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SEO In 5 Minutes | What Is SEO And How Does It Work | SEO Explained | SEO Tutorial | Simplilearn
What is SEO and how it works?
Well, SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’, which is the process of getting traffic from free, organic, editorial, or natural search results in search engines. It aims to improve your website’s position in search results pages. Remember, the higher the website is listed, the more people will see it.
What is SEO in simple words?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results.
What are examples of SEO?
- Keyword optimization. First is keyword optimization. …
- Optimizing on-page elements. …
- Improving the backend of your site. …
- Creating user-friendly pages. …
- Creating content. …
- Building links. …
- Analyzing your competition. …
- Optimizing for voice search.
What are the 4 types of SEO?
- On-Page SEO. On-page SEO, also sometimes referred to as on-site SEO, is the process of optimizing the content on your website. …
- Off-Page SEO. Off-page SEO is pretty much everything that does not happen on your website. …
- Technical SEO. …
- Local SEO.
How do beginners do SEO?
- Crawl accessibility so engines can read your website.
- Compelling content that answers the searcher’s query.
- Keyword optimized to attract searchers & engines.
- Great user experience including a fast load speed and compelling UX.
How do I SEO my website?
- Analyze all of your website data. …
- Conduct thorough keyword research. …
- Produce long and value-rich content. …
- Optimize for on-page SEO. …
- Optimize for off-page SEO. …
- Optimize the website for mobile. …
- Speed up the pages. …
- Get quality backlinks.
Is SEO easy to learn?
The answer is simple. Learning SEO is hard because there is a lot of information to read about search engines and how the optimization process works, and this can be overwhelming at first.
What are SEO tools?
SEO tools provide data and alerts about the overall health and success of your website. They help uncover areas of opportunity and identify weaknesses or issues that may prevent you from ranking and earning visibility in the SERPs. Just as actual tools each have a specific role, the same is true in SEO.
Is SEO free?
Ubersuggest is a free SEO tool that helps users generate new keywords and content ideas. This tool will give you a high-level overview of the keyword you’re searching for.
What is difference between SEO and digital marketing?
SEO is a Digital Marketing Tool.
Search engine optimization focuses primarily on the ranking of a website. Digital marketing aims to boost and promote the brand via different digital channels like websites, social media, emails, etc.
How is SEO done?
SEO works by making certain changes to your website design and content that make your site more attractive to a search engine. You do this in hopes that the search engine will display your website as a top result on the search engine results page.
How do you write SEO?
- Create a search engine friendly title. Include 1-2 keywords related to your topic. …
- Optimize your abstract. Place essential findings and keywords in the first two sentences of your abstract. …
- Use keywords throughout your article. …
- Be consistent. …
- Build links.
What are the two techniques of SEO?
- White Hat SEO – Techniques that search engines recommend as part of a good design.
- Black Hat SEO – Techniques that search engines do not approve and attempt to minimize the effect of. These techniques are also known as spamdexing.
Is SEO good for website?
Today, SEO is an essential part of any marketing strategy. So, to answer the question of, “what is SEO in marketing?,” the simplest explanation is that it’s the best way to improve your online visibility and reach consumers as they’re actively searching for information.
What type of SEO is best?
Effective on-page SEO is built on high-quality, informative content. And not just slightly informative—content that’s really going to rank well has to solve problems that no other pages are solving (or, at the least, solve those problems better than other available resources).
How SEO works step by step?
- Step #1: Create a List of Keywords.
- Step #2: Analyze Google’s First Page.
- Step #3: Create Something Different or Better.
- Step #4: Add a Hook.
- Step #5: Optimize For On-Page SEO.
- Step #6: Optimize For Search Intent.
- Step #7: Focus on Content Design.
- Step #8: Build Links to Your Page.
How is SEO done?
SEO works by making certain changes to your website design and content that make your site more attractive to a search engine. You do this in hopes that the search engine will display your website as a top result on the search engine results page.
Is SEO better than Google ads?
Key PPC vs. SEO take-aways
Improvements to SEO can help your website rank higher on Google Search by making it more relevant to users, while PPC ads like Google Ads are paid online advertisements which allow businesses and website owners like you to bid on the chance to show an ad next to searches on Google.com.
How do you do Google SEO yourself?
- Make your site interesting and useful.
- Know what your readers want (and give it to them)
- Act in a way that cultivates user trust.
- Make expertise and authoritativeness clear.
- Provide an appropriate amount of content for your subject.
- Avoid distracting advertisements.
- Use links wisely.
Bạn có thể tham khảo thêm thông tin về chủ đề what is seo tại đây:
What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for …
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices – Moz
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search …
Search engine optimization – Wikipedia
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide – Google …
SEO – Search engine optimization: the process of making your site better for search engines. Also the job title of a person who does this for a living: We …
What is search engine optimization (SEO)? – TechTarget
Search engine optimization is the science of improving a website to increase its visibility when people search for products or services. The more visibility a …
What is SEO and how does it work? | Blog – Digital Marketing …
Well, SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’, which is the process of getting traffic from free, organic, editorial, or natural search …
What is SEO? The 2022 Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the process of improving your site’s organic traffic and ranking on search engines such as Google, …
What is SEO? Basics of Search Engine Optimization – Mailchimp
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of orienting your website to rank higher on a search engine results page (SERP) so that you receive more …
What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization Explained – Ahrefs
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing a website or webpage to increase the quantity and quality of its traffic from …
Thông tin liên quan về chủ đề what is seo
SEO is an abbreviation for “search engine optimization.” In layman’s terms, it refers to the process of improving your website in order to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your company on Google, Bing, and other search engines. The higher your pages appear in search results, the more likely you are to attract attention and attract new and existing customers to your business.
Expert SEO Advice & Daily SEO News
Search Engine Land publishes daily articles from expert contributors that cover SEO issues primarily from an in-the-trenches perspective, in addition to daily news stories from our editorial staff.
Browse the SEO Channel for the latest SEO news and expert columns. Subscribe to Search Engine Land’s daily email newsletter, which includes a roundup of search marketing news as well as exclusive analysis and insights.
How do I go about learning SEO?
Keep an eye out for our updated 2021 SEO Periodic Table, which will debut at SMX Advanced on June 15th!
Our Periodic Table Of SEO Factors will introduce you to all the key concepts you need to know, including the elements for successful on-page and off-page SEO, as well as the “Toxins” or tactics that can harm your rankings, for a helpful dive into SEO.
The table and accompanying report also examine three search niches:
SEO for local businesses
SEO for Publishing/NewsEcommerce SEO
This guide to SEO is built on the Periodic Table of SE O Factors. These resources will help you learn about SEO and inform your success strategy.
What is the process of SEO?
Bots are used by search engines such as Google and Bing to crawl web pages, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages, and indexing them. Consider the index to be a massive library where a librarian can retrieve a book (or a web page) to assist you in finding exactly what you’re looking for at the time.
Following that, algorithms analyze pages in the index, taking hundreds of ranking factors or signals into account, to determine the order in which pages should appear in search results for a given query. In our library analogy, the librarian has read every book in the library and knows which one will have the answers to your questions.
Our SEO success factors can be thought of as proxies for user experience aspects. It’s how search bots determine how well a website or web page can provide the searcher with what they’re looking for.
You cannot pay search engines to get higher organic search rankings, unlike paid search ads, so SEO experts must put in the effort. This is where we step in.
Our Periodic Table of SEO Factors categorizes the factors and weights them based on their overall importance to SEO. Content quality and keyword research, for example, are important factors in content optimization, and crawlability and speed are important site architecture factors.
The newly updated SEO Periodic Table also includes a list of Toxins that are detrimental to SEO best practices. These are shortcuts or tricks that may have been sufficient to ensure a high ranking when the engines’ methods were much less sophisticated. And they might even work for a little while longer — at least until you get caught.
We’ve also added a new Niches section that delves into the SEO success factors for three key niches: local SEO, news/publishing SEO, and ecommerce SEO. While our overall SEO Periodic Table will guide you through the best practices, understanding the nuances of SEO for each of these Niches will help you succeed in search results for your small business, recipe blog, and/or online store.
The search algorithms are intended to surface relevant, authoritative pages while also providing users with an efficient search experience. Keeping these factors in mind when optimizing your site and content can help your pages rank higher in search results.
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See also terms.
Search Engine Land’s SEO Guide
Search Engine Land’s Gue To SEO, a companion to our Periodic Table of SEO Factors, walks you through the fundamentals of optimizing for search so you can develop a sol strategy to drive organic traffic to your site.
In the gue below, we explain these factors in greater detail and highlight tactical SEO tips from experts that will help your website get more visitors from organic search.
SEO Library at Search Engine Land
In addition to general SEO coverage, Search Engine Land has search engine optimization sections dedicated to the major search engines:
What is the significance of SEO in marketing?
Because people conduct trillions of searches each year, often with commercial intent to find information about products and services, SEO is a critical component of digital marketing. Search is frequently the primary source of digital traffic for brands, supplementing other marketing channels. Greater visibility and higher ranking in search results than your competitors can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
However, search results have evolved in recent years to provide users with more direct answers and information that is more likely to keep users on the results page rather than driving them to other websites.
Also, features in search results such as rich results and Knowledge Panels can increase visibility and provide users with more information about your company directly in the results.
To summarize, SEO is the foundation of a comprehensive marketing ecosystem. When you understand what your website visitors want, you can apply that knowledge to your campaigns (paid and organic), website, social media properties, and more.
Get SEO Advice & News Delivered To Your Inbox
Subscribe to our daily brief newsletter for a roundup of all the latest SEO-related news, tips, and tactics from Search Engine Land and other websites.
SEO is an abbreviation for search engine optimization, which is a set of practices aimed at improving the visibility and positioning of web pages in organic search results. Because organic search is the most commonly used method for people to discover and access online content, a good SEO strategy is critical for increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.
What is the process of SEO?
Crawlers, also known as bots or spers, are used by search engines such as Google and Bing to gather information about all of the content available on the internet. The crawler begins with a well-known web page and proceeds to follow internal links to pages within that site as well as external links to pages on other sites. The content on those pages, as well as the context of the links it followed, assist the crawler in understanding what each page is about and how it is semantically connected to all of the other pages in the search engine’s massive database, referred to as an index.
When a user types or speaks a query into the search box, the search engine employs sophisticated algorithms to generate what it believes to be the most accurate and useful set of results for that query. Organic results may include text-heavy web pages, news articles, images, videos, local business listings, and other more specialized types of content.
There are numerous factors that go into search engine algorithms, and those factors are constantly evolving to keep up with changing user behavior and advances in machine learning. Here’s how a panel of experts ranked their significance:
SEOs use their knowledge of these ranking factors to create and implement search marketing strategies that incorporate a mix of on-page, off-page, and technical best practices. A company that wants to earn and keep high SERP rankings and, as a result, a lot of high-quality user traffic should use a strategy that prioritizes user experience, uses non-manipulative ranking tactics, and evolves with search engines’ and users’ changing behaviors.
While other digital marketing practices such as conversion rate optimization (CRO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media management, email marketing, and community management are often closely related to SEO, the scope and definition of traditional search marketing are generally beyond the scope and definition of these other tactics. If you want to learn more about any of these topics, the Moz Blog has categories for all of them, as well as others.
Moz Pro allows you to track and measure your SEO progress.
The research tools and SEO analytics provided by Moz Pro assist you in taking your site to the next level. Take advantage of our 30-day free trial and see what you can accomplish:
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What is the significance of SEO?
Let’s divide our definition of SEO into three parts to better understand its importance:
Organic search results: unpaid listings on a search engine results page (SERP) determined by the search engine to be most relevant to the user’s query. Ads (also known as PPC or pay-per-click ads in this context) dominate many SERPs. Organic search results differ from these ads in that they are positioned based on the organic ranking algorithms of the search engine rather than advertiser bs. You cannot pay to rank higher in organic search results.
Organic traffic quality: how relevant the user and their search query are to the content on your website. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they come to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when you’re actually a farmer selling apples, those visitors are likely to leave without converting. Only visitors who are genuinely interested in the products, information, or other resources your site provides constitute high-quality traffic. High-quality SEO takes advantage of a search engine’s efforts to match a user’s search intent to the web pages listed in the SERP. Organic traffic quantity: the number of users who arrive at your site via organic search results. Users are far more likely to click on search results that appear near the top of the SERP, so use your SEO strategy to rank relevant pages as high as possible. The more high-quality visitors you attract to your site, the more likely it is that valuable conversions will increase.
We recommend making a copy of, personalizing, and sharing this presentation on the basics and value of SEO if you are an agency or in-house SEO looking for resources to educate your clients or company stakeholders about search marketing.
Where can I learn about SEO best practices?
Moz has the best SEO learning resources on the web. Start at the beginning and read the updated Beginner’s Guide to SEO if you’re completely new to the world of search marketing. Check out all of our learning options below if you need advice on a specific topic or want to explore more content for all levels of expertise.
You’ve arrived! Explore free articles like this one on a variety of topics, from SEO basics to local search to mobile and international site strategies. The Learning Center is divided into topics for easy navigation, and each article includes links to additional content that you may find useful along the way.
Moz Academy offers an extensive catalog of on-demand coursework led by expert instructors and designed with hands-on learning in mind for those serious about investing in their SEO education. We offer the opportunity to earn valuable industry credentials with our world-certifications in SEO Essentials and Technical SEO, in addition to a variety of courses for all skill levels.
Our SEO guides on everything from auditing your site for technical success to hiring the best SEO managers are written and compiled by the industry’s top experts and are available for free.
The Moz Blog, long regarded as one of the most valuable places on the internet for SEO information, is easy to navigate by category and includes contributions from industry experts. The blog hosts our popular Whiteboard Fray series, as well as valuable updates on all aspects of SEO several times per week.
Our webinar series features talks by Moz’s team of subject matter experts on the most recent innovations in search marketing. It’s an on-demand marketing conference experience.
Moz’s Q&A Forum, powered by our community of 500,000+ digital marketers, contains hundreds of thousands of SEO questions and answers from real people like you. Join the community and post your own question, or browse discussions on topics ranging from Moz tools to other aspects of marketing.
Your SEO success story begins right here. Happy studying!
The term “SEO” redirects here. See SEO for more information.
Increase your online visibility in search engine results pages.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic from search engines to a website or web page.
 SEO focuses on unpa traffic (also known as “natural” or “organic” results) rather than direct or pa traffic. Unpa traffic can come from a variety of sources, including image searches, video searches, academic searches, news searches, and industry-specific vertical search engines.
As a method of Internet marketing, SEO is concerned with how search engines function, the computer-programmed algorithms that govern search engine behavior, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords entered into search engines, and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. SEO is done because websites that rank higher on search engine results pages receive more visitors from search engines (SERP). These visitors may then be converted into customers. 
