Where does the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) come from?
The first search engines emerged in the early 90s. Until Google appeared in 1996 many were created, including Yahoo. The Web boom began. People realized that you could really make money with them. So they came to the conclusion that they needed to attract traffic. What was the best method of attracting traffic? The search engines . At that time the owners of the webs began to think how they could reach the first positions … The SEO was born!
SEO focuses on organic search results, that is, what is not paid:
Anyway, let’s go to what matters and the reason why (I think) you are reading this chapter:
1. What is SEO?
SEO is one of the “disciplines” that has changed the most in recent years. We just have to look at the large number of updates that have been Penguin and Panda , and how they have turned around 180 degrees to what was understood by SEO until recently. Now SEO is pursuing what Matt Cutts himself qualifies as “Search Experience Optimization” or what is the same, “all for the user”.
Although there are thousands of factors in which a search engine is based to position a page or another one could say that there are two basic factors: authority and relevance
- The authority is basically the popularity of a website. The more popular the information, the more valuable it is. This factor is what a search engine takes more into account since it is based on the user’s own experience. The more a content is shared, the more users have found it useful.
- Relevance is the relationship a page has with a given search. This is not simply that a page contains a lot of times the term sought (in the beginning it was like that) but a search engine is based on hundreds of on-site factors to determine this.
SEO can be divided into two major groups:
- On-site : SEO on-site worries about relevance. It ensures that the web is optimized so that the search engine understands the main thing, which is the content of it. Within SEO On-site we would include keyword optimization, load time, user experience, code optimization and format of URLs.
- Off-site : SEO off-site is the part of SEO work that focuses on factors external to the web page in which we work. The most important factors in off-site SEO are the number and quality of the links, presence in social networks, mentions in local media, brand authority and performance in search results, that is, the CTR our customers have. results in a search engine. Sure you are thinking that all this is very good and that is very interesting but that you are here to know why you need SEO on your website and what benefits you will get if you integrate it into your online strategy.
Once we know what SEO is, we must differentiate whether or not we follow the “recommendations” of the search engine. Black Hat SEO or White Hat SEO
- Black Hat SEO : Black hat is the attempt to improve the search engine positioning of a web page through unethical techniques or that contradict the guidelines of the search engine. Some examples of Black Hat SEO are Cloaking, Spinning, SPAM in forums and blog comments, or Keyword Stuffing. The black hat can provide benefits in the short term, but it is generally a risky strategy, without continuity in the long term and that does not add value.
- White Hat SEO : Consists of all those ethically correct actions that meet the guidelines of the search engines to position a web page and the search results. Since search engines give greater importance to the pages that best respond to a user’s search, White Hat understands the techniques that seek to make a search engine page more relevant by providing value to its users.
2. Why is SEO important?
The most important reason why SEO is necessary is because it makes your website more useful for both users and search engines . Although these can not yet see a web page as a human does. SEO is necessary to help search engines understand what each page is about and whether or not it is useful for users.
Now let’s give an example to see the clearest things:
We have an electronic commerce dedicated to the sale of children’s books. Well, for the term “coloring pictures” there are about 673,000 searches per month. Assuming that the first result that appears after doing a Google search gets 22% clicks ( CTR = 22%), we would get about 148,000 visits per month.
Now, how much are those 148,000 visits worth? Well, if for that term the average cost per click is € 0.20, we are talking about more than € 29,000 / month. This only in Spain, if we have a business oriented to several countries, every hour 1.4 billion searches are made in the world. Of those searches, 70% of clicks are on organic results and 75% of users do not reach the second page. If we consider all this, we see that there are many clicks per month for the first result.
SEO is the best way for your users to find you through searches in which your website is relevant. These users look for what you offer them. The best way to reach them is through a search engine.
3. How do search engines work?
The operation of a search engine can be summarized in two steps: tracking and indexing .
A search engine crawls the web tracking what are called bots. These scroll through all the pages through the links. Hence the importance of a good link structure. As would any user when browsing the content of the Web, they pass from one link to another and collect data about those web pages that they provide to their servers.
The crawling process begins with a list of web addresses of previous crawls and sitemapsprovided by other web pages. Once they access these webs, the bots look for links to other pages to visit them. The bots are especially attracted to new sites and to changes in existing webs.
It is the bots themselves that decide which pages to visit, how often and how long they will crawl that web, that’s why it’s important to have an optimal loading time and updated content.
It is very common that in a web page you need to restrict the tracking of some pages or certain content to avoid that they appear in the search results. For this you can tell the bots of the search engines not to crawl certain pages through the file ” robots.txt “.
Once a bot has crawled a website and collected the necessary information, these pages are included in an index. There they are ordered according to their content, their authority and their relevance. In this way, when we make a query to the search engine it will be much easier to show us the results that are more related to our query.
At first the search engines were based on the number of times a word was repeated. When doing a search they traced those terms in their index to find which pages they had in their texts, positioning better the one that more times had it repeated. Currently, they are more sophisticated and base their indexes on hundreds of different aspects. The date of publication, if they contain images, videos or animations, microformats, etc. They are some of those aspects. Now they give more priority to the quality of the content.
Once the pages are tracked and indexed, the time comes in which the algorithm acts :algorithms are the computer processes that decide which pages appear before or after the search results. Once the search is done, the algorithms check the indexes. This way they will know which are the most relevant pages taking into account the hundreds of positioning factors. And all this happens in a matter of milliseconds.