When working on SEO at Microsoft, link building is a somewhat easier challenge than it would be on smaller sites.  The Microsoft.com domain, along with it’s subdomains provide us with excellent opportunities to cross link content to increase it’s PageRank(Google)/StaticRank(Bing) rating.  But even a page with hundreds of high value links will generate low search volumes if the keywords used in it’s title and body are not what customers are searching for.

image Kumiko Takedo is our SEO champ for the Japanese Microsoft support website.  She has recently started some optimisation work on some Japanese consumer focussed help content.  The initial results from her work provide a great example of how effective keyword research alone can be in significantly increasing the number of referrals from search engines.

The Content…

Kumiko was trying to optimise the following content…

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958407/ja

The original title was PC とーく - "ローマ字入力" と "かな入力" を切り替えたい
which translates to PC-Talk – I want to switch Roman character input mode to Kana input mode

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/912312/ja

The original title was PC とーく - Windows XP でデスクトップにあった言語バーが消えた!?
which translates to PC-Talk - The language bar on my desktop disappeared in Windows XP!?

The Change…

Kumiko did some analysis in to both pages and used data from Google Adwords to compare the keywords in the title, to those which Japanese customers are commonly searching for.  As a result of this analysis she decided to change the two article titles to the following…

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958407/ja

The original title was 「ローマ字入力」 と 「かな入力」 の切り替え方法
which translates to How to switch Roman character input mode to Kana input mode

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/912312/ja

The original title was Windows XP で言語バーを表示したい
which translates to I want to display the language bar in Windows XP

The Result…

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958407/ja

Rank position in Yahoo and Google…

image

Purple line shows the referrals from Google…

image

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/912312/ja

Rank position in Yahoo…
image

That’s it…

SEO can be a complex game, but make sure you don’t forget the basics.

Author: Chris Moore is a Program Manager working on Search Engine Optimisation at Microsoft.  http://www.twitter.com/chrismdotcom

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