How do search engines work – SEO Basics?

The internet is like a huge library with billions of books. Search engines are like a super smart librarian.  You use your “search engine brain” to take their questions and return the appropriate material – the search results.  You have “read” and categorized all the books and have a system which gets the person the book (or in our case, a webpage) they want.

We give you help getting your websites pages in the best shape to be at the top of the list.

SEO Optimization

What do you do but if you lots of books with similar information?  You need to know which are the most relevant to the user’s query. It is not an easy job, and this job do search engines every day. Search engines need to scan the content of each web page – this process is called crawling or spidering. All information gathered is categorized, and arranged to be used when the user is asking questions.

Search engines use algorithms to find the right match, its their secret recipe – the same as Coca-Cola, McDonalds or KFC.  The company with the best recipe wins, and so do the users.  Google is currently the most used search engine, surpassing competitors such as: Bing & Yahoo.

Search engines algorithm

Back to the secret recipe.  As in many recipies – some of the components are known, like Coca-Cola…it is known to have water, caffeine, sugar and caramel coloring. But the proportions are also what makes it unique and possible secret ingredients.

Lets look at the SEO ingredients we know:

Page content

When we talk about the content of a page, we refer to the text.   Its what a search engine reads – it scans every word on the page for context, content and keywords and makes an idea what the page means.

Page title

Each web page has a titles – they are very important to the context of the page.  Search engines really look at the title – because it is what the user sees and tried to correlate that with the content of the page.  If they match – that is good.  People who read the site are happy and the search engines are happy – that’s a win.

Links

Links are the currency of the web.  Both internal (to other parts of its own site) and external (to other sites) links.  The more links a site has from external sites can be a clue to the linked to site being a good site.  People will not link to a site that is of no value.  This is one the early indicators Google used to determine good sites.

They borrowed the idea from publications and footnotes – it was a reference to more information on a subject and is a way of giving credit back to a source.  Same on the web.

Anchor Text

The words used to link tat text is also very important.  If you say here is a cool site about wigits…then that is a pretty good indication of what you will see on the next page.

Site reputation

Sites that offer fresh content that attracts interested visitors, and have a consistent number of links (links) quality [from other reputable sites] are considered reputable sites, or “quality” ones. We will ensure that your website is deemed as a quality one by all search engines out there.

What is an authority site?

Young people have no respect for authority now...

Young people have no respect for authority nowadays (Photo credit: Alexandre Dulaunoy)

Making an authority website should be the goal of any business that focuses on SEO. While it is possible for an ecommerce website with little content that is able to rank for a wide range of different high profile keywords, the goal needs to be the main information source for individuals looking for information about that particular niche. An authority site is typically an information hub, but it can fill a number of different roles, depending upon the needs of the business and it’s current SEO outlook. Typically, an authority site will contain some of the following characteristics.

Authority site: Definitive Information Provider

One thing that many authority sites have in common is the fact that it is a bonafide information provider for information that is related to the business’ particular industry. Typically, the more information contained on the website the better. Websites that are able to achieve status as an authority website are able to provide a wide range of information about any and all subjects related to their niche.

By looking at what other websites have done successfully, businesses that are interested in becoming an authority site will be able to learn how to go about structuring content and navigation to make the experience seamless for the end user, while also remaining search engine friendly.

Depending upon how broad a particular niche is, a site could be an authority website with just a few pages. Broader niches could require hundreds or thousands of pages to be a true authority. In example, if a particular niche focused on “Stock mufflers in Honda Civics,” that authority site might only need 10 to 15 pages to display all of the relevant information. However, if the website were focused on “Honda Civic Parts,” in general, there would be a lot more content required to provide well-rounded information on the subject as a whole.

Authority websites should strive to cover the entirety of their subject matter as wholly as possible. There can be dozens of websites considered to be an authority in the same niche, but those that are able to go above and beyond in terms of information quality and quantity are much more likely to position themselves as an authority site.

Keep in mind that there are no strict definitions of an authority site. There is no magical number of pages that needs to be reached in order to be considered one. Instead of setting limits and aiming for a certain number of pages, set goals for providing the best coverage of the subject matter within that niche.

