- Name a website that every internet user is familiar with, even 80+ year olds!
- Name the most visited website of the world.
You answered “Google”! Right? Congratulations, you are right!
The two questions above easily demonstrated how popular Google is.
And what is Google?
“I know! It's a Search Engine.”
You are again correct. You are pretty smart!
The point I wanted to bring your attention was the popularity of search engines. They get a lot of traffic and in turn, send a lot of traffic to other sites. Obviously, most of this search engine traffic goes to the websites that appear on the first page of results.
What will happen if you get #1 ranking on Google for a popular search term? You will be a net celebrity in a day!
So, you should start optimizing your blog for search engines right away.
Where are you going? I did not say “You should leave Blogging With Success and start optimizing your blog right away”. You will find a lot of good posts here that can help you in becoming a successful blogger! And besides, I would be really happy if you stay here on Blogging With Success and read this article and share it with your friends!
OK, back to search engines.
This post is about learning how search engines work and find the topic of your blog post.
“Why should I learn this? What benefit will I get if I learn how search engines work and optimizing my posts?”
You just said that, right?(My psychic powers told me!)
How Knowledge About Search Engines Will Benefit You
One of the most essential things when learning something is to find out how it works. If you know how a computer works, you can easily learned advanced topics like programming and troubleshoot problems. You know why teenagers (and below-teen agers) don’t have too much trouble learning computers? Because they are taught the basic functioning of computers in classes! So, we already know how the input goes to CPU and gets processed and then returned. Because of this, we can easily learn any new piece of software given enough time.
On the other hand, a middle aged man who has not learned basics in class will take a lot more time to learn how to use computer.
So, it would be great if you spend your precious 5 minutes on learning the search engines basics.
And the answer to second question:
How Optimizing Your Posts Will Benefit You
Remember my example about getting on first place on Google? Apart from becoming a net celebrity, you will get a lot of traffic and money(if you monetize your blog well).
If you optimize your posts for search engines, you are more likely to get a good ranking and more traffic.
How Search Engines Work
Any guesses how search engines work?
When I first found(a long time back) about Google and how it displays a lot of information, I thought it was a mass labour project where humans filter the results themselves. But clearly, this is not the case!
Why? Because internet is too big and even if everyone starts to search and optimize results, it would take ages! And then there are so many queries. Preparing search results for every query would be like answering every question of universe, which is well, impossible!
So, how do search engines actually collect all that information?
Well, they use Spiders!
Spiders are bots that “crawl” the web pages looking for information. This information is then sent to data center where super computers run super secret algorithms on it. This helps in determining the topic of web page.
After that, the super computers add lots of other things to mix, like number of links to page, outbound links etc. to come out with a score(just like a teacher). All this info is then stored in the big data centers.
When we ask search engine a question, it looks for all the related pages in the index(where all the information is stored, much like a store) and picks out the best matching pages. The process of picking out also involves taking into account the score assigned to that page.
This is a very simple look at the search engine working and the process is very complex but that is enough for now.
To optimize blog posts for search engines, first thing is to find out what search engines emphasize on. Here’s a small list(not in order):
- Bold and formatted text.
- Specific keywords.
- Backlinks to the page.
By headings, I mean h1,h2 etc. These tags exist in HTML for a reason, to emphasize on some text. And search engines give priority to headings for finding keywords and what the age is about. H1 gets most attention while H6 gets the least.
It is best to make your post title H1 or H2 and the sub-headings H3.
Bold And Formatted Text
Bold and Formatted is also given preference by spiders. The same logic behind header tags exists here, author has highlighted some text to get reader’s attention. So, naturally, this text is important. And hence, search engines will pay more attention to formatted text.
Keyword = key + word
So, basically, a keyword should be some important word and possibly, related to the main topic of article. Right?
That is what a keyword is. Search engines will look for the words that are repeated again and again to determine the topic of the post. So, if you want to attract traffic for a specific keyword or phrase, it is a good idea to repeat it. But keep one thing in mind, do not repeat it too much!
Backlinks are one of the most important factors in determining the rankings of a page.
Just assume that buy a new house and when you shift, no one in the neighborhood seems to be interested in talking to you. Then one day, president of your country comes to your house to meet you. What will happen?
Your neighbor’s will be impressed and will treat you better. Right?
It’s same here with Search Engines. If you get links for high authority blogs, you will be ranked higher and get more traffic. It is a good strategy to use guest posting to get links from higher authority blogs.
Ever noticed the small “Images” link in Google and other major search engines?
Guess what, it can be a good source of traffic! All you need is to optimize the images well. Not only traffic, you can also get better rankings in normal results if you optimize with good alt text.
Adding Alt Text To Images
First, we should find out what alt text is.
Alt = alternative
Alt text is the alternative text that is displayed when images are not visible in browser.
And search engines use it heavily.
Because unlike real world spiders, their spiders don’t have eyes and they can’t judge what an image is about. So, they will analyze the text around images and the alt text to judge the topic of images.
Make sure to add proper alt text to your images.
Adding Title Text
Title text is the text that is displayed when you hover your mouse pointer over an image/link. Title is not as important as alt is.
While good optimization can push your article up in SERP i.e. Search Engine Result Pages, mistakes can push you lower or even get you kicked out!
The most common mistake is overdoing SEO.
“If h2 tags give my keyword importance, why not make all keywords H2?”
I know that you are smart enough to not ask this question and this is just a fictional logic! But you should keep in mind that fictional or not, logics like this will always fail.
Because people working for Google and other search engines are not fools. They know that there’s always someone who will try to outsmart the system. So, they will constantly upgrade their algorithms to make sure that no one uses under hand tactics!
Make sure you do not overdo SEO.
Second mistake is selling links. Selling links is not permitted by any search engine and if you sell and Google detects it, you might be punished. Some time ago, I sold some links at Blogging With Success and as a result, we got Page rank 0(although traffic is still there). We burned our hands but make sure that you don't!
- Do not add too much headings and sub headings to your posts.
- Do not add too much links formatted text! It is bad SEO as well as HEO wise.
- Do not repeat keywords too much!
That covers almost every basic you have to keep in mind.
Most Important SEO Tip
Most important SEO tip is to not give SEO too much priority. When writing your posts, do not keep SEO in mind at all. Leave SEO and other things for your editor hat(confused? Read what I mean by hats).
Now, while I hope that you liked this post, I know that you can not come back to this post every time when you write a post. (Remembering is out of question as this post is 1500+ words long!)
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