How SEO works
In simple terms, SEO works by demonstrating to search engines that your content is the best result for the topic at hand. This is because all search engines have the same goal: To show the best, most relevant results to their users. Precisely how you do this depends on the search engine you’re optimizing for.
If you want more organic traffic to your web pages, then you need to understand and cater to Google’s algorithm. If you want more video views, then it’s all about YouTube’s algorithm.
Google ranks web pages, not web sites.
Just because your business makes stained glass windows doesn’t mean that every page on your site should rank for the query, “stained glass windows.” You can rank for different keywords and topics with different pages.
Before Google can even consider ranking your content, it first needs to know that it exists.
Google uses several ways to discover new content on the web, but the primary method iscrawling. To put it simply, crawling is where Google follows links on the pages they already know about to those they haven’t seen before.
To do this, they use a computer program called a spider.
Let’s say that your homepage has a backlink from a website that’s already in Google’s index.
Next time they crawl that site, they’ll follow that link to discover your website’s homepage and likely add it to their index. From there, they’ll crawl the links on your homepage to find other pages on your site.
That said, some things can block Google’s crawlers:
- Poor internal linking: Google relies on internal links to crawl all the pages on your site. Pages without internal links often won’t get crawled.
- Nofollowed internal links: Internal links with nofollow tags won’t get crawled by Google.
- Noindexed pages: You can exclude pages from Google’s index using a noindex meta tag orHTTPheader. If other pages on your site only have internal links from noindexed pages, there’s a chance that Google won’t find them.
- Blocks in robots.txt: Robots.txt is a text file that tells Google where it can and can’t go on your website. If pages are blocked here, it won’t crawl them.