Search engine optimization, deconstructed, is better performance/exposure on search engines. Think of search engines like librarians. Librarians want to help people get information, impartial to whose brand of content serves a query. In order for librarians to refer a piece of content, they must use the card catalogue or content index. There, material is stored according to associations: tiles, author names, major subjects, minor headings, etc.
If a librarian does not do a good job in ‘logging’ a book or piece of content into the index, such will never serve interested parties. Therefore, a better job of indexing facilitates better exposure – that is SEO.
Here are a few ways to better understand and implement the process.
Spiders and Bots
Search engines, like Google, host spiders or bots that crawl millions of Web pages for indexation. The intelligence of bots are great yet limited. Coders and developers ensure pages are structured properly, speaking bot ‘language.’
Additionally, Web masters care to omit some material, instructing the bots to pass over specific information. Moreover, bots and spiders don’t ‘see’ pictures and video like humans; therefore, Web masters must ensure related content provides textual ‘clues’ related to pieces of media.
Links and Marketing
At this point, you may be wondering about search engine preferences. Above, it was suggested the ‘librarian’ offered information in an unbiased fashion. Search engines like Google rely on a number of search signals, such as links, to help gauge authority and value of information in regard to keywords, phrases, and ultimate needs and intentions of users. Outbound links let search engines know a Web master willingly leads others to a specific page and site.
From the search engines’ perspective, this is a positive vote or signal regarding the linked-to site. If that happens enough times, such as with popular news sites like the New York Times, the engine begins engineering a preference, holding that particular site in a higher regard than others. In addition to links and search engine positioning, users visit sites like Yelp and Yodle reviews to glean information about particular brands, products and services.
Remember how elementary school teachers were so fond of formatting and pre-writing structure? Such sentiments help with SEO. For example, let’s assume a given page is destined to provide information about a Nike shoe. We would want search engines to know the page is about sneakers, mens’ shoes, Nike, and running. Depending on the vendor, maybe Nike is just one affiliate.
Furthermore, the vendor sells other things, such as kitchen appliances. Therefore, the site structure may start with mens’ shoes > sneakers > running > Nike. More emphasis may be placed on the notion of mens’ shoes than Nike, the brand. Page URLs, titles, headings and sub-headings help direct readers, organize site folders, and provide intelligence to bots and search engine spiders.
SEO is not rocket science yet involves a number of concerns and elements. Even the best-written, compelling digital asset goes unnoticed if not indexed by major search engines. Ensure your SEO practices are ethical and abide by major-engine-provided best practices.