Links

While it is not a necessity to be considered an authority site, a large majority of websites will have links from other authority sites within their niche. While links might not play the same prominent role in SEO as they once did, having a high quality inbound link profile still helps the website to rank and is required for most competitive keywords. A website can have the greatest content in the world, but if the website does not contain what the Google algorithm is looking for, it will never be able to rank. The goal of any would-be authority site should be to garner links from other authority sites within the niche. This signals to google that the website provides excellent information that is worth being linked to. The higher quality the website is that the link comes from, the better.

Additionally, would-be authority sites also need to make sure that they link to other high quality websites as well. Understanding link juice, how it flows from one page to another, and how to structure it’s outbound links for maximum effect is an important part of SEO. The business need to make sure that the website is linking to other high quality websites in its niche. An easy way to make sure that a website has appropriate outbound links is to link to sources for the information provided. If a particular website was used during article research, a link to that website would be appropriate and would help to establish professionalism as well.

Links allow websites to pass their Google authority from one page to another, and one site to another. This is commonly referred to as ‘link juice.’ A strong navigation system helps authority sites to pass this Google authority from one page to another on their own site. The outbound links allow the website to pass that authority on to other websites. Essentially, an outbound link is viewed as a vote of confidence for the websites that are linked to. This is applied in reverse for inbound links, meaning that the goal should be to garner as many votes of confidence as possible.

Expanded Content

One thing that can be noted by visiting authority sites is the fact that many of them offer expanded content, greatly helping their ranking authority. Expanded content refers to adding other, usually visual additions to the content so that it is more than just words on a page. Remember, half of the population learns better visually. For this reason, would-be authority websites should add images, videos, and info graphics that help to support the claims that are being made on the page.

By providing better information with expanded content types, the website is able to not only help users to better understand the information that is provided, but this also makes a website much more likely to garner links from other authority sites that find the content useful as well.

The ranking authority of a given website depends on a number of different factors. Not only should the website be the best provider of information in the given niche, but it should also have a solid SEO structure, links from other websites that are within the niche and considered to be authorities, and enough information to cover the entire niche as a whole.

Having an authority website can mean big returns for a business. No matter what style a website is published as, whether it is an e-commerce site, informational site, web magazine, or other type of website, that doesn’t stop them from offering a wealth of high quality information related to their subject matter. There is no set requirement that must be met to be an authority site, but there are certain considerations that need to be taken into account such as what subjects need to be covered. Building an authority site takes time, effort and knowledge, but can pay off big in the long term.

How Quality Articles Affect Your SEO Position

English: Opening chess position from black sid...

English: Opening chess position from black side. Français : Jeu d’échecs en début de partie, vu depuis le coté des noirs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the new updates that Google has implemented, it seems as people’s rankings dropped quite a lot – what can you do to get your website back to the top and how do you improve your SEO position?

SEO Position – Improving it is Not That Hard

Improving your SEO rankings is not that hard. Google has made it loud and clear that authority websites will always have the upper edge. The saying that content is king has yet to be proven false, and will probably remain so for a long time.

Writing good quality and unique content has been somewhat hard to do for many website owners, and many of them even outsource this tedious process. Hundreds and thousands of dollars go to writers every day, and to no surprise it seems, as quality content is that really helps improve your SEO position.

Is there no coming back after the latest Google updates? Many of you might think so, but that is hardly the case. Links can always be removed and articles can always be updated. Google loves fresh content, and there’s no better time to update your content than after the Penguin and Panda updates.

Is Unique Content that Important?

Is sure is – many experienced webmasters make the mistake of disregarding content and just throw whatever spun content they can find up on their website. Search engines do not go for quantity, they mostly want quality. Think about it, would you read a blog or an article that is mostly gibberish? Even if it had articles thousands of words long, even if it had hundreds of articles, all that wouldn’t matter to the average reader.

It’s all about your audience. Do not ever think your SEO position is not affected by your audience. That bounce rate you see on your analytics profile is something Google also takes into consideration when calculating your rankings. It’s common sense really – if people like your site it’s natural for them to browse through it, and even come back if they truly find helpful information on it. Google knows this, thus web pages with a lower bounce rate are usually the ones ranking in first position.

