SEO – Search Engine Optimization (Quick Overview, 2021)

In theory, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the techniques that can help an individual's website rank higher in organic or “natural” search results, thus, making it more visible to people who are looking for its particular product or service via search engines. As we know, the general function of search engines is designed to help people search any information that they look for by typing certain or specific keywords on their internet browser. And of course, any website owner who runs a business electronically will expect to see that their website can invariably be found or listed right on the top of all the results shown in Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs).

First of all, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is basically the art of increasing visibility of a website in Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs). It is part of the broader scope of Search Engine Marketing (SEM); a term used to describe all the marketing strategies for keyword searching. SEM, additionally, involves both organic and paid search. With paid search, you can pay to list your website on a search engine so that your website shows up when someone types in a specific keyword or phrase. In short, both organic and paid listings appear on the search engines simultaneously, even though they are displayed in different locations throughout webpages.

In the past few years, more and more visitors are seen to have approached webpages through the utilization of search engines, instead of employing direct links from other websites. Soon after the introduction of the WWW (World Wide Web), it was evident that traditional browsing was totally insufficient for internet users to locate the information that intrigues them. Fortunately, the need for greater efficiency in locating such an information was covered thanks to the relentless series of search engine development. As of today, all of us have witnessed that search engines play one of the most vital roles in disseminating information.

Second of all, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is also referred to a collection of strategies that improves a website’s presence and visibility on the Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP). In other words, the higher and more frequently a site appears in search results, the more visitors it will receive through the use of search engines. The importance of SEO can be understood by the fact that many web sites nowadays receive the majority of their web traffic through a search engine’s organic results. What’s more, the type of techniques harnessed in SEO can be divided into four major categories: keyword research/selection, search engine indexing, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization. On-page optimization includes the management of all factors associated directly with someone’s website (e.g., keywords, appropriate content, and internal link structure), while off-page optimization on the contrary includes all the efforts made away from the website such as link building or social signal strategy. Unquestionably, the world of search engine optimization by far has changed and evolved drastically over the years with a shift away from traditional ranking factors towards deeper analysis, along with a number of contributing factors such as quality, multiple online platform, and social signals.


HOW DO THE SEARCH ENGINES WORK?

Often, there are others who are still clueless or wondering why the SEO implementation is so pivotal for business website owners. Well, the answer to this is because on Google alone, there are over 694,000 searches conducted every second. Put yourself in their shoes or simply imagine if you are among those website owners whose businesses are mostly done via internet. Every second that your website is not indexed on Google, you are potentially missing out hundreds, if not thousands of opportunities for someone to visit your website, read your content, and potentially buy your product or service. Consequently, practicing SEO basics as well as more advanced techniques can drastically improve your website’s ability to rank in the search engines and be found instantly by your potential customers. Due to the fact that the primary aim of a search engine is to provide users with relevant and useful information, therefore, it is in everyone’s best interest for the search engine, the searcher, and your future customers in particular to ensure that your website is listed in the organic search listings.

Furthermore, the emergence of the Internet and its rapid expansion worldwide has resulted in the storage and sharing of a massive amount of data, which are available to every internet user. As a result, billions of websites were created which made it hard for the average user to extract useful information from the web efficiently for a specific search. As mentioned above, the sole purpose of search engines is to provide you with the most relevant results possible in conjunction to your search query. If the search engine is successful in providing you with information that meets your needs, then you are a happy searcher. And happy searchers keep in mind are more likely to come back to the same search engine again because they are getting the results they need.

Apart from that, in order for search engines to be able to display results when a user types in a query, they need to have an archive of available information to choose from. Every search engine, for your information, has proprietary methods for gathering and prioritizing website content. Regardless of the specific tactics or methods used, the process of gathering and prioritizing such a website content is called indexing, whereby the search engine machines attempt to scan the entire archives and index all the files of information so that they can present them to you accordingly when you enter a search query.

Technically, every search engine has what are referred to as bots or crawlers which constantly scan the web, indexing websites for content, and following links on each webpage to other webpages. If your website has not been indexed, it is impossible for your website to appear in the search results. Prominent search engines such as Google and Yahoo are constantly indexing hundreds of millions, if not billions of webpages on a daily basis. Thus, when you enter a search query, they consider two main areas in determining what to show on SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages) and how to prioritize it.

1. Your website content: When indexing pages, the search engine bots scan each page of your website, looking for clues about what topics your website covers, and scanning your website’s back-end code for certain tags, descriptions, and instructions.

2. Who is linking to you: As the search engine bots scan webpages for indexing, they also look for links from other websites. The more inbound links a website has, the more influence or authority it has. Essentially, every inbound link counts as a vote for that website’s content. Also, each inbound link holds different weight. For example, a link from a highly authoritative website such as The New York Times (nytimes.com) will give a website a bigger boost than a link from a small blog site. This boost is sometimes referred to as link juice.

Meanwhile, the typical search engine looks in its index for the most relevant information and displays the results on the SERP when a search query is entered. If you conduct a similar search pattern on different search engines, for example, chances are you will see different results on the SERP. This is because each search engine uses a proprietary algorithm which considers multiple factors in order to determine what results to present in the SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page). The geographic location of the searcher for instance; or the webpage content such as keywords, tags, pictures; or perhaps the link type shared on social media, blog, etc. – these are a few factors that a search engine algorithm may consider when deciding what sort of information to be served in the SERP. By the way, the term “Algorithm” in the language of computer science is a set of specific step-by-step instructions given to a computer to complete a task, in which the task could be finding the largest number in a list, sorting items alphabetically, or determining the order of websites on a search result page based on a series of criteria. And Google algorithms follow the same basic definition and rule of an algorithm as described above.



WEBSITE CONTENT IS THE KING!

We may have heard it so often that when it comes to SEO matter, the content of a website is the king. This is entirely true because without having rich content, you will find it difficult to compete for specific keywords and drive traffic to your website. Additionally, if your content does not provide value or engage users, you will be far less likely to drive leads and customers. Of course, it is impossible to foresee how people will search for content and what exact keywords they are going to use in the first place. However, the only way to combat this issue is to generate plentiful content on your website. Simply put, the more content and webpages you publish, the more chances you have at ranking on the search engines. This is similar to the illustration of owning lottery tickets whereby the more you have them, the higher the odds are that you will earn for you to win the jackpot. Every webpage you create is a lottery ticket you possess. Hence, the more webpages you create, the higher your chances are of ranking on the first page of search engine results.

As you already know, the search engines are intelligent machines. If you create multiple webpages about the same exact topic, you are practically wasting your time. You need to create lots of content which covers plenty of subjects. Perhaps, there are multiple ways you can use to expand your online presence and increase your chances of ranking without being repetitive. For example, you can use your homepage to cover your overall value proposition and high-level messaging. If there was ever a place to optimize for more generic keywords, it is your homepage. Another example could be the use of writing on a blog. Blogging is actually an incredible way to stay existential and fresh while making it easy to produce tons of content. Blogging on a regular basis (e.g. once per week), can have a dramatic impact on SEO because every blog post is a new webpage you create.


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