In terms of marketing strategy
SEO is not appropriate for every website, and other Internet marketing strategies, such as pay per click (PPC) campaigns, may be more effective, depending on the site operator’s goals. Search engine marketing (SEM) is the process of creating, managing, and optimizing search engine advertising campaigns. Its distinction from SEO is best illustrated by the distinction between pa and unpa priority ranking in search results. SEM emphasizes prominence over relevance; website developers should prioritize SEM in terms of visibility because most users navigate to the top results of their search.  Building high-quality web pages to engage and persuade internet users, setting up analytics programs to allow site owners to measure results, and improving a site’s conversion rate can all contribute to a successful Internet marketing campaign.  Google released a full 160-page version of its Search Quality Rating Guidelines to the public in November 2015, revealing a shift in their focus towards “usefulness” and mobile local search. As StatCounter discovered in October 2016 after analyzing 2.5 million websites and discovering that 51.3 percent of the pages were loaded by a mobile device, the mobile market has exploded in recent years, overtaking the use of desktops.  Google is one of the companies taking advantage of the popularity of mobile usage by encouraging websites to use their Google Search Console, the Mobile-Friendly Test, which allows businesses to compare their websites to search engine results and determine how user-friendly their websites are. The more closely related the key words are, the higher their ranking will be based on key terms.  SEO may provide a sufficient return on investment. Search engines, on the other hand, do not pay for organic search traffic, their algorithms change, and there are no guarantees of continued referrals. Because of this lack of certainty and uncertainty, a company that relies heavily on search engine traffic may suffer significant losses if the search engines cease sending visitors.  Search engines’ algorithms can change, affecting a website’s search engine ranking and potentially resulting in a significant loss of traffic. According to Eric Schmt, Google’s CEO, Google made over 500 algorithm changes in 2010 – nearly 1.5 per day.  It is considered good business practice for website owners to wean themselves off of reliance on search engine traffic.  In addition to web crawler accessibility (as discussed above), user web accessibility has become increasingly important for SEO.
As the first search engines cataloged the early Web, webmasters and content providers began optimizing websites for search engines in the mid-1990s. Initially, all webmasters had to do was submit a page’s address, or URL, to the various engines, which would then send a web crawler to crawl that page, extract links to other pages from it, and return information found on the page to be indexed.  A search engine spider will download a page and save it on the search engine’s own server. An indexer is a second program that extracts information about the page, such as the words it contains, where they are located, and any weight for specific words, as well as all links on the page. All of this data is then stored in a scheduler for crawling at a later time.
The value of a high ranking and visibility in search engine results was recognized by website owners. creating a chance for both white and black hat SEO professionals According to industry analyst Danny Sullivan, the term “search engine optimization” first appeared in 1997. Bruce Clay, according to Sullivan, was one of the first to popularize the term.  Early search algorithms relied on information provided by webmasters, such as the keyword meta tag or index files in engines like ALIWEB. Meta tags provide a link to the content of each page. However, using metadata to index pages was discovered to be less than reliable because the webmaster’s selection of keywords in the meta tag could potentially be an inaccurate representation of the site’s actual content. Flawed data in meta tags, such as those that were not accurate, complete, or falsely attributes, increased the possibility of pages being misclassified in irrelevant searches.  [doubtful – debate] In order to rank well in search engines, web content providers also manipulated some attributes within a page’s HTML source.  By 1997, search engine designers realized that webmasters were working hard to rank well in their search engines, and that some webmasters were even manipulating their rankings in search results by stuffing pages with irrelevant or excessive keywords. Altavista and Infoseek were early search engines that changed their algorithms to prevent webmasters from manipulating rankings.  Because early search engines relied heavily on factors like keyword density, which were entirely within a webmaster’s control, they were subject to abuse and ranking manipulation. Search engines had to adapt to ensure their results pages showed the most relevant search results, rather than unrelated pages stuffed with numerous keywords by unscrupulous webmasters, in order to provide better results to their users. This meant shifting away from a reliance on term density and toward a more holistic approach to scoring semantic signals.  Because a search engine’s success and popularity are determined by its ability to produce the most relevant results to any given search, poor quality or irrelevant search results may lead users to other search sources. Search engines responded by developing more complex ranking algorithms that took into account additional factors that webmasters found more difficult to manipulate.
Companies that use overly aggressive techniques risk having their clients’ websites removed from search results. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2005 on a company called Traffic Power that allegedly used high-risk techniques while failing to disclose those risks to its clients.  According to Wired magazine, the same company sued blogger and SEO Aaron Wall for writing about the ban.  Google’s Matt Cutts later confirmed that Traffic Power and some of its clients had been banned.  Some search engines have also reached out to the SEO industry, serving as sponsors and speakers at SEO conferences, webchats, and seminars. Major search engines provide data and guidelines to assist with website optimization.   Google has a Sitemaps program that assists webmasters in learning if Google is having issues indexing their website and also provides data on Google traffic to the website.  Bing Webmaster Tools allows webmasters to submit a sitemap and web feeds, as well as determine the “crawl rate” and track the index status of web pages.
Google was reported to be developing and promoting mobile search as a key feature in future products in 2015. As a result, many companies began to change their Internet marketing strategies. 
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two graduate students at Stanford University, created “Backrub” in 1998, a search engine that used a mathematical algorithm to rank the importance of web pages. PageRank is a number calculated by the algorithm as a function of the number and strength of inbound links.  PageRank calculates the likelihood that a given page will be visited by a random web surfer who follows links from one page to another. In practice, this means that some links are more powerful than others, because a page with a higher PageRank is more likely to be visited by a random web surfer.
Google was founded in 1998 by Page and Brin.
 Google gained a devoted following among the growing number of Internet users who appreciated its straightforward design.  Off-page factors (such as PageRank and hyperlink analysis) were considered alongside on-page factors (such as keyword frequency, meta tags, headings, links, and site structure) to allow Google to avoid the type of manipulation seen in search engines that only consider on-page factors for ranking. Although PageRank was more difficult to manipulate, webmasters had already developed link building tools and schemes to influence the Inktomi search engine, and these methods proved equally applicable to manipulating PageRank. Many sites specialized in exchanging, buying, and selling links on a large scale. Some of these schemes, known as link farms, involved the creation of thousands of sites solely for the purpose of spamming links.  By 2004, search engines had incorporated a number of unknown factors into their ranking algorithms in order to mitigate the impact of link manipulation. According to The New York Times’ Saul Hansell in June 2007, Google ranks sites using more than 200 different signals.  Google, Bing, and Yahoo do not publicly disclose the algorithms they use to rank pages. Some SEO practitioners have researched various approaches to search engine optimization and shared their personal perspectives.  Patents relating to search engines can provide data that can be used to better understand search engines.  Google began personalizing search results for each user in 2005. Google crafted results for logged in users based on their previous search history.  Google launched a campaign against pa links that transfer PageRank in 2007.
 On June 8, 2010, Google Caffeine, a new web indexing system, was announced. Google Caffeine was a change to the way Google updated its index in order to make things show up on Google faster than before. It was designed to allow users to find news results, forum posts, and other content much sooner after publishing than before. “Caffeine proves 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our previous index,” said Carrie Grimes, the software engineer who announced Caffeine for Google.  In late 2010, Google Instant, real-time search, was introduced in an attempt to make search results more timely and relevant. Site administrators have traditionally spent months, if not years, optimizing a website to improve search rankings. With the increased popularity of social media sites and blogs, the major search engines modified their algorithms to allow new content to rank quickly in search results.  Google announced the Panda update in February 2011, which penalizes websites that contain duplicate content from other websites and sources. Historically, websites copied content from one another and benefited in search engine rankings as a result. However, Google has implemented a new system that penalizes sites with duplicate content.  Google Penguin 2012 attempted to penalize websites that used manipulative techniques to improve their search engine rankings.  Although Google Penguin has been marketed as a web spam-fighting algorithm, it actually focuses on spammy links by assessing the quality of the sites from which the links originate. Google Hummingbird, released in 2013, included an algorithm change intended to improve Google’s natural language processing and semantic understanding of web pages. Hummingbird’s language processing system falls under the newly recognized term “conversational search,” in which the system pays more attention to each word in the query rather than a few words in order to better match the pages to the meaning of the query.  In terms of search engine optimization changes, Hummingbird is intended to resolve issues for content publishers and writers by removing irrelevant content and spam, allowing Google to produce high-quality content and rely on them to be ‘trusted’ authors.
Google announced in October 2019 that it would begin using BERT (Birectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) models for English language search queries in the United States. BERT was Google’s second attempt to improve natural language processing, this time to better understand their users’ search queries.  In terms of search engine optimization, BERT aimed to make it easier for users to find relevant content and to improve the quality of traffic to websites that rank high in search engine results pages.
The optimization techniques used are specifically tailored to the dominant search engines in the target market.
The market shares of search engines vary by market, as does competition.
Danny Sullivan stated in 2003 that Google accounted for roughly 75% of all searches.
 Google’s market share is often greater in markets other than the United States, and Google remains the world’s dominant search engine as of 2007.  Google had an 85–90% market share in Germany in 2006.  While the United States had hundreds of SEO firms at the time, Germany had only about five.  According to Hitwise, Google had a nearly 90 percent market share in the United Kingdom as of June 2008.  This market share has been attained in a number of countries.
As of 2009, Google was the leading search engine in only a few large markets. In most cases, when Google is not the market leader, it is trailing a local player. The most notable example markets are China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the Czech Republic, where market leaders are Bau, Yahoo! Japan, Naver, Yandex, and Seznam.
Professional translation of web pages, registration of a domain name with a top level domain in the target market, and web hosting with a local IP address may be required for successful search optimization for international markets. Otherwise, regardless of language, the fundamental elements of search optimization are essentially the same. 
Precedents in the law
On October 17, 2002, SearchKing filed a lawsuit against Google in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Google’s anti-spamdexing tactics, according to SearchKing, constituted a tortious interference with contractual relations. The court granted Google’s motion to dismiss the complaint on May 27, 2003, because SearchKing “failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.”   KinderStart filed a lawsuit against Google in March 2006 over search engine rankings. Prior to the lawsuit, KinderStart’s website was removed from Google’s index, and traffic to the site dropped by 70%. On March 16, 2007, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Jose Division) dismissed KinderStart’s complaint without leave to amend and granted Google’s motion for Rule 11 sanctions against KinderStart’s attorney, ordering him to pay a portion of Google’s legal fees.  
When a site is indexed, spers examines which sites link to which other sites, with arrows representing these links. Websites with more inbound links, or stronger links, are assumed to be more important and relevant to the user’s search. In this case, because website B has received numerous inbound links, it ranks higher in a web search. And the links “carry through,” so that website C, despite having only one inbound link, has one from a highly popular site (B), whereas site E does not. Take note that percentages are rounded. Search engines rely on complex mathematical algorithms to determine which websites a user is looking for. In this diagram, where each bubble represents a website, programs calledexamine which sites link to which other sites, represented by arrows. Websites with more inbound links, or stronger links, are assumed to be more important and relevant to the user’s search. In this case, because website B has received numerous inbound links, it ranks higher in a web search. And the links “carry through,” so that website C, despite having only one inbound link, has one from a highly popular site (B), whereas site E does not. Take note that percentages are rounded. Crawlers are used by leading search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo! to find pages for their algorithmic search results. Pages linked from other search engine indexed pages do not require submission because they are discovered automatically. Both the Yahoo! Directory and DMOZ, two major directories that shut down in 2014 and 2017, required manual submission and human editorial review.  In addition to their URL submission console, Google Search Console provides an XML Sitemap feed that can be created and submitted for free to ensure that all pages are found, particularly those that are not discoverable by automatically following links.  Yahoo! used to offer a pa submission service that guaranteed crawling for a fee per click; however, this practice was discontinued in 2009.
When crawling a site, search engine crawlers may consider a variety of factors. Search engines do not index every page. The distance of pages from a site’s root directory may also play a role in whether or not pages are crawled.  Most people now use a mobile device to search on Google.
 In November 2016, Google announced a significant change in the way they crawl websites and began making their index mobile-first, which means that the mobile version of a given website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index.  Google updated their crawler’s rendering engine in May 2019 to the most recent version of Chromium (74 at the time of the announcement). Google stated that the Chromium rendering engine would be updated on a regular basis to the most recent version.  In December 2019, Google began updating their crawler’s User-Agent string to reflect the most recent Chrome version used by their rendering service. The delay was intended to give webmasters enough time to update their code that responded to specific bot User-Agent strings. Google conducted evaluations and concluded that the impact would be minor. 
Keeping crawling at bay
Webmasters can instruct spers not to crawl specific files or directories through the standard robots.txt file in the domain’s root directory to avoid undesirable content in search indexes. Furthermore, a page can be explicitly excluded from a search engine’s database by using a robots meta tag (usually ). When a search engine visits a site, the first file crawled is robots.txt in the root directory. The robots.txt file is then parsed, instructing the robot on which pages should not be crawled. Because a search engine crawler may keep a cached copy of this file, it may crawl pages that a webmaster does not want crawled on occasion. Login-specific pages, such as shopping carts, and user-specific content, such as search results from internal searches, are typically not crawled. Google warned webmasters in March 2007 that internal search results should not be indexed because they are considered search spam.  Google decommissioned the standard (and open-sourced their code) in 2020, and it is now treated as a hint rather than a directive. A page-level robot’s meta tag should be included to ensure that pages are not indexed. 
A variety of techniques can be used to increase the prominence of a webpage in search results. Cross-linking between pages on the same website to demonstrate more links to important pages may increase the visibility of the website. Users trust a site’s page design and want to stay once they find it. When people leave a website, it counts against the site and damages its credibility.  Writing content with frequently searched keyword phrases in order to be relevant to a wide range of search queries will increase traffic. Updating content to keep search engines crawling back frequently can give a site extra weight. Including relevant keywords in the metadata of a web page, including the title tag and meta description, tends to improve the relevancy of a site’s search listings, resulting in increased traffic. URL canonicalization of web pages accessible via multiple URLs, using the canonical link element or 301 redirects, can help ensure that links to different versions of the URL all contribute to the page’s link popularity score. These are known as incoming links, which point to the URL and can contribute to the popularity score of the page link, influencing the credibility of a website.  In addition, Google has recently prioritized the following elements for SERP (Search Engine Ranking Position).
Version HTTPS (Secure Site)
Structured Data Page Speed Mobile Compatibility
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
Techniques of the white hat versus the black hat
SEO techniques are divided into two categories: those that search engine companies recommend as part of good design (“white hat”) and those that search engines do not approve of (“black hat”) (“black hat”). Spamdexing is one method used by search engines to reduce the impact of the latter. Commentators in the industry have classified these methods and the practitioners who use them as either white hat SEO or black hat SEO.  White hats produce long-lasting results, whereas black hats expect their sites to be banned, either temporarily or permanently, once the search engines discover what they are doing.  A white hat SEO technique is one that follows search engine guidelines and does not involve deception. This is an important distinction to make because the search engine guelines are not written as a set of rules or commandments. White hat SEO is more than just following guidelines; it is about ensuring that the content a search engine indexes and ranks is the same content that a user sees. White hat advice is generally summarized as creating content for users rather than search engines, and then making that content easily accessible to online “sper” algorithms, rather than attempting to trick the algorithm away from its intended purpose. White hat SEO is similar to web development that promotes accessibility, but the two are not synonymous.
