In an article on the New York Times (free registration required) it seems journalists are having to take Google into account on top of the readers and the editors in order to attract Google !
The titles targeting Google are considered to be boring by journalists more often than not.
Part of the craft of journalism for more than a century has been to think up clever titles and headlines, and Google comes along and says, ‘The heck with that,’ observed Ed Canale, vice president for strategy and new media at The Sacramento Bee.
The art of getting high results in search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo is known as Search Engine Optimization or SEO. There are often two schools in the SEO world. On the one hand an ethical and “above board” practice of rules and techniques that could be considered a sub section of online marketing. On the other hand a more devious and guerrilla type marketing that aims at exploiting any loopholes and bugs in search engines that will give them a high position in the results.
Google has a system called page ranking that calculates a mark, out of ten, that corresponds to a site’s importance (from Google’s point of view). One of the main criteria is the amount of sites that link to a page on your site. The more links that point to your site the higher your page rank. Having a high page rank is interesting in the case of Google since Google uses the page rank to decide which pages are displayed first in Googles’ results.
Simply put in the case of ten sites with pages that have the words “chocolate chip cookie” will be displayed from 1 to 10 depending on Googles’ calculations of the importance of each page. The page rank and calculations are far more complicated than just how many links point to the site but this factor is pretty important.
Google has recently started rolling out a new system (code named Big Daddy) that has tried to correct some of the loopholes that were enabling some sites take advantage of ‘cheating their way up the ladder’.
One factor that has actually been called the ‘Sandbox effect’ is what you could define as a rule in page ranking that is supposed to not include new web sites immediately. Web sites sit in a kind of waiting list for something like six months before being included in any Google results…
This very interesting article at Level Ten’s blog discusses the sandbox effect and how so far little backing to ways around this have surfaced. Level Ten’s article also refers to another article at socengine.com that provides an interesting read on key factors to consider.
To read some more about SEO in an extremely complete article I recommend you take a look at this article over at Kevin O’Keefe’s blog…