PR News Pop Quiz: So You Think You Know SEO?

Though critical to any organization looking to drive online eyeballs and sales, search engine optimization tactics and terminology can confound the smartest PR pros. PR News asked SEO expert Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, to create a quiz that would seriously test your SEO acumen. (Answers below.) True or False 1. Search engine optimization (SEO) is best managed by the corporate IT department. 2. Google, Yahoo and Bing each have their own crawlers and algorithms and should be optimized separately. 3. Google Caffeine is an infrastructure update that involves increasing Google’s ability to index larger amounts of content more quickly and has little to do with rankings. 4. The MayDay update on Google was focused on adding a third column of faceted search options to the left side of Google search results. 5. How fast your Web pages load in a browser can affect the ranking of those pages in search results. Multiple Choice 6. What are the two least effective methods of researching keywords? a. Use content from advertising and marketing materials b. Analyze competitor Web sites c. Use exact matches for proper product and service names d. Survey customers, sales and customer service staff e. Leverage research tools like Google Keyword Tool, WordTracker or WordStream 7. Which types of files are indexed and ranked by search engines? a. Flash b. JavaScript c. Ajax d. PDF e. MS Office documents f. All of the above 8. Which link-building tactics represent best practices for competitive keywords? a. Submit the company Web site to directories and search engines once b. Publish a blog, interact with other blogs, promote content on social sites each week c. Perform backlink analysis on sites already ranking well and solicit links from the same sources d. Include links in press releases, cross link between pages, microsites and partner sites e. Solicit links in media placements, contributed articles and guest blog posts that use keywords to company content f. All of the above 9. What are the three most significant influences on search engine rankings? a. Meta keyword tag b. Meta description tag c. Title tag d. Keywords on the page e. Links using keywords from other relevant Web sites 10. Which list represents the top 3 search engines according to comScore? a. Google, YouTube, Yahoo b. Google, Yahoo, Bing c. Google, YouTube, Bing ANSWERS TO THE PR NEWS POP QUIZ 1. False: For most organizations, IT will help implement technical and on-page SEO changes, but a partnership between marketing, PR and IT should set the direction, strategy and oversight of implementation of keyword research, optimized copywriting, link building and analysis of Web site visitor data. 2. False: While each search engine is different, Google has over 65% of market share and warrants the most attention. Yahoo and Bing will soon blend their technologies, thus reducing the major search engines to two. For most sites, best practice content optimization and link building are productive for any major search engine. 3. True: Google’s ability to find fresh content and deliver it in search results has improved greatly and will scale as increasing content sources publish online. Caffeine has little to do with sorting or ranking search results, but may mean your content gets into Google search results pages quicker. 4. False: Google made a significant algorithm update that occurred in early May 2010 affecting large numbers of Web pages containing minimal content that previously ranked well for long-tail keywords (three or more words). The MayDay update reinforces the need for improved Web content quality. The third column added to the Google search results page design is not related to the algorithm change. 5. True: Google announced in April the addition of Web page load time as a ranking factor. Faster-loading pages equate to a better user experience and increase in the number of clicks. 6. A & C: What companies name products are not always what customers or the media will use to search for those products. 7. A, D & E 8. F: There are literally hundreds of link-building tactics, and any activity that results in an inbound link from another topically relevant Web site is good for users and for SEO. 9. C, D & E 10. A Contact: Lee Odden at Send your Pop Quiz ideas to: Scott Van Camp at

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