SEM & SEO on any given day

Gary Viray during the Iblog6 - Photo courtesy of Darrick Regondola

Busy month? Indeed! That is exactly the reason why I could not even do justice to my own blog. No updates for many months. Poor blog.

As far as I could remember, the last time I went out to socialize with bloggers and online marketers was during the iBlog6 – The 6th Philippine Blogging Summit. Sleepless as I was, I braved C5 all they way to UP-College of Law just to deliver a talk on SEO and Blogging for Business. SEO is sort of a broad topic given just a 20-minute talk time. Thus, I simply opted to talk about the said subject and not to deal with Blogging for Business. Anyway, I am not a professional blogger as many would claim they are although I have been blogging since 2004 or 2005 using a blogspot platform.

Okay, here is a gist of what I talked about at iBlog6.

I listed a few to-do list (thanks to Erica Schimdt) on what a blogger or an SEO specialist should do in order to get noticed online.

1. Keyword Research

Many have been written about this topic but then I would simply reiterate that any Search Engine Marketing effort without a well-researched and well-thought of set of keywords would simply mean NOTHING.

During my talk, I simply mentioned Google related searches, Google Suggestions and Google Insights as useful tools in keyword research.

2. Crawlability, Content, Site Map, Spamming (No!) – On Page Factors (in a nutshell)

With the Google Caffeine finally rolled out, all the more that crawlability of web pages must be assured. To spot such issue, the use of Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Site Explorer and Bing Webmaster Central are key tools right from the Search Engine themselves. Crawlability can also be attributed with On-page Factors such as page titles, page structure, use of headings (H1,H2,H3 tags), text size, text contrast and text related tags. Meta Tags such Description (using 160 characters max) and the use of Alt Text and image naming convention based on keywords are equally important too.

Generation of Sitemap must also be taken into serious consideration as this is one area where search engines basically love to visit/crawl.

3. “Be Universal”

Search Engine Optimization is not only all about Web Searches these days especially if you wanted to optimize products, services, items and brands targeting three (3) different type of users namely:  informational, navigational and transactional searchers.

Universal search engine optimization (others call it, vertical search optimization) requires a well-rounded approach in the optimization process by looking into the categorized searches or else you may end up missing the ‘leaked traffic’ coming from the said search verticals. Factoring in a complete SEO plan and strategy for universal search is the way to go.

A day after the Search Engine Strategies in London (Feb 2010)

4. User Focused

No obsession on ranking please. SERP (Search Engine Ranking Pages) is not the be-all and end-all of SEO. For me, I always go for CONVERSION as THE measurement of any SEO success.

How will you convert well? Simple. Focus on users! Bots and crawlers will not buy your products or even engage you into a conversation about what your web page is all-about. Users do.

Again, the ever mystified phrase… “content is king!”. Personally, your content can only be a “king” if it is engaging if not then it is not a “good content” at all.

So you think a “jejemon” can write a good content? It is up to you to judge.

5. Credibility

Credibility as many would define it as being in the industry for a long time (as many would always call themselves, pioneers) is not it.  Some would interpret it (if you are into the MMO niche) as someone churning out cash from cash machines online. It is not it.

Building credibility for SEO is getting the links or citations from different sources/sites naturally. It may mean being an authority on a certain niche or being a self-professed  social media evangelist or an online media expert. IT IS UP TO YOU. My point is that you need to get those citations naturally (can we include bribery? hehe).

I have seen some people climbing the top of the “food chain” just by creating link baits and hateful issues thus; they get their dream links. Now, if that is your way to stardom then so be it.

Admittedly, link building is a tedious process but it is always rewarding once you get all the “link love” you need.

During my talk, I mentioned about cyber-communities as a basis of good link analysis. The main objective in order to hit rank #1 among the search engines is to get a link from the “Pope” – thanks Mike Grehan for the term.  I call it, “The God Father link”. In every cyber-community (of web pages), you need to spot right on, the website that can give you a “Papal link juice” or the “godfather link weight” and you will never go wrong. Pardon me for those who listened during my talk but did not fully grasp what I meant about “getting the Pope”.

In a nutshell, you need to get those links no matter what it takes. Be creative. Build relationship. Someone even suggested blog hopping as a method of getting those citations. I call it a “one night stand” gig if it is not really meant to engage the owner of site. Surely, one would not want a “one night stand relationship” if they are serious with their sites. Anyway, there is a way to combat this strategy, that is the spam red button ever ready to be unleashed.

6. Amplify Socially

Amplifying your SEO campaign through Social Networks MUST always be a part of the strategy. With all the Search Engine algorithm changes these days, the value of social networks cannot be underestimated.

Watch Matt Cutts discussing SE algorithm changes…

7. Review and Refine Data

Once all SEO plans and strategies are implemented, then, monitor and refine all your efforts. Use your toolkit and go beyond the basics.

I ended my iBlog6 presentation with some key points.

SEO Strongest  Signals that they need to monitor are:

Query Chains
User Trails
Text on HTML page
Linkage Data

Surprisingly, I got a lot of questions regarding my SEO topic.  That way, I thought I was able to engage them good enough to generate that interests and queries.

Conclusion: FUN!

Should you wish to engage me on your SEM/SEO plans and strategies, just simply email me at or contact me through my twitter account at