Usability-first Search Engine Optimization

The Cynic’s Guide to Interpreting Google

Okay, we like to find the hidden meaning behind what google says poke fun at google, right?

Yesterday, Google’s Non-Profits Team Google Grants published a post on their official blog, about a training session they held recently in Washington D.C. Their blog entry details the material that was taught to campaign managers on how to move sites up in natural search results.

We’ve taken this opportunity to test the beta version of our soon to be patented Google PR Cynic translation application (GCTA), AKA Goognic™, on the Google Grants Team‘s recent post.

Google Grants Team wrote: Goognic™ Translation
At a recent non-profit training held in our D.C. office, I got the chance to teach a group of issue campaign managers the basics of “search engine optimization” (SEO), or how to earn a spot for your content that is closer to the top of Google’s natural (left-hand side) search results

At a not-immediately-profitable training session, our Google Propaganda Team got the chance to explain how to organize website content in order to help the successful targeting of Adwords campaigns.

It was a rewarding experience because we were able to take what’s often a technical conversation and make it feel like something everyone could (and should) do.

Our strategy here was two-pronged. From those of whom that will achieve results by following the guidelines, Google shall reap the rewards of better organized sites added to the index (we’ll profit when they switch to Adwords, once their site gets buried on page 6 a couple of “updates” down the line). Those that are overwhelmed by the whole “SEO thing” will realize there is really only one way to go. Did I mention Adwords?

Indeed, when most people hear the words “search engine optimization,” they figure it’s too technical for them or that it doesn’t apply to them. But if you’re running a long-term education or awareness campaign, you need to know how to improve the chances that interested users will find your information through natural search results. It’s just as important as learning how to use your Google Grant effectively.

See previous section. Oh and by the way. The Adwords store called. They want your rankings back.

Fortunately, much of what you can accomplish with SEO doesn’t require any programming or technical skills, but it does require a big-picture awareness of your issue. Because ultimately, you’re not trying to rise to the top of any one search results page, but rather to make your site more relevant to the whole search picture, which means designing your site, sections, and sub-pages with the most high-demand search terms related to your issue in mind

Don’t be intimidated by all this SEO stuff, because if after all your hard work your site still doesn’t rank, well hey, that’s ok, because an Adwords campaign will probably work REAL sweet now!

Doing well in high-demand search results pages requires that you first know what search terms or keywords are most popular. Take concepts and terms you discuss on your site and test them against related terms using tools like Google’s Keyword Tool and Insights for Search. Make sure you’re developing individual pages centered around what people are looking for, using the language they use

Lets get to know some of the tools you’ll be needing to run your first PPC campaign! Sktool, Analytics, Google’s Keyword Tool. Mmmmm, do you smell what the Goog is cooking?

Use these high-demand keywords where they accurately describe your content, especially in page titles, section headings, and in URLs. If you have lots of images or interactive graphics, make sure your most important content appears in text too, because the Googlebot doesn’t read images.

Googlebot has been able to “read” images for over a year. Nobody’s seemed to notice so far, so we’ll hold out a little longer from telling you, we don’t want to have to deal with curtailing a landslide of image sculpting. Well not until we endorse it first. (Ok, that was cheap, sorry, I couldn’t resist)

Finally, understand that the number and quality of other sites that link to your content determines much of your ranking in search results. Make sure you know the other online players on your issue, and encourage them to link to you. Starting a blog or Twitter feed is a great way to keep users abreast of the latest updates to your site and encourages them to link to you too

We’ll be acquiring Twitter soon. Get ready to transfer all your Twitter profiles to your Google accounts, suckahhhhs!

Ok ok, maybe I went a little far this time. But how could I resist? Google has a working++ business model, and I respect that. They’ve done many great things for the search industry, and will continue to do so, while making a profit (Go figure). But who says we can’t entertain the troops in the meantime.

In case you passed on clicking through to the Google Grants site, here are the slides from the recent training session. Enjoy!

About matt

Matthew Edward is the founder of Springboard SEO, a usability-first search engine optimization company in Montreal.