What is SEO and why would Google care about it?
Okay, so let’s take it backward…
Google’s goal is to give the reader/searcher the best experience possible and provide them with exactly what they need. Google makes information and content accessible to people from all over the world.
To make the purpose of SEO clear, we must first understand the motives behind it.
For starters, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
Optimization is basically setting up your site in such a way that Google can tell how valuable your content is. Therefore, quality SEO increases the chance of your site to rank high in Google search results.
It is very simple: Valuable content + Quality SEO + consistency = Google can tell that your site is valuable = thus it will make it rank higher so that it gives it’s readers what they ask for – and this way, everyone wins! Google keeps people on the platform and keeps them happy, by providing targeted results regarding their search. In addition, the readers are satisfied and have gotten what they came for, and your website makes money from the traffic generated by Google.
The only ones that lose in this case, are the thousands of people out there that create valuable content but don’t know how to optimize their sites, leaving them further down on page 10 of the search results… Which let’s face it – most of us don’t even reach near that. So, why do this to yourself? Investing your time into optimizing your site/blogs is one of the most vital components to success online.
How does Google identify quality content?
Given that we have clarified the importance of quality content, Google had to come up with methods of identifying which content is indeed valuable and worth pushing up to the top in the search results and which is not. And the way this is achieved is through the examination of variable factors – outlined later in this blog.
These ‘factors’ used by Google are purposely used by knowledgeable business owners/SEO experts in order to achieve success online.
The better and the more targeted the optimization, the higher the rank.
And as to why should you care about optimization… Optimization has the potential to generate traffic to your website without you having to pay for it. No ads needed, no paid promotions. Optimization brings you, potential customers, to your front door – just like that.
So let’s talk about the way that Google identifies if the content is good enough.
P.S. This is a whole new chapter and a very complex one to understand, so we will talk about the basics.
Keywords and SEO.
In the early 2000s, the density of related keywords used was possibly the biggest factor to drive traffic to your site, which traffic often converted into leads which in turn made you money.
However, Google has outsmarted its old method and made the concept of ranking a whole lot more complicated.
Keywords still matter, but they aren’t the determining factor for your success. It can be thought that Google acts as a matching machine, if you provide what the reader is searching for then you rank high. But that’s not all.
There are tons of other metrics that Google uses to determine whether or not your site is valuable enough to be ranked. It takes into consideration inbound and outbound links, it considers loading speed and how many people share your content on social media. Google checks how long your blog posts are, it considers the design of your site, and how easily it can be used (navigated), etc.
So, is it all about keywords? No.
Does content even matter? Oh Yes, it surely does.
But how can an internet service provider like Google, so intelligently, identify the metrics discussed above? Well, Google uses web crawlers (which are a piece of a program) that use the factors described above to copy webpages that seem valuable. These webpages are processed by the search engine which creates a list of them. And the list is your search results in order of best to worst.
Crawlers work in multiple ways and there are many factors they consider.
How do I optimize?
- By creating the content on your site in a way that is easy to read
- Building your site in a way that the user (and crawlers) can access the information they need easily and quickly through on-page and off-page SEO
- Through writing a blog or selling a product, creating content/selling something which people will find valuable. Try to provide solutions, give information, be thorough in what you write.
- Create unique content (ask yourself – what is my unique value proposition?)
- Research well your niche/target audience and use their language – what keywords do they search for? – How could you engage them with your content/product/service?
- Use Title tags and Meta descriptions using the words you aim to rank for – and also make them intriguing enough for someone to want to click on your site.
- Use analytics tools to help you track down your progress and which keywords have the greatest ‘demand’, and where did most of your visitors come from
- Make sure you minimize any technical errors, and you update your site regularly
- Try to get as many backlinks as possible. You can do this through networking, etc.
- Make sure your site’s loading speed is good – this is one of the most important components for ranking at the top of the search results
Biggest factors affecting ranking.
If we were, to sum up, the few biggest SEO factors affecting ranking, they would be the speed of your site, and the accessibility of your site. By accessibility, we mean how easily both crawlers and humans can find out what your site is all about.
Given the unbelievable speed of life these days – everyone needs to get to places fast, both physically and virtually.
So, one thing you sure want to do as a website owner is to provide value to your readers, fast.
And given how much the Internet industry has been growing the past decades, many vital components for success online, such as SEO, are constantly evolving … Raising the need of the industry to evolve proportionally with them.