Black hat SEO involves deception or attempts to improve rankings in ways that are not approved by search engines. One black hat technique employs hden text, either as background-colored text, in an invisible div, or positioned off-screen. Another method, known as cloaking, returns a different page depending on whether the page is requested by a human visitor or a search engine. Grey hat SEO is another term that is occasionally used. This is a hybrid of black hat and white hat approaches, in which the methods used prevent the site from being penalized but do not result in the best content for users. Grey hat SEO is solely concerned with increasing search engine rankings.
Search engines may penalize sites discovered using black or grey hat methods by lowering their rankings or removing their listings entirely from their databases. Such penalties can be imposed either automatically by search engine algorithms or manually by a site review. For example, in February 2006, Google removed both BMW Germany and Ricoh Germany for engaging in deceptive practices.  However, both companies quickly apologized, corrected the offending pages, and were reinstated on Google’s search engine results page. 
Also see References.
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Starter Guide for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Examine your search engine performance and user behavior.
Examining your search engine performance
Major search engines, such as Google, provide tools for website owners to analyze their search engine performance. Google’s Search Console is that tool.
Search Console demonstrates two important types of data: Is Google able to find my content? How do I rank in Google search results?
Using Search Console will not help your site receive preferential treatment; however, it will assist you in identifying issues that, if addressed, will help your site perform better in search results.
Website owners can use the service to:
Examine which parts of a website Googlebot encountered difficulties while crawling.
Sitemaps should be tested and submitted.
Examine or create robots.txt files
Remove URLs that have already been crawled by Googlebot Specify your preferred domain Find problems with title and description meta tags
Discover the most popular searches used to find a website.
See how Googlebot perceives pages.
Receive notifications of quality guelines violations and submit a site reconseration request.
Bing Webmaster Tools from Microsoft also provides tools for website owners.
Examining user behavior on your website
If you’ve improved your site’s crawling and indexing using Google Search Console or other services, you’re probably curious about the traffic that’s coming to it. Web analytics programs such as Google Analytics are an excellent source of information in this regard. These can be used to:
Learn how users arrive at and interact with your website.
Find out what your site’s most popular content is.
Determine the impact of site optimizations, such as whether changing the title and description meta tags increases search engine traffic.
For advanced users, combining the information provided by an analytics package with data from your server log files can provide even more comprehensive information about how visitors interact with your documents (such as additional keywords that searchers might use to find your site).
Here’s a quick glossary of terms used in this gue:
Index – In its index, Google stores all web pages that it is aware of. The index entry for each page describes the page’s content as well as its location (URL). When Google fetches a page, reads it, and adds it to the index, this is referred to as indexing: Today, Google indexed several pages on my website.
Crawling is the process of searching for new or updated web pages. Google finds URLs by following links, reading sitemaps, and a variety of other methods. Google crawls the web in search of new pages, which it then indexes (when appropriate).
Crawler – Automated software that crawls (fetches) and indexes web pages.
Googlebot is the common name for Google’s crawler. Googlebot is constantly crawling the web.
SEO – Search engine optimization: the process of improving your website’s visibility in search engines. A person who does this for a living may also have the following job title: We recently hired a new SEO to help us improve our online presence.
Do you use Google?
Check to see if your website is indexed by Google.
Perform a site search to find your site’s home URL. You’re in the index if you see results. A search for site:wikipedia.org, for example, yields the following results.
If your website is not listed on Google,
Despite the fact that Google crawls billions of pages, some sites will inevitably be missed. When our crawlers miss a site, it’s usually due to one of the following factors:
The site isn’t well connected to other websites on the internet You’ve just launched a new site and Google hasn’t had time to crawl it yet The site’s design makes it difficult for Google to effectively crawl its content
When Google attempted to crawl your site, it encountered an error.
Your policy prevents Google from crawling the website.
How do I get my website listed on Google?
Google is a fully automated search engine that uses web crawlers to constantly explore the web, looking for sites to add to our index; you usually don’t need to do anything other than post your site on the web. In fact, the vast majority of sites listed in our results are discovered and added automatically when we crawl the web, rather than being manually submitted for inclusion. Discover how Google finds, crawls, and serves web pages.
We provide webmaster guidelines to help you create a Google-friendly website. While there is no guarantee that our crawlers will discover a specific site, following these guidelines can help your site appear in our search results.
Google Search Console provides tools to assist you in submitting your content to Google and monitoring your performance in Google Search. If you want, Search Console can even send you alerts when Google encounters critical issues with your site. Sign up for Google Search Console.
When you first start your website, here are a few basic questions to ask yourself.
Is my website listed on Google?
Do I provide users with high-quality content?
Is my local business listed on Google?
Is my content accessible and fast on all devices?
Is my website safe to use?
More information on getting started can be found at https://g.co/webmasters.
The remainder of this document, organized by topic, provides guidance on how to improve your site for search engines. A brief checklist in PDF format is also available for download.
Do you require the services of an SEO expert?
An SEO expert is someone who has been trained to increase your visibility in search engines. Following this guide will teach you enough to get you well on your way to an optimized site. In addition, you may want to think about hiring an SEO professional to help you audit your pages.
Hiring an SEO is a significant decision that can potentially improve your site and save you time. Make sure to research both the potential benefits of hiring an SEO and the damage that an irresponsible SEO can cause to your site. Many SEOs, as well as other agencies and consultants, provide valuable services to website owners, including:
Examine the content or structure of your website.
creation of content
Campaign management for online business development
SEO training with a focus on specific markets and geographies
Before you start looking for an SEO, it’s a good idea to become an informed consumer and familiarize yourself with how search engines work. We recommend reading through the entire gue and especially these resources:
Google’s web crawling, indexing, and serving methods
Guelines Google Webmaster
How to Hire an SEO Expert
If you’re considering hiring an SEO, the sooner the better. When considering a site redesign or launching a new site, now is an excellent time to hire. This way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is built from the ground up to be search engine friendly. A good SEO, on the other hand, can help improve an existing site.
You can read more about the importance of hiring an SEO and what to look out for here. Do you require the services of an SEO?
Assist Google (and users) in comprehending your content
Allow Google to view your page in the same way that a user would.
Action suggested: Make use of the URL Inspection tool. It will show you exactly how Googlebot sees and renders your content, and it will assist you in identifying and correcting a number of indexing issues on your site.
Make distinct, accurate page titles.
A element informs both users and search engines about the topic of a specific page. Place the element within the HTML document’s element and create a unique title text for each page on your site.
Brandon’s Baseball Cards – Buy Cards, Get Baseball News, and Check Card Prices
Control your search results title links and snippets.
If your document appears in a search results page, the contents of the element may appear as the search result’s title link (if you’re unfamiliar with the various parts of a Google Search result, you might want to watch the anatomy of a search result video).
The element for your homepage can list the name of your website or business, as well as other important information such as the business’s physical location or a few of its main focuses or offerings.
Describe the page’s content precisely.
Choose title text that communicates the topic of the page’s content naturally and effectively.
Using text in an element that has no relation to the page’s content.
Using default or ambiguous text such as “Untitled” or “New Page 1”.
Create distinct elements for each page.
Make sure that each page on your site has distinct text in the element, which helps Google understand how the page differs from the others on your site. If your website has separate mobile pages, make sure to include descriptive text in the elements on the mobile versions as well.
Using a single title in all elements across all pages of your site or a large group of pages.
Make use of brief but descriptive elements.
Elements can be brief and informative. If the text in the element is too long or otherwise deemed irrelevant, Google may display only a portion of the text in your element or an automatically generated title link in the search result.
Including excessively long text in elements that are unhelpful to users.
Including unnecessary keywords in your element.
The meta description tag on a page provides Google and other search engines with a summary of what the page is about. The title of a page can be a few words or a phrase, whereas the meta description tag can be a sentence or two, or even a short paragraph. The meta description tag, like the element, is placed within the element of your HTML document.
Brandon’s Baseball Cards – Buy Cards, Get Baseball News, and Check Card Prices
Meta description tags are important because Google may use them as snippets in Google Search results for your pages. We say “might” because Google may choose to use a relevant section of your page’s visible text if it matches up well with a user’s query. In case Google cannot find a good selection of text to use in the snippet, adding meta description tags to each of your pages is always a good practice. Learn more about writing effective meta descriptions.
Summarize the page content accurately.
Write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your meta description tag as a search result snippet. While there is no minimum or maximum length for the text in a description meta tag, we recommend that it is long enough to be fully displayed in Search (note that users may see different sized snippets depending on how and where they search) and contains all of the relevant information that users would need to determine whether the page will be useful and relevant to them.
Writing a meta description tag that has nothing to do with the page’s content.
Using generic descriptions such as “This is a web page” or “A baseball card page.”
Using only keywords to fill out the description.
Copy and paste the entire document’s content into the meta description tag.
Make each page’s description unique.
Having a unique meta description tag for each page benefits both users and Google, especially when users search for multiple pages on your domain (for example, searches using the site: operator). Hand-crafting meta description tags for your site’s thousands or even millions of pages is probably not feasible. In this case, you could generate meta description tags based on the content of each page.
Using a single meta description tag on all or a large group of your site’s pages.
Use meaningful headings to indicate important topics and to assist in the creation of a hierarchical structure for your content, making it easier for users to navigate through your document.
Assume you’re creating an outline.
Put some thought into what the main points and sub-points of the content on the page will be, similar to writing an outline for a large paper, and decide where to use heading tags appropriately.
Placing text in heading tags that isn’t useful for defining the page’s structure.
Using heading tags in places where other tags would be more appropriate.
Moving from one heading tag size to another erratically.
Use headings sparingly throughout the page.
Use heading tags where appropriate. A page with too many heading tags can make it difficult for users to scan the content and determine where one topic ends and another begins.
On a page, excessive use of heading tags.
Headings that are extremely long.
Heading tags are only used to style text and not to present structure.
Include structured data markup.
Structured data is code that you can add to your website’s pages to help search engines better understand what’s on your pages. Search engines can use this understanding to display your content in search results in useful (and eye-catching) ways. This, in turn, can help you attract the right customers for your company.
For example, if you have an online store and mark up an individual product page, we can tell that the page contains a bike, its price, and customer reviews. We may include that information in the snippet for relevant search results. These are referred to as rich outcomes.
We may use structured data markup to serve relevant results in other formats in addition to rich results. For example, if you have a physical store, marking up the opening hours allows potential customers to find you exactly when they need you and informs them if your store is open/closed at the time of searching.
Many business-related entities can be marked up:
Products that you sell
Videos about your products or company
Opening times Events Calendar Recipes
Your company’s logo, among many others
See the complete list of supported content types.
To describe your content, we recommend that you use structured data with any of the supported notations markup. You can add markup to your pages’ HTML code or use tools like Data Highlighter and Markup Helper.
Use the Rich Results Test to double-check your markup.
Once your content has been marked up, you can use the Google Rich Results test to ensure that there are no errors in the implementation. You can either enter the URL to the content or copy the HTML code that includes the markup.
Inval markup is used.
Use the Data Highlighter and Markup Helper tools.
If you want to experiment with structured markup without changing your site’s source code, you can use Data Highlighter, a tool integrated into Search Console that supports a subset of content types.
Try the Markup Helper to get the markup code ready to copy and paste onto your page.
When you are unsure about implementing markup, change the source code of your site.
Keep track of how your highlighted pages are performing.
The various Rich result reports in Search Console show how many pages on your site we detected with a specific type of markup, how many times they appeared in search results, and how many times people clicked on them in the previous 90 days. It also displays any errors that we have discovered.
Adding markup data that users will not see.
Making up fake reviews or including irrelevant markups.
Assist Google in finding your content
The first step in getting your website listed on Google is ensuring that Google can find it. The most effective method is to submit a sitemap. A sitemap is a file on your website that informs search engines about new or changed pages. Learn how to create and submit a sitemap.
Google also discovers pages via links from other pages. Learn how to promote your website to encourage people to visit it.
Create a mobile-friendly website.
Today’s world is mobile. The majority of Google searches are conducted on mobile devices. A site’s desktop version may be difficult to view and use on a mobile device. As a result, having a mobile-friendly website is essential for your online presence. Indeed, beginning in late 2016, Google began testing the mobile version of a site’s content for ranking, parsing structured data, and generating snippets.
Recognize the distinctions between devices
Smartphone – In this document, “mobile” or “mobile devices” refers to smartphones such as Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone. Mobile browsers are similar to desktop browsers in that they can render a wide range of HTML5 specifications, but their screen size is smaller and their default orientation is almost always vertical.
Tablets are considered devices in their own right, so when we talk about mobile devices, we generally exclude tablets from the definition. Because tablets have larger screens, you can assume that users expect to see your site as it would appear on a desktop browser rather than a smartphone browser unless you offer tablet-optimized content.
Feature phones – On these phones, browsers lack the capability to render normal desktop web pages coded using standard HTML. This includes browsers that render only cHTML (iMode), WML, XHTML-MP, etc.
Our recommendations are geared toward smartphones, but we encourage multimedia and feature phones site owners to follow the same advice where they feel appropriate.
Choose a mobile strategy
There are multiple ways of making your website mobile ready and Google supports different implementation methods:
After you have created a mobile-ready site, you can use\s Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test\s to check if pages on your site meet the criteria for being labeled mobile-friendly on Google\s Search result pages. You can also check out the\s Search Console Mobile Usability report\s to fix mobile usability issues affecting your site.
If your site serves lots of static content (like blog posts or product landing pages) across multiple pages, conser implementing it using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) (Accelerated Mobile Pages). It’s a special flavor of HTML that ensures your site stays fast and user friendly, and can be further accelerated by various platforms, including Google Search.
Configure mobile sites so that they can be indexed accurately
Regardless of which configuration you choose to set up your mobile site, take note of these key points:
If you use Dynamic Serving or have a separate mobile site, signal to Google when a page is formatted for mobile (or has an equivalent page that’s formatted for mobile). This helps Google accurately serve mobile searchers your content in search results.
If you are using Responsive Web Design, use the meta name=”viewport” tag to tell the browser how\s to adjust the content. If you use Dynamic Serving, use the Vary HTTP header to signal your\s changes depending on the user agent. If you are using separate URLs, signal the relationship\s between two URLs by adding the tag with\s rel=”canonical” and rel=”alternate”\s elements to the page.
Avo makes common mistakes that irritate mobile visitors, such as including unplayable videos.
Mobile pages that provide a poor searcher experience may be demoted in rankings or displayed in mobile search results with a warning. This includes, but is not limited to, full-page mobile interstitials that impede user experience.
Demonstrate full device functionality. Mobile users expect the same functionality and content on mobile as they do on all other devices that your website supports, such as commenting and checking out. Make sure that all important images and videos are embedded and accessible on mobile devices, in addition to textual content. Prove all structured data and other metadata—such as titles, descriptions, link-elements, and other meta-tags—on all versions of the pages for search engines.
Check that the structured data, images, videos, and metadata that you have on your desktop site are also on the mobile site.
To see if Google thinks your website works well on mobile devices, use the Mobile-Friendly Test on your mobile pages.
If you use distinct URLs for your mobile pages, test both the mobile and desktop URLs to ensure that the redirect is recognized and crawlable.
See Google’s mobile-friendly gue for more information.
Control your visibility in Google Search results.
