Wednesday, October 8, 2008

getting the SERP text right

The text that appears on the SERP is controllable - at least to a certain degree. Taking my name as an example, look at these two returns that appear together on a Google SERP for "Alan Charlesworth".Now, if you were looking for me, I think it is obvious which one is my site - but what about the other one? Is it me? The only way you would find out is by clicking on it. Now take a look at the text on my web page that linked from this SERP.Notice how the text in the SERP is the first line of the text on the page? Think that is an accident, or that I just got lucky? Think again. Now look at the homepage that links from the other Alan Charlesworth's SERP.
Sure, there is some text there, but it is not on the SERP - why? The answer is [I think] that the site is in frames and the search engine cannot read the text in the right hand frame. Just one good reason for not using frames. Notice also that the text I use in the first line gets across the message that I want it to do - again, no accident. I do the same for my main .eu site. Below is the listing from the same SERP as those above. As a footnote, whilst I might laud it over the other Mr Charlesworth in this regard - he still got one over on me by registering alancharlesworth.co.uk before me. Indeed, the reason I registered the domain name alan-charlesworth.co.uk and put up a single page on it was because when someone searches on 'pages from the UK' on the name, my dot eu domain loses ground because it is not a 'uk' domain.

Update on last paragraph Jan 2013: Google no longer offers searches on geographic areas [eg pages from the UK] but does this automatically by considering the IP address of the searcher. For example, if you search on 'electrician' the SERP will list electricians local to where you are.



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