There is one core principle for SEO, or any search really, that tops any technical mumbo jumbo.
This principle is RELEVANCE.
The aim for Google, and most other search engines, is to display the results that are most relevant to the key terms that users typed in. In fact, Google has recently made an announcement that overly SEO’d websites would be dropped in the rankings, in favour of more relevant websites.
Now, how does a search engine determine whether a website is relevant for a searcher? Here are some ideas (in no particular order).
Search engine bots can ‘read’ the content of your website and they can determine whether or not it is relevant to the search term. For example it will look for the search term, or a similar term, to be mentioned in your content. However, it will also look at whether you mention these keywords too often – in that case it would be determined to be overly SEOd.
Time spent on site
The search engines can monitor how long someone spends on your website – especially if you use tools such as Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools that feed the information straight back to the big Google engine. The longer someone spends on your site, and the more pages they look at, the more relevant your website is deemed for the user.
Social signs are becoming increasingly more important in search engine algorithms because they determine how relevant the content is to people. If the content is important to people and their networks, than today’s active internet users are likely to share it on social sites such as Twitter, Facbeook, and social bookmarking sites. Most social sites also have the ability to give content the thumbs up or thumbs down site, which gives a direct indication of whether the content is useful for others or not.
Links have always been at the core of SEO, determining whether a website is important to other websites. Every link to your website indicates that someone else thinks it’s worth linking to. While links remain important and indicate some relevance of your website, other signs (especially social signs) are also being considered. Be careful: Too many links to your website, and especially links that have been bought or come from a source this is untrustworthy in the search engine’s eyes indicate an overly SEO’d site and may be dropped from search engine rankings.
These are only some aspects that indicate how relevant and important your website is to others.
What You Can Do
Our one tip to increase the relevancy of your website is this: Write great content and encourage sharing.
Share your experience in the comments section below.