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In digital marketing, understanding how SEO works (Search Engine Optimisation) is essential for businesses aiming to promote themselves online. At the heart of SEO lies the enigmatic Google search algorithm; effectively a complex system that determines the ranking of all websites in search results. In this post, we take a peek behind the curtain at Google’s search algorithm, to see how it works and how it influences website visibility and traffic.

(By the way, if you are looking for SEO services for your website, do give us a call. We know a thing or three!)

Too long, gimme links!!

Interested in engaging JamJo for digital services? Drop us a line here and a member of our team will be in touch post-haste!

How SEO Works

1. What Is It Anyway?

Google’s search algorithm powers the world’s most popular search engine. The primary goal of this algorithm is to deliver the most relevant and valuable results to users based on their search queries. This is obviously a near impossible task. The algorithm has to consider hundreds of factors, evaluating millions and million of websites against a set of criteria to determine their ranking in search results.

Why It Matters For Your Business: You want your business to be found online? Get yer coffee, we’re going in.

Interested in engaging JamJo for digital services? Drop us a line here and a member of our team will be in touch post-haste!

2. Crawling and Indexing

The first step in understanding Google’s search algorithm is grasping the concepts of crawling and indexing. Google’s bots, (also known as spiders) automatically crawl the web to discover new and updated content. Once a page is “crawled”, it is then indexed, meaning it is added to Google’s unimaginably massive database. The speed and efficiency of this process depends on various factors, including website structure, sitemap clarity, and overall accessibility.

Why It Matters For Your Business: Crawling is how Google discovers your website, analyses your website, and includes the web pages of your website in their database. You will want to understand how to optimise your site for this as it will help your website pages rank higher over time.

3. Why Keywords Are Important

Keywords serve as the language of the internet, connecting users with the content they seek. Google’s algorithm assesses the relevance of keywords within a webpage’s content, meta tags, and headers to determine the subject matter. Strategic keyword optimisation is crucial for signalling to the algorithm that your content is pertinent to specific search queries.

Why It Matters For Your Business: If you understand how keywords work it will go a good way to helping you understand how SEO works. Keywords directly impact online visibility, simple as. Choosing the right keywords helps improve your businesses search engine rankings and will drive more organic traffic and that means a higher chance of converting potential customers.

4. Content Quality and Relevance

While keywords are essential, Google’s algorithm places equal importance on the overall quality and relevance of content. High-quality, informative, and engaging content is more likely to be rewarded with higher rankings. The algorithm evaluates factors such as readability, depth of information, and multimedia elements to gauge the overall value a webpage provides to users.

Why It Matters For Your Business: Let’s be honest – you haven’t written a post on your website since that Happy Christmas message from 2017.

5. Backlinks

Backlinks are basically any link from another site that links back to your website. Google’s algorithm views backlinks as votes of confidence from these other web entities. However, not all backlinks are created equal so just because your mom’s bakery blog linked to your website does not necessary mean a quick bump through the rankings. The algorithm considers the quality, relevance, and authority of the linking sites.

Why It Matters For Your Business: This is one of the simplest ways to ensure your businesses website ranks higher – have quality sites link back to your website. Easier said than done though.

6. User Experience

Google prioritises user experience. Things like page load speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall website usability will influence search rankings.

Why It Matters For Your Business: When people are using your website, make sure it is an enjoyable experience. If it takes 30 seconds to load the homepage then the patience of the user is tested. Google picks up on this.

7. RankBrain

What in gods name is RankBrain? It’s basically a machine-learning component of Google’s algorithm and it plays a pivotal role in understanding user queries. This AI system continuously learns and adapts to user behaviour, refining its understanding of search intent. RankBrain helps Google provide more accurate and relevant results, even for ambiguous type queries.

Why It Matters For Your Business: You can optimise for RankBrain. It involves creating content for your businesses website that aligns with user intent.

How SEO Works - RankBrain

8. Local SEO

For businesses with a physical presence, local SEO factors come into play. Google’s algorithm considers information such as location data and your Google My Business profiles (haven’t created one yet? Get to it!) They are aiming to supply more personalised results to users based on their geographical location.

Why It Matters For Your Business: It optimises online visibility for local searches, helping attract nearby customers.

9. Algorithm Updates

Frequent updates are made to this algorithm to improve user experience and combat spammy tactics. Panda, Penguin, and BERT are just some of these curiously named updates. They had profound effects on search results and the strategies businesses employ for SEO.

Why It Matters For Your Business: SEO is not static. Staying informed about these updates is crucial for adapting SEO strategies to align with the latest algorithmic changes.

The mechanisms that govern online visibility are many. By understanding how SEO works and employing a sensible SEO strategy on your businesses website, there is no reason why you cannot influence your site rank over time. But it is important to note that it does take time. A lot of time. A quicker way to run up the ranks of course is by using a paid advertising strategy which we talked about last week. Google Ads keep you at the top but not without cost. When talking about SEO we are in the realms of what is known as organic SEO and it always helps (regardless of paid search) to have a well optimised website.

Talk to JamJo about how we can assist you with the SEO of your website. We have a few tricks up our sleeve.