SEO friendly is a term that gets thrown around a fair bit on the web. If you want your website to be friends with the search engines, its best you get to know the search engines and the massive challenges they face.
Why Websites Need to Be SEO Friendly to Rank in Google
Right at this moment, there are 1,036,257,282 websites on the internet. (That’s one billion, 36 million and then a few hundred thousand more…) There are about 5-10 new websites every second. That’s a lot of websites.
Imagine you had to go through every website, categorise and rank each of them. Sounds like some form of torture. But that’s exactly what google and other search engines do every day.
How do they do it? How do they read, analyse, categorise and rank a billion websites in a fair way? It’s scary to think that countless lives and livelihoods all over the planet depend on this system for their business. But that’s exactly what is happening right now as you read this.
The answer to this massive challenge is 900,000 servers which gather and store data about all the websites for the Google Data Center. Google has grown with the internet. Beginning in a garage in 1998, today it has 70 offices in 40 countries. The big HQ is in Mountain View, California known as the “Googolplex”.
So what do these 900,000 servers do? No one outside Google is 100% sure. But we have a fairly good idea.
What we do know is that there are countless “Google bots” that are powered by these servers to crawl the web and gather information about your website. When you consider there are 5-10 new websites every second you can’t help but think these bots have a tough job.
By virtue of the sheer volume of information these bots must sift through they are not as intelligent as you may think. Like me, you may have assumed these bots are very sophisticated with their 900,000 servers owned by a $527 Million company.
But the simple fact is they are too busy to be very smart.
Google bots have too much work to do to stop and really think about a website. If a webpage doesn’t give them the information they need in a clear, concise manner, they won’t understand what to do with your website. Quite simply your website won’t rank. Your website must be Bot Friendly or SEO friendly.
Simplicity and Natural Repetition is the Key
I love this article by Internet Marketer AJ Kohn. He says that you must treat search engines like blind five year olds. He makes a good point: Search engines don’t care how great a site looks. They are interested only in words.
And like a blind five year old learning to understand a book being read to them, simplicity and repetition is key.
So how does this translate to your webpage? Here’s a few tips:
7 Simple SEO Friendly Tips
1. A clear, concise title is a good start. Place the keyword you want to rank for in the title of your page. Place it near the start of the title, and don’t place too much else in there.
2. Appropriately place your keyword throughout the content on the site. Don’t over do it. Just naturally include it in your text. Most importantly in the first and last paragraph of the article.
3. In some places make your keyword bold or underline it so that those busy bots can quickly see what your page is all about
4. Place the keyword in the meta title.
5. Don’t place the keyword too much on other pages of the site. Those bots will understand your site better if one page is only about one group of similar keywords and one group of similar keywords is only covered by one page. They don’t really have time to decide which one is more important to rank so you do it for them.
6. Index each page that targets a keyword group and has a good amount of content (500+ words). Don’t index any pages that have repeat content or not much content.
7. If you use images tell the bots what those images are using the Google Alt text (remember – blind 5 year old).
Google wants us to work with their bots. They have provided a number of helpful tools in their “Google Search Console.” You can use it to see if the Google bots or robots are correctly crawling your site. You can submit your new page to it so that it gets crawled and indexed faster. You can also test and submit your sitemap to it to make sure it is readable by their system.