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Better search engine optimization (SEO) by using hybrid modified multiple criteria decision-making (MCDM) models

For over a decade now, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been used by website administrators as the ultimate way to appear on the top research results. In this growing world of information, reaching the top ranks on major search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo has become more and more competitive (Dye, 2008). The fact that a few basic SEO guidelines and criteria are provided by those same actors is not serving each other’s cause : this unbridled rivalry between website administrators leads to unethical practices such as « black hat techniques » which are considered as a misappropriation of SEO with the duplication of content or keywords spamming for example (Aswani et al., 2018) . 

Due to complex algorithms, the different and already known criteria for a valuable appearance on the search results have changed over the past years. Therefore, the importance of a valid model has become essential in order to address those black hat techniques and to satisfy the user’s needs by improving the performances of administrators in terms of SEO. 

In their recent study, H.-J. Tsuei et al. (2018) have chosen to use a hybrid combination of models to determine a way to improve each others’ strategy for a better ranking in various search engine. The use of multiple criteria decision-making models (MCDM) allows a better and more optimal decision for  website administrators. Among them, we can find the DEMATEL (Decision-Making Trial And Evaluation Laboratory), which is globally employed to improve SEO strategies, the DANP (DEMATEL-based Analytic Network Process), giving the influential weights of the used criteria in this analysis and finally the VIKOR (VlseKriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje), allowing the evaluation of compromise ranking for achieving aspiration level. 

This MCDM study of the different correlations between chosen factors and their respective strengths reveals important recommandation in term of optimization. According to H.-J. Tsuei et al. (2018) , two dimensions can now be perceived in the SEO department. The first one is the internal website optimization. It is affected by the weight of three criteria : website design, meta tags and keywords. On the other hand, the second dimension, external website optimization, is defined by three other criteria : public domain, social media and linkage. Website administrators are recommended to first focus on them for a better search engine ranking. But individually taken, meta tags are considered as the most significant criteria, followed by keywords.

This evaluation of the search engine ranking is relevant for all type of search engine at a global scale. Further studies are welcome to complete the SEO research path, as this hybrid modified MCDM model is not permanent agains the never-ending changing machine learning algorithms.

1 Dye K (2008) Website abuse for search engine optimization. Netw Secur 2008(3):4–6

2 Aswani R, Kar AK, Ilavarasan PV, Dwivedi YK (2018) Search engine marketing is not all gold: insights from Twitter and SEOClerks. Int J Inf Manag 38(1):107–116 

3 H.-J. Tsuei, W.-H. Tsai, F.-T. Pan, and G.-H. Tzeng, “Improving search engine optimization (SEO) by using hybrid modified MCDM models,” Artif. Intell. Rev., 2018.

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