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March 7, 2014 admin

GBG Malaysia | How Search Works

Wilfred Halim, Search Quality Strategist from Google Singapore

Recently, we attended another one of GBG’s event titled ‘How Search Works’. It was held in Megan Avenue 1, Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 6th March 2014. The event started at about 2.15 p.m. and ended a little after 4 p.m. There were biscuits and some other finger food provided as well as coffee, tea and plain water for the 35 attendees who showed up that day.

The speaker, Wilfred Halim, who holds a position of a Search Quality Strategist in Google Singapore, is responsible for the quality of Google Search in the South East Asia region. He, alongside his team mates in the web-spam engineer department in Google; help create proper algorithms and implement new policies to improve the overall search experience for their users. Wilfred has worked previously in IBM as an Engineer and holds a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from Monash University as well as an MBA from Hult International Business School.

“How Search Works’ offers tips and insightful information for blog owners, online shops and businesses as well as your very own website, appear more visibly on Google’s search results. The speaker highlights important tips on how to optimize your online website by avoiding certain mistakes such as not using crawler friendly content or by having too much activity on your site such as Flash or too many videos. The speaker also talks about why speed is key and why keyword stuffing is no longer a viable option to optimize your site.

According to Wilfred, there are 60 trillion individual pages on the web and is constantly growing. The Index alone for Google to store their information is 100 million gigabytes in size and crawls over 20 billion category pages per day. He also said that Google launches 500 algorithms per year and ranks results using over 200 factors.

The six take home tips that day were; firstly, always produce great content. The higher quality you’re content the easier it is for Google to not think of you as SPAM and penalize you for it. Secondly, add freshness to your content by constantly adding in new information to your site or interacting with your website users. Thirdly, score highly on relevance. The more relevant your site, the more user friendly it is and always make sure it’s crawlable content. If the Googlebot can’t crawl information or content on your site, then there’s no way your site can be indexed by Google. Fourthly, perform a background check for every new domain site you register as Google could have penalized the previous owner for spamming. If so, you must write in to Google stating that you’re the new owner and request for a fresh start. Fifthly, create a ‘Better, Faster and Stronger’ site. Speed is one of the most important factors and is also one of the main reasons why users leave your site. Having content that loads quickly also improves user experience and lastly having a strong product presence.

He also mentioned common pitfalls, which are to avoid rogue SEO’s and watch out for agencies that provide guarantees. Guarantees are only gimmicks and will not help websites rank in the long run.

Overall, I thought it was a great event held by GBG. The speaker seemed, although not one of the most experienced but definitely had a lot to offer to his audience. Marcus Foon, GBG’s Malaysia Manager as well as Country Champion, Tech Enthusiast and Speaker wrapped up the event.