Friday, March 31, 2006

SEO Progress

I have a hierarchy of words that I aspire to place well on. Here, for instance, in the homeschool arena, is a progress report. I'm measuring my place in google on words pulled from Yahoo's data on the number of searches conducted on their engine in Feb 06:

home school -143,598 searches- 64th on google for homeschool, not in top 100 for home school
home school curriculum - 22,530 - 21st on google (for homeschool curriculum)
christian home school - 8,747
home school resource - 6,104 - 90th
online home school - 4,182 - 7th for homeschool online, 12th for online homeschool, not placing with home school spelling
home school program - 3,764 - 100th on google
home school worksheets - 3,385 - 67th on google
high school diploma at home - 2,752 - not interested
home school material - 2,449 - 55th on google for homeschool material
home school driver ed - 2,448 - not interested

I tend to focus on my results on google. As recently as Oct 2005, I was not in the top 100 for any of these terms. However, as last check, I was front page on google for one variation of online home school, under 100 on homeschool program homeschol resource, homeschool material, and homeschool resource. And had just broken the top 100 for homeschool.

What does "one variation mean?" Well, google treats these searches differently: online homeschool (I'm number 7 here today) , online home school (not in top 100), homeschool online (number 12), and home school online (not in top 100).

The different semantic handling of home school versus homeschool and the order is perplexing to me but not an area of great interest. I imagine google and yahoo have a number of rapidly evolving approaches to dealing with these semantic questions.

It's interesting how steady my progress has been over the past 6 months with my site creeping up on a weekly basis.

With more links and page tweeks, I would expect to get on the front page for almost of all these terms by the summer with the exception of homeschool itself.

To be honest, I'm not all that sure where all these links are coming from. I have placed some advertisments staying focused on text advertisements with direct searchable links where they let me choose the anchor text. For instance:
Ann Zeiss' Cool Homeschooling Site

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

John Edelson

John Edelson - OK, a little background on who the author is....

YIKES - This is john on 5/22/2016 which is more than a decade after this post was created. This page turns out to be the most popular page on this blog so I thought I should put in a little update on John Edelson. Here's what I look like today and what I looked like in 2007 (not quite a decade ago but it's
John Edelson: 2015
John Edelson: 2015
the closest that I could find to match the date of the original post). Here's a more recent bio on John Edelson (ie me).

John Edelson: 2007
john edelson 2007

John Edelson is the founder and president of Time4Learning. He also provides member support services as well as does the marketing. Often, he cleans the office at the end of the day and helps fix broken web pages. Usually, the broken web pages are due to his "help" with them.

Professional Experience
Current - President/Founder, ,

Home Schooling Curriculum, Literacy Vocabulary Program. SpellingCity!  Science4Us.  WritingCity.  Time4Writing. Founder and President.

Various educational and entertainment consulting & investing projects: Prepworks - an adaptive program for teaching algebra or preparing for the ACT, SAT, and other high stakes tests. Vcom3D - SigningAvatars for deaf education. Florida. LearningToday - Standards-based online curriculum for school-based education. Florida.

ARC International. ARK.L Senior Vice President & Founder. Semiconductor intellectual property. London & Florida. 1998-2002. Created ARC as a spin-out from Argonaut with 10 people. Raised $12M, acquired three firms, participated in managing the firm's IPO.

Argonaut Games. General Manager. Videogame and technology development. London. 1996-98. Hired as a “turn-around” manager who transformed a struggling 100 person family firm into a growth-oriented profitable company that successfully went public. Raised $6M in capital. Executive produced Croc, a Playstation game that went platinum. The 3DO Company. Developer Relations & Marketing Director. Videogame platform innovator. California & London. 1992-95.
SGI. California. 1988-92. Product Marketing & Developer Relations. Pioneering workstations for engineering analysis and 3D graphics.
MID Consulting. Paris. 1986-88. Corporate strategy, acquisitions, and diversifications.
Price Waterhouse. DC. 1982-84. Business Consulting.
US Peace Corps. Cameroon. 1980-82.


Board Member, WireSpring Technologies
Board Member, The Cooperative Feeding Program of Broward

Yale College. BA. 1980, cum laude.
Harvard Business School. MBA. 1986.

avid but aging soccer player. sometimes runner. currently in the martial arts (red belt). Father of two.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Using Keywords and Keyphrases

People typically find most sites through a search on a word or phrase such as: "learning math online" or "kids learning games". The heart of online PPC and search engine marketing is finding the keywords and keyphrases that work for you.

Generally, from a webmaster's point of view, a single word keyword producces a large volume search with less targetted traffic. A multiword keyphrase produces more targetted traffic which is less competitive or expensive to win. For an extreme example, my site does better to focus on "third grade learning games" than to compete for the word games. Lets analyse the keyword "games".

If you look up the search volume on games, you'll find that yahoo has 4 million searches for the word "games" in January. The largest two word keyphrase with the word game was "free game" at 1.4M. Since my site is for learning, its unlikely that most of the people interested in "games" would have much interest in my site (its also unlikely that at this stage that I could compete successfully for these very high volume phrases. Looking down the list, the first expression that might produce traffic targetted at my site is "kids learning games" which has 10K seaches in January. If you look up "third grade learning games", you'll find 56 searches in January.

Now keyphrases can be used in a few ways. You can design a page to do well in the search engines for a keyphrase by using it in the (listed roughly in order of impact) Page URL, page name, body text, H1 or H2 tags, anchor text pointing to that page, meta tags and meta descriptions, and alt tags. (Theres alot more to it than just the onpage issues). You can also buy traffic based on people searching on keyphrases thru PPC advertising.

Comment on synonym engine by google

Although google appears intelligent, its actual "thinking" is primarily based on keyword and keyphrase analysis. Comment on semantic stupidity (doesn't think of 3rd and third as the same)

from Yahoo/Overtures' ranking tool -
4197902 game
1486027 free game
1351503 yahoo game
1043416 online game
793698 free online game
513724 video game
451565 addicting game
434954 video game rental
300809 the game
278053 game cheat
237947 play free game
225750 free game downloads
214947 game spot
213469 dress up game
206045 msn game
195366 kid game
194565 computer game
179996 pogo game
174684 flash game
157221 card game
156792 poker game
154099 pc game
151806 disney game
146618 game downloads
141818 cartoon network game
136806 sex game
136763 play game
121896 disney channel game
121612 baby shower game
120507 console game
118795 casino game
114968 fun game
112515 arcade game
108214 kid learning game - 95th on 4/1/06:
104703 free casino game