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: http://web-visibility.co.za/website-visibility-digital-library-seo/

ABSTRACT
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.
REFERENCES
  1. Adams, I. 2003. Overcoming Webpage Printing Problems. Online Magazine, Issue September / October 2003, 36-41.
  2. Baard, V.C. 2004. Interactive information consulting system for South African small businesses - Part 1. South African Journal of Information Management. 6(2). [Online]. Available WWW: http://www.sajim.co.za (Accessed 5 December 2004).
  3. Barron, C. 2000. Brilliant ideas but spectacular flops. Sunday Times 9 April. 9: (1).
  4. Bester, F. 2003. Challenges and risks for South Africa in the information economy. South African Journal of Information Management. 5(2). [Online]. Available WWW: http://www.sajim.co.za (Accessed 10 January 2005).
  5. Blair, D.C. 1990. Language and Representation in Information Retrieval. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers.
  6. Boyes, J.A & Irani, Z. 2004. An analysis of the barriers and problems to web infrastructure development experienced by small businesses. Information Technology and Management: 11(2):189-207.
  7. Constantinides, E. 2002. From Physical Marketing to Web Marketing: The Web-Marketing Mix. In: Proceedings of the 35th Hawaii International Conference on System Science - 2002. Big Island, Hawaii, 7-10.
  8. Craven, T.C. 2001. Changes in Metatag Descriptions Over Time. First Monday. 6(10), October 2001.
  9. Craven, T.C. 2002. What is the title of a Webpage? A study of Webography practice. Information Research, 7(3). [Online]. Available WWW: http://InformationR.net/ir/7- 3/paper130.html (Accessed 30 January 2005).
  10. Craven, T.C. 2003. HTML Tags as Extraction Cues for Webpage Description Construction. Information Science Journal. 6():1-12.
  11. Department of Trade and Industry. 2001. State of small business development in South Africa: Annual review 2001. Pretoria: Ntsika Enterprise Promotion Agency.
  12. Dickson, M & Marshall, G. 2004. Search engine secrets. .Net. Issue May. 28-35.
  13. Duncan, V. and Fichter, D.M. 2004. What words and where? Applying usability testing techniques to name a new live reference service. Medical Library Association, 92(2):218- 225.
  14. Fillis, I, Johannson, U. & Wagner, B. 2004. Factors impacting on e-business adoption and development in the smaller firm. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 10(3):178-191.
  15. Galon, D. 1999. The savvy way to successful website promotion: Secrets of successful Websites, Attracting on-line traffic. The most up to date guide to top positioning on search engines. Canada:Trafford Publishing.
  16. Goetsch, D. Search engine optimization. Search engine robots: how they work, part one. [Online]. Available WWW: http://www.rankforsales.com/crawlers-and-spiders-and- robots.html (Accessed 13 May 2004).
  17. Green, D. 2000. The evolution of Web searching. Online Information Review, 24(2):124- 137.
  18. Guenther, K. 2004a. Getting your Website Recognized. Online Magazine, Issue May/June. 47-49.
  19. Guenther, K. 2004b. Know the fundamentals and good design would follow. Online Magazine, Issue January/February. 54-56.
  20. Henzinger, M.R., Motwani, R., Silverstein, C. 2002. Challenges in web search engines. [Online]. Available WWW: http://www.acm.org/sigs/sigir/forum/F2002/henzinger.pdf (Accessed 12 April 2005).
  21. Hoffman, E.C. 2002 Information and communications technology, virtual offices and telework. South Africa Journal of Information Management, 4(2). [Online]. Available WWW: http://www.sajim.co.za (Accessed 17 january 2005).
  22. Hubbard, J. 2004. Indexing the Internet. Essay for Drexel University College of Information Science and Technology.
  23. Isaacs, Z. 2004. Good IT strategy helps SMMEs get it right. CITInews. [Online]. Available WWW: http://www.CITInews.com (Accessed 16 April 2004).
  24. Konia, B. 2002. Search Engine Optimization with WebPosition Gold 2. Texas: Wordware Publishing, Inc.
  25. Nobles, R & O’Neil S. 2000. Maximize website Traffic: Build website Traffic Fast and Free by Optimizing Search Engine Placement. USA: Adams Media Corporation.
  26. Notess, G.R. 1999. On the Net: Rising Relevance in Search Engines. Online Magazine. Issue May-June 1999. 84-86.
  27. Oppenheim, C., Morris, A. & McKnight, C. 2000. The Evaluation of WWW search engines. Journal of Documentation, 56(2):190-211.
  28. Robinson, P. 2005. Stop Search Engine Spam. ClickThrough Marketing. [Online]. Available WWW: http://www.clickthrough-marketing.com/articles/stop-search-engine- spam.php (Accessed 17 April 2005).
  29. Rowley, J. 2001. Remodelling marketing communications in an Internet Environment. Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy, 11(3):203-212.
  30. Singh, A.M. 2002. The Internet - strategies for optimal utilization in South Africa. South African Journal of Information Management, 4(1). [Online]. Available WWW: http://www.sajim.co.za (Accessed 15 February 2005).
  31. Strinivasan, P. Ruiz, M. Lam, W. 1996. An investigation of indexing on the WWW. In: Proceedings of the ASIS '96, (33):79-83. Subia Creative. 2002. Justifying an Investment in Search Engine Marketing. [Online]. Available WWW: http://www.subiainteractive.com/art-pref-leads.html (Accessed 20 May 2004).
  32. Thelwall, M. 2000. Effective websites for small and medium-sized enterprises. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 7(2):149-159.
  33. Thurow, S. 2003. Search Engine Visibility. New Riders Publishing. Indianapolis.
  34. Trunble, I. 2003. Is your website a usable tool, or a designer’s dalliance? inCite. August. [Online]. Available WWW: http://www.alia.org.au/publishing/incite/2003/08/usable.tool.html (Accessed 24 June 2004).
  35. Weideman, M. 2004. Ethical issues on content distribution to digital consumers via paid placements as opposed to website visibility in search engine results. In: Proceedings of ETHICOMP 2004, April 2004. Syros: University of the Aegean: (2):904-915.
Full text of Conference Proceedings No 0175: Search engine visibility: a pilot study towards the design of a model for e-commerce websites.

Digital Library with full-text of academic publications on website visibility, usability, search engines, information retrieval

Back to Home page