Correct structured data on your pages also qualifies your page for a variety of special features in Google Search results, such as review stars, fancy decorated results, and more. View the gallery of search result types for which your page may be eligible.
Make your content more interesting and useful by optimizing it.
Creating compelling and useful content will most likely have a greater impact on your website than any of the other factors discussed here. Users recognize good content and will most likely want to direct other users to it. This could be done via blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or another method.
Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps your site’s reputation with users and Google, and it rarely occurs in the absence of quality content.
Understand what your readers want (and give it to them)
Consider the words that a user might use to find a piece of your content. Users who are well-versed in the subject may use different keywords in their search queries than those who are unfamiliar with the subject. A long-time football fan, for example, might search for “fifa,” an acronym for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, whereas a new fan might use a more general query such as “football playoffs.” Anticipating these variations in search behavior and accounting for them while writing your content (using a good mix of keyword phrases) may yield positive results. Google Ads includes a Keyword Planner that allows you to discover new keyword variations and see the estimated search volume for each keyword. In the Performance Report, Google Search Console also shows you the top search queries for which your site appears and the ones that lead the most users to your site.
Consider developing a new, useful service that no other website provides. You could also conduct original research, break an exciting news story, or capitalize on your unique user base. Other sites may lack the necessary resources or expertise.
Create simple text.
Users prefer content that is well-written and easy to understand.
Writing sloppy text with numerous spelling and grammatical errors
Content that is awkward or poorly written.
For textual content, embedding text in images and videos: users may want to copy and paste the text, but search engines cannot read it.
Clearly organize your topics.
It’s always a good idea to organize your content so that visitors can tell where one content topic begins and another ends. Breaking up your content into logical chunks or divisions allows users to find what they’re looking for faster.
Large amounts of text on various topics crammed onto a page with no paragraph, subheading, or layout separation.
Make new, one-of-a-kind content.
New content will not only keep your current visitor base returning, but will also bring in new visitors.
Rehashing (or even copying) existing content that adds little value for users.
Having duplicate or nearly identical versions of your content on your website.
Find out more about duplicate content.
Optimize your content for people, not search engines.
Designing your site around the needs of your visitors while keeping search engines in mind usually yields positive results.
Inserting a slew of unnecessary keywords that are intended for search engines but are annoying or nonsensical to users.
Having text blocks that add little value for users, such as “frequent misspellings used to reach this page.”
Hinging text from users while displaying it to search engines.
Act in a way that fosters user trust.
Users are more likely to visit your site if they believe it is trustworthy.
A site with a good reputation is reliable. Develop a reputation for expertise and dependability in a specific field.
Prove who publishes your site, the content it contains, and its goals. If you operate a shopping or other financial transaction website, ensure that you provide clear and satisfying customer service information to assist users in resolving issues. If you run a news website, provide clear information about who is in charge of the content.
It is also critical to use appropriate technologies. Users cannot trust a shopping checkout page that lacks a secure connection.
Make your expertise and authority known.
A site’s expertise and authoritativeness improves its quality. Make certain that the content on your website is created or edited by subject matter experts. For example, demonstrating expert or experienced sources can assist users in understanding the expertise of articles. If such consensus exists, representing it in pages about scientific topics is a good practice.
Show that you have an adequate amount of content for your subject.
Creating high-quality content necessitates a significant amount of time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill. Make certain that the content is factually correct, clearly written, and comprehensive. So, if you describe your page as a recipe, show a complete recipe that is easy to follow, rather than just a list of ingredients or a general description of the dish.
Providing insufficient content for the page’s purpose.
Distracting advertisements from Avo
We anticipate that advertisements will be visible. However, do not allow advertisements to distract or prevent users from viewing the site’s content. For example, advertisements, supplement contents, or interstitial pages (pages that appear before or after the expected content) that make it difficult to use the website. Find out more about this subject.
Including distracting advertisements on your webpages.
Create effective link text
The visible text in a link is referred to as link text. This text informs users and Google about the page to which you are linking. Internal links on your page may point to other pages on your site, while external links may lead to content on other sites. The better your anchor text is in either of these cases, the easier it is for users to navigate and for Google to understand what the page you’re linking to is about.
Users and search engines can easily understand what the linked pages contain when they use appropriate anchor text.
Select descriptive text.
Create anchor text that demonstrates at least a basic understanding of what the page linked to is about.
Creating generic anchor text such as “page,” “article,” or “click here.”
Including text that is off-topic or has no relevance to the content of the linked page.
In most cases, using the page’s URL as the anchor text, though there are certainly legitimate uses for this, such as promoting or referencing the address of a new website.
Create brief text
Aim for brief but descriptive text, such as a few words or a short phrase.
Writing long anchor text, such as a long sentence or a short paragraph.
Make it simple for users to distinguish between regular text and link anchor text. If users miss the links or click them incorrectly, your content becomes less useful.
Using CSS or text styling to make links appear to be regular text.
You might think of linking in terms of pointing to other websites, but paying more attention to the anchor text used for internal links can help users and Google navigate your site more effectively.
Using keyword-heavy or lengthy anchor text solely for search engine purposes.
Making unnecessary links that do not help the user navigate the site.
Take care who you link to.
When your site links to another site, you can transfer some of your site’s reputation to it. Users can sometimes take advantage of this by including links to their own websites in your comment sections or message boards. Or you might mention a site negatively and don’t want to associate your reputation with it. Assume you’re writing a blog post about comment spamming and want to call out a site that recently commented spammed your blog. You want to warn others about the site, so you include a link to it in your content; however, you don’t want the site to gain some of your reputation as a result of your link. This is an excellent time to use nofollow.
Wget links are another example of where the nofollow attribute can be useful. If you’re using a third-party wget to improve your site’s experience and engage users, make sure it doesn’t include any links that you don’t want to include with the wget. Some wgets may add links to your site that you did not choose and may contain anchor text that you do not control as the website owner. If removing such unwanted links from the wget is not possible, nofollow can be used to disable them. If you write a wget to demonstrate functionality or content, make sure to include the nofollow on links in the default code snippet.
Finally, if you want to nofollow all of the links on a page, add the tag inse the tag for the page. More information about robots meta tags can be found in our documentation.
Use nofollow to combat comment spam.
Set the rel attribute of a link to nofollow or ugc to tell Google not to follow or pass your page’s reputation to the pages linked. Nofollowing a link is as simple as adding rel=”nofollow” or a more specific attribute like ugc inse to the link’s anchor tag, as shown here:
or: rel=”ugc”>Anchor text here or rel=”nofollow”>Anchor text here
When would this come in handy? If your website has a blog with public commenting enabled, links within those comments may pass your reputation to pages for which you are not comfortable vouching. Blog comment areas on pages are particularly vulnerable to comment spam. By not following these user-added links, you avoid handing over your page’s hard-earned reputation to a spammy site.
Many blogging software packages nofollow user comments automatically, but those that don’t can almost certainly be manually edited to do so. This advice also applies to other areas of your website where user-generated content may be present, such as guest books, forums, shout-boards, referrer listings, and so on. There’s no need to use nofollow on links if you’re willing to vouch for links added by third parties (for example, if a commenter is trusted on your site); however, linking to sites that Google considers spammy can harm your own site’s reputation. More tips on avoiding comment spam can be found in the Google Search Central documentation, such as using CAPTCHAs and turning on comment moderation.
Make use of HTML images.
To embed images in your content, use HTML image elements.
Use HTML or elements.
Semantic HTML markup assists crawlers in finding and processing images. You can also use the element to specify multiple options for different screen sizes for responsive images. To make your page load faster for your users, use the loading=”lazy” attribute on images.
Displaying images that you want us to index using CSS.
Make use of the alt attribute.
For images, provide a descriptive filename and alt attribute description. If the image cannot be displayed for some reason, you can specify alternative text using the alt attribute.
Why should you use this attribute? If a user is using assistive technology, such as a screen reader, to view your site, the contents of the alt attribute provide information about the image.
Another reason is that if you use an image as a link, its alt text is treated similarly to the anchor text of a text link. However, we don’t recommend using too many images for navigation links when text links can do the same thing. Finally, optimizing your image filenames and alt text helps image search projects like Google Images understand your images better.
Use short, descriptive filenames and alt text.
Filenames and alt text, like many other parts of the page targeted for optimization, are best when they are short but descriptive.
When possible, use generic filenames such as image1.jpg, pic.gif, 1.jpg—if your site contains thousands of images, you may want to consider automating the naming of the images.
Creating extremely long filenames
Copying and pasting entire sentences or stuffing keywords into alt text.
Filling out the alt text of an image as a link helps Google understand more about the page you’re linking to. Assume you’re creating anchor text for a text link.
Writing excessively long alt text, which is considered spammy.
Using only image links to navigate your website.
Assist search engines in finding your images
A sitemap for images can provide Googlebot with more information about the images on your site. This increases the chances that your images will appear in Google Images results. This file’s structure is similar to that of your web pages’ XML sitemap.
Make use of standard image formats.
Use file types that are widely supported; most browsers support JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, and WebP image formats. It’s also a good idea to have your filename’s extension match the file type.
Create a site hierarchy.
Learn how search engines use URLs.
Search engines require a unique URL for each piece of content in order to crawl, index, and refer users to it. To be properly displayed in search, different content (for example, different products in a shop) as well as modified content (for example, translations or regional variations) must use separate URLs.
URLs are typically divided into several distinct sections:
For instance, https://www.example.com/RunningShoes/Womens.htm?size=8#information
When possible, Google recommends that all websites use https://. The hostname is the location of your website, which is typically the same domain name as your email address. Google distinguishes between www and non-www versions (for example, www.example.com or just example.com). We recommend including both the http:// and https:// versions, as well as the www and non-www versions, when adding your website to Search Console.
Which content from your server is accessed is determined by the path, filename, and query string. Because these three parts are case-sensitive, FILE would yield a different URL than file. The hostname and protocol are case-insensitive, so upper and lower case are irrelevant.
In general, a fragment (in this case, #info) indicates which part of the page the browser is scrolling to. Because the content is usually the same regardless of the fragment, search engines frequently disregard any fragment used.
A trailing slash after the hostname is optional when referring to the homepage because it leads to the same content (https://example.com/ is the same as https://example.com). A trailing slash would be interpreted as a different URL (signaling either a file or a directory), so https://example.com/fish is not the same as https://example.com/fish/.
Search engines rely on navigation.
The navigation of a website is critical in assisting visitors in quickly finding the content they seek. It can also assist search engines in determining what content the website owner considers important. Although Google’s search results are proven at the page level, Google also wants to know what role a page plays in the overall picture of the site.
Make your navigation plan based on your homepage.
Every site has a home or root page, which is usually the most visited page and the starting point for many visitors’ navigation. Unless your site has only a few pages, consider how visitors will navigate from a general page (your root page) to a page with more specific content. Do you have enough pages related to a specific topic area to warrant creating a page describing these related pages (for example, root page -> related topic listing -> specific topic)? Do you have hundreds of products that must be classified under multiple category and subcategory pages?
A breadcrumb is a row of internal links located at the top or bottom of a page that allows visitors to quickly return to a previous section or the root page. Many breadcrumbs start with the most general page (usually the root page) and list the more specific sections to the right. When displaying breadcrumbs, we recommend using breadcrumb structured data markup.
Make a simple user navigation page.
A navigational page is a simple page on your website that displays the structure of your website and typically consists of a hierarchical listing of your site’s pages. Visitors may come to this page if they are having difficulty finding pages on your website. While search engines will visit this page in order to get good crawl coverage of the pages on your site, it is primarily intended for human visitors.
Make a natural-flowing hierarchy.
Make it as simple as possible for users to navigate from general content to more specific content on your site. When it makes sense, include navigation pages and incorporate them into your internal link structure. Check that all of the pages on your site are accessible via links and do not require an internal search function to be found. When possible, link to related pages to help users find similar content.
Creating intricate webs of navigation links, such as linking every page on your website to every other page.
Excessive slicing and dicing of your content (so that it takes twenty clicks to reach from the homepage).
Use text to navigate.
Having a navigation that is entirely made up of images or animations.
Navigation requires script or plugin-based event handling.
Make a user navigation page and a sitemap for search engines.
Include a simple user navigation page for your entire site (or the most important pages if you have hundreds or thousands). Create an XML sitemap file to ensure that search engines discover new and updated pages on your site, listing all relevant URLs as well as the last modified dates of their primary content.
Allowing broken links on your navigation page to become out of date.
Making a navigational page that simply lists pages without organizing them in any way, such as by subject.
Display useful 404 pages
Users will occasionally arrive at a page on your site that does not exist, either by following a broken link or typing in the incorrect URL. A custom 404 page that redirects users to a working page on your site can greatly improve the user experience. Consider including a link back to your main page as well as links to popular or related content on your site. You can use Google Search Console to track down the URLs that are causing “not found” errors.
Using the robots.txt file to prevent 404 pages from being crawled.
Providing only a cryptic message such as “Not Found,” “404,” or no 404 page at all.
Using a 404 page design that is inconsistent with the rest of your site.
Simple URLs communicate content information.
Creating descriptive categories and filenames for your website’s documents not only helps you keep your site more organized, but it can also help you create easier, friendlier URLs for those who want to link to your content. Extremely long and cryptic URLs with few recognizable words may frighten visitors.
URLs like the ones below can be perplexing and unfriendly:
If your URL is meaningful, it will be more useful and understandable in various contexts:
URLs appear in search results.
Finally, keep in mind that the URL to a document is usually displayed in some form near the document title in a Google Search result.
Google is capable of crawling all types of URL structures, even those that are quite complex, but taking the time to simplify your URLs is a good practice.
Make use of words in URLs.
URLs containing words related to your site’s content and structure are more user-friendly for visitors navigating your site.
Using long URLs with extraneous parameters and session IDs.
Using generic page names such as page1.html.
Excessive keyword usage, such as baseball-cards-baseball-cards-baseballcards.html.
Make a basic directory structure.
Use a directory structure that organizes your content well and allows visitors to easily navigate your site. Try indicating the type of content found at that URL using your directory structure.
Deep subdirectory nesting, such as../dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/dir6/page.html.
Using directory names that have nothing to do with the content contained within them.
Prove that one version of a URL can be used to access a document.
To avoid users linking to one version of a URL while others link to another (which could split the reputation of that content between the URLs), focus on using and referring to one URL in the structure and internal linking of your pages. If you discover that people are accessing the same content via multiple URLs, a 301 redirect from non-preferred URLs to the dominant URL is a good solution. If you are unable to redirect, you may use the rel=”canonical” link element.
Accessing the same content from subdomains and the root directory, for example, domain.com/page.html and sub.domain.com/page.html.
Publicize your website
While the majority of your site’s links will be added gradually as people discover your content through search or other means and link to it, Google understands that you want to let others know about the hard work you’ve put into your content. Promoting your new content effectively will lead to faster discovery by those who are interested in the same subject. Taking these recommendations to the extreme, as with the majority of the points covered in this document, may actually harm your site’s reputation.
A blog post on your own site informing your visitor base that you have added something new is an excellent way to spread the word about new content or services. Other website owners who follow your site or RSS feed may also pick up on the story.
