Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing visitor numbers to a website by attaining high search engine rankings. SEO encompasses numerous techniques.
Google’s PageRank algorithm was among the earliest methods used to rank websites based on their value to search engines like Google and was also among the first to consider links as a factor in assessing a site’s worth.
The World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a collection of computer files and programs accessible to users via browsers. This hypertext-based information system uses uniform resource identifiers (URIs) to locate servers and resources across the Internet, including any documents such as HTML pages, images, audio/video clips and short applications.
Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist from CERN, developed the World Wide Web as a solution to provide instantaneous information sharing between scientists involved in large international collaborations that used computers. At first, it allowed scientists to store all their experimental results and data together in one convenient place.
As Web sites and servers proliferated, their increasing proliferation necessitated an interface to facilitate navigation through all these data files distributed across them. Search engines provided this solution by making these distributed data files easily findable to users who needed access them quickly.
Search engines are computer programs that search the World Wide Web for documents or information, usually using keywords entered by their users into a search bar to produce a list of matching documents. They can also be used to look for images, videos, questions and news articles.
Archie was the inaugural search engine to be developed, developed as a file-based index of FTP sites by Alan Emtage as a school project in 1990. Due to length constraints associated with its original name, “Archie” became widely recognized as the inaugural search engine.
Archie faced several limitations that prevented it from becoming an effective online archive, including high costs associated with maintaining it and slow performance; documents were added quickly, making it hard for search engines to keep pace.
As the World Wide Web expanded, search engine companies developed crawlers to index Web pages and create indexes. At first, these were programmed by humans – which made them expensive, time-consuming and unreliable. Over time however, automated programs took over doing their work faster, more accurately and cheaper to run – eventually being integrated into most major search engines to compete among each other and become the dominant tool for finding content online.
Google is an innovative search engine that generates revenue through advertising. As a result, it is in a prime position to gather data on you and use this knowledge to target relevant ads based on what you’re searching for; which could lead you to discovering those trainers you’ve been coveting all along!
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing a website to rank higher on search engines such as Google and Bing. It involves several components, such as improving page loading speed and devising an effective link building strategy.
Search engine optimization refers to Google’s use of algorithms in ranking websites for certain searches. Algorithms are complex processes that process lots of information in order to rank certain pages higher than others.
Google’s algorithm for its search results can be extremely complex and varies based on each search query. Furthermore, a number of factors play a part in its rankings including relevance.
These algorithms have evolved and refined over the years, and updates to them continue to focus on filtering out spam and black hat tactics, while prioritizing fresh, relevant content.
Google Possum was another significant update of 2011, which set the groundwork for local search results. This change enabled local businesses to reach more people by customizing their listings according to each searcher’s location.
This update also sought to penalise websites which had employed black hat techniques, such as linking to low quality sites or using excessive keywords, in an attempt to artificially increase their rankings.
Google introduced their Penguin algorithm in 2012, to measure the quality of website backlinks and punish those engaging in bad link building practices such as linking to low-quality sites. The Penguin penalized websites which engaged in such practices.
Due to these changes, many SEO practitioners were left feeling confused and discouraged; there seemed no easy answer as to how best to optimize websites for Google.
Google introduced RankBrain in 2015 to help its AI better comprehend what a user was searching for, using machine learning technology to identify which search queries are most pertinent and deliver the optimal results. Because of this technology, SEO must now shift its focus away from trying to manipulate search results in favor of taking advantage of insights provided by RankBrain.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google, created PageRank as described in their 1998 patent “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.” It uses links leading to pages as measures of importance; more important pages would receive higher PageRank scores.
PageRank is an essential metric in SEO, and understanding its workings will make you a more proficient SEO. In the early 2000s, website owners and SEOs alike pursued ambitious efforts to increase their websites’ PageRank scores using techniques such as link-building or paid links manipulation to boost ranking positions.
At first, PageRank was calculated as a logarithmic scale between 0 and 10, which could be found in Google Toolbar. A score of zero indicated low quality websites while 10 represented authoritative ones.
But the original formula was complex and difficult to grasp; thus enabling anyone with access to use it for illicit gains – leading to what many call the “link farm” phenomenon.
The algorithm also made it relatively straightforward to gain backlinks from low-quality websites with high PageRank scores – thus helping people generate traffic and enhance their rankings effortlessly.
Soon, however, the system began to be misused. People began setting up “link farms” and taking as much link juice out of the system as possible.
One way of accomplishing this would be to create pages with very low PageRank that would then link back to pages with higher PageRank values.
Additionally, some sites would link out to others they believed provided superior content – this practice was known as PageRank endorsement; and the more high-quality links a website had, the higher it ranked on Google.
As more websites were added to the Internet, PageRank became an increasingly common way of measuring individual pages’ significance and has since become a widely utilized metric for improving search engine rankings and increasing site visits – increasing SEO’s popularity while making it easier for people to make money through their efforts.
Link building is one of the cornerstones of search engine optimization, helping your site achieve higher rankings on Google, Bing and Yahoo while simultaneously increasing traffic and building trustworthiness for your brand.
Content creation is one of the best strategies for link-building, so consider writing blog posts or e-books that other websites in your niche will link back to. For instance, an e-commerce store selling camping gear might provide blog posts about safety precautions while camping as an example.
Forums are another effective means of link building; typically created to assist people with specific topics, they make great targets for link building strategies that could benefit others while still meeting your SEO needs. Unfortunately, Google has taken notice and began penalizing such tactics since 2012 with their Penguin update.
Effective link building requires companies to take advantage of what they are already doing in terms of content publishing and promotion, particularly if these activities are done systematically and with purpose. These strategies have the power to generate citations.
To achieve this goal, companies often hire SEO consultants that possess knowledge in content-based link building. These consultants can educate client side departments such as Communications, PR, HR, Marketing and Sales on how they can use current activities such as meetings to produce citations that will rank better on search engine results than forms, profiles or content syndication.
Companies seeking to develop link-building strategies must ensure their efforts align with the core goals of their business, or else their results could be short-lived and yield no long-term benefits.
As such, it’s wise to employ natural link-building strategies, meaning focusing on quality content rather than manipulating your ranking to try and manipulate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines or risk facing manual penalties from Google. Doing this may protect both yourself and your business.