SEO, for those not in the business, stands for "Search Engine Optimization" and is shorthand for "the bag of tricks you use to get your site listed high in Google search results." If you're in the web business, you live and die by your SEO. And many of the people that hang out here have their own web sites. So I thought it might be fun to open up a thread on people's own SEO experience and tricks.
* Do you follow your search engine statistics, so that you know how your traffic is finding you?
* What key words do you score well on?
* What key words do you score lousy on, and wish you did better?
* What efforts are you making to improve your positioning?
For my part, I score very well (#1 Google spot) for "How old is Romeo" and assorted variations (how old was romeo, how old are romeo and juliet ...). This is a very specific question, yes - but it's also a very popular question, and #1 spot always gets you a nice bit of traffic. How'd I get that spot? I think it has a great deal to do with the amount of comments on that page, causing the keywords to show up over and over again. So it's more than just the post title, although a good match on the title also has a lot to do with it.
I pretty much own the "Shakespeare geek" search results, but that's to be expected. It's a pretty unique phrase, and I'm all over the net with it. It's not perfectly unique, though, and there are other generic "geek" sites that will periodically do Shakespeare content ("Gifts for the Shakespeare Geek", "Shakespeare for tech geeks" and so on). But in general I'm happy with being clearly identified in that top spot. I'd like to think that if somebody's searching that, they're looking for me. Or if they didn't know I existed, then they'll be glad they found me.
But what about the big traffic? Shakespeare as a keyword by itself is too big to tackle with just a little ol' blog like this. The subject's been around too long, and too many large-scale sites have had too much time with too much content. That search will be forever filled with the likes of Wikipedia, MIT and others.
I'd love to get some second level traffic, though. I score pretty well on "Shakespeare blogs" but not as well as I'd like, primarily because while people might search for "blogs", that's not a word you typically use to describe yourself. Want a quick lesson in SEO? Search Shakespeare blogs and then search Shakespeare blog. Note the differences.
One of the frustrating side effects of SEO, particularly with respect to our chosen topic, is that time is not a major factor. Many of the results you'll find are updated infrequently, and some have stopped altogether (i see sites that have not been updated in over a year). For people like me who try very hard to get up content every day, it's annoying. I understand it, I just don't like it. :)
Ok, that's enough from me for now. How is everybody else faring in the google wars?