Before discussing “What’s New”, we need to understand “What Is”

What is SEO?

In English… SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving the visibility of your site or page in search engines in natural (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.

How does SEO work?

When someone goes to a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, and types in a word or phrase, millions of “spiders” have already searched (or “indexed”) the Internet to find the sites that are:

  1. Most compatible with those words / phrases and
  2. Have come up the most in similar searches

SEO techniques can be classified into two broad categories: techniques that search engines recommend as part of good design (White Hat SEO), and those techniques of which search engines do not approve (Black Hat SEO). Search engines may penalize sites they discover using black hat methods, either by reducing their rankings or eliminating their listing from their database altogether. Examples of “Black Hat SEO” include hidden sections of the page that is packed with key phrases, or white text on a white background.

SEO done right, using White Hat techniques leads to ongoing long-term results. Black Hat SEO is bad for business.


Search Engine Market Share:

As the chart above shows, as of February, 2012, Google owns 66.4% of the market share for online search. Since February, the numbers have decreased a bit, but Google still dominates the search market and other engines typically follow the same “standard” practices and suggestions for implementing a good SEO Campaign.

A good SEO campaign should be ongoing. Though the majority of the work will be done up front during the first few months, the SEO campaign should be monitored and adjusted as necessary for algorithmic updates.

Each year, Google changes its search algorithm up to 600 times – that’s nearly 12 times a week! Although most of the updates would be classified as “insignificant”, there are a handful that have a “noticeable impact” on Websites. Their latest major algorithm change was tagged “Panda” and was released in February, 2011. Since then, there have been refreshes to Panda, but most of them fall into the “insignificant” category.

From day one, Google has been about the “USER EXPERIENCE”. Google’s site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find “high-quality” sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content. The recent “Panda” change tackles the difficult task of algorithmically assessing website quality.

So, what can be done to keep Google happy (and your site ranked high)?

  1. Keep the following questions in mind as you focus on developing high-quality content rather than trying to optimize for any particular search engine.
  2. Low-quality content on some parts of a Website can impact the whole site’s rankings, and thus removing low-quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual shallow pages into more useful pages, or moving low-quality pages to a different domain could eventually help the rankings of your higher-quality content. 

Have you noticed the keyword in the 2 questions above? CONTENT. “Content is King” didn’t get coined for no reason. Keep it relative, keep it current and keep it geared to your visitor.