Investing in offline promotion of your company or website can also be beneficial. If you have a business website, for example, make sure the URL is listed on your business cards, letterhead, posters, and so on. You could also send out recurring newsletters to clients informing them of new content on the company’s website.
Claiming your Business Profile will help you reach customers on Google Maps and Google Search if you run a local business.
Understand social media sites
Sites centered on user interaction and sharing have made it easier to connect interested groups of people with relevant content.
Instead of attempting to promote each new, small piece of content you create, focus on larger, more interesting items.
Involving your site in schemes that artificially promote your content to the top of these services.
Contact people in your site’s related community.
There are probably a few sites that cover topics similar to yours. Communication with these sites is usually advantageous. Hot topics in your niche or community may inspire additional ideas for content or the creation of a useful community resource.
Sending out link requests to all sites related to your topic.
Purchasing links from another website in order to increase PageRank.
Indicate which pages you do not want Google to crawl.
Use robots.txt to prevent unwanted crawling of non-sensitive information.
A robots.txt file tells search engines whether or not they can access and thus crawl certain areas of your website. This file, which must be named robots.txt, is placed in your site’s root directory. Pages blocked by robots.txt may still be crawled, so use a more secure method for sensitive pages.
# Tell Google not to crawl any URLs in the shopping cart or images in the icons folder, as they will be useless in Google Search results.
Googlebot is the user-agent.
Allow: /checkout/ Prohibit: /icons/
You may not want certain pages of your website crawled because they may not be useful to users if they appear in search engine results. If you do not want search engines to crawl your pages, Google Search Console has a helpful robots.txt generator to assist you in creating this file. If your site uses subdomains and you want certain pages not crawled on a specific subdomain, you must create a separate robots.txt file for that subdomain. We recommend this guide on using robots.txt files for more information on robots.txt files.
Learn more about how to prevent content from appearing in search results.
Allowing Google to crawl your internal search result pages. Users dislike landing on another search result page on your site after clicking a search engine result.
Allowing crawling of URLs generated by proxy services.
Use more secure methods for sensitive information.
A robots.txt file is neither appropriate nor effective for blocking sensitive or confidential information. It only informs well-behaved crawlers that the pages are not intended for them, but it does not prevent your server from serving those pages to a browser that requests them. One reason for this is that search engines may still reference the URLs you block (showing only the URL, no title link or snippet) if there are links to those URLs somewhere on the Internet (like referrer logs). Non-compliant or rogue search engines that do not recognize the Robots Exclusion Standard may also disobey the instructions in your robots.txt file. Finally, an inquisitive user could examine the directories or subdirectories in your robots.txt file and deduce the URL of the content you don’t want seen.
Use the noindex tag in these cases if you simply don’t want the page to appear in Google but don’t mind if any user with a link can reach the page. Use proper authorization methods, such as requiring a user password or removing the page entirely, for true security.
What is the purpose of this gue?
This gue is for you if you own, manage, monetize, or promote online content through Google Search. You could be the owner of a thriving business, the owner of a dozen websites, an SEO specialist in a web agency, or a DIY SEO expert passionate about search mechanics: this gue is for you. If you want a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of SEO according to our best practices, you’ve come to the right place. This gue will not reveal any secrets that will automatically rank your site first in Google (sorry! ), but adhering to best practices should make it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and understand your content.
Search engine optimization (SEO) frequently entails making minor changes to parts of your website. These changes may appear to be incremental improvements when viewed separately, but when combined with other optimizations, they may have a significant impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results. Many of the topics in this gue are likely familiar to you because they are essential components of any web page, but you may not be making the most of them.
You should design a website to benefit your users, and any optimization should be geared toward improving the user experience. One of those users is a search engine, which aids in the discovery of your content by other users. SEO is all about assisting search engines in understanding and presenting content. Your site may be smaller or larger than our example site, with vastly different content, but the optimization topics covered in this guide apply to all sizes and types of sites. We hope our guide provides you with new ideas for improving your website, and we’d love to hear your questions, feedback, and success stories in the Google Search Central Help Community.
Blog for Google Search Central
Get the most recent updates from our Google Search Central blog. You can learn about Google Search updates, new Search Console features, and much more.
Help Forum for Google Search Central
In the product forum for website owners, you can ask questions about your site’s issues and get tips on how to create high-quality sites. The forum has many experienced contributors, including Product Experts and, on occasion, Googlers.
Central Google Search Twitter
Follow us for the latest news and resources to help you create a fantastic website.
Central Google Search Channel on YouTube
Watch hundreds of helpful videos created for the website owner community and get Googlers to answer your questions.
Watch hundreds of helpful videos created for the website owner community and get Googlers to answer your questions.
How Does Search Work?
See what happens behind the scenes when you use Google Search to look for something.
What exactly is search engine optimization (SEO)?
The science of improving a website to increase its visibility when people search for products or services is known as search engine optimization. The higher a website’s visibility on search engines, the more likely it is that the brand will capture business.
The placement – or ranking – of a website on search engine results pages is commonly used to measure its visibility (SERPs). And businesses are always competing for the first page, where they are most likely to get the most attention.
Using Google as an example, SERPs frequently include advertisements at the top of the page. These are the positions that companies are willing to pay for in order to be on the first page. Following the ads are the regular search listings, also known as organic search results by marketers and search engines. The SEO process seeks to improve a company’s organic search results, thereby driving organic search traffic to the site. This allows data marketers to differentiate between traffic from other channels, such as paid search, social media, referrals, and direct, and traffic from organic search.
Organic search traffic is typically of higher quality because users are actively looking for a specific topic, product, or service for which a site may rank. If a user discovers that site via a search engine, it can lead to increased brand engagement.
What is the process of SEO?
While there is a way to optimize results, fully manipulating search algorithms is nearly impossible. Businesses frequently seek the shortest path to the best results with the least amount of effort, but SEO necessitates a significant amount of action and time. There is no SEO strategy in which something can be changed today and expect to see immediate results. SEO is a long-term project that requires daily action and continuous activity.
Bots are used by search engines to crawl all website pages, downloading and storing the information in a collection known as an index. When someone searches for something in this index, the search engine serves as the librarian. The search engine retrieves and displays relevant information from the search query and displays content relevant to the user’s search query. Search engine algorithms examine the pages in the index to determine the order in which they should appear on the SERP.
Here’s a quick rundown of how search engine optimization works.
What algorithms are used to evaluate search engine optimization?
There are hundreds of factors that influence what content from the index appears in a SERP. They do, however, boil down to five key factors that help determine which results are returned for a search query.
The query’s meaning. In order to return relevant results, the algorithm must first determine what information the user is looking for. This is referred to as intent. The algorithm seeks to comprehend language in order to comprehend intent. Spelling errors, synonyms, and the fact that some words mean different things in different contexts all contribute to the algorithm’s understanding of searcher intent. Search engines, for example, would need to be able to differentiate between “bass” as a fish and “bass” as an instrument. To display the correct information, intent would be based on additional search terms, historical search, location search, and more.
Website relevance. The algorithm examines webpage content to determine whether the sites contain information relevant to the user’s search. This occurs after the intent has been established. If the webpage includes the keywords from the search, this is a basic indicator of relevance. This includes appearing in body copy or page headings. However, in addition to keyword matching, search engines use aggregated interaction data to determine whether or not a page is relevant to the search query. To match the page with the query, this uses anonymized data from previous searches.
The content’s quality. The goal of search engines is to prioritize the most reliable sources available. The algorithms’ intelligence can determine which pages demonstrate expertise, authority, and trustworthiness in relation to the intent.
Website usability. Web design and accessibility are important factors in search rankings. The algorithm considers how the site appears in different browsers, whether it is designed for different device types (such as desktops, tablets, and phones), and whether page loading times are adequate for users with slower internet connections.
Setting and context Search engines and their algorithms use past search history and search settings to determine which results are most useful to a user at that time. Country and location can be used to deliver content relevant to the searcher’s location. For example, searching for “football” in New England will yield different results than searching for the same term in England.
Advantages of SEO
Search engine optimization is a critical marketing activity for increasing the visibility of a website or business on the internet. However, it also provides several other advantages to businesses.
Increases trust and credibility
High-ranking SERP sites are thought to be of the highest quality and most trustworthy. The results on the first page are the most relevant, giving the business or website more credibility. Having the right content and a good user experience on the site will help the website rank higher.
demonstrates a competitive advantage
When good SEO is consistently deployed, those who do it more and better will outrank the competition. Many businesses believe they cannot afford not to appear on the first page of search results. However, if a team works toward that goal and outperforms the competition, they will have a competitive advantage.
More people are reached.
SEO can help attract any user with intent at any time, regardless of where they are in the customer journey. It uses keywords and phrases to direct visitors to specific products and services. Businesses can create a list of keywords for which they want to rank and then create content based on those keywords.
Helps with content marketing
Users are more likely to find the information they seek if they have a list of keywords to rank for and build content around those keywords. Content and SEO complement one another. A site’s ranking will improve if it creates useful, high-quality content that is optimized for those keywords. Including keywords in headings, meta descriptions, and the body of the content will boost rankings for those terms.
Here are some pointers for developing an SEO strategy for content marketing.
It performs better in local searches.
Local searches are becoming more popular, with users looking for products or services “near me,” and a company can improve listings in these searches by creating a Google My Business account and optimizing the listing for local searches. Along with that, and the website’s localized content, a user is more likely to see local search results in their queries.
Recognize the web environment
Users who keep up with the ever-changing internet will be better able to execute a website’s ongoing SEO needs. Businesses that stay up to date can better understand how search works and make more informed decisions about how to change and adapt their strategies.
Companies must invest time and resources in order to have an effective SEO strategy. Companies that hire SEO experts to manage the strategies can do so, but companies with the right team in place can do it themselves.
Obtain measurable outcomes
To assess the effectiveness of SEO efforts, tools and analytics data are available. Google Analytics can provide detailed information about organic traffic. Data includes pages visited by customers as well as search terms. This data can then be cross-referenced with intended actions to determine how SEO influenced customer engagement or acquisition.
There are three major components – or pillars – to SEO that contribute to the development of effective SEO strategies:
Technical improvement. This is the process of completing tasks when creating or maintaining a website in order to improve SEO. It frequently has nothing to do with the content of the page itself. Having an XML sitemap, structuring content in a way that is intuitive to user experience, and improving site performance – such as page load times, correct image sizing, and hosting environment – are some ways to manipulate technical optimization.
Optimization of the page. This is the process of ensuring that the content on a website is relevant to its visitors. This content includes including the appropriate keywords or phrases in the headings and body of the copy, as well as ensuring that each page includes meta descriptions, internal links within the site, external links to other reputable sites, and a good URL with the focus keyword. Content management systems (CMS) are used by website administrators to manage on-page content.
Optimization of off-page elements. This technique is used to boost a website’s rankings by performing activities outside of the website. Backlinks are a major driver of this type of activity. Partnerships, social media marketing, and guest blogging on other sites can all help businesses generate these.
These three components assist marketers in focusing on the activities and techniques that will help their websites achieve high rankings.
Here are some additional techniques for each of the three pillars:
Keyword investigation and selection Conduct keyword research on the terms that are most desirable to rank for. To be relevant for search engines, businesses should concentrate on keywords with a high search volume. Examining competitors’ top performing keywords allows you to develop a strategy to compete with them.
Produce high-quality content. The content strategy will follow once the keyword strategy is in place. By creating quality content that is relevant to the readers and their search queries, pages are more likely to appear higher on SERPs.
Create distinct page titles and meta descriptions. The focus keyword should be included in the page title. Meta descriptions, meanwhile, should be brief summaries of what a user can expect to learn on the page. These elements are displayed in SERPs and will most likely be used to inform people’s clicks.
Pay per click can be used to supplement organic traffic. Pa advertising can help improve organic click-through rates by providing a channel for marketers to test title tags and meta descriptions that appear in SERPs. These ads mimic organic search results to see what copy entices users to click, ensuring first-page placement. With organic results, this can be used to modify page titles and meta descriptions.
With images, use alt text. The alt text on a webpage is used to describe an image. This is necessary so that bots crawling the site can figure out what the image represents. It also verbally describes the image to people who are blind or visually impaired. This is also another chance to enter keywords.
The URL slug. A URL slug is the portion of the URL that is specific to a particular page. This is also where the focus keyword should be placed in relation to what is on the page.
There are hundreds of tools available to help you improve, manage, and report on the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. Some are free, while others are not. They all, however, assist marketers in researching keywords, developing strategies, and measuring the results of ranking higher on SERPs. Here are some of the most popular SEO tools used by marketers today:
Semrush. This platform is used for keyword research as well as data on online rankings. It teaches marketers how to create and maintain keyword strategies. Semrush also can be used to measure SEO performance over time.
Google Analytics and Search Console are two services provided by Google. This platform provides real-time information on the efficacy of SEO. Marketers can use it in conjunction with Google’s Search Console to monitor website traffic, optimize rankings, and make informed decisions about the appearance of a site’s search results.
SEO by Yoast. Yoast SEO is a plugin for WordPress websites that helps with on-page optimization. The URL slug, meta description, and page title can all be customized by users. They can also see how their page’s content will fare in search results. Users can use a checklist to ensure their page is as optimized as possible.
Ahrefs. This software is used to audit websites and validate keyword, link, and ranking profiles. It can also identify which pages perform well and which need to be improved.
SpyFu. This is a Google Ads competitor keyword research tool. In addition to keyword research and data, it provides detailed information on competitor SEO and pay per click data.
Website Grader by HubSpot. This is a free tool that generates report cards containing actionable information about SEO performance. It can determine whether a website is mobile-friendly, measure website performance, and provide security recommendations.
Google Trends This tool searches for global content trends in countries or regions. It identifies popular topics as well as long-tail keywords related to them. It compares those trends over time as well. Discover how long-tail keywords can help your marketing efforts.
Webmaster on Bing. Marketers can use this tool to view backlink profiles and conduct keyword research. It also includes a site scanning feature.
Consultants. While consultants are not a tool that can be purchased or used for free, they do have the SEO expertise that some teams lack internally. Good consultants can assist in the development of appropriate strategies, as well as the execution or recommendation of long-term plans. They can also provide metrics reports to determine success.
Learn more about some other free keyword research tools here.
Are you just getting started with SEO? Maybe you’ve heard that SEO can help drive traffic to your website and get you higher rankings, but you’re not sure how it works or where to focus your efforts. You’ve arrived at the right place. Continue reading to learn what every digital marketer should know about SEO. Search Engine Optimization Definition (SEO) Let us begin with the obvious: what exactly is SEO? SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization,’ and it is the process of obtaining traffic from free, organic, editorial, or natural search results in search engines. It aims to boost your website’s ranking in search engine results pages. Remember that the higher the website ranks in the search results, the more people will see it. Many different activities are involved in good SEO, such as: Identifying relevant keywords with high potential for search traffic Creating and optimizing high-quality, useful content for search engines and users Including relevant links from reputable websites Results evaluation SEO is now regarded as an essential marketing activity. Differences between paid advertising and organic search It’s critical to understand the distinctions between organic, natural search (also known as SEO) and paid search from the start. There are five significant differences: Position The first distinction is that paid search results appear at the top of search engine results pages, whereas organic results appear below them. Time Another significant distinction between paid and organic search is time. Pa search produces near-instant results, sometimes in minutes, whereas organic search produces results that take weeks, months, or even years. So, with organic search, you must play the medium to long-term game. Payment When it comes to payment, as the name implies, pa search traffic is pa. You pay per click (PPC) based on cost-per-click (CPC). That is, you are charged a fee each time a user clicks on your ad. Instead of relying on organic traffic to your website, you buy traffic by paying Google to display your ad when a visitor searches for your keyword. For organic search, traffic is free, although it does require an investment of both resources and time. ROIIt is actually much easier to measure the return on investment, or ROI, with pa search. This is due in part to Google proving more keyword data than Google Analytics can capture. With pa search, however, ROI can stagnate or decline over time. With organic search, ROI is a little bit harder to measure, but it often improves over time. Over the long term, organic search can offer a very good return on investment. Traffic share In terms of traffic, roughly 20% to 30% of searchers click on pa results, while 70% to 80% of searchers click on SEO results. As a result, the organic results receive the vast majority of clicks.
