Case History: The Directory As An SEO Tool

The Europelowcost project originated as a search engine and price comparison tool with regard to both leisure and business vacation. The subsequent development towards themed web directories has a clear strategic validity, both in terms of positioning on search engines, and ease of use, by allowing travelers to make the best use of the information.

Primary analysis

The fundamental assumption is that the company of data into categories along with varying levels of depth is the most logical solution for providing simple, rational and fast data retrieval. This type of structure on the web is known as a directory.

All of us discovered the best way to organise the content available by analysing two possible alternatives:

o Sub-division by country, grouping together all the services for that destination (i. e. flights, hotels, hostels and cruises are offered together).

um Vertical sub-division by service, isolating and “specialising” the individual directories (i. e. organisation by service: just flights, just hotels, etc).

After the necessary consideration, the development group opted for the second solution: to divide the information by theme.

The reasoning that led us to reject the first option resulted from the idea that, in terms of ease of use and of indexing by search engine spiders, developing a multi-service directory organised according to destination would have resulted in information overload (and therefore a sense of disorientation for the end user), because of information on airports, airlines, hotels, hostels, cruises, etc . all being on a single page.

It was therefore clear that we should specialise and sub-divide the search by service, with cross marketing of services by location (e. g. from the page of flights to a particular destination, there are links to hotels and hostels in the same city/country).

Search Engine Optimisation Specifications

From the point of view of search engine optimisation, the road we chose is more effective in terms of its thematic focus: a large number of pages along with unique, specialised content, which are full of hypertext information.

The model of directory site development can be summed up as follows:

1 . Home page, with the usual research function, special offers and top searches, as well as links to the four main categories of the directory (e. gary the gadget guy.: []) and static pages containing useful information;

2 . Unique internal pages. Great treatment was taken in the differentiation from the title tag (which not simply by chance includes the europelowcost brand), the meta description and the launch texts;

3. Rewriting the dynamic URLs.

The whole design of the site fully conformed to the search engines’ high quality guidelines, there was no addition associated with graphics to slow down access, plus despite what the many detractors of things Microsoft have to say, the Asp. NET programming language proved by itself to be robust, fast and versatile.

Organisation of content

Large sources and a proprietary multi-service search engine allow us to record and track a large quantity of data based on user behaviour (the toolbar for Ie and Firefox was also a significant factor). The crucial point was to decide how to make best use of this mass info, by rationalising it and which makes it easy to consult.

The most important sector within strategic terms was the flights, which were organised in the usual way, listing destinations by continent, country, and city. This classification of results was extended to the other directories (hotels, hostels, cruises). The way the details is structured allows for two major search criteria: for flights to and from a destination or airport, each country is linked to the list of nationwide and international airlines that function that destination. The area dedicated to airfields, which is also present for every single place, allows users to consult home elevators every airport worldwide, shown upon interactive maps with satellite photos.

The Conversion Rate of the task, which is significantly over 4% (October 2006 – January 2007) and its particular stable presence on Google, achieved in less than two months (77, 000 pages indexed, excellent search engine results position for a huge number of searches, no penalties whatsoever) are very encouraging and positive results, which usually lead the observer to believe how the tool is of particular significance and popular with the public
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