Secrets Your Web Designer Isn’t Telling You

For those of you who aren’t subscribers to the SiteProNews newsletter, my article Secrets Your Web Designer Isn’t Telling You was featured this week.

The piece is about my experience with web designers and how so many of them claim to understand search engine optimization but really have no clue whatsoever. It’s about what makes a site search engine friendly versus invisible and how web site owners can recognize the difference. It’s about taking your web designer to task over a bad SEO job.

If you’re not sure if your site is search engine compatible or you are suspicious about the job your designer has done on your search visibility, you really need to read this article.

Where Will Search be in 10 Years?

Google is celebrating its 10th anniversay this month. This signifigant milestone harks the question – Where will search be in another 10 years?

So much has already been achieved, the world has radically changed through the power of the internet – global connectivity, the decentralization of information. We have witnessed the dawn of the communications revolution. So what is in store for us in the future?

Over recent years we have seen the emergence of Google as the global heavyweight champion of search. The name Google has become synonomous with the word ‘internet’ and has certainly come along way from its early incarnation as a small time ‘garage’ search company.

To acknowledge Google’s 10 year milestone, Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products and User Experience at Google, has written an interesting post on the future of search. Something we will undoubtably be seeing more of is accessability, mobility and simplicity.

Multi Media Search

We already have internet ready mobile phones, blackberry’s etc, but we will be seeing more internet ready mobile devices with a voice or picture interface capability. Instead of entering keyword based search queries, we could enter a picture, photograph, snippet of a song or spoken phrase.

Google is already well on the way to achieving these things with the release of universal search in May last year. The first stage of universal search has focussed on video, news, maps/local and books. Future applications will make it even easier to obtain relevant information from Google’s varied content areas, including changes in the way results are displayed and more interactive refinements.

Personalized Search

What if search engines understood individual user needs better? Could deliver results based on your precise location? Took into account results of your previous searches? Knew what infomation you already have? Occupation? Who your friends are? Main areas of interest? Could translate any result found into your language of choice? Google is already investing in technologies of this kind and some are available in an early format, check out their cross-language information retrieval tool, for example.

Assuming user data privacy issues are constantly re-dressed in light of personalized search applications, the future of search will become even more personal, accessable and relevant. As Marissa says the ideal search engine of the future could,

“Tailor answers to you based on your preferences, your existing knowledge, and the best available information; it could ask for clarification and present the answers in whatever media or setting worked best.”

Given the developments in search we have seen over the last 10 years – one thing is for sure, the future of search is looking bright indeed!

Q & A: Multiple Meta Description Tags

QuestionDear Kalena…

I just noticed that my company’s homepage has five meta description tags within the head tag. Will this have any negative ramifications?

Thank you, Heather

Dear Heather,

I am curious as to how your site got that many meta description tags. In fact, you also seem to have multiple keyword meta tags. You may get penalized by Google for duplicate content, but regardless, it’s bad design practice to have improperly formatted meta tags, I would remove the extra tags ASAP. I wrote a post about meta tags once on my own blog, but here are a few tips.

(1) Keep the description tag down to about 120 characters. (2) Include a compelling call-to-action since this tag usually shows up on the SERPS (search engine results page). (3) Be sure your important keywords are used at the beginning of the description. (4) Don’t keyword-stuff, and use the same keywords more than a couple of times, even as different variations.

Hope this helps!

best, Nick

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Congratulations Search Engine College Graduates

happy SEC graduateOn behalf of the tutors and staff at Search Engine College, I’d like to offer congratulations to our most recent graduates:

Search Engine Optimization 101

  • Monique McGivney
  • Gail Klouzal
  • Shelley Andris
  • Amanda Davis
  • Matthew Dykstra
  • David Beach
  • Rebecca Smith
  • Alison Natali
  • Rabeyya Imran
  • Jamie Hinton
  • Sharon Wright
  • Zach Hollman
  • Laura Rappoport
  • Andrew Gladstone

Search Engine Optimization 201

  • Andre Araujo
  • David Beach
  • Matthew Shine
  • Amanda Davis
  • Alice Hamilton
  • Stuart Matheson
  • Laura Rappoport
  • Josh Couts

Pay Per Click Advertising 101

  • Lisa Dougherty
  • Marcia Wasik
  • Jessica Bell
  • Rory Peska
  • Andre Araujo
  • Jamie Hinton
  • Carol Smith
  • Barbara Stroup

Article Marketing & Distribution 101

  • Lauren Sorensen

Link Building 101

  • Aaron Slusky

Certified Search Engine Optimizer

  • Carol Smith

Congratulations to you all. Please contact your tutor if you haven’t yet received your hard copy certificate, Status Page or certification seal.

Please stop by Search Engine College from time to time to download updated lesson material, contribute to Search Engine Wiki or check our Search Engine Marketing Jobs Board to use your certification to find a job in the industry.


Search Industry Job of the Week: Marketing Intern

Job Title: Marketing Intern
Job Reference #: Unknown
Position Type: Internship
Name of employer: Sweeney Marketing Consultant
Location: Reston, Virginia
Date Posted: 2 September 2008
Position description:

Sweeney Marketing is a marketing consultancy that is comprised of an in-house team as well as qualified agencies and talented freelancers.  Everyone they work with exhibits the characteristics and skills that make their approach possible.

Sweeney Marketing is currently hiring for the position of Marketing Intern.
If you are a college student studying business, and fascinated with how the Internet has changed the way organizations build and execute marketing plans, then you may be interested in an internship with Sweeney Marketing.

 The Sweeney Marketing internship promises to expose you to a variety of areas of marketing, including planning/strategy development, market research and brand positioning, as well as specific vehicles such as search engine marketing, website design and development and email marketing.  They require interns to possess above average writing skills, some background in business/marketing, and an ability to stay organized in the face of multiple projects and tasks.

If you are interested in an intern position, please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected]

Salary range: Unknown
Closing date: Unknown
More info from:
Contact: Send resumes to jobs[at]

For more search industry job vacancies visit Search Engine College Jobs Board.