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Absolute Beginner’s Guide: What Is SEO?

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SEO

What is SEO?

SEO is the name given to the process of attempting to improve the visibility of a website or a web page in the unpaid search engine results.

This activity is often referred to as “natural” or “earned”. This means more people will go to that website, and it will keep ranking higher in the organic search results. And obviously, sites that appear higher in the search results will get more traffic, and ultimately more business. Every two out of three search results are through Google, and if a website were at the top of its results, it would push a lot of people towards it.

Types of SEO:

There are two types of SEO; White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO.

White Hat SEO utilises techniques and methods to improve the search rankings. They use methods such as high-quality content development and website HTML optimisation. Their results are slow and gradual, but they don’t run afoul of a search engine’s guidelines.

Black Hat SEO, however, exploits weaknesses in the search engine and uses techniques such as keyword stuffing, cloaking and link spam are used. Their growth in rankings is short-lasting, and they are quick and unpredictable. It is cheating the system, and whilst this may result in a temporary increase in visitors, it won’t last long.

Furthermore, most search engine optimisation companies fall into what is considered the “Gray Hat” area. They are not crossing into boundaries as far as Black Hat SEO, but they are outside of what would be considered White Hat SEO. Its ‘affordable’ pricing recognises grey Hat search engine optimisation since the company would have to reduce the cost to use more questionable techniques so that they could deliver results.

Importance of content in SEO

Google has recently launched its new and improved algorithms, meaning it would be harder for something like Black Hat SEO to exploit its weaknesses and therefore, they would get no growth in rankings. This is why it is critical to have quality content on the website you’re trying to improve the visibility of in the search engine results. The algorithms Google launched check that websites have relevant and vital information it can offer people, making it harder for people to use tactics such as link spamming and getting to the top of the results unnaturally.

How can SEO help?

SEO can help the natural growth of a website in many ways, such as:

How
  • Improve the search engine friendliness
  • Utilise a well-executed search engine optimisation campaign
  • Improve a website’s rankings over months/years for a handful of well-thought-out keywords
  • Optimise a website’s contextual content – inserting a select number of keywords into the text and developing an internal link structure.

If you get to the top of the search results naturally, this builds loyalty between users and the website owner. They know that if a website is at the top of the search results because it is trustworthy, and this will lead to the page resulting in more traffic.

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