Examples of SEO objectives
Here are three examples of SEO objectives that you can use to help you set relevant goals for your own business or website:
“Move 50 percent of our top 20 keywords onto the first page of Google within nine months.”
This objective focuses on keyword ranking.
“Improve our year-on-year organic traffic by 20 percent in quarter three and 25 percent in quarter four.”
This objective focuses on increasing organic website traffic.
“Grow our SEO market share from 3 percent to 5 percent in the next financial year.”
This objective focuses on growing market share. How do search engines actually work? Search engines are used by people when they have a query and are searching on the internet for the answer. Search engine algorithms are computer programmes that look for clues to give searchers the exact results they are looking for. Search engines rely on algorithms to find web pages and dece which ones to rank for any given keyword. There are three steps to how search engines work: crawling, which is the discovery stage; indexing, which is the filing stage; and ranking, which is the retrieval stage. Step 1: Crawling The first step is crawling. Search engines send out web crawlers to find new pages and record information about them. We sometimes call these web crawlers ‘spers’ or ‘robots’. Their purpose is to discover new web pages that exist, and also to periodically check the content on pages they’ve previously visited to see whether they’ve changed or been updated. Search engines crawl web pages by following links they’ve already discovered. So if you have a blog post and it’s linked from your homepage, when a search engine crawls your homepage, it will then look for another link to follow and may follow the link to your new blog post. Step 2: Indexing The second step is indexing. Indexing is when a search engine deces whether or not it is going to use the content that it has crawled. If a crawled web page is deemed worthy by a search engine, it will be added to its index. This index is used at the final ranking stage. When a web page or piece of content is indexed, it is filed and stored in a database where it can later be retrieved. Most web pages that offer unique and valuable content are placed into the index. A web page might not be placed in the index if:Its content is consered duplicate Its content is consered low value or spammy It couldn’t be crawled The page or domain lacked inbound links Step 3: RankingThe third step is really the most important step, and that is ranking. Ranking can only happen after the crawling and indexing steps are complete. So once a search engine has crawled and indexed your site, your site can be ranked. There are more than 200 ranking signals that search engines use to sort and rank content, and they all fit under the three pillars of SEO: technical optimization, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization. Some examples of signals that search engines use to rank web pages are: Keyword presence in title tag – Whether the keyword or a synonym was mentioned on the page and within the title tag Loading speed of web page – Whether the web page loads quickly and is mobile-friendly Website reputation – Whether the web page and website is consered reputable for the topic being searched for
Ordering and ranking results
Google’s main search algorithm is called Google Hummingbird, and it is responsible for decing how to order and rank search engine results.
Google also has a machine-learning search engine sub-algorithm called RankBrain:If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, it uses artificial intelligence to understand it better by connecting it to similar search queries.
It allows Google to understand these queries by converting keywords into known topics and concepts, meaning it can prove better search engine results – even when queries are unusual.
Rather than attempting to be the best keyword optimized result, RankBrain rewards websites that prove user satisfaction and return the result that the user expects.
Getting the most out of RankBrain
A good SEO strategy is to optimize your website to improve user experience and satisfaction, and try to get the most out of the RankBrain ranking factor.
The three most effective ways to do this are:
Optimize for medium-tail keywords (key terms consisting of two to three words) (key terms consisting of two to three words).
Optimize page titles and descriptions for clicks so that when someone searches, your listing is more likely to be clicked. The click-through rate is the percentage of people who see you on Google and then go ahead and click through to your website. Optimize content to increase dwell time (the length of time people stay on the page) and reduce bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave after only viewing one page) (the percentage of visitors who leave after only viewing one page). Remember, Google’s top three ranking factors are: Links ContentRankBrain Setting SEO objectives Setting SEO objectives is a vital part of any SEO strategy. It is important to set SEO objectives – and to align them with your overall business objectives – because: They encourage buy-in from key stakeholders. They help you to formulate your SEO strategy. They ensure goals are met. What should you measure? While it can feel like a laborious task to set objectives, measuring them can really help you make progress with your SEO in the long term So what types of things should you measure? Conser measuring: Keywords TrafficMarket share Brand awareness Lead generation Reputation E-commerce Similarities between pa and organic search It’s not all about differences – there are also similarities between pa and organic search: Keyword research: You use a search engine for both pa and organic search, and both require a user to enter a keyword. So you need to do keyword research for organic search and pa search. Landing pages: Both types of search require you to create landing pages. For SEO, the landing page needs to be connected to your website. For pa search, it can be the exact same landing page you use for organic, or it can be a completely separate stand-alone page that sits off your website. Traffic: Generating traffic is a major goal of both pa and organic search. Most importantly, both pa and organic search traffic includes user intent. That is, someone is asking Google a question or searching for information – they are in an active mindset and as a result they are more likely to take action once they find this information. The three pillars of SEO As a digital marketer, knowing how to get your brand, website, or company found by searchers is a core skill, and understanding how SEO is evolving will keep you at the top of your game. While SEO changes frequently in small ways, its key principles do not. We can break SEO into three core components or pillars that you need to be familiar with – and action regularly: Technical Optimization: Technical Optimization is the process of completing activities on your site that are designed to improve SEO but are not related to content. It often happens behind the scenes. On-Page Optimization: On-Page Optimization is the process of ensuring the content on your site is relevant and proves a great user experience. It includes targeting the right keywords within your content and can be done through a content management system. Common examples of content management systems include WordPress, Wix, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, Shopify, and Expression Engine. Off-Page Optimization: Off-Page Optimization is the process of enhancing your site’s search engine rankings through activities outse of the site. This is largely driven by backlinks, which help to build the site’s reputation.
Setting objectives for different types of businesses
The focus of your objectives will vary depending on whether your business is transactional or informational.
If your business is transactional and you have an e-commerce element, you’ll want to set your objectives around tracking sales and lead conversions. However, if you’re a non-ecommerce commercial site, you’ll want to focus on lead generations. If your business is informational, you are more likely to set objectives focusing on brand awareness or website traffic. Finally, remember, even when you have fully implemented your SEO strategy, SEO is never finished. With SEO, you may need to change tactics mway through, play a long game, and wait to see the end results. But with a sol SEO foundation in place – and a little patience – the benefits of your SEO strategy should become apparent, leading to a better user experience for customers and more conversions for your business. Authority and Trust Google looks at authority and trust in several ways. Two common acronyms associated with these measurements are E-A-T. and YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) (Your Money or Your Life). Let’s take a look at both. E-A-T Google uses the acronym E-A-T — Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, referring to overall credibility. They judge credibility or E-A-T at three levels — the page, the author, and the website. Furthermore, they are looking to see if the content is credible in the solution it aims to prove. E-A-T is essential to Google; their guelines use the words “expert,” “authority,” and “trust” (or variants) over 200 times. Let’s look briefly at each component of E-A-T. Expertise: Is the information accurate? Should this writer or brand write about this topic? Authoritativeness: Is the author well-respected in their field? Is the brand wely recognized in the industry? Is the content referred to elsewhere by other authoritative websites, brands, and people? Trustworthiness: Do the brand and the writer have a good reputation, and is the content reliable? Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) (YMYL) PagesYMYL, or your money or your life, is a fundamental concept for quality raters. As Google explains in guelines, this term describes pages or topics that “could potentially impact a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.” For that reason, it’s crucial that the pages displaying YMYL topics be authoritative and trustworthy. Here is a list of such topics: News and current events Government and law Finance Health and safety Identity groups Fitness and health Education Housing and employment Google claims to have “very high Page Quality standards” for such pages because low-quality YMYL content can directly affect readers’ well-being. Using both E-A-T and YMYL when crafting your web content can help you achieve better ranking results. Ultimately, you’ll want to prove readers with the best option for content so that they continue to return to your site when they have other related queries and problems. 3 Tips for Building Authority and Trust Dedicate a page on your site (most choose “About Us”) to showcase your brand when it’s featured in major media publications. Use schema markup on your site to give Google auxiliary information about your content Use a page on your website to display customer feedback and ratings. “Content is king,” as Bill Gates once said. That is still the case. What does this mean for your SEO efforts? The higher your position in the SERPs, the better your content. But what distinguishes good content from bad? We’ll get to that in this section, but first, let’s talk about some key content focus areas. Meta descriptions and titles In many cases, what Google shows its users in search results is determined by these areas of a page. An accurate meta title (also known as a title tag) that clearly describes what the content of the page offers to the user is important — it determines whether or not they click on your result. Meta titles and meta descriptions are essentially sales copy that draw the user in while also assisting Google in better understanding the content and purpose of each page. Include the primary keyword in your meta description, as this is beneficial to both users and search engines. Headings The title that users see when they arrive on your page is an important signal to Google. It, too, must be unambiguous and include the terms that the user searched for. Again, this is a significant signal for Google and is reassuring to the user. Style of Writing Keep your writing simple, direct, and focused. Keep sentences short, content organized in logical chunks, and stay on topic. This allows readers to quickly get to the solution to their problem. Organize your content so that the value it demonstrates is simple to identify, comprehend, and engage with. Extensive Content When possible, include rich content such as audio, video, and illustrative images. However, keep in mind that Google cannot understand the content of images or videos. When you do include these richer formats, make sure they are accompanied by the appropriate meta tags to help Google and those with visual impairments understand what the content is about. You could also provide a written version for users who prefer written content. Outbound links, also known as links to external sites, lead to sources that confirm the accuracy of your content while also assessing your and the author’s credibility. Authorship Where possible, explicitly identify the author. If they are authoritative, the content will gain credibility. However, keep in mind that your content does not exist in a vacuum. Each piece of content must be viewed as part of a larger, cohesive content strategy. As soon as you do this, you’re thinking about content marketing. Content Types Different types of content are appropriate for various stages of the funnel and for various users. A good content strategy will include a variety of formats, such as: Lists: People and Google both enjoy making lists. They are simple to read and engage with. How-to hints: These are ideal for demonstrating a step-by-step approach to a search query. Long-tail keywords should be targeted if the user is asking a specific question. Long-form gues: These may take a lot of time to create, but they can help your audience understand a specific or broader topic in depth. Tables: Google understands tables of data or information on your pages. They are also useful to your audience when they need to process data about a specific topic. Graphics can be images, photographs, or illustrations. Google is increasingly including these in the SERPs, particularly on mobile. Furthermore, images can drive visits from Google’s image search, which is particularly popular with certain industries and types of queries (i.e., fashion or travel). Infographics are images that contain information (typically illustrations and text), making them stand alone content. They are excellent pieces of content to share with your audience on social media in order to increase engagement. They are also an excellent way to build links. Veos: Google is increasingly including videos in search results. This is especially true for how-to videos. Podcasts: Podcasts have recently grown in popularity, particularly in specific niches. Google displays them in the standard search results, just like it does with videos and images. Webinars: A webinar is a public live online meeting or presentation. Webinars not only engage and build your audience, but they also provide excellent long-term content. This is due to the fact that after the live event, you can upload it to YouTube as a video that people can watch at any time. Ebooks: Ebooks are downloadable books, typically in PDF format, that brands frequently distribute for free. They are ideal for in-depth content that is too long for an article and can be used to learn more about your target audiences. Pro Tip: If you upload your videos to YouTube, you will gain increased brand visibility and referrals on that platform. YouTube is the world’s second most visited website. 3 SEO Content Creation Strategies It’s always a good idea to begin with some thorough competitor research. What do your direct competitors have to say on their blogs? What keywords are they aiming for? You’ll want to identify opportunities to discuss those topics in greater depth and detail, as well as content gaps where you can differentiate yourself from the competition. Length isn’t the be-all and end-all. Have you noticed that blogs that target a specific keyword are shorter? If you believe that longer content will benefit your readers, use as many words as you need to get your point across. But keep in mind that many readers are spending less and less time reading online articles. When writing, keep accessibility in mind. Tools such as the SEO Writing Assistant can assist you in determining the tone and readability of your content. Now that you’ve covered the fundamentals, check out the following Twitter thread for content strategy advice. Lindsey Bailin here, let’s talk content strategy! Content strategy is more than just copying your competitors’ content to fill in the gaps. Plan your content around KPIs and include other disciplines to achieve your objectives. ð @lindsbail #SEOthread https://t.co/W9BkRpajOU F.A.Q. — Semrush (@semrush) November 16, 2021 How Quickly Does SEO Work? Long-term search engine optimization is a strategy. To see results from your strategy, you must implement a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes both on- and off-page optimization. Some of your efforts will pay off quickly after implementation. Changes to meta titles and headings are common examples, as is improving the content on a few pages. Other efforts, such as implementing Schema markup on pages, producing a large volume of informative content, establishing authoritative links, and attracting positive reviews, take time but pay off in the long run. How Do I Get to the Top of Google? Nothing will transform the performance of your SEO strategy. All of the elements described above interact, and it is the sum of all the signals read by Google that causes the needle to move for you. Your best bet is to build your content strategy around the right keywords, create consistent content, optimize for local and technical SEO, and pivot your strategy as needed based on performance. What Are Some SEO Examples? A comprehensive SEO strategy includes competitive research, content creation, and content amplification, in addition to the technical aspects of website optimization. Excellent SEO can include: Creating a blog post using keyword research Optimizing existing content so that your website has a better chance of appearing as a featured snippet in the SERPs. Improving page speed through technical SEO elements and a lot more Check out this article on the latest SEO trends for some helpful tips and trends that demonstrate how versatile SEO can be. How Do I Get Started with SEO? You can learn SEO for your business in a variety of ways. If you’ve decided to tackle SEO in-house, your approach and learning will be especially important. There are free academy courses that offer certifications, and Google itself provides training and certifications for Google Analytics, which is especially useful if you intend to track the performance of your site. Some companies are unable to scale quickly or efficiently enough to learn and implement SEO in-house. In this case, hiring an SEO agency can be one of the less stressful ways to ensure your brand receives the visibility it deserves. Check out some of our Twitter tips for more information on breaking into the SEO field. There are at least a few extremely effective methods for accelerating your #SEO growth. As an SEO geek who is extremely passionate about everything SEO, I am sharing a few tips with you on how you can take your SEO to the next level. #SEOThread @olgazarzeczna pic.twitter.com/Ixe96qseov September 21, 2021 — Semrush (@semrush) How Do Search Engines Function? Search engines, such as Google, organize and rank content using relatively complex processes, or algorithms. Algorithms use a variety of ranking factors to determine how well a page ranks. In short, search engines collect digital content and organize it into results pages. The ultimate goal is for searchers to be satisfied with the results they find in search engine results pages (SERPs). Incorporating keywords into your content is a big part of this. Keywords are words or phrases that people enter into search engines when conducting a search. The keywords on your page should be relevant to your company and have a high search volume (i.e., enough people are asking a question on Google that you should write a corresponding page about it). To find keywords that make sense for your strategy, use tools like the Keyword Magic Tool or the Keyword Overview Tool. Remember that repeating a keyword in a piece is an outdated practice that will not help you rank in Google. Instead, use keywords to help you decide what to write about. Using