Search engine optimization
quickly and accurately, ideally within the top three hits. Search engine optimization (SEO) is
a means of making your article more visible to anyone who might be looking for it.
position in the list of results when a reader enters keywords into a search engine.
This makes it more likely that people will read your article. A strong correlation exists
between online hits and subsequent citations for journal articles.
We know that many readers start their research by using academic search engines such as
How do academic search engines work?
Many search engines have their own algorithms for ranking sites, some by ranking the relevance
of content and links to the site from other websites. Some search engines use metadata or
"meta-tagging" to assess relevant content. Most search engines, however, scan a page for keyword
phrases, which gives emphasis to phrases in headings and/or repeated phrases. The number
of other sites that link to a web page also indicates how that page is valued.
Please see the detailed guidelines provided by
Google Scholar here.
What can I do as an author or editor?
We know that the use of keywords helps to increase the chances of the article being
located, and therefore cited. Which words in your article are the most important? Put yourself in the
position of a reader. Which words might they type in to a search engine if they were looking for
something on your topic? Authors should know the key phrases for their subject area. Reference to
an established common indexing standard in a particular discipline is a useful starting point -
GeoRef, ERIC Thesaurus, PsycInfo, ChemWeb, and so on. There is further guidance on choosing keywords above.
The title and abstract you provide are also very important for
search engines. Some search engines will only index these two parts of your article. Your article
title should be concise, accurate, and informative. The title should be specific and it should
contain words that readers might be searching for. This will make it more likely that people will
find and read your article. Remember that you are writing for people as well as search engines!
And do not be tempted to over-optimize your article (as discussed in the first reference below).
The title must reflect the content of your article; if it does not, readers will be confused or
disappointed. The title must also be comprehensible to the general reader outside your field.
Where possible avoid abbreviations, formulae, and numbers. The following should also usually
be omitted: "Investigation of..."; "Study of..."; More about..."; "...revisited".
Think about how you can increase the number of people reading and citing your article
(see our detailed guidance here),
because the number of citations will influence where
it appears in the rankings. Link to the article once it is published, for example, from
your blog, via social networking sites, and from pages on your university website.
(Tips on promoting your article can be found here).
Beel, J. and Gipp, B. (2010)
Academic search engine spam and Google Scholar's resilience
against it, The Journal of Electronic Publishing, 13(3).
Beel, J., Gipp, B. and Wilde, E. (2010)
academic search engine optimization (ASEO): optimizing
scholarly literature for Google Scholar and Co., Journal of Scholarly Publishing,
41(2), pp. 176–190
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