shortcuts in this detailed guide and you can improve your Web site's search rankings and drive the targeted traffic you want to your virtual door. Learn new ways to add social media to the SEO mix, make your site mobile Web-friendly, write SEO tags for maximum exposure, and more.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is hot; the online advertising market is expected to grow at 34% CAGR between 2005 and 2010, and nine out of ten companies are estimated to be implementing SEO strategies

  • Find out how to get listed in the major search engines, directories, and indexes, and learn strategies for planning and implementing a successful SEO campaign

  • Take advantage of the case studies of readers who implemented the SEO techniques outlined in the first edition of this book and significantly improved search rankings

  • Discover how to target and reach the customers you really want; optimize your site specifically for Google, MSN, or Yahoo!; demystify the role of links and linking in search; implement social media and mobile search optimization; and analyze your SEO efforts to see what works

If you want to make SEO work for you, the new edition of this practical book is what you need to succeed.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Credits
  3. About the Author
  4. About the Technical Editor
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Introduction
    1. Who Should Read This Book
    2. How This Book Is Organized
      1. Conventions and features
        1. Tips, Notes, and Cautions
    3. Where to Go From Here
  7. I. Understanding SEO
    1. 1. Search Engine Basics
      1. 1.1. What Is a Search Engine?
      2. 1.2. Anatomy of a Search Engine
        1. 1.2.1. Query Interface
        2. 1.2.2. Search engine results pages
        3. 1.2.3. Crawlers, spiders, and robots
        4. 1.2.4. Databases
          1. 1.2.4.1. Quality Considerations
        5. 1.2.5. Search algorithms
          1. 1.2.5.1. On-page Algorithms
          2. 1.2.5.2. Whole-site Algorithms
          3. 1.2.5.3. Off-site Algorithms
          4. 1.2.5.4. Additional Algorithms
        6. 1.2.6. Retrieval and ranking
      3. 1.3. Characteristics of Search
      4. 1.4. Classifications of Search Engines
        1. 1.4.1. Primary search engines
          1. 1.4.1.1. Google Overview
          2. 1.4.1.2. Yahoo! Overview
          3. 1.4.1.3. MSN Overview
        2. 1.4.2. Secondary search engines
        3. 1.4.3. Targeted search engines
      5. 1.5. Putting Search Engines to Work for You
      6. 1.6. Manipulating Search Engines
        1. 1.6.1. SEO is hard work
        2. 1.6.2. Scheduling SEO efforts
    2. 2. The Theory of Long Tail Search
      1. 2.1. What Is Long Tail Search?
        1. 2.1.1. The Long Tail in action
        2. 2.1.2. Characteristics of Long Tail keywords
      2. 2.2. Long Tail vs. Broad Head
      3. 2.3. Working from the Bottom Up
      4. 2.4. Tying It All Together
    3. 3. Creating an SEO Plan
      1. 3.1. Understanding Why You Need SEO
      2. 3.2. Setting SEO Goals
      3. 3.3. Creating Your SEO Plan
        1. 3.3.1. Picky details
        2. 3.3.2. Prioritizing pages
        3. 3.3.3. Site assessment
        4. 3.3.4. Finishing the plan
        5. 3.3.5. Follow-up
      4. 3.4. Understanding Organic SEO
      5. 3.5. Achieving Organic SEO
        1. 3.5.1. Web site content
        2. 3.5.2. Google Analytics
        3. 3.5.3. Internal and external links
        4. 3.5.4. User experience
        5. 3.5.5. Site interactivity
  8. II. SEO Strategies
    1. 4. Building Your Site for SEO
      1. 4.1. Before You Build Your Site
        1. 4.1.1. Know your target
        2. 4.1.2. Page elements
          1. 4.1.2.1. Text
          2. 4.1.2.2. Tags
          3. 4.1.2.3. Links
          4. 4.1.2.4. Popularity
          5. 4.1.2.5. Other Criteria to Consider
      2. 4.2. Understanding Web Site Optimization
        1. 4.2.1. Does hosting matter?
