Search engine optimization (SEO) for the website of Malaysian Journal of ICT

By: Khirulnizam Abd Rahman

clip_image002[4]
I have a new mission, that is to promote FTSI first ICT academic journal, Malaysian Journal of ICT (MyJICT). I need to apply the SEO (search engine optimization) method to make sure the website is ranked high by the search engines (especially Google, Yahoo and Bing). The journal website is at http://myjict.wordpress.com, and the keywords that have chosen are "journal of ICT" and "ICT journal".

What is SEO?

First, let me briefly explain what SEO is. It's actually a process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engine via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search engine ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization).

Normally when people use search engine to search for something, they would only open the links suggested in the few early pages of the hit. The first page (of the hit list) is the highest probable click. So it's important to make sure that the website is listed in the top list of the first page. The word that people type on the search engine is called 'keyword'. Concentrating on the right keyword is crucial in order to capture the right audience.

Doing SEO in Blogger (blogger.com) is much easier because we can add widget that capable of running JavaScript, since most of popular/efficient widget is written in JavaScript (or maybe because Blooger.com is a Google company). However, wordpress.com is restricting the subscriber to insert any widget that has JavaScript. That is a challenge that have to be faced.

(FIY, blogger.com and wordpress.com are among the famous free blogging service provider)

Difficulty of Hosting in wordpress.com

I found it difficult to do any SEO activity in wordpress.com . Why? Because wordpress.com does not allow subscriber to put any script inside the widget. Even a simple JavaScript will be rejected. Hopefully, if someone who has the trick to include JavaScript in the wordpress.com widgets could share it with me.

URL Submission

Anyway, what I did was submitting the web address to the some popular search engines. This a way to tell the search engine to send their crawler to index our website. I chose to subscribe to Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Below are the addresses of the URL submission page for respective search engine;

1. Google - http://www.google.com/addurl/

clip_image004[4]

2. Yahoo! - http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit
clip_image006[4]

3. Bing - http://www.bing.com/docs/submit.aspx
clip_image008[4]

Generate Content

Content is the king. The next thing I did is creating relevant content as much as possible. Since as a journal secretariat, we received a lot of abstract before the full paper. So we decided to publish all the abstracts received (without the authors’ name). The volume 1 of the journal is available in the website, and we’re planning to publish all the full articles in the website. This is to generate more traffic from the search engine, because if there’re more content than there will be more keywords. More keywords indexed in the search engine, surely more traffic to the website.

Sharing

One of the ways to increase the rank of a website is by increasing the number of trackback to our website. Trackback is hyperlink pointing to our website. The more trackbacks to your website, the more important the website is. I found live bookmarking facilities from addthis.com . This service is interesting since it provides the facilities to add bookmark into most of the popular social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and some other live bookmarking such as Delicious, Stumbleupon, etc. Adding the button is one of the way to promote the visitor to bookmark and share the website to their friends, thus generates more trackback.

clip_image009[4]

Hosting the website at the KUIS’ web server

clip_image011[4]

The home page of MyJICT website.

We decided to move the hosting for MyJICT to our own company server. Why? The main reason is the limitations exist in wordpress.com .

The new address is at -> http://www.kuis.edu.my/ftsi/myjict/ .

I'm also installing the Google Analytic (http://analytics.google.com) tool to record the traffic flow and the important analyze the keywords related to the website. To install Google Analytics, you need to register to the service (faster if you have Google profile/ email). Get the code, and paste it to the body of your page (immediately after the <BODY> tag). In the case of Wordpress blog system, the <BODY> tag is actually situated in this file;

/wordpressfolder/wp-content/themes/folder_theme/header.php

Submitting the URL to Google Scholar

clip_image013[4]

Since the website contains scholarly (academic) articles, I suggest to submit the URL to Scholar.google.com . It's actually a search engine based on Google for academic articles such as journals, proceedings, thesis and technical papers.

To submit your scholarly-content website, go to this URL, http://www.google.com/support/scholar/bin/request.py . Google Scholar is getting popular to the academicians or researchers for their literature review and referencing. Hence, I would say it's a wise step to submit the website to such service.

Conclusion

Now after almost a year of setting both websites, I think the mission is a success. Try key-in the word “journal of ICT” in Google.com, yahoo.com or bing.com, and you’ll find the MyJICT websites in the first page of the result. In fact, the website was listed as the first hit at yahoo.com (on the day of this writing). That is the target of this mission, and I’m glad we have achieved it.

KHIRULNIZAM ABD RAHMAN - The writer is a lecturer at Faculty of Information Science and Technology, KUIS. This article is adapted from several posts from his own blog at http://kerul.blogspot.com . He is happy to share his knowledge in blogging. Should you need further clarification about anything related to this article, please do not hesitate to contact him at khirulnizam@gmail.com .

Popular Posts