How can you get your audience hooked? As mentioned earlier, people like quality content. What is quality content? Well, if a piece of information helps me, then I consider that to be very valuable, thus increasing its quality. There isn’t much to this really; if you just rewrite redundant articles and throw them up on your website, don’t expect a large readership, as redundant and obsolete topics are not that popular.

Research is super important

Nobody can lecture on topics they have no clue about. If your selected niche is something you have no clue about, then you’re going to have a hard time. However, you can always find information about any subject, making it somewhat easier for you to write unique articles. Your Google rank will improve if and only if you provide your readership with valuable content and articles.

How to do your research thoroughly and how to make sure you don’t just copy older articles? Well, research is somewhat tricky. Original research involves going to various websites and skimming through their articles, noting down everything that might be useful and even drawing logical conclusions yourself. Connect the dots and voila, you have yourself a small guideline on how to write a great article.

Let’s say you want to write about dental insurance, but you have no knowledge on this subject whatsoever. Well, worry not, as any information you might need is just a click away. Do a quick search on Google about this subject and you can easily find out what you need.

Here’s a small list for what to look for when doing your research:

  • For products, look up their cost. Whether it’s a stuffed teddy bear or dental insurance, look average cost median of the product. Readers generally want to know how much a thing costs, so adding it to your articles will only add value to your website.
  • Guidelines: People love reading guidelines, so during your research try to incorporate them in your articles. How to obtain a product, how to improve your grammar, how to make money from home, etc. are all things that people want to know.
  • Don’t just visit one website for research. The more websites your visit, the more information you obtain, and adding all this information up will result in one hell of an article, thus increasing your SEO rank.
  • Always take note of interesting things. Whether in notepad or in a simple textbook, always make sure you note down everything you find and deem useful. Nobody expects you to remember everything you read, so having a notepad near you will be very useful.

Your SEO Position is Bound to Increase

Think about what other websites do to achieve those high rankings. Look at CNN, Wikipedia and Amazon; what do all these websites have in common? They are all high authority websites, of course, but not just that. They all provide people with a valuable service.

A valuable service can be anything from information to selling quality products. If you aren’t planning on selling anything on your website, then think about how you can add value to it through your writing. Pass on your knowledge to others, try to find topics that interest people and answer their questions on said topics. Wikipedia has been around longer than ever and is still ranked high, and that is because it is a renowned authority website that provides great content on merely any subject.

Webmasters should perhaps stop thinking about how to improve their SEO position for a second and try to focus on offering a great service for their audience. Quality websites are not built in a day, so make sure to be patient with yours, as it won’t get on the first page of Google in just one day.

Look at what other websites are doing and try to learn from them. How the sites are structured, what kind of service do they offer and what makes them indispensable? Try to answer these questions for each and every website and then figure out what your website should be offering. Keep in mind that people want information that is helpful and easy to understand.

Does SEO Work?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization, is a driving force to improve visibility of a blog or website on the Internet. Everyday hundreds of millions of web search takes place using various different keywords or keyword phrases for various reasons.  But – does seo work?

Why Is SEO Important?

Search engine optimization is a very powerful web marketing tool or technique used by website owners, bloggers, online business entities, advertising companies, online merchants and people in general who want to improve their online presence. If a person has a website with SEO friendly, high quality content on it then search engines will find and index the website quicker and rank it higher in search results pages than millions of other websites, simple as it is. SEO helps generate organic traffic from search engines.

Search engines crawl the web in order to find the best websites based on a keyword or keyword phrases, particularly looking at text in a website. Then according to the keyword density, originality and length of the content etc criteria the website or individual web pages get ranking at the search list. Page ranking can be varied from search engine search engine, but it works almost in pretty similar way. SEO makes sure that If you want organic traffic to your online business or your personal blog or website then search engine optimization is must.

Essentially, it takes a lot of hard work to get a website ranked high at first or top search engine results pages of a search engine. If a person does not know the SEO techniques their website will almost certainly be ranked at bottom of search engine results pages. That is why SEO is so important to rank a website higher in search engines.

Does SEO Work?

When people run a query on a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing what they get at first is a long list of search results relevant to their search query. They will usually visit websites or links that will appear at the top of the list to get more information related to the query. So, if anyone has ever wondered that why some websites show up at the first search results page of the search engines but other websites do not, then SEO or search engine optimization is the main reason for that.

