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SEO Management

SEO ManagementMethods and Techniquesto Achieve SuccessVéronique Duong

First published 2019 in Great Britain and the United States by ISTE Ltd and John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, aspermitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, this publication may only be reproduced,stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, with the prior permission in writing of the publishers,or in the case of reprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms and licenses issued by theCLA. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside these terms should be sent to the publishers at theundermentioned address:ISTE Ltd27-37 St George’s RoadLondon SW19 4EUUKJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc.111 River StreetHoboken, NJ 07030USAwww.iste.co.ukwww.wiley.com ISTE Ltd 2019The rights of Véronique Duong to be identified as the author of this work have been asserted by her inaccordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.Library of Congress Control Number: 2019946163British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication DataA CIP record for this book is available from the British LibraryISBN 978-1-78630-459-9

ContentsAcknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ixIntroduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xiChapter 1. State of the Art of SEO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11.1. The market share of search engines. . . . .1.2. Developed technologies and voice search .1.2.1. Google AMP and Baidu MIP . . . . . .1.2.2. Voice search and connected speakers .1224Chapter 2. SEO Project Management from A to Z . . . . . . . . . . . . .112.1. The specifications or customer brief to be respected.2.2. The kick-off meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.3. Reverse schedules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.4. Technical audit of the site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.5. Implementation of technical recommendations . . . .2.6. Semantic audit of the site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.7. The study of keywords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.8. Content optimization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.9. Integration of optimized content . . . . . . . . . . . .2.10. Auditing of external links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.11. Technical and semantic acceptance testing . . . . .2.12. Follow-up, maintenance and reporting . . . . . . . .131415161718192021222324Chapter 3. Technical SEO: from HTML Tags to URL . . . . . . . . . . .293.1. Simulation of Google’s transition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.2. Compliant URLs for SEO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3031

viSEO Management3.3. Reasons for non-compliant URLs. . . . . . . . . . . .3.4. Active versus inactive pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.5. Active and inactive pages depth . . . . . . . . . . .3.6. Crawl budget of a site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.7. Polluting URLs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.8. The objectives of AMP, MIP and Turbo Pages . . . .3.9. Loading times by page type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.10. Robots.txt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.11. Sitemap.xml . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.12. 404 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.13. 301/302 redirection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.14. Removal of broken and redirected URLs . . . . . .3.15. Canonical plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.16. Log audit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.17. Meta tags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.18. Heading tags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.19. Hreflang tagging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.20. Alt attribute tagging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.21. Rich snippets tagging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.22. Open Graph meta tagging. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.23. Twitter meta tagging. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.24. Social network share buttons . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.25. Page lifecycle management (articles and products).3.26. Seasonality of pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.27. Pagination of pages on a site . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Chapter 4. Semantic SEO, Editorial and Copywriting . . . . . . . . . .894.1. Optimization of the title tag . . . . . . . . . . .4.2. Optimization of the meta description tag . . .4.3. Optimization of heading titles (H1, H2, H3) .4.4. Optimization of URLs (URL rewriting) . . . .4.5. Optimization of text content . . . . . . . . . . .4.6. Optimization of internal network size . . . . .4.7. Optimization of alt attributes for images . . . .4.8. Optimization of breadcrumbs (anchors) . . . .4.9. Optimization of internal and external anchors4.10. Media file optimization . . . . . . . . . . . . .899192949798100102103105Chapter 5. Link-building Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1075.1. Guest blogging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.2. Paid external publications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.3. Link ninja . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108110111

Contents5.4. Link baiting (inbound marketing) .5.5. Product tests or services . . . . . .5.6. Participation in events . . . . . . .5.7. Video marketing . . . . . . . . . . .5.8. Writing press reviews . . . . . . . .112114116119121Chapter 6. Computational Engineering Applied to SEO . . . . . . . . .1256.1. Semantic ontologies . . . . . . . . . . .6.2. TF-IDF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6.3. N-grams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6.4. Named entities . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6.5. SEO and computational engineering .vii.125129130132135Chapter 7. International SEO Specificities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1397.1. Baidu SEO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7.2. Yandex SEO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7.3. Naver SEO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139152161Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .171References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .175

AcknowledgmentsSearch engine optimization (SEO) has been my passion since 2010. I ama computer linguist engineer by trade and I became an SEO expert thanks toself-study. Today, I have made it a real profession and co-foundedan international search agency in Paris. I regularly speak at events related toSEO, search and web marketing.I decided to write a second book on SEO project management and SEOtechniques covering several search engines (Google, Baidu, Yandex, Naver,etc.) in order to share and highlight a generic and broad approach to mymethodology and support the large contingent of people interested in thefield. I share my know-how and most of the main actions that make itpossible to succeed in the rankings, the organic traffic and visibility of a site.When I wrote my first book on SEO Baidu, I was also president of thelargest SEO association in France, the “SEO Camp”. With hindsight and inresponse to the current issues facing the SEO business, I would like to makethe latter expand simply and correctly throughout the world.That is also why I specialize in SEO on an international scale, knowingthat speaking six languages helps me a lot.I wish to dedicate this book to my parents and sister for their dailysupport, my associates Steve and Benjamin from Rankwell, my friends andsocial circle, current and former collaborators and my SEO mates.

