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Creating Search Optimized Copy

In accordance with what we are finding effective as of February, 2005 on the three major search engines, this guide will outline the elements of effective copy in respects to conveying relevance and using word proximity to greatly improve the likelihood that your document will be found to be a favorable result for the targeted word or phrase (AKA: search query).

Glossary:

Above The Fold
Above The Fold refers to the part of the screen where a user does not have to scroll to see content. It is a reference to newspapers where the top part of the page is above the fold.

Algorithm
In the context of search engines, it is the mathematical programming system used to determine which web pages are displayed in search results.

Anchor Text
The text that is surrounded by a hyperlink (the part you click on in a browser). This text is used by some search engines to rank search results.

Filter Words
This term is often confused with Stop Words. Filter words are common words that search engines remove from web pages before adding them to their databases. These include words along the lines of (the,is,an,of,for,do). As you can imagine, removing these words can save search engines enormous amounts of database space. This also includes words that the search engines show as too common to include in your search.

Heading Tag
An HTML tag of 6 sizes [ H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6]. Search engines can rank a keyword higher if it appears in a larger heading. Think of a heading as a quick synopsis of what the following paragraph or paragraphs will be about.

Hilltop
Our algorithm operates on a special index of "expert documents." These are a subset of the pages on the WWW identified as directories of links to non-affiliated sources on specific topics. Results are ranked based on the match between the query and relevant descriptive text for hyperlinks on expert pages pointing to a given result page. We present a prototype search engine that implements our ranking scheme and discuss its performance. With a relatively small (2.5 million page) expert index, our algorithm was able to perform comparably on broad queries with the best of the mainstream search engines.

Indexer
When a search engine spiders (downloads) a page on a web, it must process the page to store it. A spider is responsible for the downloading, while the Indexer is responsible for process the page. A search engine indexer will typically process a page by removing all HTML tags, checking for and storing links, often compressing the page by pulling out filter words, looking for filter/stop words, and finally storing the page in a online searchable database.

Keyword Density
A percentage measure of how many times a keyword is repeated within text of a page. For example, if a page contains 100 words and ten of those words are "house", then "house" is said to have a 10% keyword density. There are programs that will rate keyword density by singular words or by groups of words, "new house for sale".

Latent Semantic Indexing(LSI)/Latent Semantic Analysis(LSA )
Latent semantic indexing (LSI) is a data mining procedure that operates on the matrix representations of graphs and data sets in order to find meaningful relationships between data objects. LSI works by decomposing such matrices using singular value decomposition for the purpose of finding the singular values of the matrices.  Data objects, such as documents within a library, can be expressed as vectors such that data objects with similar (dissimilar) properties will have vectors been nearly parallel (orthogonal).  LSI is able to discover the groups of nearly parallel vectors and give a measure as to how strongly the represented data objects of various clusters are correlated relative to some property. 

Related to search, a helpful but almost childishly simple concept is that people don't always use the same words to refer to the same things, so they can easily miss finding relevant documents because the words they use to describe and search for something may not be the same ones as the words the authors of relevant documents used in their sites.

Meta Tags
Author generated HTML commands that are placed in the head section of an HTML document. Current popular meta tags that can affect search engine rankings, are Meta Keywords, and Meta Description.

Meta KEYWORDS tag is used to group a series of words that relate to a website. These tags can be used by search engines to classify pages for searches.

The Meta DESCRIPTION is used to describe the document. The Meta description is at times displayed in search engine results.

SERP
An acronym for "Search Engine Results Page". This is the page that is generated by a search engine in response to a search query.

Stemming
Stemming refers to root word origins. For example, Search, Searching, and Searches all have Search as the root stem. Some search engines use stemming to provide results from more than just the entered search terms. A search on Boat could return results on Boating or Boats.

Term Vectors
Term vectors map associations between keywords based on the frequency and location of term when used in search queries. Apple has a high vector relation to "fresh fruit", but not to "fruit of the loom".

Title
The part of an HTML page that is displayed on a browser title line (usually at the top of the window).

The text of a web page title is important, because it is the part of the page displayed on search engines as a link. Search engines also give the page title more weight when determining what order to display pages.

 

 

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