HomeAsian Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Researchvol. 6 no. 1 and 2 (2012)

A study on ranked non-optimized web page in the search engine for small and medium size accommodation operators

Christanilus Mosiun | Jennifer Kim Lian Chan



Eighty percent of Internet users prefer the search engine for locating information. Once presented with a search results list, seventy-three percent of the searchers will not go beyond page one. This paper discusses how a web page, not optimized to appear in the search engine for a particular search keyword, but attained page one ranking, could offer insights, and an opportunity for the SME in the accommodation sector to differentiate in the way a competitive advantage can be achieved and sustained in search engine marketing. Such a development came about when querying the search engine (Google) with a phrase seeking a lodge along the Kinabatangan River in Sabah. A case study strategy was employed to explore the "how" and "why." Themes were generated from web content text using an online program. Using a software with a semantic search facility, the same text was queried with the exact keyword phrase - and using the output, relevant themes from the former were identified. Findings suggested the theme(s) from the “above-the-fold” should be repeated throughout the entire page. Further, a web page’s high similarity measure with the query phrase did not necessarily portend higher ranking over lesser ones. There were indications of anchor texts from external sites, not replicating the exact search phrase, influencing the visibility of a web page in the search engine. The variables that affect visibility are probably numerous – not all are known. Conducting a case study on a phenomenon presents an opportunity to differentiate in the manner in which a competitive advantage can be achieved.