Understanding SEO in 2019
I have one word for you REPUTATION!! Want to get found? Build your reputation. As a company that deals with SEO it’s like chasing a rabbit, what works today may not work tomorrow. What we have seen in the past is that everything is moving towards reputation. Why is this going to be the deciding factor if your website, page, video, article or whatever you want ranked with get top ranking? It’s called user experience. This actually makes a lot of sense. Google is a business catering to it’s customers. Who are Google’s customers? Anyone who uses Google to search. So why is SEO so important? Well the answer is simple. To just put a website together and list it with Google is a waste of time unless you market it the way Google wants you to market it. If you don’t work on content, functionality, social marketing and building your reputation, you shouldn’t put a website up in the first place.
Search Engine Optimization pretty much revolves around Google. Seeing how Google has 92.3% of the global search engine market, it only makes sense that SEO companies only care what Google thinks of their customers sites. People have been chasing down the all mighty formula that makes Google say you are the best in your market. The trick is finding the algorithms that Google is currently using, and what they are looking for. Only few know the exact formula, but with practice and trial and error you can figure out what works best for you.
History Of SEO
You can say that SEO started with the very first website published in 1991. Search Engine Optimization got it’s name back somewhere close to early 1997. Ranking high on search engines in 1997 was a new concept. It was also very directory driven.
The major directories were LookSmart by Zeal, Go.com and Yahoo Directory. Yes Yahoo started as a directory service. It was a major player in the directory industry.
You have to remember that back during that time the Internet was still a pretty new concept to people. We started marketing a company back in 1998, the first experience I had with SEO. We were system builders competing in the low to middle end computer manufacturing. We used primarily Go.com to list our website at a cost of around $.25 per click.
SEO used to be very technical. There was a ton of behind the scene coding and tweaking that had to be done. You used to have to be a coder. You would make meta keywords, meta titles, meta descriptions, hand coded image alt tags, the list is endless with all the coding that had to be done. We would use DMOZ, the Mozilla Open Directory Project. It was basically the Yellow Pages for websites.
Search engines have changed the way we find information. Before the Internet we used News Papers, Encyclopedias, going to lectures and the library. Seems like it was a couple of centuries ago. In reality a huge part of the population when needing information would use those methods.
SEO Pie Chart
The most important part of SEO is to build domain authority. You do it through link building. This kind of goes hand in hand with reputation. You can say, Google is superficial. They want to measure your page authority by the quality of links that go back to your page. So if you are getting backlinks from credible websites, Google is going to look at that and increase your domain authority. It’s very time consuming to get these links. If you work hard enough over time you will gain page authority and be in favor of Google. Press releases are a great way to get high quality backlinks. Being a guest blogger, ask webmaster to put a link to an article you write or information page. There are tons of articles, videos and information on how to obtain them.
Behavioral and Mobile Signals
Reputation portion of the pie chat also consists of behavioral and mobile signals. Your reputation is measured both online and offline. You may ask how Google can measure your reputation offline? One way is you get reviews on pages like your Google My Business and social media. Google pays attention to how you interact with people that leave reviews. Respond to all reviews you get. You can be a guest speaker at a seminar or something equivalent. Take videos of them and post to social media, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn etc..
So the bottom line is so far 53% of SEO is based on are you an authority in your industry and if you know what you’re saying.
Google My Business Signals
So here is the last part of Reputation. Google looks at your Google My Business to determine your reputation. If you don’t have a Google My Business you are missing the boat. You will never get anywhere with your website if you do not follow all parts of what Google is looking for.
Google has created a great place for your business to get your information out. Google My Business is a place for you to showcase the most important part of what your business is all about. You can post photos, interact directly with your customers and manage how your business information appears across Google, including search and maps.
They even have a mobile app so you can keep your business updated from anywhere. Post articles, tell what your are selling. You can see insights on how your customers searched for you.
So now reputation is 62% of what helps rank your website but we are not done.
Content is 14% of SEO. I would say that doing website analysis for years now, 95% of websites lack content. So what kind of content is Google looking for? Google is looking for how what content vs. HTML is and what your actual content says. Google is looking for 20% to 60% content to HTML ratio to start. 90% of websites I analyze have less than 10%. So how does this affect your site?
A lot of people think Google is strictly an automated company scouring the Internet with Bots or Spiders or Crawlers, whatever you want to call them. I like to call them Crawler Bots. Google does have them and use them to collect data. What most people, including so called SEO specialists don’t know is that Google also puts human eyes on your website. I’m not familiar at what point they do this but I would imagine it happening when your website starts gaining rank.
So content also is about what you are actually telling people. Are your statements correct, accurate and relevant? Google will find out. If you are truly an authority in your industry, your content will verify that. Content also consists of header tags, i.e. H1, H2, H3 etc…
So here we go again. 13% added to reputation. This is the controlling of an individual, group or organizations reputation. Think of it as a PR role. There are actually companies out there that manages reputation for others. I’m not sure that this section only is responsible for 13% of SEO. Your reputation is key in business and life in general. It’s all you have to prove to the world your worth.
Reputation = 75% of SEO
OK!! More Reputation. Citation management speaks for itself. You need to manage your research and awards. There is software that can help you manage it. They put in a database your publications like blog posts and bibliography.
Add another 13% to reputation to bring total to 88% of SEO.
This just refers to where you what you want your company to be searched for. So if you sell used car parts you don’t want to be listed under restaurants. 🙂 So this helps Google to use relative keywords to place your site where it needs to be. So your content has to be relative to the desired search preference. 9%
When I first started years ago to look for what Google is looking for, I would have guessed more emphasis would be placed on Social Media. This did not come true. It is a huge part of how you can market your company, but there is not a huge need for SEO in social media. Just 4%
Pie Chart Calculation Problem
You may ask why 125% is the sum of the parts? Well calculating SEO is confusing. The Biggest thing you need to know is that Reputation is what Google is looking for.
They want to make sure if your are going to be #1 your site needs to be the site that gives the answers to their customers fast and accurately. So when you decide to write your content, make is easy to read, make your site as informational as possible and make sure your content is relevant and accurate. Be helpful, and a benefit to your customers and potential customers. Be the company that cares and offer a helping hand.
A great man Zig Ziglar once said – “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”