This is a presentation about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), but it is also about literacy and reputation in the age of the Internet. It is about how to understand and write well for the web so that like-minded people can learn about what you’ve got to say and be compelled to tell others about what you’ve got to say, too.
Although it’s not aimed at scholarly writing, that doesn’t matter. To Google’s crawlers, HTML source code is HTML source code, whether you publish articles about research into HIV or have something pointless to say about the latest gadget. No matter what the content is about there are literary as well as technical observations that can improve your communication and the impact of your writing.
Much of the presentation elaborates on this: “There is a tension between relevance and reputable.” It’s interesting.
Following yesterday’s post about Google’s 15 second search tips, I thought it would be pretty easy to pull together and develop an on-going series of short tutorials on how to use Google’s search engine. I was also motivated to do this because, co-incidentally, at the Teaching and Learning Symposium yesterday, I attended an elective where the question was asked by a secondary school teacher, “tell me what I can do to help develop my students’ IT skills for when they attend your university.” One of the answers he got was “teach them how to use Google search.”
A lot of time can be spent by both new students and staff, on achieving a basic level of digital literacy. Google’s search engine is a powerful tool disguised by a very simple interface which many of us don’t use to full effect. New features are being added rapidly, too, so I thought a blog which brought together tutorials made by Google and, in time, made by me, might be a useful resource for both staff and students. It’ll also give me the opportunity to learn more about Google’s search engine, which I’m sure I don’t always use to full effect either.