Understanding SEO and Google

Search engine optimisation is a fundamental part of your digital marketing activity. It’s the means by which your website is ranked by search engines such as Google, for people searching for your products and services. But how exactly does SEO and Google work? Here’s a quick-fire synopsis.

How Does SEO Work?

SEO is a series of optimisation activities required to satisfy search engine criteria, in order for your website to be ranked. The more successful you are at SEO, the better your rankings should be. This however is also affected by the level of effort your competitors are putting into SEO. This can vary from month-to-month so your rankings can fluctuate from time to time.

SEO falls into two different categories; what you do onsite (on page) and what you do offsite (off page). Your on page activity includes tasks like optimising your page content for specific keywords, making sure your website’s code is easily readable by search engines, linking up pages internally and growing your inbound links from other credible websites (link building).

Off page activity counts for things like social media activity, listings in local citations that capture user generated content about you and things like guest blogs or press releases listed elsewhere on the internet. Offsite activity is basically a signal to Google of how active you are and how trusted you are. The more your brand is mentioned away from your site, the more likely you are to be picked up as a potential result to show to users, especially if content is positive.

How Does Google Operate?

Most search engines operate the same way, but they have different algorithms to determine what to rank where. Google is the largest search engine and has the most sophisticated algorithms, with regular releases and updates. These algorithms seek to find the best quality websites to return as search results to a user.

Before Google does the job of returning a result, it builds an index of credible sites by crawling the billions of pages online. Each webpage exists as a document that is linked to others. This network of links allows for search engine robots, called “crawlers” or “spiders,” to reach the many billions of interconnected documents on the web. This index sits as a library of results ready to return to users, based on their search intention.

This brings us on to Google’s second function; to return results. It does this by using its complex algorithms to scan its index for the best results, based on user search intention. The more relevant your website is for user search, the better chance you will have of ranking. Although bear in mind that there are other factors that do affect your rankings.

What Can I Do to Increase My Chances of Ranking?

You need a good SEO strategy that steers clear of any SEO myths and incorporates white hat SEO techniques, that seek to make your website stand out against your competitors. You need to put equal efforts into onsite and off page SEO activity and you need to consistently undertake activity month-on-month to stay active and current. You also want to make sure you are using tools such as Google Analytics, to measure your activity and hone your strategy based on real data.

Need help with your SEO strategy? Whitefish Marketing agency in Kent work with businesses in the south east to improve their online visibility. Call us on 01303 720 288.

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