Many digital marketing agencies like to explain search engine optimization (SEO) in nearly mystical terms. While SEO is a complex issue for marketing professionals, there are some general guidelines and rules that one must follow to have one of the major search engines rank a site for its content.
The Different Kinds of SEO
Traditionally, there has been two distinctive routes to SEO: white hat and black hat. White hat SEO refers to the adherence to the guidelines of the search engines and a deliberate attempt to optimize a website without breaking the rules. Black hat SEO refers generally to the deliberate manipulation of the search engine’s algorithmic flaws to exploit them and rank higher in the search engines. The main distinction between both kinds of SEO might be found in the consequences of each. Though black hat SEO might help your business rank short-term, a future algorithmic update might fix the flaw and even penalize your site for having violated the search engine’s guidelines. Generally speaking, you cannot get a website penalty if you follow the search engine’s rules, that is the benefit of white hat SEO.
Why Good SEO takes time?
Good SEO is about creating a better experience for the end-user. Google and other search engines want to rank your site highly if you give useful and engaging content to your users. If you follow the rules and create the right kind of content based on your market, it would be in Google’s best interest to help your site rank higher since it will keep Google’s users happy. Good SEO takes time because instead of exploiting a temporal flaw in the search engine’s indexing methods, white hat SEO focuses exclusively on providing the right kind of content and experience to the user. There is no magic bullet to rank high on search engines, however, if you follow the right guidance and offer the right kind of content, slowly but surely your website will rank at the top.
What Factors Do Search Engines Use to Rank Websites?
Each search engine is its own universe of rules. For example, Google, being the most popular search engine, has its own “secret formula” (ranking algorithm) to make sure only the most relevant websites appear. Because it is on Google’s best interest to keep users engaged and coming back to its search engine, they make sure their algorithm is updated constantly, always keeping the user in mind.
Google in particular is intensively studied by search engine marketers and although there is no definitive guide to what Google is using to rank results, some general patterns are obvious. To see a comprehensive list of some of the most salient ranking factors that we have observed throughout the years, click below: