Posted: Tue 16th Oct 2012
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is often treated as a bit of a mystery, writes Simon - and if you want to get into the complicated algorithms that the likes of Google use to rank pages, then it probably is. But for the purposes of creating fresh content that has a decent chance of being picked up and given prominence by search engines, I keep my own formula in my mind while I'm writing, adding and formatting content for the web. It's pretty straightforward:
Google likes what it considers to be 'credible' content and it's getting pretty smart at assessing how credible content is and rewarding it with high search engine rankings. To my mind, credibility consists of:
Relevance: how closely matched is your content to the search phrases people will use to find this information?
Quality: how good is your content considered to be? Is it good enough for people to share it with others?
Sharing: being 'shared' is what the web is all about. If people are sharing your content via social media, blogs, hyperlinks, reviews, and so on, then Google will figure you have pretty good credibility and reward you accordingly. If high ranking sites (like, say, the BBC website) start sharing your content, then you've hit pay dirt. It doesn't get better than the Beeb.
Of these three things, I'd say the most important for you to note is quality. If you do nothing else, produce good quality content. Quality content has a habit of finding readers. For a bit more detail on how to improve your SEO yourself, take a look at my Six simple steps to better SEO.
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