Crawling, Indexing, Bots and Why it all Matters.
You know it’s important and everyone talks about it, but you can’t help to think, what is this mysterious SEO anyway and why does it matter so much?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, but of course you already knew that. What you’re dying to know is how you “do SEO” and how it can help you and your business.
SEO is a branch in marketing that focuses on growing your visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. Think Google. There are so many different aspects to SEO, from the content on your page to the way other sites link to you, to the general structure of your site. But you can think of it as: SEO is about making your website as useful as possible to the people using it.
How Search Engines Work:
To understand SEO it’s really important that you understand how search engines work. Which means you need to know the two key functions a search engine has: Crawling and Indexing.
What is Crawling and Indexing:
Let’s use Google as an example, since I’m assuming the majority of you aren’t stuck in the early 2000s still using Yahoo Search as your search engine of choice.
Google constantly sends out “GoogleBots” that navigate the internet and discover which websites contain the most relevant information to certain keywords; this process is referred to as “crawling.”
“Indexing” is when the GoogleBot adds a page into that Google web search and organizes those pages—just like an index in the back of a text book. So, when you do a Google search you’re not really searching the entire Internet; you’re searching Google’s index of the web.
Search engines provide users useful, relevant answers. When a user performs an online search, the search engine goes through its index and provides the user results that are relevant to the user’s query. It then takes those results and ranks them by popularity to ensure you’re getting the best possible answer.
I’m not going to lie, SEO is a very complex and ever-changing branch in marketing. It requires a lot of time, commitment, and research. However, there are a few things you can do now to start improving your search results.
- Sign up with Webmaster Tools.
- Create great content.
Once you’ve got your site in order, create some killer content. Content your viewers will actually love. Is it useful to them? Does it make them laugh, cry, or even better, give you their money? Content doesn’t always mean words in a blog, it can include video tutorials, pretty visuals, and free tools/help. Just make sure your content is wow-worthy.
- Embrace the share
If you’re creating awesome content, then it’s probably worthy of a Facebook share. And you want people to share your links on social media. Why? Social signals from Facebook now correlate very strongly with good rankings in Google’s index. Provide shareable buttons on your pages and posts to make it a one-click process for someone to share your truly incredible content.
We’ve covered the basics, now get out there and start to “do SEO.”