Nico Vuyge's blog

Taking the blue AND the red pill

Nico Vuyge

SEO improvements

Nico Vuyge

About SEO and IConstructions

I watched the Mix 2008 session on SEO optimisations yesterday and it made me think about the search experience for my blog and my company website. SEO friendliness is a major issue in my day-to-day job (I'm currently working on the e-commerce website of one of the biggest travel agents in the Benelux), but I never thought it would be particularly important for my own web site.

SEO targets for IConstructions and Nico Vuyge

When somebody uses a search engine to look for things that are relevant to me, I'd like to have my website or blog show up as one of the first entries in the search results. I'd like to get good results for queries for:

  • my family name: Searching for 'Vuyge' currently returns a link to my master's thesis as a first link. That's not bad, but not good either. I'd rather have my blog or company web site show up first.

    Links 2 and 3 are links to a site containing a family tree of Vuyge's, which is OK because these are probably distant relatives I don't know about, but I don't want them to rank higher than my links, so I won't increase their rank by linking to them.

    My last name is rather uncommon. The Belgian phone directory only contains 21 entries and I'm not listed because I don't have a fixed telephone line anymore. Searching for my last name revealed that there are people in France with my last name, I didn't know that! I thought my last name was a purely Belgian name.

    Link 4 is a link referring to my father. That's ok.

    Link 5 is a link to a parked domain with my family name. I'd rather see my own family website linked, but then again, maybe I should put some content on that site, that might help!.

    The remaining links in the top 10 link to my blog, which is good.

    Searching for my last name is OK, 5 of top 10 links are applicable to me, including the number 1 link. But I'd rather see my blog on the first spot.

  • my full name: Searching for 'Nico Vuyge' returns nothing but links relevant to me in the top 10. Great result!

  • my company: Searching for 'IConstructions' isn't very great. I do get the third and fourth link in the top 10, but the top 10 is largely populated by links to a company that sells icons. That is because they registered the .com version of my company domain. More than a decade ago, when I started IConstructions, I actually looked up the availability of this domain and it was still available. I was so stupid not to register this domain! The next time I looked it up the domain was already taken up, so I had to settle for i-constructions.com. This domain name is rather weird to use (trying to spell my e-mail address over the phone was always a nightmare), so I started using iconstructions.be a couple of years ago.

  • my company's full name: Searching for 'IConstructions BVBA'is OK, my company's web site comes up as the first result, and my pet project blogoholic is also in the top 10. Most of the other links are also relevant for my company. However, the links refer to my old domain name, and I 'd rather have them link to my .be domain.

  • my blog: Searching for 'Vuyge blog'is OK, although some of the results refers to my .com domain. Ideally, they should refer to my .be domain.

  • my company's activities: Ideally, my web site should score high if somebody searches for a freelance .Net developer in Belgium or East or West Flanders, or in the neighbourhood of Ghent or Kortrijk. My company doesn't show up anyware in the results. Hopefully, the SEO optimisations I'll be doing will improve that.

  • blogoholic: Blogoholic is my pet project. I use it to experiment with all kinds of cool new .Net technologies (WPF, ClickOnce deployment, Linq, Team System, C# 3.0, Silverlight), and maybe one day (hopefully Microsoft comes up with a way to monetize WPF applications, because Google AdSense is explicitly prohibited for use outside web browsers) it will become a commercial service. Searching for 'blogoholic' is decent, it returns 2 results in the top 10. I consider this good for such a rather generic word. Maybe I should add an entry in Wikipedia.

What did I do to improve the rankings?

First, I'd like to point out that my website was already relatively good in SEO terms because it uses html in a semantically correct way.

The big pain is the mix of my old (i-constructions.com) and new (iconstructions.be) domains in the results. This should now be solved by permanently redirecting old domain links to the new domain links.

I addded relevant meta descriptions to all of my pages, which should move up my links in the rankings.

Some of the older pages had bad names from an SEO point of view. I adapted all substandard page names to well descriptive names, and used dashes in the page names to separate words. In order not to loose the existing rankings, I permanently redirected the old URLs to the new URLs.

I also linked to external web pages that are relevant for my online presence.

And the result is...

We'll see in a couple of weeks/months.

View Nico Vuyge's profile on LinkedIn Nico Vuyge is a freelance software developer in East-Flanders (Belgium), specializing in Microsoft technologies. Nico has fully embraced managed software development in C# after a decade of software development in the unmanaged world in C++.
Apart from his interests in state-of-the-art managed software development, he is also interested in the hardware aspects of informatics, in particular performance and silent computing related aspects. For more details, see our company history , or contact him directly at nicov@iconstructions.be.
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