        2. 4.2.2. Domain-naming tips
          1. 4.2.2.1. Choosing the right site name
          2. 4.2.2.2. Considering URL Structures
        3. 4.2.3. Understanding usability
          1. 4.2.3.1. Navigation Knowledge
          2. 4.2.3.2. Usability Considerations
      3. 4.3. Components of an SEO-Friendly Page
        1. 4.3.1. Understanding entry and exit pages
        2. 4.3.2. Using powerful titles
        3. 4.3.3. Creating great content
        4. 4.3.4. Maximizing graphics
      4. 4.4. Problem Pages and Work-Arounds
        1. 4.4.1. Painful portals
        2. 4.4.2. Fussy frames
        3. 4.4.3. Cranky cookies
      5. 4.5. Programming Languages and SEO
        1. 4.5.1. JavaScript
        2. 4.5.2. Flash
        3. 4.5.3. Dynamic ASP
        4. 4.5.4. PHP
      6. 4.6. Other Design Concerns
        1. 4.6.1. Domain cloaking
        2. 4.6.2. Duplicating content
        3. 4.6.3. Hidden pages
        4. 4.6.4. 404 error pages
      7. 4.7. Validating Your HTML
      8. 4.8. After Your Site Is Built
        1. 4.8.1. Beware of content thieves
        2. 4.8.2. Dealing with updates and site changes
    2. 5. Keywords and Your Web Site
      1. 5.1. The Importance of Keywords
      2. 5.2. Understanding Heuristics
        1. 5.2.1. Patterns, proximity, and stemming
        2. 5.2.2. Heuristics and site usability
      3. 5.3. Natural Language vs. Boolean Searches
        1. 5.3.1. In the beginning there was Boolean
        2. 5.3.2. Search language matures, naturally
      4. 5.4. Picking the Right Keywords
      5. 5.5. What's the Right Keyword Density?
      6. 5.6. Taking Advantage of Organic Keywords
      7. 5.7. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
      8. 5.8. More About Keyword Optimization
    3. 6. Pay-per-Click and SEO
      1. 6.1. Understanding How PPC Affects SEO
      2. 6.2. Before You PPC
      3. 6.3. How Pay-per-Click Works
        1. 6.3.1. Determining visitor value
        2. 6.3.2. Putting pay-per-click to work
      4. 6.4. Pay-per-Click Categories
        1. 6.4.1. Keyword pay-per-click programs
        2. 6.4.2. Product pay-per-click programs
        3. 6.4.3. Service pay-per-click programs
      5. 6.5. Keyword Competitive Research
        1. 6.5.1. Keyword suggestion tools
        2. 6.5.2. Ongoing keyword testing
      6. 6.6. Choosing Effective Keywords
        1. 6.6.1. Creating your first keyword list
        2. 6.6.2. Forbidden search terms and poison words
        3. 6.6.3. Forecasting search volumes
        4. 6.6.4. Finalizing your keyword list
      7. 6.7. Writing Ad Descriptions
      8. 6.8. Monitoring and Analyzing Results
    4. 7. Maximizing Pay-per-Click Strategies
      1. 7.1. Understanding Keyword Placement
      2. 7.2. Alt Attributes and Other Tags
        1. 7.2.1. Alt tags in graphic links
        2. 7.2.2. Title tags
        3. 7.2.3. Meta description tags
        4. 7.2.4. Anchor text
        5. 7.2.5. Header tag content
          1. 7.2.5.1. Losing Sleep Over Poor Sleep Habits?
            1. 7.2.5.1.1. Your Mattress Could Keep You Awake
            2. 7.2.5.1.2. Choosing the Right Mattress
        6. 7.2.6. Body text
      3. 7.3. URLs and Filenames
    5. 8. Increasing Keyword Success
      1. 8.1. What's Better: Traffic or Conversions?
