Child pages
  • Web Council - March 22, 2012

Versions Compared

Key

  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.
  • Announcements
    • Next meeting, April 26 in OUGL 220
    • Two more meetings in OUGL
      • Meetings over the summer will be in other places
    • HuskyFest'12 (April 19-21) is coming http://uw.edu/huskyfest/
  • Cyrus Shepard - Search Engine Optimization
    • Independent SEO & Web Strategist - http://cyrusshepard.com, twitter @cyrusshepard
    • Used to be lead on SEO at SEOmoz - http://www.seomoz.org/
    • Is search engine optimization evil?
      • Does it let you manipulate search results?
      • We hate when we land on a Web site that is not what we intended
        • Google hates irevelevant results too
        • Google's job is to deliver the best results
        • Our job as a content producer is to give them pages that will help them give users the best results
    • Example: Host Wine Aerator Web site http://hoststudios.com/
      • No information on the page
      • Great graphics
      • Not much Google can use to rank it
    • Google wants to organize all the information there is and make it readily available
      • Problem
        • Google is not that smart yet
      • We have to work with and format our information so Google can understand it
    • Golden Rules
      • Use Your Words
        • Wikipedia pages are pretty good
          • They give so much content
          • If you have less than 200 words on a page, it is hard for Google to figure out how to rank you page
        • 500 words on a page gives Google much more to work with
      • One URL Per Page
      • Unique Title Tags for Each Page
        • Very important for determining relevancy
        • Many social media sites use title tags
        • Put important words near front of your titles
        • Google will display 65-75 characters of your title tag
        • Do not repeat titles on many pages
      • Robots do not Fill Out Forms
        • Content that requires authentication for access will not be found; search engines will not go there
      • Not All Links Are Equal
        • http://www.seomoz.org/blog/10-illustrations-on-search-engines-valuation-of-links
        • Search engines look at content page and then at what pages link to the pages
          • Links to a page can be seen as votes for the page
        • Navigation links are considered computer generated links - do not carry much value
          • Links that occur in conent are called editorial links - count much more
          • Links near top of page count for more
          • Pages with big drop-down menus have fallen in their ranking
        • Links within a paragraph have more weight; text around them is used to understand what the link is about
        • Within the content of a page, link to yourself (link to your own pages in intelligent, apropropriate ways)
        • Encouraged to have more of a pyramid organization - reduce number of links on a page so each link has more importance
          • Make architecture more "pointy"
        • Links at the bottom are almost worthless for ranking
          • Use footer links sparingly and only for content you do not care much about
      • Publish Often
        • Google looks at freshness
        • http://www.seomoz.org/blog/google-fresh-factor
        • Update content regularly
        • Update links going to the page. New links to a page which may not be fresh suggest that it must be relevant
        • Content from feeds does not count much, even if it constantly updates
        • Google will judge entire Web site on its freshness
          • Publish new content regularly
          • New pages need to earn links; others need to link to them or they are considered not important
      • Reduce Your Footprint
        • Sites that have a lot of template delivered content delivered from elsewhere and little original content get low ranks
      • Keep It Above the Fold
        • Pages that have too much stuff at the top such as ads (users have to scroll down to meat of the page) get lower scores
        • Remember that the further down the page something is, the less it is considered relevant
        • Slide shows & Carousels at the top
          • Google does not have much of an idea what they are
          • Accompanying text helps give the images a ranking
          • Provide transcripts and captions for your slide shows and carousels
        • Google has the ability to render CSS - actually considers how big your page is and what text will be above the fold
      • Embrace Structured Data
        • http://schema.org/
        • You can tag your content (microdata)
        • Google is moving toward an entity based system
          • Bing has been doing entity search for a long time
          • Google trying to structure all the data on your Web site
        • Schema is very complicated to implement
          • Practice Practical limits to how much schema is going to be used
          • Not clear what the long term viability of structured data is.
    • Favorite Tools
    • Localization and Personalization
      • You can set location of search; just set it to United States. Otherwise it will localize to Seattle
      • To get rid of personalization, go through Google UK - http://www.google.co.uk/
    • Site Reviews
      • Computer Science & Engineering - http://www.cs.washington.edu/
        • Title tag: Computer Science & Engineering
          • Is this informative text?
          • Could be any similar department anywhere in the world
          • Still, UW CSE comes up at the top of the world search.
      • IT Connect - http://uw.edu/itconnect/
        • Many UW Web sites are portals of information trying to deliver many kinds of information to everybody; IT Connect is a good example
          • Smorgasboard of information
            • How do you deliver all this information
        • Reduce architecture menus to fewer choices so that users are led; you are making decisions for users
          • People do not want to spend a lot of time searching
          • Use smart ways to reduce architecture, giving people fewer choices but smarter choices
        • Title: Every page on the site has a page title that starts with "IT Connect"
          • Put topic at beginning of the title
          • Put the brand at end of title tag
      • Department of Global Health - http://globalhealth.washington.edu/
        • Looking at Google text cache
          • Does not include all of the menu nav links, probably written in scripting; Google does not see them
      • UW News - http://uw.edu/news
      • UWTV - http://www.uwtv.org
        • Google does not understand video at all
        • Have to use some tricks
          • Anytime you have video content, you should have transcripts; just a paragraph or two would help
          • If your video is on YouTube, they get the credit for the video
          • Use video site maps (http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=80472)
          • When you have multiple videos on a page, have each video living on its own URL
            • Otherwise someone searching for a particular video will not find it. Consider having each video as a separate blog posts
      • Bothell - http://www.uwb.edu
        • Looking at Google cache text view
          • For slides, have the same alt text on each graphic, so Google cannot differentiate between graphics or guess what their content is.
        • Content is pushed down below the fold
  • Greg Koester - UW Event Calendar Scoping Study
    • Looking at calendar products on the market
    • Doing costing study
    • Just finished demos
    • Will do evaluation
    • Will be conducting focus groups
    • Greg will be saying more next month