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Title: Harnessing Search Engine Optimization experience to enhance the visibility of websites
Author: Aul, Vani
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 5229
Awarding Body: University of West London
Current Institution: University of West London
Date of Award: 2018
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Research has identified that websites can gain an added advantage by getting listed in Search Engine results Pages (SERPs) during search sessions by searchers as SERPS refer targeted traffic to the websites. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) enables websites to become visible in search engines during search sessions for featured products or services. SEO is a complex technique which is directly affected by the ranking algorithms of search engines such as Google. Bearing in mind that Google employs in excess of 200 dynamic ranking factors in its algorithm it can be seen that optimization is not straightforward. Given this complex environment, websites find it difficult to initiate and implement SEO. SEO knowledge and experience gained from optimizing websites in the past is highly valuable and applicable to optimize websites both now and in the future. Therefore the main aim of the research in this thesis is to investigate the problem of optimization of websites using the prior experience gained through the optimization of several case study websites. To facilitate this, novel process models have been designed in order to capture the experience of implementing essential techniques of SEO and to explain the procedure of implementation of fundamental on-page SEO techniques that have been shown previously to yield results (i.e. increases in ranking) for past case study websites. Quantitative experiments and qualitative evaluation were undertaken to verify the efficacy of the novel process models through their application to case study websites. Mixed methods were used in order to answer the research questions, inductive experimental methods to produce, finesse and test the process models and qualitative enquiry through means of a focus group to gather peer review from professionals within the field who had previously been trained and conducted a trial using the process models. Implementation procedures of acknowledged essential on-page SEO techniques were identified from past case study websites, which have been represented in the novel process models designed in the current research and empirically investigated by applying them in the experimental case study websites. These models were applied through quantitative experiments that identified essential on-page SEO techniques which were then implemented in two experimental case study websites as per the procedures represented in the process models. These experiments have yielded positive results, resulting in establishing and/or enhancing the visibility of case study websites in SERPs. Further the implementation procedures of essential on-page SEO techniques were represented in the designed process models and stored in an SEO experience base on the principle of INRECA-II methodology. Results of the focus group suggest that the process models do achieve credible results (i.e. establishing and/or enhancing visibility of websites in SERPs) through their application and are suitable for use by both novices and professionals alike. Overall the results achieved from both the quantitative experiments and qualitative evaluation provide promising support to validate the created knowledge.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Computing