Understanding Search Engine Optimization

A company like Google will have a bot, basically a software program that crawls the web. It does this by following links. Links from your site to other pages on your site and links from one site to another. The crawler arrives at a page, reads the code and stores the information. That stored information is called the index and your initial goal is to be indexed by Google. If you’re indexed, you’re ranked. You might not rank well, but you have the potential for ranking. And when I talk about rank, I’m referring to which position you appear in when someone conducts a search query. So when you enter in a search term, Google will do its best to provide the most important and relevant answers and then rank them from best to worst. 

The better Google is at their job the more likely you are to use them and the more money they make. So it’s in Google’s best interest to deliver the best content. And because Google drives a mind-boggling amount of traffic each day, it’s in your best interest to rank well for relevant terms. 

Rank is determined by importance and relevance, a complex algorithm churns through hundreds and thousands of variables to decide where your page lands. Many of those variables are what you’re aiming to optimize. Those variables might include the topics you’re writing about, who is linking to your page, how your website is programmed and even if you’re mobile-friendly. Google even evaluates the quality of the pages that are linking to you. If they’re on brand, relevant and popular, it’s going to assume that you’re more credible than off topic, unpopular pages are linking to your content. Variables that you can’t control might include where a user is searching from. Trending topics and any current events that might be skewing the results. 

SEO done well can provide an impressive ROI. Done poorly and it’ll negative impact your organic search efforts. In this chapter, we’re going to dig into the fundamentals of good SEO and how you can improve the chances that your page ranks well.

Photo by geralt