Search engine optimization is an activity that encompasses many concepts and actions, if you have come this far looking for what SEO is and how it works, you are surely looking for information that gives you a general idea of what it implies, not just a definition.
So I will try to go step by step explaining – in broad strokes – the most important points of this topic.
What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the set of actions and techniques that are carried out to improve the position of a web page in organic search results, in relation to a certain keyword ( in SEO jargon: keyword or keyphrase).
Note that I mention “web page” and not “website”, since the actions are carried out to position one or more web pages of a website.
So SEO would mean working to improve organic or natural positioning, in the results of a certain search engine.
Basic web positioning factors
Although there are dozens of factors that search engine algorithms rely on to rank a page, we could say that there are two basic factors:
The optimization on-page is one of the most “controllable” aspects within SEO. And it is one of the basic characteristics with which every website that seeks to improve its organic positioning must-have. It is all those optimizations, in the content – visual and written – and the HTML source code, which will help search engines to better understand your website and consider its relevance in user searches.
The authority is a factor that is based on how the content is being shared page on other sites and social networks. And it takes these elements -among others- because it associates that the more shared it is, the more valuable the information it contains is for the user. Currently, it is one of the most important factors for search engines when it comes to display –or not– a page when faced with a specific search. Also called SEO off-page
What is SEO about?
Talking about search engine optimization could be as technical as it is unintelligible if you came here wondering what SEO is, our task is to try to explain it as simply as possible. And to understand SEO you must understand 3 important points that influence:
- Traffic quality. Let’s say that with one and another SEO technique, you could make many people visit your website. But what would happen, if the visitors to your page entered believing that you sell last generation computers when in fact you sell tours to Alaska on your page, that is not quality traffic. Rather than attracting visitors who are genuinely interested in your services and products, you are attracting the wrong traffic as it enters.
- Amount of traffic. Once you’ve got the right people to click through to the SERPS results, the more traffic, the better.
- Organic results. SEO focuses on traffic for which you don’t have to pay. There are paid ads in almost all search engines, which occupy a significant part of the SERPS (screenshot on google). Organic traffic is that which comes from SERPS and that you are not paying.
How has SEO evolved?
In 1945, scientists were urged to work together to create a way to bring together all the knowledge of humanity and for humanity. The “scientific camaraderie”, a side effect of the Second World War gave rise to hypertext. From there new models and advances began to be created such as ARPANET – the network that finally brought us to the internet and it is Tim Burners Lee who creates the www (world wide web), the first server in Next, and the first web page.
You have to ask yourself, what does all this have to do with SEO?
With the first pages, the need for organization arises, create directories where they could be grouped and find all that information on the web. So the first search engines were actually more directories than actually search engines.
In turn, when the first search engines emerged, people realized that they could use web pages to make money. But they had to first drive traffic to their websites. This is exactly where SEO was born in a very primitive way since search engine algorithms were still very poorly developed.
Many people associate SEO with Google, but in reality SEO was born much earlier, with the first search engines such as Lycos, WebCrawler, Altavista, and the old Yahoo.
In its early years, search engines were quite primitive and took into account on-page optimization factors such as URL, keywords, meta description, but almost on a par with search engines, spam was also born. In such a way that some filled the title, meta description, and other elements with keywords.
It was Google who decided to introduce an additional factor: links.
Although until now spam links are created so Google has been improving its algorithms by leaps and bounds.
Today, things have changed. Now, with advances in semantic search and the learning power of search engines, a page can rank for many related keywords, not just the ones it was initially optimized for.
This is a better way of doing things because from Search Engine Optimization (SEO) we are moving to what is called Search Experience Optimization, where what is sought is to more than satisfy the search needs of users, beyond just matching A page with a keyword is to offer a better user experience.
SEO is classified into on-page and off-page.
On-page optimization is basically about making the page understandable in the eyes of search engines: speaking their language, being relevant to them.
Technically, it has to do with – first of all – making sure the page is indexed.
In the SEO on-page we will find then:
- The quality of content
- Web semantics
- Title optimization
- Image optimizations
- Loading time
- User experience
To mention some that I consider the most important.
This type of search engine optimization focuses – as its name implies – on factors external to the page itself.
Among the most important elements for off-page SEO we find:
- Number and quality of links
- The presence in social networks
- Brand authority
- Brand mentions on the internet
- CTR in your organic results
Analogy on SEO on-page and off-page. How SEO works.
At this point, I would like to make an analogy, a bit crude if you like, but for those who don’t know SEO yet, it could help them understand what SEO types are about.
