NASHVILLE, TN – Every industry has its own jargon. Doctors, marketing executives and journalists tend to speak in different languages when they’re in a room full of peers. The world of search engine optimization is no different. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the unfamiliar terms used in SEO tips and guidelines. Hopefully if you’ve found your way to our blog, then you at least know that SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”.
Here, we hope to demystify some of the terms that circulate frequently in SEO-speak. Once you understand the process, you can better develop your SEO strategy.
How People Find Your Site
Analytics shows how traffic finds a specific website. Analytics record how people find you, how long they stay on your site, and how many pages they visit within your website. This information is useful in further marketing your site. We’ve written before on Google Analytics, the free analytic service offered by Google. When a user types in a search query, the SERP is what pops up in response. SERP is an acronym for “Search Engine Results Page”.
Websites don’t appear magically in Google’s index. Or maybe they do! Websites are “crawled” by computer software programs. These crawlers, or spiders, find new and updated webpages and add them to their search engine’s index. Spiders crawl webpages for new content, cataloging keywords and adding new pages to each search engine’s index. Google uses GoogleBot to crawl its search engine, thus making GoogleBot a spider. The pages are collected in an index using over 1 Million computer servers for speedy retrieval, and having your page in an index allows users to potentially find your site through a search query.
Now on to the important explanation of how giving and receiving inbound and outbound links should happen. Building links should happen organically, and the use of link farms and link buying is considered black hat. When you see text on the web that links to a different page, that linked text is called “anchor text”.
The behind-the-scenes programming of your website can also determine how easily people find you. Meta tags are used in HTML, specifically in the <head> section, so that spiders can better categorize websites. Google’s Webmaster Tools gives helpful information on how to use these tags. By outlining your website’s structure in a sitemap, your website can be more easily directed by search engines.
Google utilizes PageRank to give different weights to different websites. It takes into account how many links a website has linking to it, though not all links are created equal. Some links are from more “respectable” sources, and therefore, these links have higher weight. PageRank alone isn’t the deciding factor in whether or not a website has relevant, valuable content.
How You Help People Find Your Site
Adding fresh content to your website helps potential customers find you on the web. Many people use blogs to keep their content fresh. The term “blog” first came from “web log”, as in an online journal or record with regular updates. The term evolved to “blog”. Blogs show the most recently added content at the top of the page, and the older content moves down as new content appears.
Master Google’s CEO Ali Husayni believes that WordPress blogs are an important factor in the SEO game. “Google feeds and survives on content. Google also loves sites that feed it more quality content on a regular basis,” Husayni says.
The best blogs are those that take shape organically, and keywords should follow that rule as well. Keywords are important to SEO, as all relevant websites should stay true to their audience. Keywords can happen organically. If you’re a software engineer, your website should discuss programming, code libraries, and other specific things relevant to your niche.
Black Hat and White Hat SEO
We’ve discussed the differences before, but here’s a refresher:
Black hat SEO is basically any unethical practice in SEO. One black hat technique is implementing hidden text. Hidden text is exactly what it sounds like: If a website’s background is white, hidden text that is stuffed with keywords in a color that is undetectable for people visiting the website. The hidden text is invisible, but it can still be crawled. Adding content that isn’t relevant or helpful to your customers, especially if that content is riddled with unnecessary keywords, is black hat as well. Cloaking is a black hat technique that veils the content that real humans see with keyword-stuffed content that only the spiders can see and crawl. This is considered a deceptive practice.
White Hat SEO is the ideal way to optimize your site for visitors. White hat techniques are organic, and its advocates believe that quality content, relevant linking, keyword analysis, and following search engines guidelines generate steady, meaningful results.
Unless you have loads of extra time to devote to learning SEO, an SEO firm, like our team here at Master Google, is probably the best bet to comprehensively market your business. The SEO game is always changing, and it’s a full time job to keep up with the latest trends. An army of search engine experts can spend more time and expertise optimizing your website for search engines than most entrepreneurs can allow. Contact Master Google to see how our SEO experts can help your business grow.