Why is SEO So Overwhelming?
Several months ago, I took over our companies website and decided to re-design everything (a massive undertaking I realize now). While the design went through many renditions, I finally arrived at a design that functions nicely and is aesthetically pleasing. You can see for yourself at the Three Point Oh! Website. What that merely means is that I’m 10% done with the task ahead. A simple visit to Google has shown that our company isn’t nearly as high in the ranks as we’d like to be to achieve the desired traffic to our site. This all comes down to SEO (search engine optimization). I can’t tell you how many articles, videos and forums I have studied concerning SEO. Each one adds another to-do for the constantly changing internet. Some good ones I’ve found are Google Shows How to Master SEO in 10 mins or SEOmoz Ranking Factors.
Now that search engines have gotten smarter, technology has improved, and the internet has grown infinitely bigger, it is no longer a cut and dry procedure. A simple meta data description and keyword placement used to have huge effects. Now, they say not to waste your time. Here is the essential step I’ve taken away from my research:
Search Engines Are Smart
Search engines use bots to crawl and index your site through the HTML (webmaster tools has become my new best friend). These bots search through everything on your site. Google wants to make sure that the information it’s showing is quality and matches what was searched (their reputation is at stake). This is why keywords, readable content, and back links play an important role in your search engine rankings. Google likes to see the phrase that’s being searched in the page-title, page-URL, meta-descriptions, in an H1 tag, within page content, and sprinkled throughout your site. This tells the bot, “Hey, I really do have the content that matches the search.”
The other important part is back linking. The robot also searches for all the internal and external links on your site. The more links you have externally from quality sites will tell search engines there is worthwhile content on your site. This will directly affect your ranking in those engines.
Catch Me if you Can
The algorithm that runs these searches and queries your site changes from time to time. This is Google’s way of keeping things interesting. Truthfully they just don’t want everyone learning how to crack their code and use black tactics. Link farms, keyword stuffing and hidden content are sure fire ways of getting you black listed on google.