SEO and Usability

SEO and Usability

SEO and Usability

SEO and Usability

History of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

History of SEO

The history of SEO follows the history of search engines

History of SEO

Seo often led to poor usability

The next breed

The next breed, cont'd

The Anatomy of a Search Engine
1998 WWW Conference paper outlining their methods

Further Googly enhancements

Google exposed

Google's system, however improved, wasn't impervious to being gamed by enterprising SEOs

"Google Bomb"

Google Bomb

"more evil than Satan himself"

Google Bomb

"dumb motherfucker"

Google Bomb

"dangerous cult"

Google Bomb

"Florida" update (November 16, 2003)

Followed by further exploitation and innovation

2 Later big Google updates

By this time search engines had stopped bragging about how many pages they had in their index

Instead of trying to include every last bit of crap, they focused on delivering only select, quality crap.

Panda Update

Panda update

Panda update


Penguin update

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Another step to reward high-quality sites

How important is a high ranking?

It depends...

Known item, Factoid, or Product search
  • Usually the first suitable listing gets the click
  • Top placement is huge
  • There's not even close to a linear relationship between between 1, 2, 3, etc.
  • You’re off the the top 10, you’re may as well not be there.
Topical searches
Broader searches and greater link clicking is more common

Usability/SEO relationship

What do they have in common?

What is one thing both are concerned with?

Language and words

Possible Usability/SEO conflicts

Usability SEO symbiosis

What usability can learn from SEO

Usability SEO symbiosis

Why SEO people should give a #!@* about usability

The importance of conversion

Keyword selection

How I learned to give up the cloak and the dagger to love content

The Long Tail is king

The Long Tail

The Long Tail

Focusing on the long tail is best because..

Focus on updating content with new trends

Monitor new buzz words to get a leg up on others

Keyword tools

Keyword selection

Keyword modifiers
As an example, a site for a restaurant
Mix up your words
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
 <title>keyword or brand here</title>
 <meta name="description" content="not too long">
 <p>A <a href="">don't be spammy</a></p>

Plugging your keywords in

title ~65 characters

meta description ~ 160 characters -- maybe a little good for seo, but very good for usability

header text

link text (external and internal)

Further tips

Further tips

Further tips

Final thought

When you see this:

Above screen is from Google webmaster tools, showing a site with declining search traffic.

Remember, that search engine rankings are increasingly using usability in their rankings

Usability and usability specialists are a big part of the solution.

Thank you

Enjoy the break