These days, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is all the rage in digital marketing circles. And as per my recent interaction with an AT&T deals service provider, with ISP promoters too. But this is no recent development. Online marketers have long known the importance of ‘tweaking’ their websites in accordance with search engine ranking factors. These ‘factors’ are based on technical understandings of how Google and other search engine algorithms work. More precisely, they try to anticipate – to a significant degree of accuracy – the methodology by which the engine ranks different websites. From the online marketing standpoint, being in possession of this knowledge now proves pivotal to the success and profitability of a majority of modern-day businesses.
Understanding SEO through the Standard Search Engine Working Model
Learning SEO, down to its minute intricacies, can take many years to muster. But thinking about it in terms of search engine ‘end goals’ can certainly help in facilitating its comprehension.
Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, and Baidu (among others), simply speaking, are little more than our contemporary versions of encyclopedias. They are the knowledge-directories we turn to whenever we want to gain some information – on virtually every topic under the sun. In essence, they do not hold knowledge within their own registries. They only serve as the intermediary links between the browser and the websites actually containing the knowledgeable content that is sought.
The importance of search engines stems from the fact that without them, internet users would only be able to access websites whose URLs they’re personally aware of. As part of their basic background function, search engines are responsible for indexing the World Wide Web into their search directories. And in doing so, they only make this ‘identified’ portion of the web visible in their SERPs (search engine results pages).
Search engine companies wish to make their surfing applications intelligent in gauging browsers’ intent. They want them to appear like real-life oracles of sorts so that no user goes without getting his/her query answered. And for this reason, their algorithmic design works to categorize content based on how relevant and credible it appears through constant analyses.
Google Ranking Factors – A Concise Overview
Over the years, a global and loosely centered consortium of SEO specialists has compiled a listing of over 200 Google ranking factors. Some of these became obsolete in their efficacy as a result of certain company updates. Others, especially those that pertain to keyword usage and site back-linking, have reasserted their importance. And so a contemporary SEO tech can only choose to ignore this latter category of ‘decidables’ at his or her own risk.
A good way to keep track of the developing ranking factors debate is to stay connected with popular online SEO forums like MOZ and Search Engine Land. These platforms are visited frequently by digital marketers hailing from every industrial niche. And they are usually the first web-based portals to carry news of any sudden search engine working updates through their instantaneous blog posts.
Broadly speaking, ranking factors can be classified into the dual categories of front and backend SEO-specific modifications. Front-end changes include the whole set of written content, graphics and HTML customizations that signal search engine bots to track tweaked web pages with ease.
Backend changes are mostly concerned with the site’s background code. This can be likened to the ‘ground’ on which the entire structure of a website stands.
SEOs are Crucially Reliant on a Team of Experts
It is for this reason that SEOs need to work in close concert with content writers, graphics artists, HTML coders, and website developers. These specialists constitute the collective resources who give shape to the ‘fabric’ of a website. And once their collaboration pays off, SEOs are thereafter mainly responsible for getting the website to rank well.
Because people will only know of the existence of a website if it occupies a good position (ideally being in the first 3 search results) in SERPs. And once this end has been successfully accomplished, it thereafter becomes possible for the website to receive large influxes of user traffic. More visitors directly translate into a greater probability for brand websites to sell their products and services. Which, of course, means an increase in revenues and profits.
So in a nutshell, successful SEO optimization ensures that an online retailer gets to witness a significant increase in its sales volume. And when judged from any business perspective, this really is the main goal of all commercial enterprises.
To become profitable, and expand.
Ranking for One Can Mean Ranking for All
In most cases, when a particular website begins to rank well in Google SERPs, it also starts appearing preferentially in the search results of other search platforms. This is due in large part to the most common algorithmic nature of these search channels. And this is also quite fortunate; especially considering that Google currently holds more than 80% of the online search marketplace.
Being an ISP industry researcher, I was recently engaged in discussing the current Optimum Internet price with one of the company’s sales reps. And with my interest in all things SEO, it didn’t come off as a surprise when the conversation gradually steered itself towards discussing my favorite subject. During this interaction, I was a little surprised when the sales agent informed me of the reason behind his brand’s market dominance. Which, if you haven’t already guessed it by now, amounted to little more than some very professional SEO marksmanship – and a lot of experimentation with consumer psyche.