Our guest speaker in class this week, David Felfoldi of Sherpa, was well timed. While I have really enjoyed all of the guest speakers that we have had, the timing of this related to our recent paper and plans for my site made this very relevant. I have high hopes of actually retaining and applying this stuff.
Some of it was a review….or not a review, but a validation of the things that we had just spent time researching. For instance, I really enjoyed the small tortoise illustration. Not only was it funny, it was nice to see how effective on page content is at moving a page to the top of a search engine.
Yet, he didn’t just leave it at “content is important” but went into details of pointing out that keywords should be packed into the first 200 words and emphasized with headings and such. I had read references to using the heading tags combined with CSS for emphasis. That one didn’t click for me until listening to this presentation.
Furthermore, the discussion over keywords was really interesting. The difference between a singular or plural search was quantified. He also showed that there is a benefit to understanding the order of words when they are searched. It really spotlighted that search engine optimization requires a great deal of understanding about the people looking for your site as well as some finesse.
Also, he ended the evening with an informative tidbit that made me realize that I need to rethink a couple of links that I outlined in my midterm. Apparently not all links to the site are good. David Felfoldi pointed out that while Google weights links from sites that it sees as hearty, substantial, valid sites (like a link from Harvard) to be extra potent in validating your site, it works the other way too. So, if your BFF has a lame site that even you won’t visit, maybe you should just let sleeping dogs lie.