Every business owner or marketing manager knows it’s important to rank well on Google. By processing more than 2 billion search queries every day, it’s the one Internet marketing portal that can literally make or break your business overnight.
Google’s importance is well understood, however, the way it “sees” and ranks different websites isn’t. We regularly meet with new clients who either have mistaken ideas about what it takes to improve their search engine optimization campaigns or literally have no idea how Google and its competitors process searches at all.
That’s understandable, if you’ve been outsourcing your SEO activity for a long time. Still, by understanding what Google actually looks for, and how the different pieces work together, you can go a long way toward building a website that attracts more traffic and turns those visitors into customers.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to produce a short series of articles we’re calling SEO 101. In this post, and the three that follow, we’re going to give you a quick bit of insight into the world of search marketing and offer some easy-to-follow tips you can use to make your web content stand out.
How Google Views and Analyzes Websites
Before you can give Google what it wants to find, you have to know what that is in the first place. That starts with the understanding that the engineers at Google don’t usually consider individual websites at all; instead, they generate pieces of code – called search spiders – that crawl all over the Internet constantly, cataloguing and evaluating everything they find.
As you might imagine, search engine spiders look at websites a bit differently than an actual human viewer would. Here are a few of the most important differences:
Search engine spiders generally follow links, both within websites and throughout them. So if a part of your website doesn’t have any links pointing at it from your other pages, it may be “invisible” to Google.
Search spiders understand text but not images. So, unless you have given your pictures or video files a written title and description, they aren’t going to count for anything as far as SEO goes.
Once a search engine spider has viewed, or “crawled,” through your website, it will catalog what it has found in terms of content and then return later. If it finds more fresh and unique content along the same topics or themes, that’s a good sign your website is relevant and up to date.
The net of all of this, of course, is that Google can know what your website is “about” in the form of search terms (keywords) it finds on your pages. Later, when human searchers enter those keywords into Google, it can match that request against what’s found on your website.
There’s a little more to it than that, of course, especially when it comes to deciding which websites should be shown first in Google’s search listings. For now, though, you know how Google actually sees your website, and why the text on your pages is more important to search engines than anything else.
Check out the next article in our SEO 101 series, or contact WebRevelation today to see how we can help with business web design and Internet marketing.