Search engine visibility: a pilot study towards the design of a model for e-commerce websites.

Chambers, R & Weideman, M.

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

Chambers, R & Weideman, M., 2005. Search engine visibility: a pilot study towards the design of a model for e-commerce websites. Proceedings of the 7th Annual Conference on WWW Applications. 29-31 August. Cape Town, South Africa. Online:

In this research project, the authors attempt to compile a model that consists of guidelines towards achieving an electronically visible and well optimised website. This model will provide a strategy for achieving website visibility which could be used by e-Commerce companies to achieve higher page ranking within most search services. This model is expected to also improve the website usability, benefiting the client and searcher. There are many methods for finding a website on the Internet, one being the use of a search service which usually is a directory or a search engine. Each one of these services has their own search strategy for categorising websites, which in the end will determine where a site would be listed. Due to the importance of these search strategies, one should emphasize the importance of improving visibility techniques in the development of a website, to satisfy both directory and search engine strategies. For the purpose of explaining the effective use of optimisation techniques, an e-commerce based website was selected to be used as an example. Elements gathered through academic literature were then applied on the website without modifying the layout of the site. Areas affected were: meta tags, frames, graphics descriptions, JavaScript and a site map. It should be noted that the testing of the applied changes would only occur at a later stage due to the nature of the research project. The model that is based on principles identified in academic literature, if applied, is expected to increase the visibility of most websites and in the process satisfy some of the requirements of the directories and search engines to index webpages.
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