Everything SEO 101, Search and Search Engines

We held our first Digital Media and Marketing Community Study Group on January 16 2016. We had two facilitators and five participants attend the Search Engine and SEO discussion and demonstration.

Digital Media and Marketing Study Group - Module 1


After a brief introduction of ourselves we got right into the nitty gritty of search engines right away. We went through a brief history of search engines and took the opportunity to introduce SEO (search engine optimization 101) and the need for it when deploying an Internet marketing campaign. We went through several types of the major search engines of today: Google, Twitter, Facebook, MSN, Ebay, Yahoo, Kijiji and Craigslist. We looked at how the volume of searches is continually increasing exponentially from two hundred million a month in 1993 to the billions of searches per day we see today.

We went through some the search operators that can be used to assist in refining searches and in assessing keyphrase competitors.

A lengthy discussion ensued about how to choose keyword phrases to highlight. Fred mentioned about the Adwords Keyword Planning Tool in order to locate additional relevant keyword phrases for an SEO campaign. Here are a couple of snapshots of what that looks like:
graphic of typing in keyword phrases
type in the keyword phrase and click Get Ideas
screen print of keyphrases software options
search frequency tests offer alternative keyphrases to consider
We took turns explaining our Internet ideas. They varied from one who wants to create an online newsmagazing to an engineer that wants a bit of an upgrade in the technology. One of our participants had a question regarding hiding her web pages from the search engine while using a blogspot subdomain. She cannot access the server and install a robot.txt file with instructions as to what not to crawl. We didn't have an answer at the time but in further consideration the problem could be solved by editing the template file to include a meta tag within the HEAD portion <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">.

We chatted a bit about the freedoms we have to write basically whatever we want to write.

We also talked a bit about how to emphasize keyword phrases so that the search engine knows they are important to you. Good page structure is more search engine friendly when paragraphs are separated by headings. Emphasis can be placed on words by capitalizing the first letter, using bold or italic, using the keyphrases in textual anchors, logical naming of images, videos and web pages ... using attributes to image tags. These things will all be covered again when we start getting into blogging.

Not mentioned during the group but knowledge of HTML is a definite asset when it comes to optimizing code for best search engine performance. Web pages should be validated for errors. Spelling needs to be immaculate. The better a writer a person is, the better an optimizer they'll be as the search engines value intelligently crafted and cared for content.

Fred ensured us that internal hyperlinks within your own site are just as valuable if not more so than setting about starting a link building strategy from external sources.

We had a bit of a snack and a little social time then closed up the study group around three in the afternoon. We are quite sure these first five participants will return on January 30th for the second study. Maybe some others will join in. As most of our topics are inter-related to some degree, we are just going to pick up where we left off last time.

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