Does SEO mean Marketing?
Just what is this thing called SEO? Does SEO mean marketing? The acronym means “search engine optimization”. Now, you are probably asking, “What is search engine optimization and why is it important? I’m about to answer those questions and tell you how to get ranked in the search engines.
All of the big search engines such as, Google, Bing and Yahoo have what is called “primary search results”. This is when web pages, local listings and videos are shown and ranked based on what each of the individual search engines determines to be the most pertinent to the people who are doing the searching.
Search engine optimization is the method of obtaining traffic from the search results determined by the search engines. Search engine optimization affects where a website or a web page is placed on the search engine’s results page. You could think of SEO as being a way of manipulating keywords.
Internet marketers use SEO as a marketing tactic. Search engine optimization thinks about how the search engines operates, what people are searching for, the actual keywords that are typed in the search engine and which search engines are favored by the audience.
Optimizing a website could involve editing several things such as, the content, HTML coding to improve the relevance to specific keywords and to remove obstacles with the indexing action of the search engines.
Another strategy used by SEO is to increase the amount of back links (also known as inbound links). Online website business owners understand the value of their websites getting ranked high enough to be visible on the first page of the search engine results page.
Which Hat Will You Wear?
SEO procedures are mainly classified in two main categories. In the first category are methods that the search engines advocate as being an element of good quality design. In the second category are methods used that the search engines do not approve of.
That is, the dishonest and unfair practices of manipulating rankings by stuffing their website with excessive or irrelevant keywords, or schemes of exchanging and/or selling and buying links.
The methods that search engines recognize as good design and follow the search engines’ rules and are not deceptive is called the “white hat” technique.
The methods that the search engines don’t approve of or involve deception is called the “black hat” technique.
For instance, a black hat technique would be to use a method called “cloaking”. Cloaking is a method that will give a different page depending whether the page is being requested by a visitor or a search engine.
It was determined that the white hat techniques would produce results that would last a long time, but the black hat techniques would be short lived because those websites would eventually be either temporarily or permanently banned as soon as the dishonest methods were uncovered by the search engines.
There is also a category that is called “grey hat” SEO. This is the in between, where SEO is considered as having one foot in both the white and the black hats SEO.
In this category the SEO methods used don’t call for the website to be penalized or banned, but the SEO method does not generate the best content for the visitors.
In this grey hat category, the SEO center of attention is based completely on improving the search engine rankings.
If a website is discovered using black hat techniques the search engines could penalize them by decreasing the rankings or removing the website from their databases completely. This action can be taken automatically or via a manual site review by the search engine.
Don’t Put All Your Apples in the Same Basket
SEO should not be used as a single marketing strategy because search engines change their algorithms and there is no guarantee of continued traffic. Additional techniques could be used such as pay per click (PPC) promotion and building content rich web pages, using Google analytics to allow website owners to measure result and improving a site’s conversion rates.
Do not put all your apples in the same basket by only using search engine optimization because if search engines move in a different direction it could mean heavy losses to your website. But, trying to manipulate the search engines results is getting more and more difficult and getting to be not worth the effort.
The dishonesty of creating schemes to underhandedly inflate page rankings will probably always be out there just like viruses because some “crazy” will have the need to find a way of getting over or doing it the “easy” way. Is it really worth that kind of effort?
Yes, the risk can be high as the monetary loss could be devastating. It’s no wonder so many people continue to find ways to manipulate search engines by hook or by crook!
As a user myself, I definitely do not like spam. Neither does search engines. In fact, search engines have a pretty good financial reason to keep it from happening.
In the last ten years or so, Google has had the lead over other search engines in its capability to manage and delete spam. All of the search engines spend a lot of time and effort staying on top of this.
There are times that spam still gets through, but it takes more effort to be successful at doing the wrong thing than it would be to just create a website that is content rich and have long term success instead.
Search engines have triumphed in developing intelligent processes in identifying and making it more and more difficult to unfavorably affect the job that their algorithms are intended to perform.
Thereby, forcing more use of “white hat” SEO approach that doesn’t go against search engines rules. Google particularly, continues to raise the stakes for owners of websites to create quality web pages.
Don’t Get Put In Time-Out
Don’t get your website penalized, banned or even flagged. Just remember that using manipulative or deceptive techniques usually won’t help you for the long haul because the “ black hat” tactics will be uncovered. Search engines do spam analysis on individual pages and entire websites.
They assess scheming practices on the URL level, especially keyword stuffing (which is a really obvious one) and link schemes. As mentioned earlier, this is when keywords or phrases are repeatedly used to make it appear significant to the search engines.
Sometimes websites that have earned a trusted status will be treated differently from websites that have not earned that trust. There is some controversy that there is a double standard being used for analyzing websites of great importance and big brands than the newer independent websites. Earning trust probably has more to do with the links your site has earned.
You can build trust by getting inbound links. If your website has earned a lot of honest inbound links, a little bit of duplicate content or a few questionable links are probably not going to hurt your site. Some high quality link samples would be links from editorial sources like CNN, Cornell.edu or John Hopkins.edu.
Grounded, But Why?
Sometimes it’s hard to determine if any pages on your site has been “punished” due to some bad site behavior. It may not have been something you did intentionally. For instance, you could have changed something on your website that decreased your ranking. Or, search engines change their algorithms all the time and that change could have moved you down in the rankings.
Don’t just believe you have been penalized, check to make sure. Rule out that your drop in the rankings was something that you did. To find out why you got grounded review these items:
Errors — There may be errors on your site that hindered the search engine from crawling. Try using Google’s Webmaster Tools. It’s free to use and is a good starting point.
Changes – You may have made changes to your website or to your pages that may have changed the way the search engines see your content. Some of those changes could have been internal link changes, moved some content made changes to a page.
Resemblance – Look for some sites that resemble yours to see if they had a decrease in ranking also. When search engines change their algorithms, there can be a change in the valuation of the link which can result in a shift in the ranking.
Duplicate Content – Many websites today are prevalent with duplicate content. Duplicate content is an SEO problem and has been happening for a long time. Most people think of a page as a file that is on their web server. But, to a “crawler” a page is a unique URL it finds through internal and external links.
On large websites, we often create two different URLs that will land on the same page. Because the URLs take the crawler to the same page it will consider that as duplicate content. If you want to get an idea of what Google’s crawl allocation is for your website go to Google Webmaster Tools => “Diagnostics” => “Crawl Stats”.
Let SEO Work for You
An important characteristic of SEO is to help make your website easy for visitors and search engine machines to understand. Search engines have come a long way and they continue to become even more advanced. Because it (search engine) is a machine, it still can’t see or comprehend web pages like people can. SEO actually assists search engines to understand what the pages are about and how the pages could be useful to visitors.
SEO is a very useful marketing strategy if used correctly and honestly. But it can get you in deep trouble if you try to be manipulative and use “Black Hat” techniques to increase your page rankings. I recommend that you do it right the first time.
Just what is this thing called SEO? Does SEO mean marketing? This article was written in my attempt to answer those questions for you.
SEO is actually a marketing tool used to obtain traffic from the search results determined by the search engines. There are several SEO methods that can be used that will impact the location a web page if placed on the search engine’s results page (SERP).
Please feel free to contact me if you need help with anything. Just make a comment below or you can always get in touch with me through wealthyaffiliate.com (here is a link to my profile).
Founder of Mom’s Trusted Affiliate