Search engines do not understand a web page the way humans do. Search Engine Optimization – SEO helps smooth interactions between search engines and a web page, enabling the search engine to better see and understand a web page.
The following points will help us better understand how SEO is done:
» Search Engines prefer HTML text format rather than images, flash files and other non-text content. These formats are generally ignored by search engines as they put more value in HTML Text format while crawling and indexing web pages. It is thus advisable to build web pages with maximum content written in HTML, also images, flash files should be accompanied with HTML text descriptions to guarantee proper indexing of the web page.
» Link Structure is very important for search engines. Ensuring all the pages on a website are interlinked will ensure that the search engines crawl through all the pages and all the relevant content is indexed and listed. For Ex:
Here, Homepage A is linked to B which is linked to C but, page D is not linked to any of the pages. In this case, crawler would not crawl page D which in turn would not be indexed despite its great content and good keywords.
» Search engines store data on the basis of keywords in other words, there are millions of data indexed, when we enter words to perform a query, search engines go through their database and retrieve the information based on the words in the query. The way keywords are used on the page is measured by search engines to find the relevance of that information to a query. More specific the keyword leads to less competition and higher chances of achieving a higher ranking. To optimize a page’s ranking use the keywords you want to rank for prominently in title, text and metadata.
Over a period of time, this practice of keyword based indexing was taken advantage of to manipulate engines. This misguided effort is termed as ‘keyword stuffing’ wherein in keywords are stuffed into texts, meta tags, links and URLs which does more harm than good to the website.
» Description of a page’s content is shown at the top of Internet Browsing Software which is called ‘Title Tag’. It is critical to user experience as well as SEO. Keywords used in the title tags will be bold when a search query would be performed using those keywords. Title tags can be optimized in following ways:
- Place keywords in the starting of title tags for better ranking and better visibility to the users
- The first 65-75 characters of the title tag are shown in the search result by the search engines so, be wise while writing a title tag. If multiple keywords are targeted and it is important to include them in the title tag then go longer.
- It should be descriptive and readable to grab more user attention and visitors to the site
» Meta tags:
a. Meta robots: They control crawler activity on per page level.
– Index/noindex tells search engine whether to index a page or not. Noindex excludes the page from indexing. By default crawler indexes all pages.
– Follow/nofollow tells whether to crawl link on the page. Nofollow stops crawler from crawling and ranking the link. By default crawler follow every link on the page.
– Noarchive tells the engine not to save cached copy of the page. By default crawler saves cached copy of the page.
b. Meta Description: It gives a brief description about page and not used by crawlers for ranking. These descriptions are basically for advertising and drawing attention of readers.
» The addresses for documents on the web page are of great importance from search perspective and are called URLs. They are displayed in search result and also used in ranking documents. Construct a URL which gives an idea of the content on the page and is short, easy to copy & paste and visible in the search result. Include specific keyword in the URL which is targeted by web page. However, don’t stuff in multiple keywords for SEO, it will result in less usable URL.
» Many a times it happens that there are two or more duplicate versions of a web page with different URLs. Search engines rarely show multiple, duplicate versions of same content. Instead they choose a version which is most likely to be original. This may lead to lower ranking of pages than it should. To combine multiple pages into one Canonicalization is done. This practise tells the search engine that all duplicate versions has one and only one URL. This way duplicate pages stop competing against each other and create stronger relevancy signal overall.
From the above points we can see that keywords play a very important role in SEO so, choosing the right keyword for website is of utmost importance. Below are some of the sources about keyword referral and keyword demand
a) Google Trends
b) Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tool
c) Wordtracker’s Free Basic Keyword Demand
Search engines have no formula to understand how important the content is for people. They track what people do: what they discover, react, comment and link to on your website, and measure the importance and relevance on that basis. So, along with SEO, market your content to make sure it gets seen to the audience.