IntroductionSEO: An Essential Traffic ChannelSearch Engine Optimization is a well-known and recognized field (orsector or online marketing activity) for companies and organizations thatwant to succeed in their online visibility strategy. It is a complete field,where we find:– technology, research and development, since search engines areconstantly evolving and it is necessary to adapt to their technologies andsystems;– semantics, since the bases of SEO are the keywords and queries thatInternet users have thought of and searched for in search engines;– communication, since it is necessary to know how to write original,unique and interesting texts and content;– marketing, since it is necessary to find external links with partners, andto know how to create relations, maintain them and have a good rapport.The most well-known search engines are currently Google (which has amonopoly in terms of market share in most countries) and Baidu (mainly inChina). The biggest brands rely heavily on these two engines to acquiretraffic or visits and carry out transactions.In this book, we will explain the technical, semantic and link buildingstrategies to optimize a site, from A to Z. From the tag to the conversion, wewill go into detail to help companies that want to be visible online achievetheir objectives. In this book, we will share concrete examples in all thechapters on technical SEO and semantic SEO because we want to sharerecommendations that are directly applicable in the field.

xiiSEO ManagementA chapter will also be devoted to SEO project management in order toallow any expert or researcher in the field of SEO to carry out the necessaryoptimizations on a website.Techniques related to automatic language processing will also beexplained, such as TF-IDF (a statistical measurement used to calculate ascore that determines which web page would be most likely to be positionedon a particular keyword), n-grams (which are sequences of words orcharacters used to detect duplicate content) and named entities (whichrepresent linguistic expressions to determine the names of places, people,organizations, etc.). The latter are also used for voice search, a popular topicfor the future of search engines, which aim to become response engines.

1State of the Art of SEO1.1. The market share of search enginesBefore we talk about search engine optimization (SEO), we must firstfocus on the market share of search engines around the world. Indeed, in theWest and Asia, we are not looking for information on the same engine. InEuropean and English-speaking countries, the most widely used engine is theAmerican Google. In China, on the other hand, Baidu is the most widelyused. At the moment, Google and Baidu are the search engines with thehighest market share in the world1.Figure 1.1. Google and Baidu worldwide market share. For a colorversion of this figure, see www.iste.co.uk/duong/SEO1.zip1 “Google et Baidu, les deux géants de la recherche sur Internet”, available at: esur-internet-selon-statista/.SEO Management: Methods and Techniques to Achieve Success,First Edition. Véronique Duong. ISTE Ltd 2019. Published by ISTE Ltd and John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

2SEO ManagementTherefore, for these territories in the world, we must focus on Google andBaidu (and also its national competitors, such as Shenma, Qihoo 360 andSogou). There are still other search engines for different countries in theworld; here is the list:– in Russia, there is Yandex, which has a fairly large market share withmore than 50%2, while Google has less than 45%;– in South Korea, there is Naver, which has a market share of 25–30%3(Google possesses the majority);– in Japan, there is Yahoo! Japan, a local search engine based on Bing’sresults in Japanese and which has an average4 market share of about 30%,depending on the year (Google also has the remaining share of the majorityin this case).Every year, search engines evolve at faster and faster speeds. In thisbook, we will discuss SEO methodologies that apply to all search engines,since the different engines all have a common base: one or more bots (calledcrawlers or engine robots) that scan web pages, index them and then pushthem into search results in relation to a particular query.1.2. Developed technologies and voice search1.2.1. Google AMP and Baidu MIPSince 2015, the two largest search engines in the world, Google andBaidu, have developed many technologies, such as AMP (accelerated mobilepages) at Google and MIP (mobile instant pages) at Baidu.AMP and MIP aim to make the pages of mobile sites as fast as possible,so that they load in 3 sec maximum on smartphones and tablets.2 “Yandex, les parts de marché russe en hausse!”, available at: https://www. sse/.3 “The most popular South Korean search engines”, available at: korean-search-engines/01/03/2018/.4 “Most Popular Search Engines in Japan: Google Japan vs Yahoo! Japan”, available arch-engines-in-japan/.

