Friday, June 24, 2005

Growing My Web Site Part 9: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Personal web pages are useful for information services professionals to experiment with ideas before trying them at work. I have learned a lot about search engine optimization (SEO) by trying to get search engines to put my site at the top of the results list when someone searches for the following:
  • "Richard Upton"
  • Richard Upton
  • "Rick Upton"
  • Rick Upton
As of today, MSN puts one of my pages at the top of the results for all four search criteria above. My results are not bad with Yahoo! and Google, with some criteria yielding the top result.
Some of the things I've done to improve the visibility are to use the keywords Richard Upton and Rick Upton in the following places:
  1. File names, separating words by hyphens.
  2. Title metatags.
  3. Description metatags.
  4. Top of the body of page, in a large font.
  5. Links to pages on my site.
  6. Body text.
I also created inbound links to my site from other sites I manage.
Doing all of this was enough to give great visibility to searches for Rick Upton and "Rick Upton", but visibility for Richard Upton has been a tougher nut to crack...until the creation of this blog.
This blog has Richard Upton in the subdomain name, separated by a hyphen which is recognized by search engines as a space. The words Richard Upton are all over the place on this blog site. It will be interesting to see what happens once the search engines get around to crawling this blog.