keywords “above the fold” and in headers assists users and search engines in determining the topic of your page. How Does Google Function? Typically, the primary goal of an SEO strategy is to rank highly on Google. Google finds and ranks content in the following stages: Crawling: Google crawls the web using “bots” to look for new or updated pages. A page must have links pointing to it in order for Google to find it. In general, the more links a page has, the easier it is for Google to find that page. Indexing: Next, Google analyzes the URLs discovered by the bots and attempts to understand what the page is about. Google will examine content, images, and other media files. It then saves this data in its Google Index (or its database). Serving: After Google has evaluated URLs, it determines which pages are most relevant to users’ search queries and organizes them in the SERPs accordingly. Algorithm Google The Google search algorithm is the internal process used by Google to rank content. When making ranking decisions, it considers a wide range of factors. Google’s algorithm has evolved numerous times over the years, but its current focus is on understanding search intent through language models. Google, for example, can take the three examples below and produce relevant results despite the fact that “change” is used in different contexts each time. Google provided the image. Unfortunately, no one outside of Google has a crystal ball into all of its ranking factors. It’s understandable that Google would keep their secret formula so closely guarded. Fortunately, Google provides users with best practices to follow. Furthermore, experts such as John Mueller, a Google search advocate, provide advice and answers on the algorithm on a regular basis. That being said, here are a few points to consider when optimizing your site based on Google’s recommendations: Intent: Does your content answer the questions of your users or show them what they want to see? Language, freshness, and synonyms all make a difference here. Relevance: Once Google’s algorithm determines that your content meets the search intent of the query, it will scan its Google Index to determine where your content ranks in terms of relevancy. On-page SEO is critical in this case. If you provide searchers with the clearest and most relevant content, you will most likely rank higher in the SERPs. Quality: Yes, it may appear that content with strong search intent and relevance is already of high quality. However, the reality is that the Google Algorithm considers quality. Many people refer to this evaluation as E-A-T — expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. While we may never know what Google’s ranking factors are, here are a few best practices to prioritize on your site. Penalties for Google Google penalties are negative consequences or effects that have an impact on a website’s ranking. These are manual actions taken by Google to address unethical SEO tactics. Here’s a helpful hint for avoiding the mistakes that result in these penalties. Learning the ins and outs of the SERPs can be difficult — take a look at the following thread on SEO myths to learn how to spot bad SEO advice from a mile away. There are several common myths in the SEO industry that drive me insane. These are a few that stick out to me like nails on a chalkboard. @MikeAtClicked #SEOThread https://t.co/uU9q3J2OmH @semrush 9 September 2021 Examples of How SEO Works SEO is the art and practice of persuading search engines to recommend your content as the best, most authoritative, and most comprehensive solution to their problem. As previously stated, Google bots collect information on pages and add it to Google’s Index. The index is then reviewed by search engine algorithms based on hundreds of ranking factors to determine where pages should appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) based on user queries. A typical SERP starts with pa results and then moves on to organic traffic (which is traffic based on the quality of pages). SEO on-page On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing the content of web pages. Unlike off-page tactics (which we’ll discuss next), you have control over these factors. You can, for example, change the title tags and meta descriptions on your own page and write your own content. Other examples of on-page SEO factors are: Keywords: Begin your content creation process by conducting keyword research using a tool such as the Keyword Magic Tool. You can see how many people search for a specific keyword as well as an indication of how difficult it will be to rank for it. This will assist you in determining which keywords to target with your content. Making Content: After you’ve chosen primary and secondary keywords for a specific topic, begin creating content with user intent in mind. This entails determining what people looking for a specific phrase are looking for. If someone searches “Honda Pilot colors,” include the colors as well as any supporting images that the user may want to see. Page speed: Users will frequently abandon a page if they do not receive the information they require quickly. Using Google’s PageSpeed Insight tool, ensure that your page speed is adequate. If there are any problems, the tool will provide suggestions for improvement. Internal linking: Because Google crawls the internet using links, internal linking is a critical component of SEO. Links are viewed as a vote of confidence; capitalize on this by linking from high-authority pages to new pages or pages in need of a boost. SEO Off-Page Off-page SEO refers to all optimization tactics that take place outside of your owned web properties. These off-page strategies assist search engines and users in determining whether your site is authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy. While social media and influencer marketing are important aspects of off-page SEO, link building is arguably the most important. The practice of getting other websites to link to your website is referred to as link building. Links function as votes of confidence, so obtaining a backlink from a high-authority site can increase traffic as well as authority. Remember that more links aren’t always better; spammy backlinks will have no positive impact on your site and may even result in penalties. Buying links or taking shortcuts to accomplish this. Link building can be difficult, but the benefits in terms of traffic, brand recognition, and authority can be enormous. We’ll go over link building in greater detail later. Let’s start with a primer on the fundamentals of SEO. Creating Links The practice of getting other websites to link to your website via hyperlinks is known as link building. Backlinks are essentially votes of trust or authority from other sites, making it one of the most important aspects of SEO. The more high-quality referring domains your website has, the more trustworthy it appears to Google. Why Is Link Building Important? Obtaining backlinks is another excellent way to boost your page’s ranking in the SERPs (proved these backlinks are coming from reputable websites). Internal inbound links — links from your website pointing to other pages on your website — are also recommended. This assists Google in navigating your site and indicates the importance of the pages you are pointing to. Google Penguin, a core algorithm update released in 2012, was designed to help eliminate “link cheating” (meaning to prevent sites with spammy link profiles from ranking high). They announced in 2017 that the process of identifying and then ignoring spammy links is now in real-time. This means that low-quality backlinks will be ignored and will not help you rank. So, when it comes to link building, prioritize quality over quantity. Creating content that will naturally earn links is a good way to start building a backlink profile. Some examples include: Creating relevant, authoritative content in your field Using the right keywords to deliver your content to the right people Including assets that can be linked to, such as infographics However, link building isn’t always that simple; actively running a link building campaign can help. Link building entails identifying people who can link to your content (website owners, journalists, bloggers, and so on), directing them to it, and encouraging them to link to it from a relevant page on their site. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? While it may be simple, it is also time-consuming. Here are some successful link-building strategies: Create shareable assets for users. Participate in social media. Take part in (strategic) guest posting. Make use of broken link building. Discover unrelated brand mentions Recreate your competitors’ backlinks. Obtain lost backlinks Traditional community service Learn more about the aforementioned strategies in our link building guide. If you’re ready to begin a link building campaign, you can track your progress with our Link Building tool. Create data-driven pieces: Create content that includes unique and useful (or interesting) data analysis, particularly original data. Be sensitive: Emotionally appealing content is effective for gaining links. Be amusing: This type of content is a big winner for gaining valuable links if you can hit the right note and your humor appeals to your audience. It is also excellent for generating buzz and increasing brand visibility on social media. Concentrate on collaboration: Create content that includes quotes from industry influencers or leaders, as well as interviews with them. Because you associate your brand with a recognized and relevant industry leader, this type of content will have ‘built-in’ authority. With this type of content, you’ll most likely have one link right away — from the party with whom you collaborated! Make an effort to write authoritative pieces: Creating this type of content is difficult, but it pays dividends when done correctly. If your content is thorough and accurate, it adds value to the target audience, making it easier to obtain links. Read this Twitter thread for some practical advice on link building. Hi ð, I’m Jeremy Moser, Co-Founder and CEO of @userp io, where we do SEO, PR, and link building for companies like Monday(.)com, ActiveCampaign, Freshworks, and many others. @jmoserr #SEOThread https://t.co/g0aYt91mpX December 16, 2021 — Semrush (@semrush) SEO for local businesses Local SEO is a set of tactics used to optimize a company’s online presence for local search queries. For example, if you’ve ever searched for “car dealers near me” on Google, you’ve used a location-specific search query. Location-specific queries produce results that include (typically) three parts that comprise the “map pack,” or “local pack”: Google Maps outcomes Local business outcomes Natural search results The results will look like this: Google My Business Page The above data is influenced by Google Business Profiles, or GBPs, for businesses (formerly Google My Business). Google Business Profile is a solution that provides businesses with high-visibility branding in the SERPs. Prospective customers can use their GBP to contact you in a variety of ways. Using your GBP page to boost your local SEO efforts is a great way to get started. GBP ranks content based on three main criteria: Relevance: How relevant is your company to a searcher’s geo-specific query? Google calculates the distance between each relevant result based on the search terms. If a searcher does not provide much information about their exact location, Google will use whatever information it has about the user’s location to provide the best result. Prominence refers to how well the company is known. It is also determined by how much information about the company is available online. Results for “Honda dealers near me” in local SERPs 3 Ways to Improve Your Local SEO On your Google Business Profile, include as much information about your company and its operating hours as possible. People who receive accurate information about your company are more likely to become repeat customers. On your GMB page, make sure to select the correct category (and any relevant subcategories) for your business. This helps to ensure that your company is relevant to users’ search queries. Examine what your competitors are doing. What can you do to improve your company’s performance? Here are some more pointers for ranking high in local search results. My name is @mbealin, and I’m the Founder and Principal of @searchlabagency, a Local SEO and PPC agency. My team and I spend a lot of time reviewing local search results, and there’s one thing I believe everyone in Local SEO should be focused on. #SEOthread pic.twitter.com/9ufH93fCeM November 23, 2021 Social Media — Semrush (@semrush) It may surprise you, but using social media is a part of best SEO practices. Although social media has no direct impact on rankings, it is an important off-page SEO tactic for businesses because it increases exposure, amplifies content for possible backlinks, and helps establish brand awareness in your industry. Some businesses, for example, use social media platforms such as Instagram to showcase their work culture and quickly and personally respond to customers’ questions about products (or address concerns). When used correctly, these platforms can be excellent for managing brand reputation and organic shares. Again, it will not directly affect your website ranking, but the exposure may lead to backlink opportunities, which will help boost your site ranking in the SERPs. Pro Tip: Beyond SEO, social media is critical to your marketing efforts, so having a well-thought-out social media strategy is an important component of your digital marketing strategy. Social media activity aids in the development of your reputation, brand awareness, and audience. Over time, it becomes an excellent channel for staying in touch with your current audience, expanding your reach, and disseminating the content you create. 3 Ways to Use Social Media for SEO LinkedIn is an excellent platform for sharing professional content with your followers. If you want to engage your audience and demonstrate thought leadership, this is an excellent platform to keep all of your pertinent information up to date. Share any exciting business updates on social media. The more authoritative content you share across your social media platforms, the more likely it is to be featured. As previously stated, including social media share buttons on your website is a great idea. This on-page optimization encourages people to share your content and can assist you in generating backlinks. In the thread below, you can learn more about how to avo stand out on social media. If you’re an e-commerce SEO, you’re aware that product reviews are more prevalent than ever and are being incorporated into search results. A well-written review with bolded words and colorful star ratings can go a long way. A quick thread for encouraging well-written reviews. @type SEO #SEOThread pic.twitter.com/FutuJcgdnD September 16, 2021 — Semrush (@semrush) SEO for technical purposes Technical SEO is all about the quality of your site’s infrastructure and usability. Good technical SEO ensures that Google finds your content (when you want it to) and correctly assesses and indexes the information it discovers. What Are the Top Technical SEO Priorities? Page Speed: Every page must be quick. Google prefers faster pages for its users because they provide a better user experience. Mobile-friendliness: Users must be able to easily consume your content on a mobile device. Google ranks your content based on how well it performs on mobile devices, so getting this right is critical. Google wants to recommend sites that are appealing to users in terms of design and usability. Your site layout must ensure that when a user lands on your page, they find it appealing, understand what your page offers, and understand the navigational options available to them. Schema markup is comparable to Google’s native language. Schema markup explains your content to Google in a way that it understands, making it simple to digest and comprehend. Some examples of technical SEO elements found behind the scenes. 3 Techniques for Improving Technical SEO Examine Google’s index for duplicate versions of your website. Pay close attention to site speed — revisit anything that slows page performance and be wary of technical features that may slow page speed. Google PageSpeed is a free tool that lets you see how well your web pages perform in terms of speed. Remember to include a robot.txt file. Are you interested in technical SEO in action? Take a look at this Twitter thread with Schema App’s CEO and co-founder. Hi! My name is Martha, and I’m the CEO and co-founder of Schema App. We work with structured data 365 days a year and have seen some amazing results. I’d like to share some of those AHAs with you so that you can stand out in search and track your ROI! @marthavanberkel #SEOthread https://t.co/esccNJCJXo @semrush 9th of December, 2021 Architecture of a Website The architecture of a website refers to how web pages are grouped and organized. Great website architecture prioritizes the user’s experience. Users are more likely to spend time and engage with a website that is easy to navigate and has good architecture. When it comes to a website’s user experience, it’s critical to help visitors get to where they want to go in as few clicks as possible. It should also be simple for them to get from point A to point B and back again. A well-structured website makes it easier for Google to crawl and index it. Here’s an example of a clean website architecture, with pages logically organized into categories and subcategories. 3 Pointers for a Well-Organized Website Architecture Don’t create overly complicated URLs. Google prefers URLs that are clean and concise. Simple phrases, lower-case letters, hyphens between words, and words that describe the page’s content should be used. A site map facilitates Google’s crawling of a website. There are several approaches to this, but the XML site map is the most common. Be wary of keyword cannibalization. Check out our article on keyword cannibalization to learn more about how to avoid this. What Exactly Is SEO? Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing organic traffic and ranking on search engines such as Google, Bing, and others. This includes creating high-quality content as well as monitoring your site’s technical health, gaining links from other sites to your site, maintaining your site’s local search presence, and other responsibilities. What Is the Importance of SEO? SEO is important because it increases your company’s online visibility. Pa advertising and social media can also help with visibility, but the beauty of SEO is that if done correctly, it can continue to bring traffic over time. As a result, search engine optimization drives “free” traffic to your website. High-quality pages that answer a user’s query can appear near the top of the SERPs. This is a great place for searchers to learn about your website and business. There are, however, additional reasons to prioritize SEO. It can: Bring conversions with you. Obtain more leads Promote sales Conclusion Don’t feel overwhelmed by the amount of SEO information available! We have options for professionals at all levels of SEO experience. SEO is an art and a practice that takes time to master, and things in the world of search engines are constantly changing. To learn SEO, all you need is a curious mind and a desire to assist searchers in finding the information they require. Do you want to learn more about SEO? Check out these ten advanced SEO techniques. Do you want to watch some interesting SEO content? Check out our webinar series on developing a winning SEO strategy. Do you want to see how your SEO skills stack up? Take advantage of one of our free SEO certifications available through the Semrush Academy. References Mailchimp provides the tools and resources needed to promote and increase conversion on your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of directing your website to appear higher on a search engine results page (SERP), resulting in more traffic. Typically, the goal is to rank on the first page of Google results for search terms that are important to your target audience. As a result, SEO is as much about understanding your audience’s wants and needs as it is about the technical aspects of how to configure your website. People use search engines to find what they’re looking for on the internet. Search engines are a common starting point when you need information, whether you’re researching a product, looking for a restaurant, or booking a vacation. They provide a valuable opportunity for business owners to direct relevant traffic to your website.
