Sunday, November 13, 2011

Working with SEO, or Sometimes virtue is rewarded

I've been doing some search engine optimization (SEO) work for a local law firm (our goal: Move the firm from the 31st position in a specific Google search list to the first position).

When I was first involved with SEO, it was all about programming tricks--using meta tags, building circles of self-referential sites, and so on. What's encouraging is that, this time, it appears that the current crop of search engines have improved to the point where they either ignore or discount those games (and, apparently, actively devalue sites that engage in them). Instead, the current crop of search engines actually reward great content that others value.

We have two advantages on this project. First, one member of the firm has the ability to turn out great content that's relevant to the site. We should be able, in a relatively short period of time, to build up an inventory of content that people will be able to find. On previous projects, I've been responsible for learning about the organization, figuring out what would be valuable to the audience, and then generating the content. This time, I may have an advisory role, but the firm can handle it all in-house.

The other advantage is that the firm, it turns out, has built their site using WordPress. I'm not getting much chance to use my programming skills but it means that it's reasonable for a firm member to become an expert in extending and maintaining the site (the disadvantage is that I'm having to educate myself in "the way of the WordPress"). Again, once I move on, the firm will be able to control it's own destiny.

Really, there's only one part of the project that's going to be challenging--we'd like to short-circuit the process of people finding the site by encouraging others to link to it. We have at least one member of the team that may be in a position to do that but we'll have to see how many members of the firm we can drag into this process.

Reading or read


Darryl Tay said...

It is good that search engines, especially Google, now put a premium on good content when it comes to ranking websites. This will force businesses that have websites to produce only valuable and relevant content to attract online users, and to avoid generating content that is spammy in nature and offers little to no value to a viewer. Online surfers also benefit from this because they can be sure that they will only get quality and honest content from the service providers that they’re eyeing.

Mary Hickman said...

very good post

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