Of Websurfers and Writers: The New Googlebot

Search Engine Optimization – it’s a buzz world. SEO is a set of techniques used by writers and website editors to make their content have better page rankings on search engines like Google and Yahoo. The end result is the attempt to generate more site traffic. Since Google is the world’s largest search engine most SEO techniques are aimed at appeasing the revered Googlebot. Googlebot is the algorithm that Google uses to categorize websites. Its sophistication is why you can type in beetle and car into the search bar and get websites about Volkswagen instead of insects in cars or a mish-mash of cars and insects. Web developers have used tricks to attempt to game the system. For example, typing in Beetle and car can give results about insurance and other unrelated search terms because the web developers used tags in an attempt to link to the two terms. Google has proclaimed that they want to level the playing field between sites that naturally pop up because of relevant content, and those who used tags and fake traffic to gain their page ranking. This new system has many implications for content writers and web users alike.

One of the major changes in the prolific search engine has been coined semantic search. It’s Google’s hope that their new search engine will understand how words work together to provide more poignant results. You may notice that sometimes when you type in common questions like: “How many feet in a mile?” that the search engine will display an answer for you: “1 mile = 5280 feet”. In the coming months you should expect more of that. Google plans on displaying more direct information in this manner. The hope seems to be to decrease time looking for information and increase the search engine’s accuracy. Google is strengthening the core of their customer satisfaction: finding quick and accurate information. The upcoming changes are a boon to web surfers, but it may have mixed feelings within the web content writers’ community.

SEO is a skill. Everyone who writes web content professionally boast about their SEO techniques, myself included. Over the years, I’ve learned that writing good content is the best SEO trick. If you build it they will come, but if you build it well you will have a repeat customer. Under the new system, businesses will be linked to what they are about. This effects everyone from IT consultants to book sellers. If you were to type in an author’s name, with semantic search, information about the author will pop up as well as a list of books and where they can be purchased. Searches can further be narrowed down by locations since Google now has access to all profile data. This may cause small to medium businesses to have more exposure. However, it is unclear how content makers will capitalize on the changes. What is clear, is that users are becoming more information savvy. They are more discerning about where and what they look at on the web. In the future, writing good relevant content maybe the only SEO trick. That works for me.

Top SEO Rank Factors and What They Mean – Part 1

I recently came across a relevant blog post and decided this may be an interesting post for some of the visitors of our blog, who may not be SEO experts yet have an interest in making their website rank higher. Disclaimer: I personally am not in the SEO field professionally, but take an avid interest in it and would like to share some of my knowledge with those that may find it interesting. With that, here is the list I compounded from the above blog and other places, of Top SEO Factors:

1. Age of Domain: I feel this, and the second item on this list, are probably the 2 single most important factors, especially for Google SEO. Unfortunately, this factor is often times beyond our control. If an opportunity arises, do purchase a domain name with significant age. Google does penalize you when the domain registration information changes as it knows the ownership changed, but the penalty is not severe.

2 .Inbound links: this is another very important factor. The basic premise behind Google algorithms is still the number of quality inbound links pointing at your domain. Of course, quality, or authority, of the links plays a huge factor – get an inbound link from the, which is considered an authority on government matters, and the benefit of this link is much higher then from some unknown site.

3. Title Tags: Title tags are what you see at the top of the browser (see pic), and what shows up as the website title when you do a search in google. Place your most important keyword closest to the beginning of the sentence, those count more.

title tag

4. Keyword on pages: Its only obvious that a search engine reads the text on your page, and sees if there is relevant content to the search query, and takes that into ranking account. Make sure your pages have relevant keywords, but do not overdo – this should come naturally if you have good content. Bolding important keywords makes a difference as well.

5.H1, H2 and alt tags: These HTML Tags are important to Google – you should have your most important keywords in H1 tags, less import in H2, etc..Also, every image should have an alt tag with a description. Please make sure to run your site through W3C markup validion and be sure it is error-free.

Well, this is it for part 1…to be continued….