        1. 8.1.1. Setting goals
        2. 8.1.2. Achieving conversions
      2. 8.2. Pay-per-Click Advertisement Text
        1. 8.2.1. Category words and product words
        2. 8.2.2. Writing the ad
      3. 8.3. Understanding Landing Pages
      4. 8.4. Understanding and Using A/B Testing
      5. 8.5. Tying It All Together
    6. 9. Understanding and Using Campaign Targeting
      1. 9.1. What Is Behavioral Targeting?
      2. 9.2. Benefits of Behavioral Targeting
      3. 9.3. Taking Advantage of Behavioral Targeting
        1. 9.3.1. Meeting the customer halfway
        2. 9.3.2. It's all in the timing
      4. 9.4. Additional Behavioral Targeting Tips
        1. 9.4.1. Multiple users require multiple placement methods
        2. 9.4.2. Behavioral targeting and privacy concerns
      5. 9.5. Then There Is Placement Targeting
      6. 9.6. Making Placement Ads Work for You
    7. 10. Managing Keyword and Pay-per-Click Campaigns
      1. 10.1. Keyword Budgeting
        1. 10.1.1. The value of a conversion
        2. 10.1.2. Budgeting based on conversions
      2. 10.2. Understanding Bid Management
        1. 10.2.1. Manual bid management
        2. 10.2.2. Automated bid management
      3. 10.3. Tracking Keywords and Conversions
      4. 10.4. Reducing Pay-per-Click Costs
        1. 10.4.1. Managing PPC campaigns
        2. 10.4.2. Negative keywords
        3. 10.4.3. Dayparting
      5. 10.5. Improving Click-Through Rates
      6. 10.6. The ROI of PPC
    8. 11. Keyword Tools and Services
      1. 11.1. Google AdWords
        1. 11.1.1. Campaign management
        2. 11.1.2. Reports
        3. 11.1.3. Analytics
        4. 11.1.4. My Account
        5. 11.1.5. Print Ads
      2. 11.2. Yahoo! Search Marketing
        1. 11.2.1. Dashboard
        2. 11.2.2. Campaigns
        3. 11.2.3. Reports
        4. 11.2.4. Administration
      3. 11.3. Microsoft adCenter
        1. 11.3.1. Campaign
        2. 11.3.2. Accounts & Billing
        3. 11.3.3. Research
        4. 11.3.4. Reports
    9. 12. Tagging Your Web Site
      1. 12.1. Why Site Tagging Is Important
      2. 12.2. How Site Tagging Works
      3. 12.3. Additional HTML Tags
        1. 12.3.1. Nofollow
        2. 12.3.2. Strong and emphasis
        3. 12.3.3. Noframes
        4. 12.3.4. Table summary tag
        5. 12.3.5. Acronym/abbreviation tags
        6. 12.3.6. Virtual includes
      4. 12.4. Using Redirect Pages
    10. 13. The Content Piece of the Puzzle
      1. 13.1. How Web Site Content Affects SEO
      2. 13.2. Elements of Competitive Content
      3. 13.3. Using Duplicate Content
      4. 13.4. Search Engine Spam
        1. 13.4.1. Doorway pages
        2. 13.4.2. Hidden and tiny text
        3. 13.4.3. SEO oversubmission
        4. 13.4.4. Page jacking
        5. 13.4.5. Bait and switch
        6. 13.4.6. Cloaking
        7. 13.4.7. Hidden links
      5. 13.5. Considerations for Multilingual Sites
      6. 13.6. Content Management Systems
        1. 13.6.1. When should you use CMS?
