SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is used to describe the work carried out by website owners, or their representative agencies in trying to get them to rank higher on search engines like Google. Search Engine Optimisation has changed massively over the past decade, with search engines like Google constantly updating their policies and algorithms whenever they cotton onto how people are trying to dupe them with SEO.
The nature of Search Engines is to find the most valid content for the search term the user is looking for. If you try to trick a search engine into showing your website instead of what should be shown, you’re in effect tricking the search engine – and they don’t like this.
This makes the whole SEO industry as it is right now somewhat contentious. A number of agencies will try to find holes in the search engine algorithm with a view to exploiting it for their clients’ benefit.
In the good old days of innocent internet search engines, the algorithms they used simply read the content of a website page, look for what word was repeated the most and used that to rank the website. The more keywords you had, the higher you’d rank.
It didn’t take long for website owners to start exploiting this. If they wanted to rank for SEO Manchester, they would copy and paste the phrase hundreds of times at the bottom of each of their web pages. Obviously, this started to spoil the search results generated which in turn could break a company like Google who relies on generating accurate results.
They needed to up their game against the SEO fraudsters and start keeping one step ahead. The first port of call was to start keeping their algorithm a secret.
The latest trends in SEO work revolve around something called backlinks. Search Engine Optimisation Agencies have realised that if they can create enough links from other sites to their client site they’ll be able to have their site promoted higher in search results.
In our opinion, it’s quite naive of SEO Agencies putting their eggs into the same basket as everyone else by trying to trick search engines by creating a massive backlink profile.
The question we ask is, what will they do when Google decides to change the rules as they have done in the past? Whenever they’ve changed the rules and updated their algorithm they’ve also gone out of their way to punish all those websites that tried to exploit their algorithm. An old, but interesting article about Google’s vengeance is when Interflora and the media fell afoul of Google’s backlink rules by paying other sites to include backlinks to their own. Read the article here.
If we haven’t already made it clear already, Google and search engines are constantly updating their algorithms in order to generate valid, high-quality search results for search terms their users use.
However, they have made it pretty clear what they look for when ranking websites. In particular, they are looking for websites that:
- load quickly and efficiently
- well thought out and well designed
- coded properly in line with semantic HTML5
- use structured data from schema.org
- efficient caching policy
- lazy loaded images
- have relevant content
- device specific image load
- minimal main thread
- minimal critical thread
- have a good backlink profile
If you take a good look at the list above you’ll notice that most of the requirements for ranking well online are development related. You need a great developer to load the site quickly and all the same for a properly coded site. With Google clearly telling us in order to rank well you need an amazing website and THEN you need a good backlink profile, it’s no surprise that when we carry out our dev work to their standards our sites rank better.
There are a range of different approaches for SEO Campaigns depending on your desired outcomes. This can range from ranking for local searches to making an impact on an international scale.
What is Local SEO and how can it help you?
Details of eCommerce SEO and how to best utilise it.
How to carry out an international SEO campaign