On November 4th, 2014, BBEX Marketing was invited to speak about SEO at Lynn University for Professor Henry Schrader‘s Website Optimization class. Our Project Manager and President, Nate Aloni, spoke about the theory and development of search engine optimization, starting from a time when people relied primarily on offline solutions for search, such as the Yellow Pages, to some basic history on today’s premier search engine giant, Google.
For younger web users today, it may seem as though Google has always been the only search engine around. However, in truth, before Google, there was the Yahoo Directory and other search engines (e.g. Lycos and Alta Vista) that have since been largely forgotten. In addition to providing a brief history lesson, Nate detailed the way Google ranks its search results, including the use of the PageRank Algorithm. He provided simple examples with corresponding graphics to explain how authority value is transferred from page to page. Next, he explained the importance of keyword research and how to determine a keyword’s worth using search metrics. He went over the competitive aspect of keywords, the importance of targeted terms and relevancy, as well as long-tail keyword phrases.
Nate also covered what it takes for basic on-site optimization, starting with a worthy XML Sitemap and Robot.txt file, which are just some of the standard requirements for optimizing a web page. Other components of onsite optimization include proper HTML in the page title tags, headlines, body text and much more. Afterwards, Nate dived into off-site optimization and two of its important elements: global popularity and anchor texts.
Nate also disclosed a variety of tools that all SEOs must-have, from Google Analytics to Google’s Webmaster Tools — briefly explaining the different features each tool can accomplish. After covering what an SEO expert should do, Nate pointed out the deadly mistakes no future SEO specialist wants to be guilty of, delving into the dark, forbidden territories of “Black Hat SEO.” Stealing illegal content, cloaking, and invisible text are just some of the bad SEO practices that Nate made sure to warn students about: “Kids, don’t try this at home! Or anywhere else, for that matter…”
The reason you don’t want to try these is because Google’s algorithm updates can penalize any website and ban them to the very last page of Google search results. Nate also explained what a Google update is and showed how to tackle the different SEO “animals” (e.g. Penguin and Panda) with a simple chart. It’s important for students to beware of these penalties which might make or break their SEO-aspirations.
Other topics that were still worth noting were negative SEO, the backlink disavow process, and Google penalty recovery. These are perfect topics to cover in an SEO class presentation, because many SEO specialists out there consider these to be the firepower behind SEO. Negative SEO is like firearms for warfare in the SEO battlefield, while disavow is a way to potentially recover from these armed threats.
Finally, Nate offered BBEX’s expert opinion on the future of SEO and how it might affect the SEO field — especially once the students join the workforce. To top it all off, Nate announced that the class could receive $50 for participating in the BBEX Ninja Challenge Contest. The prize would go to one lucky winner who could complete all given tasks. All of the tasks represented steps that a professional online marketer would take to market their own clients online: from “checking in” at a company’s Yelp page to liking a Facebook page and posting a social media status update. The students of the Professor Schrader’s class were very enthused to participate.
We at BBEX are happy to have been able to present our SEO presentation in Professor Schrader’s course and help further the young SEO minds of tomorrow, who can very well become the next Matt Cutts. It was a pleasure, and we have already made plans to return on December 2nd for a more interactive presentation.