Tap to Call 252-347-0410
Search Engine Optimization is one of the more abstract ideas in creating an effective website. In what appears to be nothing more than educated guesses as to what people will be searching for, SEO is actually a honed technique that requires continuous research and review as standards and best practices are nearly constantly evolving.
Not long ago, getting your website ranked in the top three results consisted primarily of stuffing your body copy and meta data with keywords you were sure people were including in their search terms. This worked well for a while. In fact, it probably worked too well as many sites began neglecting the quality of their copy entirely and simply filling pages with keywords. Eventually, the folks at Google and other search engines got wise to what was really happening when prop-up or dummy sites were ranking better than well-established, honest sites.
This ushered in the era of Black Hat and White Hat SEO. Black Hat SEO strategies are widely considered to be cheap ways of getting your site ranking. Some of these tactics include hiding keywords as background text that users can’t see, stuffing the body copy with keywords and neglecting useful information that the people are actually searching for. On the other side of the scale (and “scale” is a proper term, as most sites typically fall somewhere within a grey area), White Hat SEO strategies typically employ the latest information from Google and other search engines into creating their body copy and their site. Some of these strategies include writing compelling content that effectively answers any questions a user might have, continuously refreshing page content to keep the information relevant, and making the site ADA compliant by including alt tags and title tags on images and links.
Google’s spiders and crawlers have become pretty good at weeding out the sites using Black Hat tactics. And because getting your page ranked now involves more than just keywords, a new SEO term has evolved: Domain and Page Authority. SEOmoz defines Authority a prediction of how your site will perform in search queries. By evaluating a wide variety of factors, you site’s authority is derived from a scale of 1 to 100. Thus, it’s easier to improve a lower ranking site than a higher ranking one. Just like in school, with a little more studying, your grade can go from a D to B. But bumping up from a B to an A takes a lot of time and energy.
The most important thing to remember about Domain and Page Authority is that both are measured by a variety of factors, only one of them being page content. And even SEOmoz cautions that it is difficult to effect Page and Domain Authority directly as many of the variables that govern your site’s score are out of your hands: things like the age of the website and the number of quality links from trusted sites to your website. The one thing that all experts can agree on is making sure your site is a safe balance between keywords and compelling content. If you are sacrificing one for another (i.e., if you’re keyword stuffing and reducing the quality of the content, or if you are driving up the content and completely ignoring keywords), chances are you aren’t ranking like you could be.