SEO stands for “search engine optimisation.” It is the process of getting web traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search engine results page on search engines.
All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content for example, videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most pertinent to search terms. Payment isn’t required, as these are natural results, unlike with paid search adverts (Google Adwords, Facebook etc).
SEO factors work in combination
No single SEO factor will certify search engine rankings. Having a great HTML title won’t help if a page has low-quality content. Having many links won’t help if they are all low in quality. Having several positive elements can increase the odds of success, while the presence of negative factors can depress those odds.
On-the-page success factors
On-the-page search ranking factors are those that are almost totally within the publisher’s own control. What kind of content do you publish? Are you providing important HTML clues that help search engines (and individuals) establish relevancy? How does your site framework help or hinder search engines?
Off-the-page success variables
Off-the-page ranking factors are those that publishers do not directly manage. Search engines use these because they learned right away that relying on publisher-controlled signals alone didn’t always give the best results. As an example, some publishers may try to make themselves seem more relevant than they are in reality.
With billions of websites to sort through, looking only at “on-the-page” clues isn’t enough. More signals are needed to return the most ideal pages for any particular search.
SEO violations & ranking penalties
Make no mistake-search engines want people to perform SEO because it can help boost their search results. Search engines provide help in the form of guidelines, blog posts and videos to encourage specified Search Engine Optimization strategies.
However, there are some practices that search engines deem “spam” or “black hat,” which could lead to your pages receiving a ranking penalty, or worse, being excluded from the search engines entirely.
Violations are generally techniques meant to deceive or influence a search engine’s understanding of a site’s genuine relevancy and authority.
Weighting of search ranking factors
All the factors are weighted on a scale of 1 to 3. Google giveth and Google Teketh away. A weighting of 3 is essential and is one thing we pay special focus on because it has such a huge impact.
That doesn’t mean that factors weighted 2 or 1 aren’t important; they are. It’s just that they are of less importance, relatively speaking, in terms of the other factors on the chart. Violations are also weighted, but in negative numbers, with -3 being the most awful and possibly most harmful to your Search Engine Optimization excellence.
The weighting is based on a blending of what search engines have said, surveys of the Search Engine Optimization community and our own expertise and experience in watching the space over time. We don’t expect them to be perfect, they will change as the internet evolves and grows. You can also guarantee that not everyone will agree at the same time. Your mileage may vary. But we’re confident it is a useful general guide and employ the right or “White Hat” techniques to enhance your business.
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