Crux of search engine optimization (SEO) process is to look at a web-site from the viewpoint of a search engine robot and make necessary changes in its structure and content so that relevance count of concerned web-page becomes high for given keywords.
The big question - how does a search robot measures relevance ? Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer as search engines not only keep exact search algorithm as closely guarded secret but also make frequent changes in the algorithm to outguess SEO experts. Besides, there are clear differences in approach among various search engines on measurement of relevance.
Nevertheless, there are general guidelines that can help a skilled SEO Expert to place a web-site at reasonably high rank. However, any claim of guaranteed top rank placement should be taken with a pinch of salt.
We know high rank in search engine depends upon high relevance. Now, what does relevance depend upon ?
There is a huge body of literature and expert opinions on this topic - sufficient to confuse any newcomer. However, there is general agreement among SEO experts on importance of following two major points:
Search engine robots measure relevance of a web-page by breaking it into few strategic areas and then look for presence of given keywords in these areas. The keywords found are given weights based on their frequency and prominence.
Some of the strategic places in a web-page are:
After selecting strategic areas within web-page for chosen keywords, next task is to determine following measures for each keyword:
Frequency is a measure of extent of use or how often a keyword appears in a particular area or whole web-page. For example let us examine following title :
The Keyword 'Submersible Pump' appears only once in the title tag area - so its frequency is 1 and frequency of keyword 'Pump' is 2 for obvious reason.
Prominence is a measure of relative importance of a keyword within a given tag area and its calculation is based on how close to the start of a tag the keyword appears.
Generally speaking, closer a keyword appears towards the beginning of any page element (Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords, visible text, ALT area etc.) better is its relevance count in the web-page.
Keyword weight is a percentage of appearance of a given keyword in a tag area in comparison to all words in that tag area or whole web-page.
So, the weight of keyword submersible pump will be calculated as follows:
Weight of the keyword 'Submersible Pump' within title tag =
(2/8) * 100 = 25%
It may be argued that higher the weight of a particular keyword in a page, the higher the search engine ranking of the page for that keyword. However, repeating a keyword too often to increase its weight is considered unethical by search engines. Such act to confuse a search engine robot is called 'spam' and concerned web-site may get penalized for spamming.
Optimization of web-site for search engines requires that you select right keywords for your web-site, place them strategically across your web-pages and then tune-up various keyword-related measures suitably. Once web-pages are optimized - next task is to submit them to major search engines.
Happy and Productive Surfing
Dr. Amit K Chatterjee
- Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad
Vol: 6, Issue 19
; December 30' 2005