Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Puzzling to find the right answers

“What we seek is some kind of compensation for what we put up with.” 

Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

The definition of SEO is in its name: optimizing one’s website in order to rank well with search engines like Google, Bing, etc. According to Wikipedia, search engines initially relied on webmasters to provide the URL or keywords it wanted them to find. Eventually, webmasters found they could manipulate key words or other features to boost the rankings of their pages in a search engine’s results. In response, search engines modified their algorithms to look for more than simple keywords. Today algorithms are learning the subtleties of human language. This allows for more flexibility when entering a query into, say, Google’s search bar. Instead of trying to think like search engine, Google is trying to teach it to think more like you.            

Search engines still use some of the original technology such as “spiders” to  find new and updated web pages. The engine then fetches the pages and indexes them to make future retrieval faster.  Not surprisingly, the expansion of the World Wide Web requires search engines to work far more quickly to handle extraordinary amounts of data almost instantaneously. Therefore, the algorithms used to determine which pages are the most relevant to user queries are much more complex. Rather than just looking for key words, they now consider things like content relevance, timeliness, and trustworthiness.

All this means marketers and web developers can no longer rely on key words in a page’s content or commonly used meta-data tags to boost their sites’ search engine rankings. According to Google’s SEO guide, to optimize your site for its search engine, you need to, “help Google understand your content” –  artificial intelligence must be taught how to think. Additionally, ICANN says it’s better to do “White Hat” SEO and use the, “techniques and strategies that follows the guidelines set by search engines without deception by using useful content and valuable content for readers.” Its opposite, “Black Hat SEO” made itself a target of firms like Google, which is always working to prevent search ranking manipulation. According to Wikipedia, in 2010, “Google made over 500 algorithm changes – almost 1.5 per day.”

Currently, Google suggests unique titles; accurate, compelling, and relevant content; description meta-tags; heading tags; and proper URL hierarchy – “know what your readers want” to know how they search. Also, make sure your site mobile-friendly since engines are optimized for mobile searching. For more information, Google offers users free tools to check site map accuracy, analytics to track followers, and it made all 160 pages of its “Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines” free and open to the public. Today, optimizing your site for search engines is no longer mysterious or technically hard; but to do it optimally, it is hard work. Make the effort and great search engine results will be your reward. 

Works Cited

ICANNWiki contributors. (2017, July 21). SEO. Retrieved from ICANNWiki: https://icannwiki.org/index.php?title=SEO&oldid=614973

The Google Search Quality team. (2019, June 14). Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide. Retrieved from google.com: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en

Wikipedia contributors. (2019, June 14). Search engine optimization. Retrieved from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Search_engine_optimization&oldid=901752591

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