A study on the correct usage of webpage keywords to improve search engine ranking.

Kritzinger, W. & Weideman, M.

Proceedings of the 7th Annual Conference on WWW Applications. 29-31 August. Cape Town, South Africa.

Kritzinger, W. & Weideman, M., 2005. A study on the correct usage of webpage keywords to improve search engine ranking. Proceedings of the 7th Annual Conference on WWW Applications. 29-31 August. Cape Town, South Africa. Online: http://web-visibility.co.za/website-visibility-digital-library-seo/

The primary objective of this research project was to investigate and report on the importance of keywords as a ranking factor for e-Commerce websites. An e-Commerce website needs to attract visitors and the website designer needs to ensure the website is visible to search engines. Websites that are not ranked highly by search engines are less likely to be visited by potential customers. Users tend to examine only the first page of search results and once they find a good match for their search, they normally do not look further down the list. Most search engines display only 10 to 20 of the most relevant results on the first page. Thus, it is important to understand how search engines use the information contained on websites to index and rank them in their databases. Several key pieces of information are being used by search engines to list and rank a website, namely: webpage title, META keyword tag, META description tag, text on the webpage and keyword density. Every one of these elements involves keywords in one way or another. The methods employed in this project include the review of literature and secondly, empirical work has been done to determine whether or not the relative location of a keyword within the “body area” of a webpage has any bearing on its ranking. Results seem to indicate that more weight is attached to keywords appearing towards the beginning of a webpage. In some cases it appeared as if a webpage is penalized in terms of ranking if important keywords appear in the centre or at the bottom of the page.
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