“As powerful as SEO really is for a business, no one really knows the rules.
That is why it is so punk.”
Digital Marketing Punk Bible – Chapter 1: Verse 4
The mass majority of internet activity is powered by Search Engines and let’s not kid around, it’s mostly powered by Google.
As I write this (August 18) Google has a nice 90.61% market share of the search engine usage in the UK.
That’s a big market share, that is why you will find that when people talk about SEO, even though it’s generically called “Search Engine Optimisation” they will accidentally refer to Google, each and every time.
In short, the art (and it is an art) of SEO, is a means of getting more visibility and more traffic for your business, typically through improving how high up a website appears in search engine results pages (SERPs), usually referred to as “rankings”.
So why is high rankings important?
This used to perhaps be a laziness thing, perhaps but I’m wrong.
You would tend to find that the higher ranked websites for a search term entered would tend to be the ones that would get the most traffic, perhaps simply because it was near the top and scrolling used to be effort on those old wizard hat mouse things we used to have on laptops.
I’m making an assumptions, perhaps I shouldn’t.
Now, however, things have changed a little, we as users of Google are more aware of how these things work and perhaps make an automatic assumption that the higher ranked websites are better and worth our time.
That being said, high rankings still mean high ratio of that traffic from that search will land on your page.
Looking at the graph below from 2017, we can see the percentages of click-thru-rate for each position on the results pages.
- (Internet Marketing Ninja, Jul 17)
As you can probably imagine, this information creates a lot of desire for that coveted No.1 slot, which is why SEO is such a powerful tool. That being said, that No.1 slot is, in some cases, depending on the search term you are targeting, can be difficult to achieve.
What is Google Looking For?
This is an excellent question, and the answer is a little grey. A search engine generates it’s results through an algorithm. In order to determine where your site will rank, a little site crawler sent from Google goes and has a look at your site, it will follow all your internal links and read your content and report back to Google.
With this data it’s fed into the algorithm which will determine the quality of your site and what your site is about.
When a search term is searched for, then using this data and in comparison to all the other sites that Google feels are relevant to the search term, your website is ranked appropriately.
This tends to lead to the question, what is the algorithm looking for…
We have no real idea, at least it has never been told to us. We get drips and drabs from Google occasionally letting us know little bits of insights, but on the whole the secrets of the algorithm are kept to Google, so people can’t fudge results.
However, of course, through raw data and millions upon millions of websites trying we can all get a pretty decent idea of what the major factors are for ranking a website.
The SEO Journey
Google do like to keep us on our toes however, or maybe they just want to keep improving their results, which you can’t blame them for, so they will change to algorithm constantly.
If you reach No.1 spot, then you can’t be said being home, dry or even rigorously towelling yourself off.
Firstly you have your competition to be thinking about, probably battling hard to take that spot away from you.
Then changes in the algorithm, without warning and overnight, will cause major fluctuations in your position.
The tide changes constantly and from all directions.
For the most part, it’s always rough seas, until you find the calm seas of a harbour.
This is usually when you know exactly what you need to do, to both appease Google and your audience, as they count too you know!
Who ever said SEO was boring? Right?