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Understanding how search engines search a page

From: Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques

Video: Understanding how search engines search a page

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, can be a bit of a head-scratcher, especially if you're just starting out. It's often difficult to figure out exactly how these search engines work and how they get their information, so let me give you a very short primer to give you at least an idea of where this index information comes from. I have Google open in my browser and if I go and search for lynda.com, the search engine gives me a response. In this case, it says here, "lynda.com Software training and tutorial video library." "Our online courses help you learn critical skills." "Free access & previews on hundreds of tutorials." If we go to lynda.com though, you'll see that that text doesn't appear on the page, so where is it coming from? Well, the text is hidden in meta-content of the page.

Understanding how search engines search a page

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, can be a bit of a head-scratcher, especially if you're just starting out. It's often difficult to figure out exactly how these search engines work and how they get their information, so let me give you a very short primer to give you at least an idea of where this index information comes from. I have Google open in my browser and if I go and search for lynda.com, the search engine gives me a response. In this case, it says here, "lynda.com Software training and tutorial video library." "Our online courses help you learn critical skills." "Free access & previews on hundreds of tutorials." If we go to lynda.com though, you'll see that that text doesn't appear on the page, so where is it coming from? Well, the text is hidden in meta-content of the page.

So if we activate Firebug and go down to SenSEO, and click Show Components, you'll see that the title is Software training online tutorials for Adobe, Microsoft, and Apple & more. And then Meta-Description here, the second line, says, Software training & tutorial video library. Our online courses, etcetera, etcetera. So you see the Meta-Description matches what Google is displaying here as the description, but the Meta-Description does not display in the page itself.

That means search engines grab content that's put into the page and display it in their index. But it goes a step further than that, because now everyone is using these social networks like Facebook, Google+, and so on. And these social networks have become very advanced in how they share information. So let's take a look at Facebook, so you see what I'm talking about. Let's say I want to share the link to lynda.com in Facebook. I go to my Update status function and punch in the URL, www.lynda.com, and hit space.

Now Facebook goes to lynda.com and picks up information like a thumbnail, a title, and description and displays it in a preview for me. This is what's I'm going to be shared with all my friends. And as you can see, this information matches what Google was displaying, so when you're thinking about SEO, you're no longer just thinking about search engines, you're also thinking about social networks. And the reality is more people find your content on social networks now than they do on search engines. And more importantly, when people share your pages on social networks, you control what they see in the preview of your page.

So Search Engine Optimization is no longer just Search Engine Optimization. It's become Search Engine and Social Network Optimization. And as you can see, with the right code you can control your message.

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This video is part of

Image for Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques
Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques

30 video lessons · 10865 viewers

Morten Rand-Hendriksen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 59s
  2. 8m 16s
    1. Accessibility and SEO: A primer
      4m 58s
    2. Understanding the benefits of accessibility and SEO
      3m 18s
  3. 11m 26s
    1. Experiencing an inaccessible web site
      6m 4s
    2. Experiencing an accessible web site
      5m 22s
  4. 16m 28s
    1. Evaluating screen readers for Windows and Mac
      5m 56s
    2. Installing browser development tools
      4m 8s
    3. Pretending to be a screen reader
      6m 24s
  5. 7m 40s
    1. Installing SEO tools
      2m 30s
    2. Understanding how search engines search a page
      2m 45s
    3. Comparing sites that are SEO-friendly with ones that are SEO-unfriendly
      2m 25s
  6. 44m 6s
    1. Defining a language for a page
      5m 4s
    2. Defining meta headers for a page
      6m 10s
    3. Creating better semantic markup with HTML5
      3m 13s
    4. Using and hiding section headings
      4m 56s
    5. Creating content hierarchies with heading tags
      5m 29s
    6. Emphasizing content in paragraphs
      5m 36s
    7. Making accessible block quotes
      3m 22s
    8. Using some new HTML5 tags
      4m 47s
    9. Using ordered and unordered lists
      5m 29s
  7. 22m 17s
    1. Marking up links properly
      6m 48s
    2. Marking up images
      7m 23s
    3. Creating a proper image header with CSS
      8m 6s
  8. 32m 43s
    1. Creating an accessible menu with an unordered list
      6m 16s
    2. Creating and hiding nav headings and skip navigation links
      6m 59s
    3. Giving navigation links proper focus with style
      4m 39s
    4. Creating an accessible drop-down menu
      10m 46s
    5. Scrapping drop-down menus for better options
      4m 3s
  9. 3m 44s
    1. Next steps
      3m 44s

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