SEO is the acronym for 'search engine optimization', which is another way to say that your website is optimized for search engines to find you on the internet using words known as 'keywords' that are used to offer up the most likely source to deliver the correct content or answers to the person who is using the search engine.
Search engine optimization used to barely be going beyond just copy/pasting the keyword you wanted to rank for in as many spots as possible on your website. The algorithm's that search engines used in the early days was very basic (when compared to the algorithm used now), and some web designers and developers took advantage of this by placing black text on a black background that, quite literally, just consisted of the keyword they were trying to rank for spammed. Since the background was black and the text was black it didn't seem to make a difference in the user experience. Except for the fact that the websites that were actually ranking for that keyword were not ranking because of quality or their content, but they were ranking because someone was abusing the system.
Then come the new updates...
It was a great massacre, and websites that had been abusing the search engine system for a long time and enjoying their high ranking status just because they spammed keywords everywhere on their site got slapped hard by the search engine gods. Sending them to the very bottom of the realm of the SERP (search engine results page).
If these sites were found guilty enough then they would be sent to the blacklist...never to return from the SERP blacklist again.
It soon became clear that the web designers and developers were not the kings and queens of this realm. Because if you had a business that you were running that was highly dependent upon you ranking in a search engine or being top rank on search engines then this new update was going to certainly effect you and your income.
Life was good for the keyword stuffed and the duplicate content manufactured sites before February 24, 2011. Because that was...
Because that was before the Panda update karate chopped their page rank
down to zilch. Hammering all the companies and individuals who had websites with duplicate, keyword stuffed, user-generated spam, plagiarized or thin content. Those sites that used their master karate skills to chop their way to the top of the search engines results pages finally found themselves in the presence of Bruce Lee (or Google) who readily round house kicked their pages to the bottom of the search results while little twelve year old Joey in his basement who was just writing blog posts or articles and creating his own content rose triumphantly to the top.
These websites finally found themselves in a position where they had hundreds, maybe even thousands, of pages of content that needed to be replaced by real authentic original content.
The screams and wines were heard around the world, as almost simultaneously, all the nefarious pages dropped to the bottom with a loud 'THUD' and a crushing blow.
Seriously though, this had a huge impact off of people who had literally built their business off of all of these tactics that search engines disliked and frowned upon, and now they found themselves in an 'ut oh' situation.
Duplicate content, keyword stuffing, plagiarized content, spam generated by the web design or developer.
Panda assigned a 'quality score' to websites that took into account when deciding on whether or not to display a website and what rank it should be displayed in. Panda wasn't really an algorithm update but more like a filter that filtered out websites that had all of the dangers listed above.
We want to also make it clear that Panda didn't consider 'duplicate' content when looking at the code or framework of your site. So it wasn't marking someone who had a navigation bar that looked similar to another websites navigation bar duplicate content.
When we speak about duplicate content we are talking about words on the page that were written by the user and that visitors see.
Even though this must have been a brutal blow to a lot of people who had built their website on the foundation of keyword stuffing, duplicate content and so on, it was probably for the best.
Because nobody likes scrolling through their search results only to see the same rehashed article over and over again when they are searching for answers, and that is what the Panda update really fixed. Thank you Panda update!
Pretty simply, don't have those things that are listed under 'dangers' on your website. Make all of your own content, and it's pretty rare that you're going to get tagged for duplicate or plagiarized content. There are sites such as Moz that will let you run checks on your website and get a score. However, most of these sites charge a decent amount per month for the service.
If you're not willing to put in the work to learn all of the angles it takes to seriously optimize your website your money is probably better off in the hands of an expert. Learning SEO isn't easy and it takes time to rank (usually 2 - 6 weeks to even see if what you did had a good effect.
Just a little later Google released the Penguin update. This update cracked down on websites even further. Actively down-ranking sites that appeared manipulative to gain good ranking on the SERP.
Irrelevant links, spammy websites, and over-optimized anchor text
Penguin penalized websites that appeared to be trying too hard. Websites that weren't 'spamming', but they were using their targeted keywords in a way that did not flow naturally for the language.
For example, if their business was lawn care and they were targeting 'best lawn care ever', they would write a sentence such as 'best lawn care ever where we do best lawn care ever and are the best law care ever service.'
That is what we're referring to as being spammy.
In addition to this, Penguin also evaluated the links between websites (all around the internet), and if every single link you had was 'best lawn care ever' and you had 5,000 of them all about on different websites then you would be rightfully cut down like a rotten piece of lumber to no longer rank high in the SERP's from the chainsaw of the mighty Penguin.
As Google actively engaged, once again, in bringing down low quality and spammy websites it was another hit to the online world.
Expanding your keyword research and focusing on broad categories or concepts instead of single word keywords is something you can do to dodge the mighty Penguin chainsaw massacre. So instead of focusing only on trying to figure out how you can work the phrase 'best lawn care ever' into your verbiage you would focus on 'lawn care' and then branch off from there.
Having multiple different pages based on different subjects. You might have a page for tree trimming where you discuss tree trimming, and you might have a page for shrubbery maintenance. Linking between your own content is perfectly fine, and actually it's encouraged.
