Understand the basics of search engine optimisation

We hear so much about optimisation and that you need to make sure that your website ranks in the top 10 list in search results.  SEO (search engine optimisation) sounds very confusing to many but it isn’t really.  There are some very basic guidelines to follow which is not too difficult to implement if you are using a platform like WordPress as your website.  A question was posted on Facebook which gave me the opportunity to give you some insight as to how it all works.

Can someone shed some light on SEO and how the new Google Hummingbird is effecting SEO?  This is an excellent question  that was asked by Anne-Marie and really I’m so glad you asked this question as it would shed some light for many.  I will do my best to explain this as easy as I can based on extensive research I’ve done on search engine ranking.  Thank you Gwen Kloppers of XtraOrdinaryWomen for asking for my input.

google humming bird question


Hi Anne-Marie sadly your web guys are correct.  Google has changed how search works forever but its not a bad thing at all, it just means we need to adapt ourselves to change.  There is a new search engine and it is called Hummingbird and it is designed to include social and semantic search.

Spiderbots/crawlers search the internet everyday in search of new content to index.  It would index your content according to the keyword you chose but it would be based on a checklist of various elements you have to have in place.  So the spiderbot would ask:

  • Is the keyword you chose in your Title Tag? – Check
  • Is the keyword you chose in your Description Tag? – Check
  • Is it in your Alt Tag, (images)?
  • Is it in your Heading tags, h1, h2, h3, h4…?
  • Are you using it in your content once or twice?
  • Are you using it in your sub-headings, bold headings?
  • Then it would look for internal links, this is you linking one article to another on your own website.
  • Then it would look at external links you maybe using from other articles on the same topic.
  • Then it would look for how many links you have pointing back to your site, in other words your credibility.

The old way of ranking was to do with following the above guidelines.  Some of the guidelines are no longer a major ranking factor but these are good SEO practices to implement where you can.  The amount of links pointing to your website and the quality of the links that are pointing to your website, known as external links. Now what Google are saying is that you must still follow the existing guidelines but ranking will also factor in social influence and more importantly as always quality content.  In other words how are you solving your users questions.  How are you helping them to solve their problems by answering their questions with good, valuable quality content.

Yes, it is vital that you continue to  implement the basic guidelines but social media will also be a factor but not in the sense where Google can crawl the algorithm in sites like Facebook and Twitter, they cannot do this.  However, what they are saying is that ranking will also factor in your credibility and your social currency.  In other words:

    • Who is voting on your content?
    • Who is sharing your content?
    • How many fans you have?
    • Your reviews.
    • Testimonials.
    • And a few other things which you can read about in my article The Google Impact!

In addition to links pointing to your website, people will now also determine your ranking but that’s not all.  There are two types of searches, a personalised search (Google Plus) and a non-personalised search.

Search results in personalised search works like this:  Let’s say you are looking to join a women’s network and Gwen Kloppers is in your network of friends whether it be on Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn wherever. If Gwen has optimised her website, in other words followed all of the above and say used the key phrase “Woman network South Africa”  and she is dishing out good quality content.  Her women’s network will now rank higher and possibly in the top 10 than say of someone who you are not connected with like someone overseas in another corner of the world.  So yes, that is how search has changed.

There are ups and downsides but the biggest positive is it evens the playing field and it now means that everyone has to really work on producing high and quality content and everybody is going to have to build influential social currency.

Google Hummingbird

Why Google Hummingbird isn’t for the birds

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Romany Thresher

Online Presence Brand Strategist
Romany Thresher is a strategic thinker and natural connector with a talent for identifying opportunities for your business or venture. Organising, and overseeing your online digital systems and processes for your webinars and virtual events.  Website set up, email communications,  social media marketing and set up registration and feedback processes.  Ensuring that you collect the necessary information to help you obtain a better understanding of your customer’s expectations. Romany adds value to your business always being on the lookout for new opportunities to connect like-minded individuals who can add value to each other for a mutual benefit. Assisting you in online networking, lead generation, and giving you ideas and strategies to develop relationships with key stakeholders, sponsors, partners, and suppliers in your industry.  Working in the background so you don’t have to.  What do you need to implement and upgrade in your life and in your business and who do you need to align yourself with so that you and those you work with and collaborate with can make a positive impact in your collective environments and communities?  Let’s find out!

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One response to “Understand the basics of search engine optimisation”

  1. […] did not think social media was important, think again.  The human vote counts!  While the normal guidelines are still in place, Google has added another dynamic to how websites will be ranked in the […]