It’s not entirely wrong to say that the internet has had a tremendous impact on our world, having transformed various systems such as education, commerce, organizations, and homes since its development in 1960. In the past, when we had questions or needed information, we would rely on others or consult dictionaries and encyclopedias. However, with the advent of the internet and search engines, people hardly use these resources anymore. The power to find information now rests with search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, and all one needs is a keyword to find specific information.
However, this was not always the case. The first search engine, Archie, was developed in 1987. While it created a searchable database of file names, it did not index the content of sites. Jughead and Veronica were the next search engines to be developed, and they used a keyword search method. However, it wasn’t until 1993 that a proper search engine was developed. Soon after, the internet saw an influx of search engines like Infoseek, Excite, Altavista, Northern Light, and Yahoo. However, their search function was based on web directories.
By 2000, Google emerged as the leading search engine. Later, Yahoo developed and launched its own search engine based on keyword search results. In 2009, Microsoft launched Bing, and today, these three search engines dominate the internet.
Are you aware of how search engines function?
To retrieve any information, you must first locate it, and search engines utilize specialized software robots known as spiders to accomplish this task. The spiders traverse through a vast number of websites and create a list of words from those sites, which is why the process is known as web crawling. The spiders analyze each link on the sites, its content, and determine how and from where the words on the sites should be indexed. For example, spiders can crawl your site’s Meta titles, description, content, headings, etc. to determine the words for indexing. The data obtained is stored in an index database, which is subsequently utilized for future search queries. When a user enters a specific query (keyword), the engine examines the index and provides a listing of the best matched web pages.
Did you know that Google Search Engine spiders can crawl 300 pages per second, generating around 600 kilobytes of data each second?
The usefulness of a search engine is determined by the relevancy of results it produces. Today, there are millions of websites competing for the same keyword, and 100 more enter the league each day. The expansion of online business has resulted in increased competition and pressure on website owners to be ranked No.1 on a search engine’s top page.
That’s when webmasters recognized the significance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO, commonly known as Search Engine Optimization, is one of the many online marketing tools that are essential for small to mid-sized businesses that want to make their mark in the world of E-business. Today, many businesses operate online, and thousands of businesses/websites are struggling to make their presence felt online. However, let us inform you that one of the major means of success for e-businesses is online visibility, and that is where search engine optimization comes in.
Until the mid-1990s, SEO was all about submitting websites to search engines. Even today, echoes of the past are heard when so-called SEO companies promise site owners immediate ranking by automatically submitting the site to hundreds and thousands of search engines and directories.
Did you know that the beginning of the SEO era was a haven for spammers?
Yes, it is true. Webmasters took advantage of search engines and stuffed keywords in their content, Meta tags, headings, HTML comments, etc., and hid it from the eyes of human visitors. Lack of search engines’ technological sophistication resulted in such sites ranking higher. Even today, SEO consultancies engage in such practices for their clients, risking their client’s site rankings. With the number of technical and algorithm development, search engines now have the ability to recognize spam and ban the sites that encourage such practices from the face of search engines.
Currently, Search engine marketing requires an integrated approach to improve site content, quality, and popularity. For a website to reach its top potential, it must incorporate target audience analysis, competitive analysis, copywriting, and copyediting. Furthermore, because things keep changing, search engine optimizers must devote a significant amount of time staying on top of the SEO industry and its trends.
Dave Naylor once said, “My rule of thumb is, build a site for a user and not a spider.” Nowadays, very few optimizers resort to spam methods to achieve high rankings, as spamming and black-hat SEO are easily recognized by automatic spiders that have become more intelligent.
In the past, a webmaster could get their website on the first page without much difficulty, but now every site owner wants to know how to get their website to rank on the first page of Google. The answer lies in a successful search engine optimization strategy. However, many people still believe that SEO is an easy task, when in reality, it is much more complicated and difficult to understand than email marketing or paid search. SEO requires continuous tracking, reporting, and monitoring, which is not an easy task since the algorithms and factors affecting SEO change on a daily basis.
Despite the complexity of search engine optimization, there are specific tactics that you can implement to achieve optimal website optimization. Let’s examine them:
- Optimizing your website’s content is critical to achieving success in SEO. It’s essential to have relevant content not just for your homepage and inner pages, but also for elements such as alt tags, image tags, and Meta tags. The content on your site should be informative, engaging, and relevant to your site’s topic. Additionally, it’s crucial to maintain an appropriate keyword density. However, be cautious not to stuff your content with irrelevant keywords or overuse keywords as Google may flag it as spam, which could negatively impact your site’s ranking on the search engine.
- META TAG OPTIMISATION – Because meta tags are what search engines index, they are a crucial component of SEO. The two primary components of Meta tags are the description and the keywords. Always make sure to target the proper keywords and relevant information when writing your Meta tags, as users will ultimately find your website through the description they read on a search engine.
- TITLE TAG – The title tag is a crucial aspect of website optimization and is not technically a Meta tag, although it is often associated with them. It plays a significant role in indexing your website compared to other Meta tags such as description and keywords. When search engines crawl your site, they first notice the page title and use it to determine what the page is about. The page title is also the first thing users see about your website, so it should be specific to the content on the page. It’s important to include 1-2 relevant keywords in the page title, but overusing them will make your site appear spammy.
- ALT ATTRIBUTES ON IMAGES – ALT ATTRIBUTES ON IMAGES – Images add visual appeal to websites. They capture people’s attention and encourage them to visit the website. What about from the perspective of SEO, though? Do photos aid in search engine optimisation? NO. Images are helpful to visually impaired individuals as well as search engines. Alt tags are necessary because of this. People frequently ignore them, losing out on better rankings.
- RELEVANT AND WELL SEARCHED KEYWORDS – To achieve success in your search engine optimization strategy, it’s important to target the right and relevant keywords for your website. By including rich and relevant keywords in your content, you can make your website Google index friendly and attract relevant traffic. However, it’s crucial to avoid overloading your website with keywords, as this can be seen as spam and harm your search engine ranking.
Even though search engine optimisation is not very challenging, you cannot do it in a day or a week. SEO takes time and is rarely straightforward. It calls for countless hours of work, effort, and dedication. You may have a fantastic website as a website owner, but is it truly optimised? Will you be successful in luring relevant visitors and customers to your website? The most crucial factor is whether Google or Yahoo will wish to list your website on their front pages. Reconsider your position.