Is my website really SEO-friendly? Can Google see my site? I get this kind of questions almost daily. But what’s the answer? Well, SEO is quite a beast of its own. Two or three years ago, answering those questions would have been easy, but in 2015? Entirely different story.
What actually is SEO?
Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, has been around as long as search engines themselves. The word is quite self explanatory: You optimise your website to make it as easy as possible for search engines to find it. There's two parts to this: Onpage SEO and Offpage SEO.
Onpage SEO is everything that happens on your website.
Back in the day, having reasonably clean source code, choosing the right keywords and adding a healthy amount of links was enough. This would get you good rankings quite easily. The Google algorithm was relatively transparent and most factors that went into ranking were known. Domain popularity and number of external links were the most important ones.
Offpage SEO is everything that happens outside of your own website.
Building backlinks is certainly the single most important measure here. Social Activity and networking within your target audience have also become more and more relevant over the past few years.
Rise of the animals - Panda and Penguin
Panda and Penguin may no sound intimidating, but they changed SEO from the ground up. They are the code names of two of the most important updates to the Google algorithm and declared war on blackhat SEO. Blackhat SEO are SEO tactics that knowingly violate Google regulations.
What's in it for Google?
You, me, we’re all Google’s customers, and we’ll only use their product as long as it gives us relevant, interesting results to our searches. Imagine some amount of effort and know-how was all you need to get your site to the top of search results, whether the content is actually relevant or not. People would stop using Google very fast, and switch to a search engine that delivers better results.