Linking between your own content in a natural way will not only rank you higher on SERP's but it will also keep your visitors engaged longer and in turn create more familiarity between you and potential clients.
Linking between your own content also creates high quality content because your visitors tend to find the answers that they are looking for without having to go search for another website.
When you keyword stuff, like we mentioned before, it 99% of the time will result in dreadful content that nobody would actually want to read. It turns out being more like the most disastrous, annoying, incompetent ad that anyone who can read has ever read in their life.
It's pretty clear the direction that these search engines are driving us and wanting us to go in, and it's not trying to figure out how to manipulate the search engines for ranking.
Hey, best case scenario you never actually show up on the SERP, and the worst case scenario is your website gets blacklisted and is ostracized to the 'never to appear in search results ever again' section.
The next update to smite those that just couldn't get the hint...
Google figured by now most site owners that could foresee that they didn't want garbage popping up in the middle of their search results like the great pacific garbage patch were further penalized. By now, a good portion of those nefarious websites are most likely ranking on page 900, but Google wanted to place a cherry on top just to make sure the message was clear.
This update isn't as dramatic as the previous ones, we promise. This update was to more finely tune the search results so that users who conducted searches had an even better chance to find the answers that they were looking for. Just like the other updates the dangers are very similar.
Keyword stuffing and low-quality content
This just interpreted users search queries more accurately and focused on matching the searchers end goal to the web-page most likely to deliver the answers they would be seeking. The Hummingbird update made it possible for pages and websites to rank for specific keywords even if the phrase doesn't match the keywords exactly.
Helped the search engine use the ability to interpret natural language to decipher the intent and deliver the site that would be most likely to answer the question.
Just like we mentioned before, you should broaden your keyword search. Instead of just focusing on a keyword and trying to figure out how many times you can type it out in a paragraph is no longer going to work. Broadening your 'focus' also provides you with the opportunity to rank for keywords that you may not have even been aware that had great potential.
So let's go over this 'broad category' concept real fast.
If your website is about photography then what you should be doing is providing value to the visitors of your website regarding that subject instead of just trying to hammer them with copy right that is 'proven' to convert your visitors.
For example, you could have an article that talks about how to properly frame a portrait. Then you might have an article discussing how to get correct white balance, and so on.
Now these are just examples we're pulling out of thin air.
These additional categories and potential 'long-tail keywords' that were mentioned previously that would be closely related to your subject and have less competition, but they would still be a great attraction to get more targeted visitors.
So What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization?
We can see a pretty clear trend when it comes to what Google and similar search engines are trying to do, and why people keep trying to bypass or 'trick' the search engines when it comes to improving their SEO in the end will result in doing nothing but hurt your company, website, SEO, marketing, and so on.
What do search engines really want? They want you to provide value to the visitors of your website, that's really it. If search engines see that your website is repeatedly referenced, visited, and linked to (organically!) then it shows them that you're bringing value to the community on a level that is something other then trying to sell something. Search engines want to see that you are the industry expert in your profession and the better you can display that the better you'll be in the long run. SEO does take a long time to take effect, and it does take a lot of homework, and research, but in the end it's well worth it.
So if you just focus on taking everything from that great big brain of yours and putting it into pixels you are a ten times more likely to rank for your given keywords.
Don't think about selling people stuff, or people purchasing your product. Just focus on being an awesome human and providing value to those that visit. You'll gain more respect and you'll gain more credibility.
If you want a free SEO site evaluation (from a real life person) from one of our experts feel free to go here and we'll perform one for you and give you some tips on how you can correct the issues.
Now go take command of your SERP's!!!
~ SEO Teck Team
We provide a free SEO evaluation by one of our SEO experts for those that want to see if their website is up to par when it comes to their SEO. We use the best software to go over your sites SEO to help you pinpoint exactly where your problems are
We will also provide you with information on how you can fix the issues to we tell you about.
Let's be honest, there are a lot of SEO, and ,in general,marketing companies out there. So why would you want to work with us instead of Jimmy's SEO company? Because we know what we are doing.
We don't take on every client, we only take on the amount of clients we know we can handle for the duration of their campaign. We do this so we make sure we maintain the premium SEO services they have come to expect, and we are known for delivering.
If your goal is to zero in and get the absolutely best SEO you can possibly get then we are for you.
We do not miss deadlines. When we say that something will be done by a day and time we are 100% committed to that. We miss a deadline and we will provide a month of service free of charge.
Getting a better SEO ranking is great and all, but it also helps to get some information on what was done and why. That's why we clearly tell you all the modifications that we made and the reason for them. You don't have to understand or learn any of it but we always want to provide you with the ability.
Because when you learn how and why we do things a certain way it can really help us hone your SEO to get you the highest rank possible
The reason we don't keep our customers under contract is easy. It's because we actually plan on delivering results. When you're keeping your customers under a contract there is, almost literally, no incentive to actually produce results...you're going to be getting paid regardless of how your ranking.
Can we guarantee that you'll be on the first page of a search engine in the #1 spot? No, we cannot guarantee you that. In fact, nobody can so if a company says they can you should seek out another SEO agency. Even if it isn't us you use you should not use that company.