Recently I have been learning a lot about the mysteries of SEO.
There I was minding my own business performing functional, regression and other testing on web sites and web applications; planning and implementing Scrum burn-downs and explaining what Agile was and why even as a philosophy being flexible helped.. suddenly I got a call from an acquaintance in the UK asking if I could figure out why a website they were developing wasn’t appearing in rankings for any of the big three search engines.
I have done some work on this before but since I followed tech news like the advent of Google Buzz (and related profiles) and the affects of Real Time and Web 2.0 on rankings, I felt I should at least update my core knowledge.
There is a wealth of information out there on the internet on different blogs and from the actual search engines themselves. I got to thinking as I planned my approach that I was basically going to perform testing on the website albeit a specific niche of backend design of the website. It was rather easy to create an extensive testplan with cases for each search engine.
In this particular case the site had been designed and implemented in Drupal. I have been a fan since my brother introduced me to it; his company First Contact uses this extensively and has created some amazing websites for their customers.
Drupal provides the user with an easy to use interface, modular design and comprehensive help via the forums etc on the website.
After planning and executing my tests I was able to report the problems, search for and offer fixes and spend some time over Remote Desktop and VOIP making the changes to the website.
One recommendation that was hard for my acquaintance to swallow was how much dynamic versus static content on your website can affect ranking. Implementing a structured approach to Social Media: blogging, Twitter via the website or connected to it can have a strong positive impact on how the big three Search Engines relate to your website’s page ranking.
We discussed this and taking a leaf from my experience in Agile-Scrum I recommended an iterative approach to planning and implementing this. Providing them with a plan or burn-down chart based on how much time they could commit to and what they realistically could do in each implementation cycle.
They are at the end of the iterations now, having tried various platforms and selected those they realistically can work with. Their ranking reflects the changes as does their website.
I have a happy “customer” and de facto an extra string to my professional bow.
If you have any questions about my approach to this do contact me. Perhaps I can help you too.