How do search engines function?
Search engines provide results for any search query entered by the user. To accomplish this, they survey and “understand” the vast network of websites that comprise the internet. They use a sophisticated algorithm to determine which search results to show for each search query.
Why is SEO centered on Google?
Many people associate the term “search engine” with Google, which controls approximately 92 percent of the global search engine market. Because Google is the most popular search engine, SEO is usually centered on what works best for Google. It’s beneficial to have a clear understanding of how and why Google works.
What Google desires
Google is designed to provide its users, or searchers, with the best search experience possible. That means delivering the most relevant results as soon as possible.
The search term (the user input) and the search results are the two most important aspects of the search experience (the output).
Assume you search for “Mailchimp gues and tutorials.” This is a straightforward, unambiguous search. Google recognizes your query and returns a useful page as the top organic result—own Mailchimp’s page with that title.
According to Google, this is a very good search result and a positive user experience because the user is likely to click the top result and be pleased with the outcome.
How does Google make money?
Google profits from people’s trust and appreciation for its search service. It accomplishes this by providing relevant search results.
Google also offers businesses the option to pay for ad placement at the top of search result pages. These listings are denoted by the word “Ad.” Google earns money when users click on pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements purchased through AdWords. These ads will appear on more general queries in particular.
Apart from the small label, these search results appear almost identical to other search results. Of course, this is done on purpose, as many users click on these results without realizing they’re ads.
This is what Google is banking on. Advertising revenues accounted for more than 80% of Google’s $182.5 billion in revenue in 2020. As a result, while search functions remain its core product, the company relies on its advertising business.
The structure of search results
SERPs are made up of paid search results and “organic” search results, with the latter not contributing to Google’s revenue. Google instead provides organic results based on its evaluation of a site’s relevance and quality. Google will include different elements on the SERP depending on the type of search query, such as maps, images, or videos.
The number of ads on a SERP is determined by what users have searched for. If you search for “shoes,” for example, you’ll likely find that many of the top results are advertisements. In fact, the first organic result will most likely require you to scroll down the page.
A query like this typically generates a large number of ads because the searcher is likely looking to buy shoes online, and there are numerous shoe companies willing to pay for a feature in the AdWords results for this query.
On the other hand, if you search for “Atlanta Falcons,” you will get different results. Because the top results are mostly related to the professional American football team of the same name, they are. But it’s still a vague question. There are news stories, a knowledge graph, and a link to their homepage. These three types of top results indicate that Google does not know the precise intent of your search, but provides quick paths to learn about the team, read their latest news, or visit their website.
Because there appears to be no purchase intent behind the query, advertisers are unwilling to bid on the keyword, so no AdWords results are returned.
If you change the query to “Atlanta Falcons hat,” which indicates to Google that you may be shopping, the SERP results change to include more sponsored results.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing a website or webpage to increase the quantity and quality of traffic it receives from organic search engine results.
The advantages are self-evident: free, passive traffic to your website month after month.
But how do you optimize your content for SEO, and which “ranking factors” are actually important?
To answer that, we must first understand how search engines operate.
Are you new to SEO? Check out our SEO fundamentals guide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-XxAk8-OXY How Does SEO Work? Simply put, SEO works by showing search engines that your content is the best result for the topic at hand. This is because all search engines have the same goal: to provide their users with the best, most relevant results. The exact method you use depends on the search engine you’re optimizing for. If you want to increase organic traffic to your website, you must first understand and cater to Google’s algorithm. If you want more video views, it all comes down to YouTube’s algorithm. Because each search engine has its own ranking algorithm, it would be impossible to cover them all in this guide. So, going forward, we’ll concentrate on how to rank in the world’s most popular search engine: Google. Interesting fact Google has a 92 percent market share. That is why it is beneficial to optimize your website for Google rather than Bing, DuckDuckGo, or any other search engine. How search engines function Search engines are the digital equivalent of libraries. Instead of copies of books, they keep copies of web pages. When you enter a search query into a search engine, it searches through all of the pages in its index to return the most relevant results. It accomplishes this through the use of a computer program known as an algorithm. Nobody knows exactly how these algorithms work, but we have some hints, thanks to Google. On their “How Search Works” page, they state: Search algorithms consider many factors, including the words in your query, the relevance and usability of pages, the expertise of sources, and your location and settings, to provide you with the most useful information. The importance of each factor varies depending on the nature of your query; for example, the freshness of the content is more important when answering questions about current events than it is when answering questions about dictionary definitions. When it comes to Google, this is the search engine that the majority of us use—at least for web searches. This is due to the fact that it has by far the most reliable algorithm. There are numerous other search engines for which you can optimize. Learn more about how search engines work in our guide. How to Optimize Your Website for Google Google famously employs over 200 ranking factors. Even back in 2010, there was speculation that there could be up to 10,000. Nobody knows the full list of ranking factors, but we do know some of them. How? Because Google informed us, and many people, including ourselves, have investigated the relationships between various factors and Google rankings. We’ll go over some of them shortly. But first, a critical point: Google ranks web pages rather than websites. Because your company manufactures stained glass windows, it does not follow that every page on your website should rank for the query “stained glass windows.” With different pages, you can rank for different keywords and topics. Now, let’s look at some of the factors that influence rankings and search engine visibility. Crawlability Before Google can even consider ranking your content, it must first be aware of its existence. Crawling is the primary method used by Google to discover new content on the web. To put it simply, crawling is the process by which Google follows links from pages it already knows about to pages it hasn’t seen before. They use a computer program known as a sper to accomplish this. Assume your homepage has a backlink from a website that is already indexed by Google. When they crawl that site again, they’ll follow that link to find your website’s homepage and most likely add it to their index. They will then crawl the links on your homepage to find other pages on your website. Some things can prevent Google’s crawlers from working: Inadequate internal linking: Google uses internal links to crawl all of your site’s pages. Pages that lack internal links are less likely to be crawled. Internal links with nofollow: Google will not crawl internal links with nofollow tags. No pages are indexed: A noindex meta tag or HTTP header can be used to exclude pages from Google’s index. If other pages on your site only have internal links to noindexed pages, Google may not find them. Robots.txt blocks: A robots.txt file tells Google where it can and cannot go on your website. It will not crawl pages that are blocked here. If you are concerned about any of these issues on your site, consider conducting an SEO audit using a tool like Ahrefs Site Audit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjinWqfGyVE Mobile-friendliness Mobile devices account for 63 percent of Google searches, and this figure is increasing year after year. Given that statistic, it’s no surprise that Google announced a ranking boost for mobile-friendly websites in its mobile search results in 2016. In 2018, Google also implemented mobile-first indexing, which means that the mobile version of your page is now used for indexing and ranking. I believe there is some misunderstanding. Some people believe we have two indexes, one for mobile pages and another for desktop pages. We’ve got one. We now do desktop-first indexing for the majority of sites. Mobile-first indexing will be used in the future. https://t.co/7QtCgbWQGU pic.twitter.com/leV7ADhLoO Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) — March 15, 2018 But here’s a more important Adobe statistic: Almost eight out of ten consumers would stop engaging with content that didn’t display well on their device. In other words, when a desktop version of a site loads on mobile, most users will likely hit the back button. This is significant because Google wants to keep its customers happy. Pages that are not mobile-friendly cause dissatisfaction. Even if you rank and win the click, the majority of people will not stay to consume your content. You can use Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool to determine whether your web pages are mobile-friendly. If they aren’t, you should hire a developer to make them so. Pagespeed Pagespeed refers to how quickly a page loads. On both desktop and mobile, it is a ranking factor. Why? Google wants to keep its users satisfied once more. Users will be dissatisfied if they click on search results that take too long to load. Use Google’s Pagespeed Insights tool to assess the speed of your web pages. Alternatively, use Ahrefs Site Audit to search your site for slow-loading pages. Just look for the “Slow page” warning in the “Performance” report. Intent to search It is simple to identify a keyword or keywords for which you wish to rank. Simply enter a topic into a keyword research tool, such as Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, and search for relevant keyword eas with high search volume. That is, many people fail to consider whether their page aligns with the search intent of their chosen keyword. Let’s look at an example to show search intent. The following are the most recent Google search results for “slow cooker recipes”: Compare them to the results for the search term “slow cooker”: Despite the fact that the two keywords are similar, Google returns two completely different sets of search results. They show pages with many recipes for “slow cooker recipes.” They display product listings and ecommerce category pages for “slow cooker.” Google interprets the query’s intent and displays the results that the user desires. This is an example of search intent in action. How do you prepare for this? Examine the top-ranking pages and ask yourself questions to determine the “three C’s of search intent.” Type of content: Are the majority of the results blog posts, product pages, category pages, landing pages, or some other type of page? Is Google primarily ranking how-to guides, list articles, tutorials, comparisons, opinion pieces, or something completely different? (Note: This is mostly applicable to informational topics.) Is there a common theme or unique selling point among the top-ranking pages? If this is the case, you now have some idea of what searchers are looking for. In addition, you can check for the presence (or absence) of SERP features to infer intent. For example, if a featured snippet appears in the results, it could indicate that the searcher is looking for information. In Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, you can filter for keywords with or without specific SERP features if you’re doing keyword research. Reading suggestions: What exactly is Search Intent? A Complete Guide for Newcomers Backlinks PageRank is the foundation of Google’s ranking algorithm. Backlinks are interpreted as votes in this case. Pages with more votes tend to rank higher in general. How do we know this? We studied nearly one billion web pages last year and discovered a clear correlation between referring domains (links from unique websites) and organic search traffic. To summarize, backlinks are important if you want to rank for anything worthwhile. The issue is that building links to specific types of content, such as product pages, can be difficult. There are numerous link-building strategies, but if you’re new to the game, focus on building links to your best informational content (for example, a blog post or a free tool). Here’s one way to go about it: Go to Google and type in your target keyword. Look for pages that are inferior to yours. Paste that page’s URL into our free backlink checker to see its top 100 links. Consider reaching out to these individuals, explaining why your content is superior, and asking if they would swap out their link for yours. This strategy is known as the Skyscraper Technique. Read the articles and watch the videos below to learn more about this technique and other backlink building strategies. Authority Backlinks are not all created equal. Some are heavier than others. This is inherent in the way PageRank works. Backlinks from high-authority pages are generally more powerful than those from low-authority pages. Unfortunately, Google stopped publishing public PageRank scores in 2016. That means there’s no way to determine how much “authority” a website has in Google’s eyes. Fortunately, similar metrics exist, one of which is Ahrefs URL Rating (UR). URL Rating is a 0-100 scale that considers both the quantity and quality of backlinks to a web page. We discovered a clear positive correlation between UR and organic search traffic when we investigated the relationship. As a result, when building backlinks to your content, you should prioritize links from strong pages over links from weak ones. When analyzing competing pages for backlink opportunities in Ahrefs Site Explorer, the UR column in the “Backlinks” report is the best place to start. Of course, backlinks aren’t the only way to increase a web page’s “authority.” URL Rating (UR) also considers internal links, which means that links from other pages on your site contribute to a page’s authority. If you want to increase the “authority” of a specific page but are having difficulty building backlinks to it, consider adding some relevant internal links from other high-authority pages. Check the “Best by Links” report in Ahrefs Site Explorer to see your most authoritative pages. The golden rule here is to avoid inserting links where they do not belong. Always link in context. This strategy is a good way to increase the “authority” of pages with commercial value, such as product pages. It will be difficult to build backlinks to those pages directly. Content caliber Google always wants to rank the most reliable and useful results. To do so, they examine content-related signals such as expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. These are referred to collectively as EAT. (For more information on EAT, visit Google’s Search Quality Rater Guelines.) You can also do the following to improve the perceived quality of your content: Maintain a reading level of 7th or 8th grade. At this level, most Americans read. Short sentences and paragraphs should be used. This is not an essay, but rather web content. Where possible, include links to useful resources. Don’t worry about “hoarding PageRank.” Make your content as useful to visitors as possible. Avo massive text walls. Images, quotes, and other visual elements can be used to break up the text. Make your content as skimmable as possible. In general, the more easily accessible your content is to the majority of searchers, the better. For some searches, freshness is also an important factor. If you Google “best router,” for example, you’ll notice that almost all of the results were published or republished recently. This is due to the rapid advancement of technology. Nobody wants to know which routers were the best in 2016. That would be useless. Freshness is less important in other queries. Consider this top-ranking result for “how to tie a tie”: Nobody has updated the page in over six years, but it makes no difference because tying a tie is the same now as it was then. Examine the search results for your target keyword to see if freshness appears to be an important ranking factor. Adjust your strategy as needed. Why ranking is exaggerated… kind of Google considers location, previous search history, and search settings to “tailor your results to what is most useful and relevant for you at that moment.” That means that even if your site ranks first for your target keyword, it may not be the case for everyone all of the time. For example, searching for “flapjack recipe” in the UK versus the US yields different results. Why? Flapjacks are oat bars in the United Kingdom. They’re called pancakes in the United States. Use an incognito tab to offset any personalization from your search history when checking “true” rankings. Use a VPN to compensate for geographical factors. You can also use a rank tracking tool, such as Ahrefs Rank Tracker, to track keywords for a specific location—even down to the zip code. This is particularly beneficial for local SEO. Rankings are still changing. Here are our year-to-date rankings for “SEO audit”: As a result, it’s often better to prioritize organic traffic over rankings. This can be done using analytics tools such as Google Analytics, or you can get a rough estimate using Ahrefs Site Explorer. Simply enter a URL and navigate to the “Organic traffic” tab on the “Overview” report. What you want to see for important pages on your site is a graph like this: Or this: Not like this: Because many pages rank for thousands of keywords, it makes more sense to prioritize traffic over keyword rankings. And they frequently receive traffic from multiple keywords, not just one. Last thoughts Understanding how search engines work and the characteristics they look for when ranking content is critical when attempting to create content that ranks. That is, search engine algorithms are constantly changing, and there is no guarantee that what is important today will be important next year. Don’t be alarmed by this. In general, the important things remain consistent over time. Backlinks, “authority,” and matching search intent have all been critical factors for many years and show no signs of changing anytime soon. Do you want to learn more about SEO? Check out our SEO guide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvwS7cV9GmQ Have any questions? Please leave a comment or contact me via Twitter. Senote. We asked 40+ SEO industry experts to define SEO in a previous version of this post. Examine their definitions. We asked 40+ SEO industry experts to define SEO in a previous version of this post. See their definitions here.
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