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SEO Fundamentals
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Interpreting the code behind web pages


From:

SEO Fundamentals

with David Booth

Video: Interpreting the code behind web pages

The end-goal of a search engine, when it's crawling a page, is to try to determine what a web page looks like to regular people. But the search engine can't see a page like we do. Instead, it sees the code that the web servers send back to our browsers. And to help illustrate this, let's take a look at the Explore California homepage. To us humans, we see a rich and colorful web page with lots of content on it: pictures, text, menus, and videos, in all kinds of colors and styles.
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  1. 1m 34s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the Facilitator's Guide
      15s
  2. 11m 46s
    1. What is search engine optimization (SEO)?
      4m 6s
    2. Reading a search engine results page
      2m 17s
    3. How SEO affects your business
      2m 38s
    4. Setting SEO expectations
      2m 45s
  3. 20m 49s
    1. Why you need a keyword research plan
      2m 47s
    2. How to research keywords
      3m 23s
    3. Tools to help you analyze keywords
      4m 43s
    4. Understanding keyword attributes
      3m 46s
    5. Understanding keyword distribution
      3m 50s
    6. Ongoing keyword evaluation
      2m 20s
  4. 26m 8s
    1. Understanding content optimization
      2m 14s
    2. Optimizing for site structure
      3m 41s
    3. Recognizing different types of content
      2m 23s
    4. Optimizing textual page elements
      8m 30s
    5. Optimizing non-text components of a web page
      4m 0s
    6. Analyzing content quality
      2m 39s
    7. Exploring the benefits of user-generated content
      2m 41s
  5. 22m 12s
    1. Interpreting the code behind web pages
      3m 9s
    2. Understanding how search engines index content
      2m 37s
    3. Working with canonical URLs and redirects
      2m 59s
    4. Leveraging microformats
      2m 39s
    5. Working with server-side factors
      3m 18s
    6. Using Google Webmaster Tools
      3m 58s
    7. Using Bing Webmaster Tools
      3m 32s
  6. 30m 53s
    1. Overview of long-term content strategizing
      2m 44s
    2. Planning a successful content strategy and avoiding common mistakes
      3m 46s
    3. Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style
      4m 17s
    4. Understanding different types of content
      4m 25s
    5. Getting ideas for content
      4m 0s
    6. Working with an editorial calendar
      3m 33s
    7. Promoting your content with social media
      3m 52s
    8. Measuring content performance
      4m 16s
  7. 18m 28s
    1. Understanding the importance of links
      4m 49s
    2. Building internal links
      2m 5s
    3. Building external links
      4m 19s
    4. Finding link-building opportunities
      4m 36s
    5. Executing a link-building strategy
      2m 39s
  8. 16m 32s
    1. Measuring SEO performance
      4m 10s
    2. Analyzing keywords
      5m 13s
    3. Analyzing links
      4m 9s
    4. Analyzing the impact of social media
      3m 0s
  9. 18m 45s
    1. Understanding SEO and ecommerce
      2m 36s
    2. Working with semantic HTML
      2m 22s
    3. The technical components of ecommerce
      3m 9s
    4. Exploring ecommerce information architecture
      2m 38s
    5. Producing ecommerce content
      2m 33s
    6. Leveraging link building and social media for ecommerce
      3m 12s
    7. Adapting ecommerce websites for international audiences
      2m 15s
  10. 25m 38s
    1. Understanding local search
      3m 14s
    2. Understanding Google+ Local
      3m 0s
    3. Setting up and optimizing Google+ Local
      4m 46s
    4. Getting more citations
      3m 52s
    5. Getting more reviews for your business
      3m 43s
    6. Optimizing your website for local search
      4m 13s
    7. The future of local search
      2m 50s
  11. 15m 48s
    1. Understanding cultural aspects of international SEO
      2m 30s
    2. Optimizing technical content for international audiences
      2m 57s
    3. Optimizing translated and localized content
      2m 9s
    4. Building links for an international audience
      2m 47s
    5. Analyzing and measuring an international SEO campaign
      2m 17s
    6. Avoiding pitfalls with international SEO
      3m 8s
  12. 1m 10s
    1. Determining your next steps
      1m 10s

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SEO Fundamentals
3h 29m Beginner Sep 17, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author David Booth explains what search engine optimization (SEO) is and how you can start using it to increase your website's visibility to search engines and attract the right kind of traffic to the right kinds of pages on your site. Discover how to read a results page and find your ranking, and see how rankings affect both large and small businesses. Then find out how to implement basic optimization strategies, like conducting keyword research, building inbound links, optimizing your pages and content, and measuring your successes and progress while planning for a long-term SEO strategy. SEO for ecommerce, local search, and an international audience round out this comprehensive look at the basics of SEO.

Topics include:
  • What is SEO?
  • Understanding how search engines index content
  • Researching keywords
  • Using SEO tools
  • Optimizing pages for keywords
  • Optimizing code and site structure
  • Building links to your content
  • Optimizing non-text components of a web page
  • Analyzing content quality
  • Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style
  • Promoting your content via social media
  • Measuring SEO effectiveness
  • Setting up Google+ Local
  • Building links for an international audience
  • Optimizing ecommerce sites for search
Subjects:
SEO Marketing
Software:
Google Analytics
Author:
David Booth

Interpreting the code behind web pages

The end-goal of a search engine, when it's crawling a page, is to try to determine what a web page looks like to regular people. But the search engine can't see a page like we do. Instead, it sees the code that the web servers send back to our browsers. And to help illustrate this, let's take a look at the Explore California homepage. To us humans, we see a rich and colorful web page with lots of content on it: pictures, text, menus, and videos, in all kinds of colors and styles.

It's visually appealing, and we know how to absorb all this information and how to navigate through it. But to a search engine crawler, the same page looks like this instead. This may not look like the same page we were just looking at, but it is. All of this markup and code are really just a bunch of instructions that our browsers can follow in order to render a great-looking webpage onto our screens. And the important part is that this is the code that search engines look at. Webpages are ultimately created with HTML code and markup, and this code helps browsers figure out where to find all the files that we'll need to produce this pretty page; where everything is visibly placed in the page; how things are laid out, what fonts, colors, and sizes to use; what side menus will look like; where links will point to; and where content elements are going to be placed.

You can see that there's a lot of stuff here in the HTML that may not end up on the screen. And these items provide us with extra opportunities to help search engines understand our content better. HTML is also responsible for loading stylesheets, which are extra instructions that help to find the visible attributes of a page. Font coloring, content sizing, line spacing, background images, page conventions, all kinds of rules for the visual representation of your page can be found here.

And HTML is not the only language that browsers can understand. These days, web pages are made more interactive through the use of JavaScript, which is additional code that the browser can read and execute, and it makes things like animation, slideshows, and dynamic menus possible. Like style elements, this code can be placed in line or referenced from different files. You can also find code that produces different types of non-text content. For example, this is a block of code that's responsible for rendering the video that we see on the homepage. While we as humans can watch that video and hear its message, this block of code is all that a search engine is able to see.

While this isn't a course on web design or programming, it's important to understand the perspective of the search engine as we go through this course, and see what it sees. As you can probably guess, making sure that your website's code is clean, efficient, and free from any coding errors will help ensure that your pages are displaying properly to your users. But it will also save the search engine some confusion. The cleaner your code, the easier it will be for you to make adjustments to improve your on-page optimization, and the more search engines will trust that your pages will be a good experience for your users.

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