If you’ve started a business or tried to launch a blog in the last decade, you’ve heard one acronym over and over, SEO. Search engine optimization has become equivalent with success in today’s business world. The main way potential clients find your site is through search engines. Having a high-ranking position on the search engine result page, or SERP, can be the deciding factor in the future of your company.
A study by Advanced Web Ranking indicates that more than 65% of site visits are created from the top five results on the search engine page. So getting your page within the top five ranking sites will drive the most organic traffic to your page. The hard work that goes into making an original, high-quality site costs money and time. Two things not all people have which is why malicious bots exist. These bots can trash your SERP ranking.
But don’t panic just yet, because there are ways to counteract these bots and sometimes even stop them in their tracks. This article serves to give you a general overview of what SEO is and how you can use it, but it also aims to help you understand what bots are and how improving your data hygiene can help increase your SERP ranking and therefore increase your profits.
How to Conquer SEO:
Search engines have come a long way in how they analyze a page. Gone are the days of simply jamming a page full of keywords. Search engines have honed in on the user experience. They’re looking for high quality, relevant content from authoritative sites.
The balance between high-quality content and fresh content can be a difficult balance to strike. There’s a temptation to frequently put out short, witty articles to bump up the amount of content on your page. While having regular content is important, it’s also important to invest time in articles that are longer and packed with information. These higher quality articles will help boost the overall authoritativeness of your site.
User Authority and Linking:
Increasing your user authority can be as simple as increasing the internal linking within your articles. Internal linking is when you use keywords in your article to link to other relative articles on your site. By doing this type of linking, you signal to Google that you have more content relevant to the users’ query. This increases the authority of your site by giving the user more articles to read and more opportunities to engage with your page.
Internal links aren’t the only links that can help with your SERP ranking. Outside sources using your material and linking back to you positions your webpage as a reference source within the industry. When other well-ranking sites trust your information, it gives search engines a reason to believe they can trust it as well. This back linking practice builds value for your page and increases exposure.
Just shoving a bunch of keywords into a page isn’t going to solve your SEO issues. That being said, it is important to remember search engines are looking to fill queries with related keywords. Sometimes that involves fitting keywords into places you wouldn’t think of. Tagging images with keywords, plugging them into meta descriptions, and even altering the domain name to include keywords that might not actually be in the title of the article. These are all easy, and frequently over looked, ways to show how your site is relevant to a query without effecting the readability of your page or article
By focusing on the content and links used in your pages, you can start to change your SERP ranking. Of course, this is just scrapping the surface of what SEO means and how to positively effect yours. There’s a good chance we will never fully understand the many different algorithms used by search engines to define their results. But with time, effort and careful focus, you can make SEO your greatest ally.
Bots and What They Can Do:
It’s not hard to imagine why some people wouldn’t want to put in the energy to analyze SEO and SERP rankings. It’s work, and hard work at that. And though it’s worth it, some people just want a short cut. That’s why bots exist.
What are Bots?
Bots are computer programs built to crawl through a page quickly to collect data. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a bad thing. In fact, search engines run on bots. But some bots can be made for malicious reasons, to take your content and hurt your page. Bots can be harmful in multiple ways, but the three most common ways they effect a page is by scrapping content, spamming content or hacking a page.
When a scrapping bot is set up, it scrolls through results for certain key words and takes bits and pieces of content from the results page to create their own page or to put it on poorly ranking spam sites. This will negatively affect your rankings by not only relating your site with bad sites, but also by making search engines believe that you have duplicate content rather than original content.
Spamming bots function by commenting and interacting with users. To search engines, this signals your page is dangerous because there is a higher chance users will encounter dangerous content. The weariness this causes makes search engines less likely to recommend your page.
We’ve all heard of giant hacks that completely shut down sites, but some hacks are harder to detect and can kill your rankings over time. These bots enter your site from the back end and secretly insert code into your page, usually a link in an image or header. This link would lead the user to a spam site or a page linked to viruses. When search engines see this, since all they do is read the code of the page, they warn users that the site could have malicious content and advise them not to enter the page. Even though this link wouldn’t show up on the forward-facing page, users would be directed away from your site, slowly killing your views.
Protect Your Site and Your SERP Ranking
To prevent this malevolent activity on your page, it’s important to stay diligent on new and old content. Block spammers, disavowing links from bad sites and constantly checking the page code to make sure nothing has been inserted without your knowledge. One of the most proactive ways to protect against bots is to make sure you aren’t welcoming any.
Email and Bots:
This is especially important when it comes to email. People subscribe to email lists to stay up to date on the most relevant information. This can be a great way to drive traffic to your site, increase user engagement and increase your SERP ranking. But, if your content is going out to emails related to spammers, you could be actively putting your site at risk.
SEO can make a company, and sometimes a bot can bring it right down. But by using these tips, you can improve your SEO strategy, increase your SERP ranking and protect yourself against a potential bot take down. With a careful attention to detail, an ability to produce and a passion for success, SEO is yours for the taking.