Imagine that you lose a little money and decide to open a business, suppose it is a bakery. They find a great place in a corner, they rent it, they get a great baker and they set up the bakery.
Among all the people who pass the bakery is Google. The problem is that they forgot a small detail: they forgot to place an ad outside the business that said that the business is a bakery and neither Google nor people enter … Bad start.
For the next time, Google goes by, you already put an advertisement-pretty eye-catching and bright-in the entrance, so Google enters but does not find names of pieces of bread, prices or any useful information, as it entered, it came out …
We are not doing very well with Google huh!
The following week you have put the batteries: you have separated all the loaves of bread on shelves, dividing Volvo vans, pastries, sweet bread, salt bread …, you have placed prices and names on each of your products, et voilá! You win the top prize because Google re-enters your business, says “wow” that good information “, takes note of everything you see, and is going to save everything in its huge database.
Along the way, Google meets a person who asks: “Hey Google, do you know where they sell ham and cheese Volvo vans?” And Google responds: “ah, yes, look because I know, John bakery, Roster bakery … and I just found a bakery close to you, but ok it’s new, it is marry’s bakery.”
Did you notice what happened? -Obviously very, very exaggerated- what happened is that you provided relevant and valuable information to Google so that it could provide it to whoever was looking for that product. Although, you weren’t-yet- his first choice. That is SEO on-page.
And now, in the aspect of SEO off-page.
Imagine that the pieces of bread you produce in your business really are excellent, but you are new to the neighborhood so nobody knows. So you decide to prepare small baskets with a selection of your best bread and you will present yourself with the owners of the nearby businesses.
You tell them who you are, explain how much your business has cost you, thank them for receiving you, and give them a basket. You tell them that if they like your bread, they will allow you to have a small poster of your bakery in their business so that their clients know you. It turns out you have good bread so they let you put it on.
You have done your homework well, you have moved and you have managed to leave several of your posters in recognized businesses in the area. And it turns out that all of those businesses are regularly visited by Google to see what’s new. Et voila! They have again a poster with a reference to your bakery!
Google thinks: “mmm, this bakery is surely very good because they are recommending it in many reputable and renowned businesses”
So the next time someone asks Google where they sell ham and cheese Volvo vans, you’re probably among the first businesses I mention. That is SEO off-page 🙂
SEO Techniques Ranking: Black Hat and White Hat
This classification depends on whether or not you follow the recommendations of the search engines. And although it is regularly divided into black hat SEO and white hat SEO, there are also those who make up the gray hat SEO.
Black Hat SEO: It bases its efforts on seeking to improve the positioning of a web page through techniques that go against the guidelines of the search engine and some of them are even unethical. These techniques may include cloaking, spamming keywords, hidden texts, backdoors, link exchange/sale, spam in forums and blogs, link farms, PBNs.
By employing optimization techniques that are not well regarded by search engines -and that is even penalized-, black hat SEO is one of the riskiest ways and as well as you can get to the destination earlier – and easier -, also the ranking of Your page may be damaged on the way.
It usually has short-term benefits, but without a value content strategy, it will hardly be sustainable in the medium and long term.
White Hat SEO: This type of SEO seeks to position a web page through techniques that follow the guidelines of search engines and are in accordance with ethical standards.
What is done here is working with content marketing and user experience to make the website increasingly relevant to search engines, adding value with quality content.
Among the white hat techniques, we could find on-page optimization, keyword analysis to work with quality content, create real social profiles where to share the created content, share the content on social networks and other blogs, create fresh content and natural links 🙂
Gray Hat SEO: It is a combination of both. Regularly, those who use a mixture are able to perform black hat SEO techniques, however, they remain within certain ethical standards, and although they try to position themselves with techniques not so accepted by Google – or some of them not yet regulated – they also value the quality of content. , on-page optimization, and white hat SEO techniques.
Why SEO is important to your company?
The most important reason is to make your page much more relevant, both for people and for search engines.
In the end, optimization is focused on helping search engines understand the content of your page, know what it is about and thus be able to associate its usefulness with user searches, the more relevant your page is in relation to the search, the more likely it is is to be shown in the results.
Well, you can be very lucky and intuitively do things the way Google likes it. Although I would say that 95% of websites are like this and never appear in user searches.
So the difference between doing SEO and not doing it, is that people who are looking for the product or service you are selling find your website or that of your competition. A little difference, don’t you think?
Here we leave you this link to Google’s quality guidelines, in case you want to dig a little deeper into this topic and know what to start with, what this search engine likes.
You have doubts? Write to us, we would love to help you 🙂