• Admin

Google SEO Fundamentals


SEO is an acronym for "search engine optimization" or "search engine optimizer." Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, including:

  • Review of your site content or structure

  • Technical advice on website development: for example, hosting, redirects, error pages, use of JavaScript

  • Content development

  • Management of online business development campaigns

  • Keyword research

  • SEO training

  • Expertise in specific markets and geographies.

Advertising with Google won't have any effect on your site's presence in our search results. Google never accepts money to include or rank sites in our search results, and it costs nothing to appear in our organic search results. Resources such as Search Console, the official Google Search Central blog, and our discussion forum can provide you with a great deal of information about how to optimize your site for organic search.



Getting started with SEO


Getting started with SEO

If you run a small local business, you can probably do much of the work yourself. Here are some good resources:

  • Check out our video series on building an online presence for your business.

  • Search Essentials

  • How Google crawls, indexes, and serves the web.

  • The SEO starter guide describes much of what your SEO will do for you. Although you don't need to know this guide well yourself if you're hiring a professional to do the work for you, it is useful to be familiar with these techniques, so that you can be aware if an SEO wants to use a technique that is not recommended or, worse, strongly discouraged.

Remember that it will take time for you to see results: typically from four months to a year from the time you begin making changes until you start to see the benefits.

If you think that you still need extra help from a professional, continue reading about how to choose an SEO.



How to get your website on Google


Google automatically looks for sites to add to our index; you usually don't even need to do anything except post your site on the web. However, sometimes sites get missed. Check to see if your site is on Google and learn how to make your content more visible in Google Search.


Basic checklist for appearing in Google Search results


Here are a few basic questions to ask yourself about your website when you get started. You can find additional getting started information in the SEO Guide.


Is your website showing up on Google?


To see if your pages are already indexed, search for your site in Google Search with a query like this. Substitute your own site for "example.com".



How Google Search works

How Google Search works

Google Search is a fully-automated search engine that uses software known as web crawlers that explore the web regularly to find pages to add to our index. In fact, the vast majority of pages listed in our results aren't manually submitted for inclusion but are found and added automatically when our web crawlers explore the web.


This blog article explains the stages of how Search works in the context of your website. Having this base knowledge can help you fix crawling issues, get your pages indexed, and learn how to optimize how your site appears in Google Search.



Before we get into the details of how Search works, it's important to note that Google doesn't accept payment to crawl a site more frequently or rank it higher. If anyone tells you otherwise, they're wrong.


Google doesn't guarantee that it will crawl, index, or serve your page, even if your page follows the Google Search Essentials.


Introducing the three stages of Google Search

Google Search works in three stages, and not all pages make it through each stage:

  1. Crawling: Google downloads text, images, and videos from pages it found on the internet with automated programs called crawlers.

  2. Indexing: Google analyzes the text, images, and video files on the page, and stores the information in the Google index, which is a large database.

  3. Serving search results: When a user searches on Google, Google returns information that's relevant to the user's query.


Crawling

The first stage is finding out what pages exist on the web. There isn't a central registry of all web pages, so Google must constantly look for new and updated pages and add them to its list of known pages. This process is called "URL discovery". Some pages are known because Google has already visited them. Other pages are discovered when Google follows a link from a known page to a new page: for example, a hub page, such as a category page, links to a new blog post. Still, other pages are discovered when you submit a list of pages (a sitemap) for Google to crawl.


Once Google discovers a page's URL, it may visit (or "crawl") the page to find out what's on it. We use a huge set of computers to crawl billions of pages on the web. The program that does the fetching is called Googlebot (also known as a robot, bot, or spider). Googlebot uses an algorithmic process to determine which sites to crawl, how often, and how many pages to fetch from each site. Google's crawlers are also programmed such that they try not to crawl the site too fast to avoid overloading it. This mechanism is based on the responses of the site (for example, HTTP 500 errors mean "slow down") and settings in Search Console.


However, Googlebot doesn't crawl all the pages it discovered. Some pages may be disallowed for crawling by the site owner, other pages may not be accessible without logging in to the site, and other pages may be duplicates of previously crawled pages. For example, many sites are accessible through the www (www.example.com) and non-www (example.com) versions of the domain name, even though the content is identical under both versions.


During the crawl, Google renders the page and runs any JavaScript it finds using a recent version of Chrome, similar to how your browser renders pages you visit. Rendering is important because websites often rely on JavaScript to bring content to the page, and without rendering Google might not see that content.


Crawling depends on whether Google's crawlers can access the site. Some common issues with Googlebot accessing sites include:

  • Problems with the server handling the site

  • Network issues

  • robots.txt directives preventing Googlebot's access to the page


Indexing


After a page is crawled, Google tries to understand what the page is about. This stage is called indexing and it includes processing and analyzing the textual content and key content tags and attributes, such as <title> elements and alt attributes, images, videos, and more.

During the indexing process, Google determines if a page is a duplicate of another page on the internet or canonical.


The canonical is the page that may be shown in search results. To select the canonical, we first cluster the pages that we found on the internet that have similar content, and then we select the one that's most representative of the group. The other pages in the group are alternate versions that may be served in different contexts like if the user is searching from a mobile device or they're looking for a very specific page from that cluster.


Google also collects signals about the canonical page and its contents, which may be used in the next stage, where we serve the page in search results. Some signals include the language of the page, the country the content is local to, the usability of the page, and so on.


The collected information about the canonical page and its cluster may be stored in the Google index, a large database hosted on thousands of computers. Indexing isn't guaranteed; not every page that Google processes will be indexed.


Indexing also depends on the content of the page and its metadata. Some common indexing issues can include:

  • The quality of the content on a page is low

  • Robots meta directives disallow indexing

  • The design of the website might make indexing difficult


Serving search results


Google doesn't accept payment to rank pages higher, and ranking is done programmatically.


When a user enters a query, our machines search the index for matching pages and return the results we believe are the highest quality and most relevant to the user. Relevancy is determined by hundreds of factors, which could include information such as the user's location, language, and device (desktop or phone). For example, searching for "bicycle repair shops" would show different results to a user in Paris than it would to a user in Hong Kong.


Search Console might tell you that a page is indexed, but you don't see it in search results. This might be because:

  • The content of content on a page is irrelevant to users

  • The quality of the content is low

  • Robots meta directives prevent serving

While this guide explains how Search works, we are always working on improving our algorithms. You can keep track of these changes by following the Google Search Central blog.



4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All