Feb 032012
SEO Cooking, episode 1: How to Chop an Onion (and do a little keyword targeting at the same time)

In the inaugural episode of the show we look at a reusable technique for the kitchen, and an equally extensible task in search engine optimization

By mastering the art of chopping an onion you will have learned something that will make you more efficient when approaching all sorts of chopping tasks. Similarly, determining which keywords you want to target in SEO is a fundamental technique which you can rinse and repeat in your approach to optimizing any site, small or large.

We hope you enjoy the video, and we'd love to hear what you think in the comments. You should also check out the complimentary post "How to Chop an Onion: The Lost Footage." To a certain extent, the footage that failed to make its way into the show is what really makes the point about reusabilty. Ooops!

Transcript (click to open/close)

Hi everyone! I'm Aaron Bradley and this is SEO Cooking!

Welcome to SEO Cooking, serving up tasty tidbits of kitchen advice, delicious recipes and scrumptious search engine optimization techniques and strategies.

Today, for the first episode we're going be looking at a kitchen fundamental that will serve you in all sorts of kitchen situations: how to chop an onion.

On the SEO side we are going to be taking a look at keyword targeting, which is a fundamental SEO skill that you will be able to use on any website that you are working on.

So: chopping an onion! If you look at the many websites we are now in competition for, for the keyword "how to chop an onion," you'll see that they advocate many "safe" onion chopping techniques. I use a classic, standard onion chopping technique which is not "all that safe". So beware, if you use this technique, be very careful. If you cut yourself, don't blame us, don't sue us – have fun but be careful.

You start with your onion, and one of the great things about this technique is that you start by taking off the top of the onion and then leaving the root on, and then cut lengthwise through it. This makes it very easy to peel the outer layers of the onion skin, much easier than if you chop the onion off on both ends because the root end keeps the onion intact.

Then you start by making 1 or 2 or 3 horizontal slits on your onion, holding it at the top so you are not slicing towards your finger, just make one cut there. Then a series of vertical cuts almost but not quite through to the root. And finally, turn your onion….

Isn't that easy! Amazing! A chopped onion! Just like that!

Now, looking at SEO situations, we've a similar thing with keyword targeting. It's a fundamental skill that can be applied to almost any website or resource that you are trying to rank highly for in the search engines. Indeed keyword targeting is essential, because if you don't know what you are going to rank for you are not going to have the same focus, you may be going after the wrong words. You really have to start every optimization adventure with keyword targeting.

Let me give you a couple of examples using this SEO Cooking episode "How to Chop an Onion." We did some fundamental keyword research using the Google keyword tool – we compared "how to chop an onion" and "how to cut an onion," both popular terms. All things being equal "how to chop an onion" is perhaps a bit more commonly used, but we also looked at competition numbers and we found that there 10.5 million competing pages in Google and 9.6 million competing pages in Bing for "how to cut an onion," but only 900,000 in Google and 3.7 million in Bing for "how to chop an onion."

So, all things being equal, we should have an easier time ranking for "how to chop an onion" rather than "how to cut an onion." So, how to "cut an onion," "cutting an onion" and "chopping an onion" all become our secondary keyword targets, but "how to chop an onion" is indeed our first target.

So, that's how to chop an onion and how to do some keyword targeting – both fundamental techniques that you can use in the kitchen and of course on websites for SEO, respectively.

Thanks for joining us. I'd also like to thank Keith Greene, Maria Dimas, Colleen Costello, my beautiful wife Donna Bradley!

Join us for another episode of SEO Cooking!

  5 Responses to “How to Chop an Onion”

  1. My most sincere congratulations for the birth of this new site merging two essential topics every modern gentleman should dominate at a minimum. Knowing your expertise in both my expectations are really high.

    Said that, let me add something: you can save the initial horizontal slits you make. The layered structure of onions plays in your favor and it will disassemble itself (probably not the right word but you know my limitations in that field) especially once you stir it while starting to get cooked in a pan or pot.

    This could safe some fingertips.


    • Thanks Ani! Point taken about the onion structure, though I think the horizontal slits are required when you want a fine chop or mince. However, they're critical if you use this technique for other non-layered vegetables, like ginger or (to a lesser degree) garlic.

  2. Awesome! :)

    But video is a bit slow….youtube hosting?

  3. Nice video Aaron, and perfect timing a few days before Super Bowl!

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