Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Have you ever wondered why certain search engines will give you the top ten results, with 2 results grouped together - kind of staggered one after the other but with the same website?
SEO Barcelona - Theming
SEO Barcelona - Theming
This is what's known as "Theming" and is a slightly different term to the literal sense of the word. Theming means that within the same search group (the examples shown here are in msn.co.uk and google.co.uk for Barcelona Apartments) certain pages are regarded as sufficiently similar by the search engine to be considered valid, and therefore are displayed as results for your search term.

This has a lot to do with good site structure. Many webmasters have been bamboozled as to why a PageRank 3 or 4 can always beat a PageRank 5 in results -and this is all down to theming. Let me give you a random example (but keeping it simple): a shoe shop website.

This shoe shop website might sell loafers, slippers, high-heeled shoes and trainers. These could all fit under the braod umbrella term of footwear. The importance is for there to be a logical, reasonable connection between each sub-category of the shoes/footwear to be able to be considered a "theme". For example, the site might target the following search terms:

comfortable footwear,
sports shoes,
ladies shoes,
women's shoes,
women's footwear,

Now a site that only deals with the variations on women's footwear (sandals, low heels, high heels, stillettos, etc.) is more specific and would therefore probably rank higher for this specific search term. However, you could try and beat this by using theming. For example, for each page regarding the different type of shoe, you could have 2 pages on that subject/list of products, and then the theme is not mixed up as much.

Themeing is a great way to ensure that google ranks your site for the search terms you are targetting, and also rewards you for good site structure in the results shown.

E-Marketing Strategies Barcelona

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Google and Page Rank

So how do I know that I’m ranking well in Google? Or that anything I’m doing with regards SEO is making changes or having a beneficial effect ? Well, there are a few little tools to help you know this. Google has it’s own ranking system which it gives to each website it visits. This is called a Page Rank, or PR, and is marked from 1 – 10. There are very few PR10 sites, and even excellent quality websites, such as bbc.co.uk are only PR8. The majority of sites are PR0 that exist on the internet. An average site should be looking for a PR4.
Search Engine Optimisation Barcelona - Page Rank

The best way to check a page's Page Rank is to download the Google Toolbar.
It is difficult to ascertain what Google uses to classify your site and give it it’s PR number. However, there are various things which could contribute. Site age is a benefit (the date your domain name went live) – the older the better, but be aware that often a server migration could affect the PR, as Google will recognise this as a “new site”. The content of your site and the quality of the content is also important. Betting, Gambling, Porn or Adult sites are therefore very difficult for Google to “like”. Where your page links to and who links back to you is an important factor. As a rule, don’t link to any “bad neighbourhoods” (Google’s terminology), and try and link to relevant sites to your own’s content. A site which is constantly updating with rich, quality text is also a benefit and if it receives lots of visitors or “hits” then this is also a very positive influence (see my earlier example of bbc.co.uk).

Another way to see if the changes you are making are having an effect on your ranking is to before you start, check where you rank for the phrases or keywords you are targeting and then compare this on, say, a monthly basis. If you know sufficient to make changes to your own website, you can also install the tracking code from Google Webmaster Tools, which will then give you detailled information about your visitor stats, any problems within your website as a whole, and other intersting statistics. I will delve more into the benfits of webmaster tools at a later date.

Barcelona Online Marketing

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Google - the king of search engines.

When we talk about search engines, there are many different ones. Some of the main search engines you may already know are Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista, Ask, etc. but the lion's share of the internet goes to Google.

SEO Services Barcelona - Google Logo
Google is a huge company with various products on offer - most of them free - and is the favoured search engine for most people. WebSideStory Inc. claim that 75% of people in thr UK use google as their main seach engine, and in the USA, it's closer to 70%. That's a lot of people so it makes sense that if you're going to be targetting a new market or beginning an SEO venture, that your main aim is to rank in google - preferrably on page 1 of the search results. However, don't automatically assume that if you're page 1 on google, you will also be on the other search engines, as each uses their own unique search algorithms, that very few people know.

