What Is Search Engine Optimization [SEO] Anyway?
Search Engine Optimization is the practice of making your website or websites easy to find through search engines and social media so that when your target audience decides they want to buy what you are selling, you get found. SEO specifically refers to unpaid or “natural” listings as opposed to search engine marketing which encompasses paid listings. This is also referred to as “organic” search results.
The internet is vast—so vast that calculating the actual size of it is impossible. With such a huge collection of data made up of such diverse contributions, there are many SEO methods—some of them more beneficial than others.
How does SEO work?
The best way to explain this is to take the world’s biggest search engines and explain how they do it. Google, Yahoo! and Bing, to name a just a few, use computer programs called crawlers, spiders, robots, bots (short for robots) or automatic indexes that browse the world wide web, make a copy of the pages they visited and then index them (like a librarian indexes the books contained within the library). That means when a visitor searches Google they are not searching the live web but rather their index of the web. Metaphorically speaking, the index is only as up-to-date as the last time the librarian updated it.
Once your site is indexed, it is “ranked” against other websites that also contain useful or relevant content. And so you have listings.
Realize that this process took quite a bit of time to achieve, and it would take time for your website to get indexed and then ranked. Google estimates that it takes a couple of weeks for their rankings to update as they have to search through the entire web before the index and rankings are updated.
It is important to remember that the intended audience for search engines are the users. Users search for something they want and the search engines provides them with a list of websites that offer what they are looking for. The search engine wants the user to be satisfied that the websites they found were relevant and useful because then the user will come back and use the search engine again. The search engine then makes money by selling advertising space to businesses who want access to these users. Their sales depend on how many users they have visiting their search engine. The users will only use their search engine if it gets them the information that they want to find—not broken links, old information or irrelevant websites. So, again, the search engines want their users to be satisfied because it guarantees them future traffic and therefore advertising sales.
And this is where SEO comes in. Basically, you provide continuous, useful content and relevant information on your industry, products or services and the search engines reward you by sending you visitors or traffic. At least, that is what you do if you are a genuine business that plans to be on the internet for a long time. There are ways to “cheat” but when a search engine catches you cheating they will blacklist your website and stop sending you visitors.
The other aspect to understand is your website and social media profiles are being indexed on different subjects. For instance, RESPONSE! is indexed under “targeted marketing”, but it also indexed under “postcard marketing” and again under “direct mail”. Then it is indexed yet again under “website design” and so on. Whatever your web content talks about, your site will be indexed under it and you will have a ranking assigned accordingly. Your ranking could be number 1 or it could be number 3002, depending what the search engine has decided about how relevant and current your content is to the search term.
The World Wide Web Just Became Much Faster
In June 2010 Google announced Google Caffeine, a new, faster method to index sites and provide much fresher (therefore much more relevant) web pages to their users. To be precise, Google’s release has promised “50% fresher results”. Google is achieving this by analyzing the web in small portions which update the index continuously—like a librarian on five shots of espresso.
Plus their new system of indexing also encompasses… well, just more. In their own words:
“So why did we build a new search indexing system? Content on the web is blossoming. It’s growing not just in size and numbers but with the advent of video, images, news and real-time updates, the average webpage is richer and more complex. In addition, people’s expectations for search are higher than they used to be. Searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish.” – Carrie Grimes, Software Engineer, Google.
What you need to know is that, with the introduction of Google Caffeine, web content will be indexed and ranked faster than ever before. That means your web content and web marketing will update, or go-out-of-date, much faster. Out-of-date is bad because the older the information is, the sooner it will be deemed irrelevant and be assigned a lower ranking accordingly.
RESPONSE! offers aggressive SEO packages including regular blogging and social media updates, online new releases and website built to be found (packed with user-oriented content).
Talk to a RESPONSE! Marketing Consultants about your Search Engine Optimization needs at 1-800-690-0945.
Learn more about our Search Engine Optimization Services…