In this blog, we will start our Digital Marketing series. Here we will be learning about, ‘What is SEO?‘, ‘Understanding SEO‘, ‘Importance of metadata in SEO‘ and ‘Types of SEO‘.
I am Lalit M S Adhikari and we are LTY. Let’s get started.
What is SEO
To define SEO, we must start with an example, suppose this very situation in which you searched, ‘What is SEO‘ on Google. It showed a lot of results and one page was at top and other below. Have you ever thought, ‘How Google decides to show a website at first place and other places’. This is SEO.
Decades ago, if you want to get noticed, it meant renting a billboard or an advertisement in a local newspaper.
But in this era, with large search engines being the go-to encyclopedia for most of us (even if it’s an individual, company or organization), to make ourselves heard we have been seeking ways to climb to the top of the search results using a process called SEO.
Giant search engines like Google use algorithms to push relevant results to the top of the page. So, when a user types in “Calligraphy Pen” they will get links to buy popular brands of Calligraphy pen rather than some nonsensical information.
Now, how exactly these algorithms work is usually closely guarded secrets. But there is still enough public knowledge for webmasters to attempt to tune their pages to boost their positions in the search results.
In fact, Google even puts out a ‘Search Engine Optimization Starter’s guide’ to help website owners improve their chances of earning the visible top results.
Importance of Metadata in SEO
For starters, who are getting into this zone for the first time, it’s a good idea to optimize your page’s ‘Metadata’.
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“Metadata” is all the information other than the actual content that people cannot see in their browser window.
Accurate metadata will be things like descriptive page titles or embedding a short explanation of what on the page into your HTML which you can often end up seeing underneath the Google result can push your sight up to the top.
More recent developments are making URLs themselves more informative. Some of the example you might have probably seen on several websites sites which have started to use filenames that indicate what the article is about.
For Example: I name images that I use in my blog as What-is-SEO-Learn-That-Yourself-Lalit Adhikari which is a lot more helpful for a search engine than just assigning some random numbers.
Another thing that you can do with your page is nested it in some sort of sensible directory structure organized by things like topic and dates.
Nowadays, most modern search engine focuses on how often a page is linked to as a key metric of its importance providing descriptive text links in the body of a web page to other pages on your site can also be very helpful.
Search engines are also aware of topic headers and alt text for images to help categorize the site. The key as with any metadata as to keep these as short but also as informative and descriptive as possible to make it easier for a search engine to determine that your site is relevant to a particular topic.
Types of SEO
White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO is simply techniques that follow Google’s guidelines. White Hat SEO is associated with little to no risk at all.
If you follow the guidelines appropriately that Google has mentioned, you’re not going to get any sort of penalty or penalization from Google.
Black Hat SEO
Now, everything I’ve outlined so far is a legitimate SEO or White Hat SEO strategy. There are plenty of other tricks that might be employed by unscrupulous site owners.
These collectively are known as Black Hat SEO or Spam Indexing. The goal of these techniques is to make the page seem more relevant to a topic than what it is actually.
These tricks can take the form of anything from hiding the keywords in invisible texts that a user would have to highlight to see to buying the traffic from other sites or using irrelevant keywords that might just be trending at the moment or just overusing the relevant ones.
These kinds of behaviors have resulted in some digital arms race between search engines developers who are trying to weed out these pages for the users and spammers of site owners who are desperate for clicks and are using these shady tactics.
Search giants like Google deploy more sophisticated methods to separate the signal from the noise; my advice is if you want your website to be around for long time stick to the true tactics or White Hat SEO, even if your website features material of ill repute.