State of the Art of SEO3Figure 1.2. AMP in the West, MIP in ChinaGoogle and Baidu wish to accelerate the Web, in order to take intoaccount more and more data, to index them faster, with the objective thatweb pages represent the least possible use of their resources. To do this, theAMP and MIP versions of the sites are very refined: there is little JavaScript,few images and few CSS (cascading style sheets).Figure 1.3 shows an example of a site in classic version and in AMPversion5 (Google).Figure 1.3. Classic web page versus AMP (or MIP) web page5 “Google et sa nouvelle règle AMP contre les utilisations abusives!”, available at: https://www.araoo.fr/google-nouvelle-regle-amp/.

4SEO ManagementThe idea of these new HTML AMP and HTML MIP languages is toinclude only the essential information on smartphone users’ browsers.Advertisements, images and elements that are not important information forusers are hidden or are not recalled in the mobile version in AMP or MIP.Google focuses on AMP and is planning on deploying the technology in amajor way from 2020. Baidu, for its part, announced that sites in AMP (thelanguage developed by its American counterpart) could also be supported intheir system6. The Chinese engine could then take into account both HTMLversions, AMP and MIP.1.2.2. Voice search and connected speakersVoice search will become one of the most widely used channels in theWest by 2020. We estimate that 70% of searches will be done using voice ina few years. According to a study conducted by SEMrush (a statistical toolfor monitoring analytics), future searches will undergo a major changecompared to current methods.Figure 1.4 illustrates the primary representation of future search methods.Figure 1.4. Evolution of search methods and device use (image source: Kalicube)From 2020, the majority of us will be carrying out voice searches usingspeakers, such as Google Home, and we will use computers much less thanbefore.6 “Baidu becomes Google’s biggest ally in mobile page speed”, available at: -biggest-ally-mobile-page-speed-271275.

State of the Art of SEO5Figure 1.5. Google HomeAccording to statistics and studies, there were more than 1 billion voicesearches carried out in January 20187. That is why our way of makingrecommendations or giving SEO recommendations must also adapt andchange. We need to focus on featured snippets, knowledge graphs, localreferencing with Google My Business, rich cards, rich snippets,8 etc.Schema.org has launched a tagging system for content for voice searches,with a structured data tag called Speakable. Its syntax is as follows: !DOCTYPE html html head rel "home" href "/" itemid "" itemscopeitemtype http://schema.org/SpeakableSpecification" title Example showing complex structures in HTML head /title meta itemprop "cssSelector" content ".title" / meta itemprop "xpath" content "/html/body/h3" / /head body h1 class "title" Complex Microdata in HTML head /h1 p /p /body /html 7 “15 chiffres sur la recherche vocale qui interpellent”, available at: herche-vocale-4868.html.8 Rich snippets: these are search results enriched with stars (reviews), product prices, eventdates, or any element that can complement a search result in search engines.

6SEO ManagementHeree are some recommendatrtions propossed by Googgle for the Sppeakabletag:– it isi not necesssary to inserrt the tag in complete coontent, but rrather oncertain precisepand specificspoinnts that explain the generaal idea well;– do not insert thhis tag on coontent that couldccreate confusion wwhen it isolocation, etcc.;vocalizeed: photo capption, contennt source, geo– thee content cann be of twoo to three seentences (or 20–30 sec oof audiocontent,, once vocaliized).At thhe time of wrriting, Speakkable is only available foor U.S. English in theUnited States, but GoogleGmentiions that other language--country pairrs shouldsdependding on the suuccess of thiis new possibbility.follow soon,This tag is alsoo only valid for sites inncluded in GoogleGNewws at thehe classic seaarch part, thhe use ofmomentt. Therefore,, for a Frencch site in thSpeakabble is not poossible at thee moment, butb it is neceessary to moonitor itsevolutioon in the yearrs to come.Figuure 1.6 illustrrates the trennd of Googlee Home searcches worldwwide overthe pastt 5 years (knnowing that Google Homme has been on the markket sinceMarch 2016).2Figure 1.6. Evoolving interest in Google Homme

State of the Art of SEO7We notice that there is an interest in Google Home and that there aresearch peaks during the end of year holidays (because Internet userscertainly use it to look for gifts).In China and Asia, Internet users are already much less likely to be oncomputers and more likely to be connected to mobiles. With voice speakerslike Baidu’s Xiaoyu (小鱼在家) and Alibaba’s Tmall Genie X1, voicesearch figures are likely to increase rapidly as well.Figure 1.7. Speaker with Baidu Xiaoyu Zaijia displayFigure 1.8 shows the search trend for Baidu Xiaoyu, the voice speaker ofChina’s leading search engine.Figure 1.8. Evolution of interest in Baidu Xiaoyu

a computer linguist engineer by trade and I became an SEO expert thanks to self-study. Today, I have made it a real profession and co-founded an international search agency in Paris. I regularly speak at events related to SEO, search and web marketing. I decided to write a second book on SEO project management and SEO

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