So, What in The World is SEO?
Revised from 5/7/2018
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s an industry created just for obtaining higher ranking on the Search Engine’s search results pages. The fact is if your content includes the words people are using to search, that content will be more valuable than the content which doesn’t contain those words and so will the website that has that content in its page. They call those words “keywords”.
Since Google is the number one search engine, SEO’s are mostly patterned to get a higher ranking on Google searches. How does google, or in general search engines, do it? They have crawlers that scan the internet and gather all those contents and index them and when someone searches for any information, search engines can fetch any website that has that information and present them to that user in a list form. So how do the search engines know which website to put first or last?
Search engine crawlers operate by a set of rules called algorithm, the rules or ranking factors differs for different search engines but in general the major ones have been ranked by some experts as published by MOZ and reprinted below. Notice the three major ones are links, quality of links and quality of content. Of course, there are a lot more factors but these three comprise 55% of the total with link building being the most important.
These factors are refined further by search engines to weed out the most relevant result for their users. The more relevant the website is to the search term (keyword) the better the website’s position in the result pages. So what are links for?
Links and the quality of links tells search engines how authoritative is your website. In other words, how much of an expert your website is considered to be on the search term (keyword) or subject matter. So, the more links you have from other authoritative websites the more authoritative you become. There are other advantages of link building.
As you reach out to those authoritative websites to obtain a link and through conversations or emails you could start building closer relationships with the authoritative websites and it could elevated your website to be regarded higher which in itself is valuable.
A link from a frequently visited website could benefit you with more relevant traffic. More relevant traffic could result in more sales. Now that bring us to the content.
There is a good article to explain the link building and why it is important.
If your content is expertly written and of high quality, then other websites would want to link to it. Authoritative websites won’t link to low quality content since that could hurt their ranking. Quality content is defined by demand for that content. The higher the demand the higher is the quality of that content. In other words, there could be a higher demand for original content or content that goes deeper into its subject or is very popular or goes viral. The content could be any media like text, an image, a video or sound. If other websites don’t link to the content then it is very unlikely search engines would rank it.
Content is King
That statement is so true because everything is dependent on the content and its quality. No-one will link to it if poor quality. If no-one links to it, it is not authoritative and will not rank well. In this context quality means how the content is viewed by users as well as search engines. That means it has to be well written, unique and include the following:
- Subject in the title tag
- Subject in the URL
- Subject in image alt tag
- Subject in the body
So, why is it important to be ranked higher? So, what if your website is in the top 10 positions or not?
It is determined that most people will not go passed two pages of search results and most will stop halfway down the first page only. It figures that being true will impact the traffic to the website. If no-one or very few go beyond the first page then you would want to be in the top ten to get any traffic. It is considered the higher the traffic the more customers you will have or the more products you will sell which is the reason you have a website in the first place!
Google makes no secret of how they index or rank web sites. All the information is available on Google Search Console and help section. They have provided many pages telling everyone how to do it. You can search on Google and find all of that in a short time.
Search Engines really look for two things in ranking a website and they both take time to develop. Quality links and quality content. Google’s Quality Guidelines tell exactly what you should do. One thing you should not do is design your website for the sole purpose of Google rank. First and foremost, your website should be functional, beautiful and deliver your message to your users, then select appropriate keywords for your particular industry or market, then acquire quality links to your site. These take time and cannot be rushed.
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