Search Engine Optimizing with Dave

Dave Caputo at the Creative Economy Summit in Greenfield.

On Saturday I returned to Greenfield for more of the Creative Economy Summit and found a whole lot to think about after listening to Dave Caputo’s presentation called “Are you in the Top Ten?”  I have been in the business of helping people improve their search results for many years, and the topic is so familiar that I didn’t know that many new things could be presented. Boy was I wrong!

It began with the stuff most of the people in the business know–yet these fundamental elements of how to create your website’s pages to gain the most search engine exposure often go undone, or are derailed by designers who don’t care as much as they should about their SEO. These are basics like having keywords in the alt text (the words that show up when you mouse over a photo), and to have very specific titles and descriptions of the content of every single page on a website.

You could make a good living if people wanted to improve these ‘on page’ details, since so many sites don’t pay attention to them. But in this day and age, with SEO moving so fast and the web constantly adding new sites, you can’t rest. No, now we have to think about things like latent symantic indexing, the ‘off page’ work of SEO.

It sounds ominous and complex, but it’s not. What LSI means is compiling every word and phrase that relates to the topic of the page, but doesn’t include that one word….say, your page is about mountain bikes. You run a search tool that shows you every word and phrase that relates to this word, like bike trails, pedals, toe-clips, riding apparel, trails, etc, and then you begin adding these words to the page.

But of course, there is so much more.

Caputo revealed some of his company’s methods–they create a network of blogs on topics related to the main website they are promoting. Then they make more, and more, until there is a ring of up to 100 blogs all talking about and linking to the main ‘money site’ that they’re being paid to promote.

As the seminar ended, Dave cleverly threw out his own money pitch. “We have the time to do all of this, and you probably don’t so that’s why it’s a good idea to hire us.