The more and longer a website appears on the first SERPs of major search engines the more page views or visitors the website will generate. As a matter of fact, people come to a website simply by clicking that website link. A website link becomes popular through keywords rankings in search engines. SEO process can do that for the website.

If a website owner or business online cannot manage their SEO needs on their own, then hiring SEO ranks experts can be the best idea for them. The traffic generated through using web search is called organic traffic. Organic traffic is the key to generating more income from a blog, website or online store. So, for those webmasters or businesses online who want an answer to the question, “does SEO work”, the answer is yes.

SEO is one of the most powerful techniques used by successful website or blog owners to get more traffic to their websites. But a lot of bloggers, webmasters or do not know how to write SEO friendly content to generate more visitors to their websites. They ultimately turn to SEO experts to improve the searchability of their websites because of the huge demand in SEO services. There are many trustworthy SEO websites or companies with a highly skilled team of SEO experts to provide all kinds of SEO services tailored to each individuals or company’s specific needs.

How Does SEO Work?

Basically, SEO started as a straightforward process which used to rank websites based on how many times a keyword or keyword phrase was used in the websites. However, SEO has developed since then and is today based on many different factors.

The most integral SEO basics or component are the following:

  • Page Authority
  • Social Media
  • Anchor Text
  • Valuable Content Creation or Writing
  • Meta Tags and Meta Descriptions
  • Inbound Links (Backlinks)
  • Link Building
  • Article Directories Submissions

Keywords It is an imperative for individuals and businesses online to use SEO services and techniques to increase their blogs or websites visibility, preferably in the top search results pages in major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Without a good page ranking in a major search engine, a website will not be able to get much traffic on the Internet. Writing helpful and unique articles, blog posts and other online content using appropriate SEO keywords is the best way to get massive website visitors.

An expert SEO consultant or company is able to provide all kinds of SEO services a person or business needs for developing a professional website that will increase their online exposure greatly and increase sales. Therefore, it is important that whether it is a content-based blog or website or an e-commerce website, writing compelling and informative SEO content is crucial for the blog, website or e-commerce site to build traffic and make money. If anyone is still wondering, does SEO work, the answer is definitely yes. SEO is one of the most powerful Internet marketing techniques used to increase traffic to people’s blogs, websites, and online stores and other online entities.

Final Words

SEO is a very big factor for webmasters, bloggers, and online store or business owners, or to put it briefly for all the websites. SEO can improve their websites significantly, enhance online presence and save valuable time. A SEO optimized website will bring in more high quality traffic and turn them into more leads and generate more sales eventually. But SEO can also put a website and reputation at risk if it is used wrongly. That is why there is so much curiosity involving SEO.

Keyword in URL – FAQ

Having the keyword in the URL is very important to page SEO.

Keyword in URL Example:

http://seotesttool.com or http://tomaltman.com/keyword/

Keyword in URL Best Practices:

When choosing URL’s, it must have your keyword.  Ideally in the “main” prt of the URL, but if you are deep inside your site – the keyword needs to be present.

Example of the keywrod in the url.

Example of the keywrod in the url.

Keyword in URL Do’s:

  • Do make sure your keyword is in the URL – someplace.

What does it do?

Putting things in place with the keyword in URL – tells searchers and search engines what your page is about.  It gives visual representation when the searcher sees the keyword they are looking for in the search engine results.

Keyword in H1 – FAQ

The H1 tag is an HTML tag which is is used for “headers” – hence the “h”.

H1 Tag Example:

<h1>This is the best page.</h1>

H1 Tag Best Practices:

There should be one (1) and only one <h1> tag on a given webpage.  More than one, Google and other search engines will throw out your page as search SPAM.  Less than one, well – that is just not a very smart thing to do.  But either way – you must use the keyword in H1.

h1 tag

H1 Do’s:

  • Do make sure your keyword is in the H1 tag.  This is important…do not miss this step, ultimately important for SEO.
  • Do NOT have more than one H1 on a page.

What does it do?

The H1 tag is the engine of the page.  It is the place search engines go to verify the keyword it finds in the title tag.  When it finds it – it sets off through the page to see what it finds.From an SEO perspective, it is the second most important tag.

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