A Brief Introduction to SEO

Activity One: Webmaster Tools

It's time to take another look at the Google Webmaster Tools (next week we will revisit Google Analytics.)


  • Anything in "Top search queries"?
  • Anyone linking to your blog?
  • What are the significant key words for your blog?
  • Click "Diagnostics" and "Crawl Stats" and review "Pages Crawled per Day"

Check out webmaster information for Yahoo! or MSN (whichever one you set up for your blog):

Yahoo!: http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/
MSN/Bing: http://www.bing.com/webmaster

Activity Two: Site Information

Now that we are many weeks into blogging, let's take a look at the information Google has collected on your blog. Go to google.com and type:


Look at the cache of your site, similar pages, web pages that link TO your blog, and web page links FROM your blog. Any surprises?

What can you learn from these first two activities? Be prepared to discuss during the lab.

Activity Three: Google Whacking

A "googlewhack" is a Google search query consisting of exactly two words without quotation marks that returns exactly one hit, no less no more.

The term Googlewhack first appeared on the web at UnBlinking on 8 January 2001; the term was coined by Gary Stock. Subsequently, Stock created The Whack Stack, www.googlewhack.com, to allow the verification and collection of user-submitted Googlewhacks.

The rules of Googlewhacking are as follows:

  • Your two words must exist in the dictionary at http://www.merriam-webster.com/
  • Look to the right end of the blue bar atop your Google results, It must be "Results 1 - 1 of (any number)".

Google shows you an excerpt of the page you whacked. Look at that text, your searching words should be there and the excerpt must not be merely a list of words (such as a bibliography, dictionary, domain names, or random garbage).

The Googlewhack Challenge

Finding a Googlewhack is not as easy to find as it sounds. Go ahead and try an unlikely pair of words. You will probably be surprised by the number of of results. In this lab, we are going to do an easier variation in which you search using as few words as possible (instead of two) and try to get exactly one hit.

At the conclusion of this part of the lab, we'll see who found a googlewhack with the fewest number of words.

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