Image via Wikipedia
This is the story of Google and SEO. Condensed as it may be.
One day Google founder to be Larry Page attended Stanford University.
He had many choices for his thesis but was most intrigued with the notion that the inter-relational words and links on websites can be similar to the way academic journals relate to one another.
Page dreamt up a formula that would change the internet and the world. PageRank.
These linked references in journals are called citations and directly influence the value of the referenced journals.
Loosely defined, PageRank assigns a value to a web page and passes some of it onto wherever that page links.
The formula for getting high up in the search results have changed somewhat since then, but not as much as you might think.The ranking algo has changed, but the foundational ideas are the same.
Links pass on value, and give users something that they want.
Google cannot judge the from one widget site from the next based on coginitive judgement like we might. But it can judge if you care about your website. And if other sites care about your website.
How Does Google Determine that You Do Not Care About Your Website?
- The best way is to see how up to date your code is
- Another is to have standards like a robots.txt or sitemap.xml
- If your site loads really slow
- Professional Analytics
- Un-updated Platforms. Still running Word Press 2.2? If you haven't already been hacked yet, then update it would you please!?
These are a few of the ways that the search engines know if you care enough about your site to keep it up to date. The idea being if you do not care about your website why should Google?
There are a few obvious measures that Google can use to measure your linking:
- The age of the page and site where the link resides
- The age of the link
- The authority of the site based on the size, and in and outbound links(citations).
- The PageRank of the page and site. In other words,what page links to that page and links to that page and so on and so on.
- The words in the link. Called Reputation. Web designers call it anchor text.
This my friend has been called 70% of SEO.
Whats on your page has been called the remaining 30% and is what we called search engine optimization in 1999. In fact, the absolute importance of links in ranking is so high that whenever I see a problem with a site that is un- fixable sans a redesign.
I like to say that "links make up for the sins of the website".
There is no other higher leveraged act that you can do for your site than get it inbound links. However, what about the other 30%?
This is the on page optimization.
So it is about this time that I give my Cliffs Notes version of SEO.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short is the deliberate act of targeting a keyword and representing it on a web page. Once properly represented, then the next deliberate act is to link to that page with anchor text similarly representing the targeted keyword phrase.
Onpage optimization requires representing your keyword phrase.
You can do that with a primary keyword phrase, usually a competitive word. And spreckle much of the rest of the body copy with similar synonyms.
So what are some of the important criteria for on page SEO?
- doctypes declaration
- validation of code/w3c compliant
- proper meta tag use(keywords, description, title tag)
- keywords representation in htags and strong tags
- Intra linking within the site
And of late we are seeing pushes for faster sites, fresher content and more unique fesh content. As someone who has done this for a long time. Much of what is being taught as new, is not very new. In fact much of the on page stuff is common sense. Take care of your site as talked about above and Google will take care of you.
Most of the time these rumored SEO tricks get more important as your website gets more competitive with its keywords. So the phrase "Torrance Hobby Shops", has very little competition. I could rank for this without much help from the site and just the linking.
Its Positive Google Bombing
As a side note this is why Google Bombing works so well. In the photo above you will see how Presidents Carter and Bush got ranked for the term "miserable failure". Obviously nothing on the site say miserable failure.
Clinton and Kerry each were ranking for the term "waffler". Finally Google got tired of the shenanigans going on between the SEO geeks and their political affiliations. So they hand picked the Google Bombs right off the site.
Nowhere on the White House website page did it say miserable failure. Can you imagine? Instead it was caused by massively linking to those ex-Presidents pages with the word "miserable failure" in the anchor text.
The anchor text literally tells Google that this page I am linking to is about x. It passes on reputation to the page it links.
Are you beginning to see now how links are critical to your online success?
As your competition heats up and you have many websites wanting top rankings the little things matter lots. Like Page Speed and load times.
But for most of us, links truly do make up for the sins of the website and a must for the serious on line marketer.