Sunday, March 16, 2014

Great Googly Moogly!

So. Some of the stuff I've been doing for a living since leaving radio is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  A few of you might know what that is, but a good portion of people have no idea.

Quick definition:  SEO is a little bit of behind the scenes tweaking that helps Google bots find a website/page and place it just a little bit higher on the results list of a Google search.  It involves programming in the website itself and a lot of talent and skill applied to social media.

My current job duties include helping the SEO department work some the behind the scenes magic.   They have this nifty tool that looks at individual pages of a client's website and spits out a report about things that need to be fixed in order for the Google bots to recognize this particular page for certain search words.
Some things in this report include the number of times a key word is used on the page (sometimes too many or too few), how often the website is updated (Google doesn't like an abandoned site), how many other websites link to it (if related sites think this page is valuable, Google will too), how many people visit the site (same value system as outside links), and how old the website is (the younger a website, the less authority Google gives it).
We take this report and go into the website to make the recommended changes.  Most of the time, all it takes is some creative word play.

One day, I had a lot of trouble with the report I was given.  Most of the recommendations were things I had no control over... like the other websites linked to it and the names of the pages themselves.
After spending as much time as I was allowed to spend on it, I handed the report back to the SEO department with an apology.

"There wasn't a lot I could do for this client," I wrote.  "However, I *did* manage to age the website by one hour and add one more visitor to it this month."

The hour I aged it was the hour I spent working on it.
The additional visitor... was me.

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