An important aspect of Search Engine Optimization is making your website easy for both users and search engine robots to understand.Although search engines have become increasingly sophisticated, in many ways they still can’t see and understand a web page the same way a human does. SEO helps the engines figure out what each page is about, and how it may be useful for users.
1. Spidering and Indexing Problems
- Search engines aren’t good at completing online forms (such as a login), and thus any content contained behind them may remain hidden.
- Websites using a CMS (Content Management System) often create duplicate versions of the same page – a major problem for search engines looking for completely original content.
- Errors in a website’s crawling directives (robots.txt) may lead to blocking search engines entirely.
- Poor link structures lead to search engines failing to reach all of a website’s content. In other cases, poor link structures allow search engines to spider content, but leave it so minimally exposed that it’s deemed “unimportant” by the engine’s index
2. Content to Query Matching
- Text that is not written in common terms that people use to search. For example, writing about “food cooling units” when people actually search for “refrigerators”.
- Language and internationalization subtleties. For example, color vs colour. When in doubt, check what people are searching for and use exact matches in your content.
- Location targeting, such as targeting content in Polish when the majority of the people who would visit your website are from Japan.
3. The “Tree Falls in a Forest”
SEO isn’t just about getting the technical details of search-engine friendly web development correct. It’s also about marketing. This is perhaps the most important concept to grasp about the functionality of search engines. You can build a perfect website, but its content can remain invisible to search engines unless you promote it. This is due to the nature of search technology, which relies on the metrics of relevance and importance to display results.
The “tree falls in a forest” adage postulates that if no one is around to hear the sound, it may not exist at all – and this translates perfectly to search engines and web content. Put another way – if no one links to your content, the search engines may choose to ignore it.
The engines by themselves have no inherent gauge of quality and no potential way to discover fantastic pieces of content on the web. Only humans have this power – to discover, react, comment and link to. Thus, great content cannot simply be created – it must be shared and talked about. Search engines already do a great job of promoting high quality content on websites that have become popular, but they cannot generate this popularity – this is a task that demands talented Internet marketers.