        2. 13.6.2. Choosing the right CMS
        3. 13.6.3. How CMS affects SEO
      7. 13.7. Understanding and Using Viral Content
    11. 14. Using Communities to Improve SEO
      1. 14.1. The Value of Communities
        1. 14.1.1. Community statistics
        2. 14.1.2. User expectations
      2. 14.2. Leveraging Communities for SEO
        1. 14.2.1. Creating a dialog
        2. 14.2.2. Improving keyword effectiveness
      3. 14.3. Choosing the Right Type of Community
      4. 14.4. Proper Care and Feeding of Communities
        1. 14.4.1. Prelaunch preparations
          1. 14.4.1.1. Tools
          2. 14.4.1.2. Building buzz
          3. 14.4.1.3. Beginning in beta
        2. 14.4.2. Once your community goes live
        3. 14.4.3. Maintaining your community over time
    12. 15. Understanding the Role of Links and Linking
      1. 15.1. How Links Affect SEO
      2. 15.2. How Links and Linking Work
        1. 15.2.1. Snagging inbound links
        2. 15.2.2. Creating outbound links
        3. 15.2.3. Taking advantage of cross-linking
        4. 15.2.4. The skinny on link farms
      3. 15.3. The Basics of Link Building
      4. 15.4. Using Internal Links
      5. 15.5. Judging the Effectiveness of Your Links
  9. III. Optimizing Search Strategies
    1. 16. Adding Your Site to Directories
      1. 16.1. What Are Directories?
        1. 16.1.1. Submitting to directories
        2. 16.1.2. Major online directories
        3. 16.1.3. Paid vs. free directories
      2. 16.2. Geo-Targeting SEO Strategies
      3. 16.3. Using Submission Tools
    2. 17. Pay-for-Inclusion Services
      1. 17.1. When to Use Pay-for-Inclusion Services
      2. 17.2. Understanding the Business Model
      3. 17.3. Managing Paid Services
      4. 17.4. Hiring the Right Professionals
      5. 17.5. Contract Considerations
      6. 17.6. When the Relationship Isn't Working
    3. 18. Robots, Spiders, and Crawlers
      1. 18.1. What Are Robots, Spiders, and Crawlers?
      2. 18.2. What's the Robot Exclusion Standard?
      3. 18.3. Robots Meta Tag
      4. 18.4. Inclusion with XML Site Mapping
        1. 18.4.1. Creating your own XML site map
        2. 18.4.2. Submitting your site map
    4. 19. The Truth About SEO Spam
      1. 19.1. What Constitutes SEO Spam?
      2. 19.2. Why SEO Spam Is a Bad Idea
      3. 19.3. Avoiding SEO Spam
        1. 19.3.1. Smart Site Design
    5. 20. Adding Social-Media Optimization
      1. 20.1. What Is Social-Media Optimization?
        1. 20.1.1. What's different about social-media optimization?
      2. 20.2. The Value of Social Media
      3. 20.3. Social-Media Strategies
      4. 20.4. Measuring Social-Media Optimization
    6. 21. Mobile Search Engine Optimization
      1. 21.1. The Mobile User Experience
        1. 21.1.1. Mobile networks
        2. 21.1.2. Mobile devices
        3. 21.1.3. How mobile users use the web
      2. 21.2. Mobile Web Site Design
      3. 21.3. Mobile SEO
      4. 21.4. The Rapid Evolution of Mobility
    7. 22. Monetizing Traffic as an SEO Strategy
      1. 22.1. Understanding Ad Placement Services
      2. 22.2. Monetization Service Overviews
      3. 22.3. Monetization Strategies for SEO
        1. 22.3.1. Choosing the right monetization strategy
        2. 22.3.2. Adding monetization to your web site
        3. 22.3.3. Placement: deciding where ads appear on the page
        4. 22.3.4. Monitoring success with monetization
    8. 23. Plugging In to Seo
      1. 23.1. Understanding Plug-Ins
      2. 23.2. Choosing the Right Plug-In
        1. 23.2.1. Google Toolbar
        2. 23.2.2. Alexa Toolbar
        3. 23.2.3. SEOQuake
        4. 23.2.4. SEO for Firefox
        5. 23.2.5. SEO tools for the chrome browser
    9. 24. Automated Optimization
      1. 24.1. Should You Automate?
      2. 24.2. Automation Tools
  10. IV. Maintaining SEO
    1. 25. SEO Beyond the Launch
      1. 25.1. It's Not Over
        1. 25.1.1. Monitoring your position
        2. 25.1.2. Monitoring web analytics
        3. 25.1.3. Monitoring keywords and links
        4. 25.1.4. Keeping content fresh
      2. 25.2. Using Content Management Systems
      3. 25.3. SEO Problems and Solutions
        1. 25.3.1. You've been banned!
