What is SEO?

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I was surprised to hear that despite attending a networking group every week and speaking about SEO there were many people who still had no clue about what I was talking about, so this prompted me to write this blog post explaining what is SEO – and more importantly why you need it.

How does Google work?

To understand the importance of SEO (search engine optimisation) we must first understand how Google works. Many people have a love hate relationship with Google. It delivers great results when you are searching for things, many people praise the relevancy of Google search results, but when you want other people to be able to find your website Google is often a pain in the backside!

Google use a search algorithm which they have updated over the years to provide a consistently relevant experience for their users. This is basically done in two ways, firstly Google look at the content of a web page to determine if it is a good match for the users search terms, and secondly they look at the incoming links to the website (sometimes called backlinks) to determine the quality of the site.

So when asking what is SEO we must look at the on-page aspects as well as off-page considerations, in particular other sites linking to the page.

Why are backlinks so important?

Google have recently introduced updates such as “Panda” which are aimed at removing low quality pages for their search index, in order to provide their users with a better experience. In doing this the importance of high quality backlinks has become even higher. Once it was just a matter of building some directory links to a clients website in order to get a page one ranking for their chosen keywords, but today it can be a case of generating hundreds or even thousands of links per month to maintain a top of page one ranking.

Backlinks can come from a variety of sources but we are increasingly seeing Google placing importance on Social Indicators such as mentions on Google Plus, Facebook, blog posts, and social bookmarking websites. The most important at the moment are Google Plus shares and Plus Ones (equivalent to Facebook Likes).

We are seeing Google pushing the new Google Plus service which is a competitive product to Facebook. Google Plus results are being featured in search results, especially if you are logged into your Google account when you are searching. I personally feel that if businesses don’t start promoting their site with Google Plus then their ranking will start to suffer.

What about non-Google services such as Twitter?

Whilst being talked about on Twitter will count as a backlink, Google are placing a lot more emphasis at the moment on Google Plus. Our recommendation is to share your content on as many social networks as possible but make sure you include Google Plus.

Twitter have recently responded to Google removing Twitter updates from the search results and replacing them with updates from Google Plus. Google immediately responded with the following comment:

We are a bit surprised by Twitter’s comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer, and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions.

How to SEO in an ever changing world..

Focus on delivering great content to your users. In terms of English grading your content needs to be at least B+ grade to get a top ranking, so that means original useful content that your readers are going to gain value from. Any viral content you create needs to be grade A+++ in order to get shared widely on social networks like Google Plus, where we are not seeing a great amount of social engagement on at the moment.

Perhaps you can consider creating a cool infographic for your business. The best infographics are being shared very widely and there are even a number of internet infographic resources where you can submit yours and get a link back to your website.

Infographics are very popular right now as Google Insights shows.

Here is a list of some of the top infographic directories where you can get a nice backlink from (sorted by Pagerank from highest to lowest):

Catchy titles help your infographic to get shared, as does geeky content. So we suggest you jump on the infographic bandwagon and get some buzz about your brand!

There are many other ways of getting backlinks and Google Plus coverage. For more information contact James on 01332 898879 or visit the JW Enterprises website where you will find several low cost SEO services to choose from.

 

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