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SEO 2013 Tutorial – Part 1

, 2 Aug 2013
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SEO 2013 tutorial.

 

Introduction

Everyone wants their website to be at the top of the search engine pile, right? … Thankfully unless you are in an ultra-competitive area, it’s not that difficult. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the combined science/art of ensuring that a website has everything in place to ensure it ranks highly, but what you learned about SEO from articles a few years ago has changed. Search engines are now smarter, and most are very focused on filtering out spammers who insist on dishing up trash masquerading as high value content. Over the past 24 months or so, Google has unleashed some major changes to its search algorithm that have dramatically changed the search landscape. Matt Cutts, head of webspam at Google, says that to rank high now, you need to provide high quality content, ensure your site is running optimally, and promote it well. The major Google updates are code named “Panda” and “Penguin” - this series of articles will give you the basics of the new SEO for 2013 so you can get a head start on your competition and meet these new “black and white” requirements (sorry, I couldn't resist J).

The plan 

Over this series of articles I will cover the following topics:

  • SEO History, what’s changed, and why
  • SEO Basics
    • On page factors
    • Off page factors
  • Social proof and why it’s important
  • Content generation – how to do it and get it right
  • Measuring progress / keeping on top of the pile…. 

Developers are busy people, so I don’t intend to go into huge detail – I’ll keep that for the book J … there will be just enough to give you a good understanding, and get started. As seasoned developers and web searchers, I expect you will easily be able to dig out the detail for anything you need after that. I refer in this article mainly to Google, however, get it right for them and you will undoubtedly benefit with all engines.

Let's begin... 

In the beginning there was yahoo! (and! others!), and searching the web was basically crawling through a big big big directory, a yellow pages of the Internet if you like. In the distant and cobwebby recesses of my mind I don’t recall them doing a huge amount at the time except categorise websites, by category, and sub-category, and sub-sub-sub-sub-sub category (ad infinitum). Yahoo and others got some assistance from the Inktomi engine which ranked pages based on link popularity. The first time I saw Google I was amazed. Rather than getting back somewhat related search results to the query I entered, Google gave me really good quality links. It was almost like it could read my mind. The mind reading was courtesy of the famous “Page rank” algorithm that was developed by the lads (Serg and Lars to their mates) at Stanford University in 1996. Page rank is essentially a method for determining the popularity and relevance of a webpage. At its simplest, the page with the most relevant links related to a particular topic floats to the top of the pile. 

Unfortunately it didn't take long for spammers to figure out how things worked, and critically, how to game the system. The most basic way of doing this was to stuff a page with words related to the topic you were targeting, and get as many other sites as possible to link back to the page. Black hat SEO companies had a field day using link farms and other nefarious strategies to bring their chosen pages to the top of the search pile ahead of more legitimate content. 

When Panda and Penguin came along anyone who had used the recommended old style strategies were doomed. Websites that had previously enjoyed number one rankings seemed to drop off the face of the Google driven Internet completely. Google was fighting back with a vengeance. 

In 2013, keyword stuffing is out, non-relevant links are gone, poor quality content is penalised and a slow website will drag you down in the rankings. Google’s mission is to clear its search results of spammers and ensure that only top quality, relevant, and authoritative content get shown to users. Panda and Penguin are clearing the way for this to happen.

In the next article we'll cover the NEW SEO basics, with both on and off-site factors being discussed.

History 

nb: image from seo top picks.com 

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

AJSON
Chief Technology Officer
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Part-time software engineer, part-time student, always learning and refactoring my wetware. Happiest tucking into a big bowl of c# or python sprinkled with a crisp topping of JQuery...started with a single ZX80 a lifetime ago, now happily explore, build and create on interweb scale...

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionBasic SEO with MVC PinprofessionalKamran Ajmal6-May-14 2:13 
AnswerRe: Basic SEO with MVC PinmemberAJSON6-May-14 2:25 
GeneralMy vote of 3 PinmemberAnup Shah (4 Years Exp. .net Development)14-Apr-14 20:13 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pinmemberrealoldstuff7-Mar-14 13:02 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberAJSON7-Mar-14 13:16 
GeneralMy vote of 4 PinmemberAlireza_136219-Aug-13 20:07 
QuestionWow, this is interesting... PinmemberDewey2-Aug-13 16:41 

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