DIY SEO - What is SEO?
First page of search results is a dream of almost every website owner. I don't need to mention how such result affects the visibility of the company. So what makes our website to show up on first page of search results?
This and other similar questions I will try to answer in a series of articles DIY SEO. These are the same things I explain to my clients everytime we publish a new website. That's why I decided to write down everything I know about SEO, which hopefully will be helpfull to both my clients and those who've come here from search results.
I hope that the knowledge that you will find here will help you understand what SEO is and how it works, so you can optimize it as much as you can yourself before you hire a SEO company or invest in AdWords ads. With the knowledge gained here, your site will be based on solid foundations, and your page rank in the search results will grow steadily.
What is SEO and what does it mean.
Let's start with the basics. SEO is an acronym of Search Engine Optimization which main goal is to improve the ranking of a website on web search enginess. In practice, this means that the page optimized for search engines gets indexed faster and better. Adding to it carefully crafted content will get you very good if not excellent results.
One more word of explanation before I begin. There are many search engines in use, however, the most popular and well known among them is Google. It would be virtually impossible to name them all each time I mention the search engine, search engine robots, etc. Therefore for the purpose of this and subsequent articles, when I write "Google" I mean all search engines in general.
Googlebots the website lurkers
Every website must be indexed first to show up on search results. Website pages are indexed by Google robots (Googlebots). They are programs that are constantly searching the webpages, reading web content to index it. Indexed page goes to the google directory. Because the internet is cavernous place with almost countless number of pages to index, a page that has just been published can take several days to get indexed. Don't worry if for the first week or two it will not show up in the search results. Indexing process can be accelerated by submitting a site map to google webmaster tools.
To better understand how indexing work, imagine that Googlebot is blind to all graphic elements on your website. Googlebot sees only text and HTML tags. It notice distinctions between headings and paragraphs. It sees the title and description of your website, sees keywords but don't see a company slogan that is in the form of a graphic file. Therefore, if your homepage have beautifull graphics but texts are embedded in jpg format or worse, are non-existent, the title page is "my new page" and the description is not set, than for the Googlebot such website will be worthless.
Websites are for people.
The main purpose for Google is to deliver search results most appropriate to the query. When Googlebot will not find any valuable content on a website, it's logical that this page will not appear in search results at all, or will have a very low position.
This doesn't mean that now we have to fill every free space, at all cost, with content rich in keywords. The beauty is in the balance. We have to find that balance, this is the only way our site will be friendly both to search engines and users.
Remember, the website should be created primarily for users, yes it means for people, and optimized for Googlebots, not vice versa.