INTRO FROM DON – This is Heather’s submission for the intern selection process. In my view she’s done an extremely good job at writing about this subject. It’s also much more in depth than the article I wrote for comparison. In depth is a very good thing for serious readers, and allows more keywords to be placed. It reads smoothly and consistently from start to finish.
How Google Search Really Works by Heather B. Costa
Google. One of the largest and most popular search engines on the internet. The World Wide web is such a vast and daunting place that all of us – at one point or another – will use a search engine to find the content we’re looking for.
Even if you’re not a webmaster or a blog owner, understanding how Google Search works is an invaluable skill that will save you time, effort, (and possibly money) in the long-run. We’ve all typed in a generic search term at least once in our lives and been presented with hundreds of thousands of results, many of which have little or nothing to do with the subject we’re looking for.
Take this for an example: searching the internet for the word ‘bed’. Ok, I just did that and got 145 million results. Are you really going to trawl through hundreds of millions of sites to get to the stuff you were actually looking for in the first place?
That’s where keywords come in. We can modify our search results by adding keywords such as ‘wooden’, ‘four-poster’, ‘bed and breakfast’. The more keywords we add, the more refined the search results, and it’s this key factor that is important for those adding content to the internet and for those wishing to find it.
When you search keywords on Google, there are three types of results that might be generated. They are: organic results, AdWords adverts, and AdSense adverts. If you’re a website owner or a blogger you’re more than likely to want to concentrate on the first option as the other two have the potential to cost you a lot of money in terms of promoting your website/business/blog/brand.
Organic results are based on keywords and the content of the web page itself, as well as links to and from other similar websites. So, unless you want to pay large amounts of money to promote your web presence, how else can you find your way to the top of Google’s Search listing pages?
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO for short). It does what it says on the tin; it optimises the chances of your content being found and promoted by the Google Search engine.
But how does it work?
Once Google is aware of your presence on the internet, it will begin searching your website’s content for keywords – these are the search terms that users of Google will enter in order to garner a list of results. When someone enters the word ‘bed’, Google will then search for every available webpage that features the word. That’s all well and good, but what if your website is languishing somewhere near the bottom of the millions of results generated by that keyword?
You need to maximise the chances of your webpage being seen and that means getting it somewhere near the top of the search results page.
But how is that done?
As a blogger or a webmaster, you need to know at least a few of the basics in order to maximise your SEO while also being aware of what are considered ethical and unethical practices when it comes to doing this.
There are hundreds of WYSIWYG sites out there which can help even the most technologically-challenged internet user create a dynamic and compelling web presence. Long gone are the days when a webpage owner needed to know HTML 4.0 both inside and out, yet some of the key ideas from the coding days of yore still have a great deal of merit today.
If you own a WordPress blog, the chances are that you’ve seen the keyword function in the ‘Posts’ section of the Dashboard (it’s listed as ‘Tags’ on the right-hand side of the screen). This is where you can enter the key words for your blog post, aiming to give it maximum exposure on Google Search.
The idea is to use keywords that are not only relevant to the content of your webpage, but also are likely to be search terms commonly used on Google Search. Your webpage title is also extremely important and should be dynamic and engaging while still remaining true to the content of the page itself.
I’m sure that we could all title a webpage or a blog post ‘bed’ but that probably wouldn’t pique many people’s interest or make them click on your link (even if it did end up at the top of the search results page). Now imagine how much more intriguing your webpage would sound if you added a few more keywords, something along the lines of ‘One Direction are in my bed’.
Now that you’ve added the words ‘One Direction’ to ‘bed’ as keywords, you better damn well make sure that your page has something to do with both, otherwise you’re going to get on the wrong side of folks when they find out your title was nothing more than an elaborate ruse to get them to visit your site. You’re shooting yourself in the foot by doing that; visitors aren’t going to stay around for long when they find out you’re a liar and they certainly aren’t going to come back and visit your site again – regardless of the content you might post. You’ve already made yourself out to be disingenuous and folks don’t like that….
It’s important to focus your webpages on unique content, but how do you do that?
Let’s face it, pretty much everything that’s been said about anything has been done a million times before. You can’t reinvent the wheel, but how do you make your own web presence unique? By putting touches of yourself on it and then using the keywords of your content to promote your site.
Something that is all too often forgotten is the power of images. Sometimes it is a specific image that will land your site at the top of the search pile and so it’s important to remember that any images you add to your pages (without infringing on anyone else’s copyright!) must have meaningful titles so that Google Search can pick up on them when looking for keywords.
The advent of the internet has brought the world closer together in terms of communication, but it’s important to remember that your webpage is unlikely to survive or find much success unless it is part of a community. Webpages with links to relevant content on other sites is an important way of maximising your SEO potential and this can mean spending time and effort adding your webpages to many of the free directories out there on the internet. Yes, it takes time and effort, but if you’re not willing to put in the hard yards, then why should anyone bother to visit your site in the first place?
You need to start thinking of your website or blog as a business and promote it as such (without wandering into the realms of being annoying or overbearing in doing so). Your website’s success depends on the effort you put into maintaining and updating the information on it. Without promotion and prominence, the webpages you spent so many hours slaving over are likely to come to nothing.
If you don’t believe in your site, how can you expect others to?
Like it or not, you always have to be promoting or ‘ABP’ as the lovely Don Charisma likes to call it 🙂
You can’t sell your brand if no one’s heard of it. You need to make the most of the opportunities that many ‘build it yourself’ websites offer and maximise your SEO by understanding how search engines work in the first place.
To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, someone much wiser than I: ‘If you fail to prepare, you better prepare to fail.’
Put the hard yards in now and reap the rewards in the future when your website becomes a success – the kind that lands you at the top of the search pile. After all, you only get out as much as you put in.
BY HEATHER B. COSTA
(c) DonCharisma.org & DonCharisma.com 2014
For commercial enquiries including SEO services contact us at DonCharisma.com
Resources & Sources
Strawberries & Engine – morgueFile
Google Screenshots (c) Don Charisma
Notes for commenters:
Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button.
Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.
I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.
Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.
Warm regards, Don Charisma