Wednesday 27 December 2006

Why Companies don’t like SEO

Your job is Search Engine Optimising, the company who employs you want you to search engine optimise their Website; what could be easier then - no I don’t mean the optimising, no that is always a long drawn out task - I wouldn’t say a difficult task, in fact it’s not difficult at all for those with a logical common sense approach.
But that’s not it is it, and all of us who work in SEO & search engine marketing will have come a cross this, no, what the company really want you to do is by almost any means possible get their Website to the number one spot in Google - as if this is similar task to building a house - eventually it will happen.
The same old scenario happens over and over again, we start with a new company and initially they want to play by the rules, in fact they’re adamant in playing by the rules; that is of course until they start to hear you talking about months, rather than weeks before their newly designed and re-launched Website will even start to grace Google’s pages.
What as a search engine optimiser / search engine marketer can we do!
Firstly we try as simple as possible to assure the CEO / MD that their Website is progressing amazingly - but then of course they sit in front of their computer, punch in their most generic trading term and hey presto they’re still not in the top hundred of Google’s pages.
Next they start noticing other Websites (this always catches me on the hop!) that are in the top ten and start asking why / how did they get there, and why can’t we copy what they’re doing. You explain that these are Website not quite playing by the rules and probably won’t be in the same position in a month or two’s time. At first this appeases them, until the next Board meeting - when that generic term still hasn’t waltzed its way into Google’s pages.
Then it comes - “stop thinking and just get me in to the top ten.” How can you answer that one? The thinking they allude to is of course your legitimate ideas at improving their Website.
Basically patience is not a virtue within most businesses wishing to make a success with their Website - especially when the CEO / MD believe in the short period you’ve been with them, they now know more than you about search engine optimising and the plethora of Web analytics.
For me these attempts at tricking the search engines (and internet users) means I will need to be constantly moving on to employment pastures new, because believe it or not I quite agree with Google I believe the Internet should be an honest useful tool.
When I make a search now I seem to spend as much time scrutinizing the results URL’s as I do their titles before I bravely click through. Well what does that tell me - basically companies don’t like SEO.

Friday 8 December 2006

Latent Semantic Indexing

This is a strange one; there has been a lot of talk lately in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) circles regarding Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). This is nothing new, there is always something new to talk about. But what I’m concerned about is the almost contradictory elements involved in the whole process. A very brief summing up of LSI - it is a technique of analysing the occurrence of terms in a document – in my field of work the document means the page of a Website.

Ok that seems quite simple, and in this indexing of terms (language-semantics) we find out that the terms or words are broken down to their basic (lowest denominator word) element; so for instance the word ‘edited’ or ‘editor’ would be broken down to the word ‘edit’. This is where it becomes a little tricky because as we know the words ‘edited’ and ‘editor’ mean quite different things to us (one is the final accomplishment of the other).

So how are we meant to integrate this form of semantics into our ‘content’ within our Website; many SEO agencies will inform you that across each page of your Website you should vary your keywords: i.e. flower, flowers, flowering, flowery (I didn’t know if that one would spell right), but I ask why? If the search engines are busily breaking down our words to their basic elements what is the point of spending heinous hours studying the art of the verbose.