Assignment 14, Website Development, CCV Spring 2017

Research - The Importance of Search & Search Presence

Question 1:

Search, Why It Matters & How To Get On Top

Search is pretty much the roadmap of the internet. There are not many places I end up online that I didn't get there from either a Google search or via another website link. Both of these things are in fact connected because of the way the search engines index sites, and crawl from one page to the next via links. Clearly search is essential and a major factor in how we use the internet, this was never even a question to me, but I've learned quite a bit about how search engines work because of this coursework, and I've put a lot of SEO into this website in the past week. On this website, you'll now find breadcrumbs, an XML Sitemap, meta tags, and Google Custom Search. Behind the scenes, I have added my site to Google's Search Console, created a sitemap and submitted it there as well, customized the sitemap for my own sanity (because I can't leave well enough alone - and man is XLS ever hard to figure out with a cold start!), and put into place several optimizations, from reducing image sizes, to rethinking my layout. All of this was done to increase my search engine optimization and to get my site in standard with what the biggest search engine demands from their content. While a student website will never be "engaging" entertainment, I know that the skills I've used on this site will transfer over to others in the future, sites that will be designed to engage people.

Search is a no-brainer, it's hard to come up with 200 words about something so basic, so I'm going to tell you about what I really WORKED on this week: XLS/XML. Putting together a sitemap and a XLS stylesheet for it was not at all simple or no-brainer. Because of researching Google Search, and becoming familiar with their Search Console, I was inspired to create an XML Sitemap to submit to them. Then I decided it was a great idea to STYLE it. After about 8 hours sites like the ones below, I now have a beautiful sitemap that both makes Google Search Console happy, validates, and looks nice. It wasn't easy.

Google Sitemaps Stylesheets make XML Sitemaps human readable