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Optimising your content for search engines's Logo I previously wrote about optimising your site’s code to be search engine friendly but, of course, that is only the first step in creating user-and-search friendly websites. To ensure your site gains the place it deserves in various search engine rankings it needs to contain interesting and relevant content.

By publishing your site with bad copy, or even good but irrelevant content, it will not just be your search engine ranking that fall but your bottom line too. Indeed even florid or overly technical copy can hide important and relevant content from your audience.

Naturally, we all want our sites to be placed in the number one slot but understanding how search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing read your site’s text can be the key to bringing the right content to the right audience.

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SEO and Valid Code

Screengrab of Total Validator Website In the nebulous world of SEO optimising your website code is the best starting point for a good and relevant search engine ranking. But how can you ensure your website code is optimised for the search engines?

In my former days as a web developer, maintaining sites to be search engine compliant the one task that occupied the most of our time. Back in the nascent days of SEO we were using basic tools and our own, sometimes, tacit knowledge of SEO to maintain our client sites. But despite the speed that comes with being overly-familiar with a site’s code, ensuring a site was optimised for both search engines and users was the web equivalent of painting the Forth Bridge.

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WebActivate aims to get Irish SMEs online

WebActivate LogoThe majority of Irish small and medium enterprises are loosing clients and customers because they do not have any web presence, Ireland’s Digital Hub centre said today.

According to the Hub’s Director of Marketing and Strategy, Dr. Stephen Brennan, by not engaging with digital technologies Irish businesses Irish businesses are failing to promote themselves to new customers.

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Is Twitter the next big search engine?

Twitter LogoSocial and user-generate-content sites such as Wikipedia have been the cause for dilemmas for SEO developers over the years but with the increasing and common use of social networking is it time to look again at social web SEO?

It used to be said that there was SEO value in creating or maintain a Wikipedia or public social networking page. Any links placed on these sites would not be indexed by Google and due to their public nature and constant need for updating they would just be an unnecessary drain on resources. But now that the major search engines are indexing user tweets and integrating them user searches, this SEO-lite service is being reconsidered as a possible SEO service in disguise.

SEO value come from being included in search engine results-these may not be long-term gains but can help in breaking news or important situations.

Blogging in January 2009, before Twitter announced it was providing Bing and Google access to its entire database, Sitepoint’s SEO expert, Mihaela Lica, postulated that Twitter’s SEO value had been underestimated. According to Lica, “Optimizing a site is about creating and promoting content that can be regarded as a resource. ‘ Creating’ is ‘onsite SEO.’ ‘Promoting’ is ‘offsite SEO.’”

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Search Engine Popularity

Google's LogoDespite a loss of some of its market share in some location, Google is still overwhelmingly the most used search engine by European citizens according to the latest search engine barometer study by the At Institute.

The At Institute’s latest figures show that Google is still the most popular site for search, with an average user base of over 92%. Bing is second with about 2% of the market while Yahoo! trails in third with just over 1% of the market. Smaller and regional search engines make up the remaining market share.

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