Sunday, March 7, 2010

How SEO Works

We all hear about SEO ( Search Engine Optimization) on a regular basis, yet we are not sure about what is exactly is. How it works? We just feel that SEO is a complex thing and it requires expertise to be called SEO champion. Well not all is true. SEO is not as complex as we think, yet proper thinking and analysis will go a long way in making SEO effective.

You've finished your web design, uploaded your files, and set up your blog, but you're still not getting as many visitors as you hoped for. What is wrong here? Chances are you haven't started working on one of the most important ways to market your site and which is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Search Engine Optimization refers to the collection of techniques and practices that allow a site to get more traffic from search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing). SEO can be divided into two main areas: off-page SEO (work that takes place separate from the website) and on-page SEO (website changes to make your website rank better).

One of the basic truths in SEO is that even if you do all the things that are necessary to do, this does not automatically guarantee you top ratings but if you neglect basic rules, this certainly will not go unnoticed.

SEO can be a 30-minute job or a permanent activity. Sometimes it is enough to do some generic SEO in order to get high in search engines – for instance, if you are a leader for rare keywords, then you do not have a lot to do in order to get decent placement. But in most cases, if you really want to be at the top, you need to pay special attention to SEO and devote significant amounts of time and effort to it. Even if you plan to do some basic SEO, it is essential that you understand how search engines work and which items are most important in SEO.

Keywords – the Most Important Item in SEO

Keywords are the most important SEO item for every search engine – actually they are what search strings are matched against. So you see that it is very important that you optimize your site for the right keywords. This seems easy at first but when you get into more detail, it might be a bit confusing to correctly determine the keywords. But with a little research and thinking the problem of selecting the right keywords to optimize for can be solved.

1. Choosing the Right Keywords to Optimize For

It seems that the time when you could easily top the results for a one-word search string is centuries ago. Now, when the Web is so densely populated with sites, it is next to impossible to achieve constant top ratings for a one-word search string. Achieving constant top ratings for two-word or three-word search strings is a more realistic goal. If you examine closely the dynamics of search results for popular one-word keywords, you might notice that it is so easy one week to be in the first ten results and the next one– to have fallen out of the first 30 results because the competition for popular one-word keywords is so fierce and other sites have replaced you.

2. Keyword Density

After you have chosen the keywords that describe your site and are supposedly of interest to your users, the next step is to make your site keyword-rich and to have good keyword density for your target keywords. Keyword density is a common measure of how relevant a page is. Generally, the idea is that the higher the keyword density, the more relevant to the search string a page is. The recommended density is 3-7% for the major 2 or 3 keywords and 1-2% for minor keywords.

3. Keywords in Special Places

Keywords are very important not only as quantity but as quality as well – i.e. if you have more keywords in the page title, the headings, the first paragraphs – this counts more that if you have many keywords at the bottom of the page. The reason is that the URL (and especially the domain name), file names and directory names, the page title, the headings for the separate sections are more important than ordinary text on the page and therefore, all equal, if you have the same keyword density as your competitors but you have keywords in the URL, this will boost your ranking incredibly.

These are few of the Basics of SEO. I recommend that we as testers should be knowing these basics to increase our knowledge.

Happy Testing.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Speech by CEO of Mind Tree

I would like to share with you one of the best I received just a few days ago. Its a Speech delivered By Mr Subroto Baghchi, CEO Mind Tree to the class of 2006 at IIM Bangalore defining success.

Here are a few parts of the speech.

My mother used to take ash from the chullah and mix it with the earth and plant seedlings. This time when they bloomed, the neighbours asked her why she was taking so much pain to beautify a Government house? My mother replied it did not matter to her that she would not see the flowers in full bloom.She said," I have to create a bloom in a desert and whenever I am given a new place, I must leave it more beautiful than what I had inherited".

That was the first lesson in success," It is not about what you create for yourself, it is about what you leave behind that defines success".

Imagination is everything. If we can imagine a future, we can create it. If we can create it, others can live in it. This is the essence of success.

The safdurjung Hospital is a cockroach infected dirty place. The over-worked under resourced sisters are victims of de-humanized life at its worst. One morning attending to my father i realized that the blood bottle was empty. Fearing that air would get into his blood I summoned the sister to do the needful. she very rudely asked me to do it myself. In that horrible theater of death I was in pain, frustration and anger. Finally when she relented and came my father opened his eyes and murmured to her," why have you not gone home yet?" here was a man on his deathbed more concerned about the overworked nurse. I was stunned at his stoic self.

I learnt that there is no limit of how concerned you can be for another human being. Success is your ability to rise above your discomfort whatever be your current state.

Two years at the age of 82 my mother had a paralytic stroke. I flew down from US and spent two weeks with her. She was neither getting better nor moving on. I had to leave back to work. while leaving her behind I kissed her face. Int he paralytic state and garbled voice she said," why are you kissing me? Go kiss the world!"

At the confluence of life and death a woman whose life was crowned by adversity was asking her son to go and kiss the world!.

Success is about giving back to life more than you can take. It is about creating extraordinary success with ordinary lives!!