Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Basics
Search engine optimisation (SEO) refers to the act of increasing the quantity and quality of site traffic to a particular website or a particular web page by search engines. These visitors may then be turned into actual customers. This is a process that is undertaken by both, Search Engine Optimisation Companies and SEO Consultants. A company that specialises in SEO is called an SEO Consultant.
Some search engines, such as Google, use “spider” software to scan the internet and collect data about what other websites are like. These “spiders” are programmed by humans and, as such, are not under any obligation to show results that are congruent to a client’s marketing requirements. Hence, when a client requests a search engine optimisation solution, they must submit specific keywords. The algorithm which these keywords satisfy is called “the complex”, as it is comprised of many elements.
One of the elements is called “the matrix”, and this describes the mathematical formula for all aspects of SEO, including the “spider” used by Google. Other elements include “keyword density” and “keyword saturation”, which are basically parameters relating to how many times certain keywords are shown on a particular SERP. Optimisation companies can then add a number of other elements, such as back links, to these keywords in order to improve their chances of being listed first. An example of a back link is a link from an actual webpage on your own website, or an advert posted on another website, or a blog post written about you or your business.
With the introduction of Page Rank (PR), or SERP, Google introduced a new ranking system to measure the strength of links found on a Web page. The purpose of this is to give Google some idea of the “popularity” of a site, and also the “authority” of that site’s owners. Google began to collect information on PR in June 2020, and released it publicly for everyone to see on the main page. At the time, Google stated that this was the biggest change to their search engine rankings since they first began.
So how are the different types of search engines different? The way that Google measures your SEO is by determining your rank using both White Hat techniques and Black Hat methods. White Hat SEO is a more natural way to improve your search engine rankings. This means that the links which you build using white hat techniques are those which are built upon websites that are natural and relevant. These are sites which are similar to the ones that you would find on yours, but which are not spam-like sites.
Black Hat SEO is a more aggressive form of search engine optimisation and involves building links using methods which are not natural. This includes links which are purchased or which are traded for money. It can also include methods which are used to gain a competitive advantage over another site. This type of search engine optimisation was first announced by google in May 2020 and has been one of the most hotly contested areas of the ranking algorithm ever since. Google’s latest update, in the form of Panda, seems to have increased the level of competition, although many experts say that it is still far from reaching the difficult situation whereby black hats will eventually be defeated.
In recent times there have been several high profile cases of Black Hat SEO being used by webmasters. Examples include the accounts of the Washington Post and Harvard University, who had each spent large amounts of money in attempts to rank highly for terms associated with these keywords. In the case of the Post, a large number of links were bought, and many webmasters created content around this which included the links. In the case of Harvard, the school invested large amounts in studying the algorithm used by Google and others. This was seen as an attempt to get ahead of its rival and take advantage of the dominant search engines in the wake of the Panda update.
Many search engines have been accused of having a ‘gut reaction’ when it comes to changes in their algorithms. However, these are not random reactions and are designed to ensure that all websites are treated the same. They differ slightly from each other company. As such, the algorithms used by Google, Yahoo, and all other major search engines are constantly being reviewed and updated. Google has been especially quick to implement changes, and as such, has been credited with increasing webmasters optimisation opportunities.