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The Game of SEO

Posted in How SEO Works

Hello and welcome to my blog where I’ll try to explain how SEO works. I’ll do my best to discuss basic SEO concepts to avoid confusing you.

So, let’s start.

One of the reasons you are here maybe because you see very little to no point of doing SEO. It looks like everybody is trying to please the major search engines. And you are asking why.

Well, I can’t blame you for feeling that website owners like you and me must please the search engines. And, for also thinking that it is the gist of doing search engine optimization. Because, it is just the result of them (search engines) giving us rules to follow. And, by how much those rules are necessary to deliver the most relevant web pages in the search results. Just like the games we play have rules, there are rules to follow in SEO. Specially if we want our web pages indexed and ranked high in the search results pages (SERPs).

Basically, each search engine uses two sets of rules. The first set of rules called an algorithm is never revealed to the public. It has to do with the program their machines use. The second set of rules is collectively called as search engine guidelines. Each search engine has its own unique set of guidelines. Now, these two sets of rules help a search engine offer an equal playing field to please users worldwide.

With a simple analogy, we can compare SEO to applying for a job. The search engine is the employer and your web page is the applicant. Employers look for the best of the best. Therefore, they want to interview all potential employees including your competitors. Interview questions help employers see how well an applicant fits the job or vice versa. Similarly, search engines look for the best answers to people’s search queries. Those answers are in the form of content found on web pages all over the Internet. Like you, your competitors’ web pages get equal search engine crawling and indexing opportunity. The web page that better adheres to search engine guidelines is eventually ranked higher in the SERPs.

So, basically, search engines and employers are the same. Hence, targeting first page keyword rankings and getting the job you want are almost the same thing. I say almost because of one huge difference. The interviews stop after hiring you. However, the interviews continue even after a search engine indexes your web page. A search engine will make sure your web page answers each searcher’s query. The latest stats says Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. With this number, you can safely assume that those daily searches include your targeted keywords.

So, then your employer evaluates your performance only once a month. However, an already indexed web page undergoes algorithm checks probably hundreds of times in one day. Moreover, the algorithm takes note of how each web page performs in the SERPs.

The algorithm sees when people consistently click to view a web page and stay there. Do other people’s web pages link to your web page as a vote of trust? How long does a visitor stay on your web page? Does each visit result in browsing other pages on your website? Does the visit end with a transaction meaning the searcher found what s/he is looking for? Basically, keyword rankings don’t go up easily and may go down when there are less desirable answers to these questions.

Additionally, search engines also compete. And, each of them look into dozens of other factors to know how to rank web pages. That’s how tough it is – the game of SEO.

I hope my explanation helps in urging you to continue improving your understanding of search engine optimization. And, to always practice good optimization habits.

I end this post by congratulating you for taking steps toward your success online by reading posts like this. Learn and use SEO properly and you will succeed. Please come again to learn more.