This term encompasses two search models, one is a crawler-based search engine and the other is based on human-driven directories. Currently, the use of the latter model has been declining, so much that the well-known DMOZ directory announced in 2017 the closing of their site. Despite this, human-driven search engines such as Hotfrog or Jasmyn Directory are still working.
For that reason, today, when talking about search engines, we refer to programs whose internal structure or backend is composed of algorithms designed to find and collect information in a database about different web pages, but from an external point of view, or front-end, search engines are an interface users interact with by typing the term they want to find. The algorithm searches each page of the backend database and returns the links that lead to the pages whose term is associated in the front-end.
Crawler-based search engines scan the Web and create an index of results that users search through. The way they do it is through a process that involves three elements: 1) spiders, 2) indexes and 3) the search engine itself.
As can be deduced, a website with a good position on the search engine results page (SERP) experiences a high level of traffic, so visibility is fundamental and it is in the top positions of the SERP where higher visibility is achieved. In this sense, there are ways a page can be improved to make it more visible.
In general terms, search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of marketing strategies that drive a website to the top positions within the search engine results page. There are different ways to make websites more attractive to search engines, optimizing the categorization of keywords is essential, since this positions textual content during an organic search better. Participation in social media is another important factor, as well as the structure of links (internal and external), the length of the URL, the loading times and the quality of the content structure.
Currently, Google stands out as the most used search engine, its search share represents 90% of the search results worldwide, so a big part of the efforts to improve SEO focus on deciphering the individual algorithms that allow Google to choose the sites that will be in the first places of an organic search, which may differ from those of other search engines.
To a large extent, the methods to improve positioning focus on the textual content of the website, because of this, during SEO improvement it may be necessary to rewrite the content to adapt it to the demands of the different tools that explore from topics to keywords, in order to make these elements more attractive to the algorithms that search engines use.
In general, to improve SEO, it is necessary to understand how search engines work. For this article, we selected the one with the highest demand, Google, and we focus on its potential operating criteria. This search engine could have countless variables to determine the positioning of a page, and even more, the algorithm used to carry out this process is not public knowledge. However, based on open access data, this article proposes categorizing the aforementioned variables into:
Note that for off-page variables, although there are actions to perform for them, these actions do not constitute part of the construction of a website, but instead are related to marketing strategies. That’s the reason why these variables will be outside the scope of this article. This idea will be emphasized paragraphs later.
In regards to SEO, Quo prioritizes what it considers essential during the construction of a site, the on-page variables. Within these variables, it’s important to mention relevant aspects such as:
Again, there is a set of factors whose direct control does not depend on the construction of the site itself. We refer partially to a couple of on-page variables and all off-page variables. The fact is that these variables are located in a diffuse area very close to speculation when planning for them, and for this reason, within the scope of a website development project, we do not consider them and prefer to focus on what can be guaranteed. In this sense, strictly associated with the development of a site, Quo does not plan to address elements such as:
In extraordinary situations, Quo can research, analyze, and write content for which research is a sufficient source of data to create relevant and useful content. This extraordinary situation, however, is far from the scope of a website project, and they are rather treated as part of market research services. Therefore, it’s considered in this article as a parameter out of range.
It is important to highlight the fact that at Quo we understand that to have a good SEO, you have to stop worrying about how search engines could interpret a site; Instead, you have to focus your attention on developing a site that provides a useful experience to users. In other words, from our perspective, we must stop building for search engines like Google and build for users. Google has its criteria to verify the good work of a website and that the information it contains is valuable, so trying to circumvent those criteria is like a will-o'-the-wisp.
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