Because search engine optimisation (SEO) is made up of so many factors, it’s often hard to get a straight answer from some of those who purport to be ‘experts’, over how to ‘do’ SEO effectively.
Wow, Google+1’s seem to have a massive impact on a website’s search rankings:
via Why Content for SEO?.
It’s hard to mention SEO on social media these days without being bombarded by spammers and snake-oil salesman. As such, relatively unbiased, insightful content on the topic is often surprisingly (and perhaps ironically) difficult to source.
Not only this, but – as in the following instance – apparently ‘scientific’ data on the subject often boils down to basically assigning numeric values to opinions that people classed as ‘experts’ provide, as opposed to using any quantifiable data or analytic tools.
Setting those caveats aside however, this blog post on Moz, and the below graph has some useful data on factors that might influence your Google Local search ranking:
Primarily the post’s research refers to Google Search ranking for users searching for local services, although it’s a useful intro for those looking to develop good, everyday SEO practice within an organisation.
In addition, as universities continually seek to ‘engage’ and develop services for local employers, communities, audiences, etc., it’s increasingly important for those local services to actually be found online, by the right people. One for further research perhaps?
Good piece on the importance of search engine optimisation and a snapshot of the basics on the Channel 4 News Blogs:
A former journalist colleague of mine worked for an SEO firm; her job was to write about anything. Literally any subject she fancied covering. Her copy would be used on one of the firm’s network of websites, and because it was well-written, journalistic text, Google would assess the site as more authentic and give it a higher rank.
The fact that my former colleague was paid hundreds of pounds a day gives an insight into how much value companies place on having a good Google rank.
It often seems counter-intuitive to explain to academic colleagues that blogging frequently – even if it’s not about academic topics, can tangentially result in higher rates of applications to their courses, greater public interest in their research or larger conference attendances.
Yet, that’s the way it is, at least until Google’s next change of algorithm anyway.