        2. 25.3.2. Content scraping
        3. 25.3.3. Click fraud
    2. 26. Analyzing Success
      1. 26.1. Analyzing SEO Successes
        1. 26.1.1. Managing SEO expectations
          1. 26.1.1.1. SEO time line
          2. 26.1.1.2. Hands-on involvement
        2. 26.1.2. Find yourself
      2. 26.2. Analyzing Web Stats
        1. 26.2.1. Baseline statistics
        2. 26.2.2. Referring web sites
        3. 26.2.3. Referring keywords (paid and organic)
        4. 26.2.4. Visit duration
        5. 26.2.5. Visit depth
        6. 26.2.6. Repeat visits
        7. 26.2.7. Additional statistics
      3. 26.3. Competitive Analysis
      4. 26.4. Conversion Analysis
      5. 26.5. Analyzing Server Logs
  11. V. Appendices
    1. A. Optimization for Major Search Engines
      1. A.1. Optimization for Google
        1. A.1.1. Understanding Google PageRank
        2. A.1.2. Google Webmaster Tools
        3. A.1.3. Google APIs
      2. A.2. Optimization for MSN
      3. A.3. Optimization for Yahoo!
    2. B. Industry Interviews
      1. B.1. Eric Bloomfield, Vice President of Client Service & Technology, SendTraffic
      2. B.2. Jessica Bowman, SEMPO Board of Directors, In-House SEO Expert
      3. B.3. Brian Combs, Founder and Senior VP, Apogee Search
      4. B.4. Rhea Drysdale, SEO and Social Media Coordinator, We Build Pages
      5. B.5. Paul Dyer, Director of New and Interactive Media, CarryOn Communications
      6. B.6. Miki Dzugan, President, Rapport Online, Inc.
      7. B.7. Rand Fishkin, CEO and Co-Founder, SEOmoz
      8. B.8. Duane Forrester, Founding Co-Chair for the In-house SEM Committee with SEMPO
      9. B.9. Stephen Harris, Managing Director, SPH Associates
      10. B.10. Ryan Hoppe, Director of Marketing, ATG
      11. B.11. Diane Kuehn, President & CEO, VisionPoint Marketing
      12. B.12. Matt Naeger, Executive VP, Operations, IMPAQT
      13. B.13. Simon Otter, Technical Manager, thebigword
      14. B.14. Sarah Skerik, VP Distribution Services, PR Newswire
      15. B.15. Andrew Wetzler, President, MoreVisibility
      16. B.16. Jill Whalen, Founder and CEO, High Rankings
    3. C. SEO Software, Tools, and Resources
      1. C.1. Major Search Engines and Directories
      2. C.2. Secondary Search Engines
      3. C.3. Meta Search Engines
      4. C.4. Keyword Tools
      5. C.5. Content Resources
      6. C.6. RSS Feeds and Applications
      7. C.7. Search Engine Marketing Resources and Articles
      8. C.8. Registration Services and Programs
      9. C.9. Link Resources and Software
      10. C.10. Pay-per-Click
      11. C.11. Social-Media Tools
      12. C.12. Mobile Optimization Tools
    4. D. Worksheets
      1. D.1. SEO Checklist
        1. D.1.1. Current State
        2. D.1.2. Keyword Research
        3. D.1.3. Web Site Design
        4. D.1.4. Write Clean Code
        5. D.1.5. Make Use of Tags and Attributes
        6. D.1.6. SEO-Approved Content
        7. D.1.7. Manual Submissions
        8. D.1.8. Linking Strategies
        9. D.1.9. Conversions
      2. D.2. Four Phases of the Buying Process Worksheet
        1. D.2.1. Prep Work
        2. D.2.2. Phase 1: Curiosity
        3. D.2.3. Phase 2: Deeper Curiosity
        4. D.2.4. Phase 3: Justification and Value
        5. D.2.5. Phase 4: Purchasing and Owning
      3. D.3. Keyword Checklist
    5. Glossary