SEO for beginners

SEO For Beginners

December 1, 2022

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is a fancy way of defining practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results. Organic search results are the query results which are calculated strictly algorithmically, and not affected by advertiser payments. This is the biggest way for people to discover and access online content. This means a good SEO strategy is essential for improving the amount of organic traffic that is driven to your website. 

So, how does SEO work? Search engines like Google use programs called crawlers to read web pages and gather information. These crawlers come onto your webpage and follow the links on your website, inspecting your content to help the search engine understand what your website is about so it can be properly indexed. That way, when a user searches for a term, Google’s algorithm can deliver what it believes to be the most accurate and useful results. 

So, how does Google determine which pages are going to appear at the top of each search result?

Google has over 200 factors that go into their search ranking algorithm, but you only really need to know 3 to achieve fantastic results. 

Relevancy

If you search for skateboards you don’t want to see results for volleyball nets. That’s why Google looks first and foremost for pages that are closely related to your keyword. They do this by crawling for keywords on your page. But Google doesn’t just use relevancy to rank your page at the top. That’s because there are thousands, if not millions, of relevant web pages for pretty much every search term. So to rank pages in order from most to least relevant Google depends on the two other major factors in their algorithm.

Authority

Authority is Google’s way of telling if content is accurate and trustworthy. But how does Google determine if a page is authoritative? They look at the number of other internet pages that link to that webpage. Links from other pages are known as backlinks. In general, the more backlinks a page has the higher it will rank in Google.

Usefulness 

Content can be relevant and it can be authoritative, but if it’s not useful Google won’t want to position that content at the top of search results. Google has said there is a distinction between higher quality content and useful content. For example, let’s say you searched for “How to improve your SEO.”

  1. Result A is written by an SEO expert. The post contains quality content and plenty of backlinks but the content itself is completely unorganized and full of jargon that the average reader won’t understand. 
  2. Result B is written by an SEO noob. The post might have fewer backlinks but the content is organized into distinct sections with clearly labeled headers.The post is easier to read than Result A and written in a way that anyone can understand.
  3. Even though result A ranks higher on the relevancy and authority scale result B will rank higher in usefulness. In fact, result B might rank higher than Result A. Google measures how useful a page is largely based on how users experience a page.

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