Author : Jamel TAYEB
I recently took part in a training session on SEO. Being myself a software engineer, with modest prior knowledge of SEO’s basic concepts, my most pressing need was to find an answer to the following questions:
- What is it that SEO companies do, that lifts a web site’s position up into Google’s top SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)?
- Which elementary action has the most discrete effect on a web site’s relevance to a given Google search keyword?
As the training went on, I realized that I was really interested in the following more fundamental question:
Is there a fundamental unit of SEO?
One by which we can measure SEO actions, the results on Google page positions of SEO actions, SEO work, SEO power, and SEO wealth. It was my ambition to be able to define Zero SEO, then 1 SEO, 1 KSeo, and 1 MSeo (like 1Hz, 1 KHz, and 1 MHz). Such a unit of measure, even if approximate, and indicative, would certainly help put order into the chaos of SEO literature, through which I waded for more than a year, without quenching my thirst, or figuring out the head from the tail. This article is about defining precisely such a unit, with which I already started to work, and measure and hope to share it with the community, may it have the same utility to like-minded professionals and non-professionals.
The Three Construction Materials of a Web Site
As far as SEO is concerned, what is a web site made of? Well, to come into existence, you first need a Web Domain. Your domain name is the skeleton that will hold together all the remaining elements of your future web site. I assume you know what it is, but just in case, my example would be www.seo-superman.com (alright, you can take it if you want, at the time of this writing, it is a free domain name, wish you good luck). The web domain is your first construction material.
Once you have your domain name (say, you bought it from some web hosting provider), you have an empty web site with an embryonic root web page typically called index.html. The Web Page is your second construction material. If your web domain has no meaningful indexable terms, then you are still nowhere on the Google’s SEO radar.
As soon as you start creating meaningful content on your first root page, you have a chance to use words that are searchable by some human user looking for information through Google’s web browser search interface (if you are in England, that would be www.google.co.uk). If one or more of the consecutive (or not so consecutive) words in your web page are ‘searchable’, they become potential Search Keywords. The search keyword is the third and final SEO construction material.
DPK stands for Domain-Page-Keyword
Well by now you probably got it. We believe that a single search keyword, appearing on a single web page, hosted within a given internet domain IS THE fundamental unit of SEO. At least, it will be our fundamental unit until it fails some serious usability test as a unit of SEO measurement, analysis, reasoning, power, value, pricing, optimization … you name it. Let us then define a very important quantity, the Zero.
You are positioned at Zero DPK, if:
- Your domain name does not yet exist, or
- Your domain name (a) Exists, but (b) Has no indexable terms or keywords in it, and (c) Has an empty root page, or a root page with Zero Indexable Terms.
Without a domain name you do not exist on the web, that’s obvious. With the domain name and the hosting provider’s initial installation of your account, you are still at ground Zero SEO. If you dream to ‘become famous’, you have to earn your first DPK, by writing something. We can now define 1 DPK (let’s get used to it right now!).
Theoretically, as soon as you type (and put online of course) the first non-stop word in your root index.html page, you earn your first 1 DPK. Let’s say you are in the business of solar energy, you just got your web domain activated by your web provider, it’s late in the evening, and you decide to type the word ‘solar’ in that page and, overexcited but totally exhausted, you put the page online and go to sleep. Congratulations, modulo Google indexing, you have earned your first 1 DPK.
To see this, once you are indexed by Google, type the word ‘solar’ in the Google search interface, you will see the following at the top of the results page (French version):
Congratulations. Your root page is now one of 657 million web pages potentially viewable by internet users! Be positive, don’t despair, and take your time to celebrate your first 1 DPK. If you typed say ‘resume translation services’ in your root web page, you would have earned the following 7 DPKs (that’s right, you got it, it’s combinatorial):
- DPK_1 = Resume
- DPK_2 = Translation
- DPK_3 = Services
- DPK_4 = Resume Translation
- DPK_5 = Translation Services
- DPK_6 = Resume Services
- DPK_7 = Resume Translation Services
Any internet user searching for any of these 1-word and 2-word combinations, as well as the full original keyword, will have you on his Google search result list, even if you are millions of positions away from the top ones.
Long Live the DPK
In this article we defined the so-called DPK (remember, it stands for Domain-Page-Keyword unit) as the fundamental unit of measure of SEO. While we do hope the concept to catch on, and be used especially as an analysis tool, I will personally use it in my future articles, to introduce more ideas (to myself first and to the world at large afterwards), and reason about SEO. I am fully aware at this point, and before going any further, that it does not, and will not (or never) capture all the SEO factors and dimensions; remember always that Google’s search algorithm uses about 200 criteria. However, I do believe it might prove fundamental (as the title ‘modestly’ suggests) to reasoning about SEO from the point of view of the web site owner or that of web marketing professionals hired to push the given site to Google’s top ranks.
Your DPK capital can be measured by estimating the (searchable) keyword density per 1000 words (1 KWord) of published web content on your site, and then multiplying it by the total number of Kilo-words.