Common terms for Search Engine Optimisation: Part 2

Here we go again. As promised in my last blog, the seemingly never ending list of strange SEO terms continues. If you are wondering what SEO means, you should probably go and read part 1 of this blog (as if you haven’t memorised the whole thing already).


Talking about Search Engines

Search Engines are the insanely smart websites that you type a query into to search for information on line, e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. They have to decide from the words you are searching for, which websites are likely to be most relevant for you. What they display is based on an algorithm (a very complicated sum made up of hundreds of factors).

Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms to give the most relevant results possible. Their system is all about the end user – not about your website. These constant changes can sometimes help you jump up several places in results, but can also sometimes mean you can lose your position depending on the changes to the algorithm.

The search engine already has a fairly good idea what your web site contains and where it should rank thanks to bots / robots / Googlebots. Thankfully these robots are not Terminator style killing machines from the future, but more like speed reading champions of the universe. They crawl your website for content, follow your links between pages and decide what words you should rank for (crawling is like reading but on your hands and knees).

Bots are getting smarter and even starting to understand the context of your site content and the words on your page, so there’s still a chance they will eventually gain enough intelligence to learn, go mental, and attempt to wipe out human kind. But for now they are just mild mannered sweet old librarians making sure your website is indexed correctly. If your site is difficult to read, i.e. the code is messy and does not conform to Google standards, it won’t be indexed at all so your chances of being found in searches are slim to non. Regular new website content is a good way to get your site re-indexed and gain better rankings.

Your SEO company applies keywords to specific pages of your site. These are the words you want to tell search engines are really important to you. It makes sense if you tell the search engines what you want to rank for, they are more likely to help you get there. Your keywords are selected based on difficulty to rank, search volumes and relevance. There is no point in trying to rank for a word that your customers are not using in their searches!

When someone performs a query (search), your site could rank for different variations on the search. For example Mario Bros. Plumbing services may rank in different positions for “Plumber Perth” and “Perth Plumber”. So why the difference? It is the same two words, but it is all down to match type. Exact Match means the words appear on the website in exactly the format you searched for. If the words appear on your site but are not directly together or in a different order, the chances are you may not rank as high.

Until next time, Hasta la vista!

  • Query – A search in Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine
  • Algorithm – The sum search engines do to decide where to rank your website in search results for each combination of words on your page
  • Bots / Robots / Googlebots – Code that reads the content of your website to send information back to the search engines
  • Crawl – Reading or scanning of your website by the bot
  • Keywords – Words that are really important to your business that you are trying to rank well for.
  • Difficulty – Some keywords have more competition than others so are more difficult to rank for
  • Search volumes – The number of people searching for specific terms
  • Relevance – The relevance of a keyword to your web site. If the word does not appear on your web page, then you wont get rankings for it as the bot will not index you for that word. If it’s not on the page, it is obviously not very relevant
  • Exact Match – Matching exactly what people are searching for to the content on your web page.

Using Webfirm your search engine optimisation partner will mean that you are getting a dedicated and experienced team who know exactly how search engines work, and how to optimise your site so that it achieves the best rankings possible across all the major search engines.

Image credit SEOPlanter on Flickr