Google's success is attributed to the fact that it gives the best results for your search query, and has earned itself super-status simply from the number of users and with very little publicity.

Search Engine Optimisation Barcelona

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Let's start with the basics of search engines and how they work

I’m not going to assume that anyone reading this will already have any knowledge of SEO, web design, or anything related, so I’d like to basically try and very briefly explain the idea behind SEO.

Everyone has browsed on the internet, and everyone recognises a website when they see one, and have more often than not found things on the internet by using a search engine – whether or not they realise this or not.
Barcelona SEO - Internet Explorer
Websites are actually just lots of text, written in a special code, called HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) and do not contain images or graphics like you see when you open a website page. Your website browser (like Internet explorer, Firefox, Mac, etc.) is basically like a window which understands how to read and interpret this code and how to display it to you – complete with certain text you can click on to get to another page, or an image, or things that pop up, etc. Everything you’re already used to seeing on a typical website.
Barcelona SEO - Firefox
It is impossible to estimate how many websites there must be in the world (not just in your own language remember) so the internet and internet browsing is safe to a certain point, with it’s dangers like anything, and can also be time consuming if you need to look for something. This is where the search engines step in.

A search engine is basically like a big electronic yellow pages. The main difference is that the yellow pages tends to just list the different companies in alphabetical order - with the odd few bigger paid adverts dotted around a double page. So really it’s kind of pot luck as to who you find – who’s to say that ABC Plumbing will be any better than Zen Pipes Plumbing, right? Also, the Yellow Pages tend to be just for one area or city, whereas the search engines need to try and organise the whole of the internet. It’s like having millions and millions of magazines on the floor, and trying to organise them into categories, but you get another million while you’re half way through.
Barcelona SEO - Yellow Pages
So what the search engines try to do is organise the list in terms of RELEVANCE to the subject. You can search for something in a search box of a search engine by typing in KEYWORDS – basically the words which describe what you’re looking for. So if you’re looking to find out about local Italian restaurants you could type “Italian restaurants “your city” and then you should get a list of restaurants and not travel agencies of language schools (although this has been known to occur!).

The search engines “read” the same HTML code that your website is created in and this is how it determines where you go on the list. There are many other factors which influence your position on this list, and the actual algorithms that the huge supercomputers use to index your page are only actually known to very few people.

This is where SEO starts. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and basically is the tweaking and changing internal and external components of your website to help the search engine index your page as more relevant and therefore move it up on the list. There is a common misconception that being number 1 on a web search means that it’s the best company. This is completely untrue. Think about the last reference of an Italian restaurant, and let’s use Barcelona as my example. So I type “Italian restaurants in Barcelona” and get the list given to me by the search engine – number 1 is a chain of restaurants called (for example) “Luigi’s Pasta” which produces pre-fabricated food with mainly frozen ingredients and has 7 restaurant chains in Barcelona. However, everyone in Barcelona knows that “Mama Mia’s” restaurant (again fictitious for the purposes of this example) is the best restaurant in Barcelona – home cooked, always full, and humble surroundings. So why is Mama Mia’s not top? Well, probably because Luigi’s has got more money to spend on advertising and therefore on websites and consequently on search engine optimisation. So you see, it’s all quite complicated, and depending on the sector you’re in, you may need to spend more money to achieve results in a shorter space of time.

It’s also important to point out, that the aforementioned algorithms that the computers use, are also always changing and getting updated, and this is something no-one (minus the search engines) can control or predict, so often work is done which works one month, will not be apparent the next. Be wary of any companies offering “ 100% GUARANTEED Page one results on Google” and the like

This is just a starter as to what this blog will tackle and try and introduce you to new and open ideas. Please feel free to comment and correct me as you may see fit. Thanks.

I also offer SEO Training in Barcelona. Please contact me for details.