CHAPTER 3

Why Is Search Engine Marketing Important?

Although search engines have improved tremendously over the years, they still can’t understand a web page as easily as humans can. This is where SEO comes in. Search Engine Optimization is what guides the search engine robots along, helping the engines to understand what each page is about and how relevant it is to users’ needs.

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Imagine you take a picture of your car and post it online. Anybody can easily describe it to be “a red, elegant sedan, with an amazing interior, parked by the roadside.” Unfortunately, even the best search engine you can find around will not be able to clearly understand the picture as much as humans do. How then do you make it clear to search engines? Luckily, we have SEO to provides webmasters the clues that engines can use to comprehend contents. In fact, making your content have a proper structure is very important to SEO.

Comprehending the strengths and weaknesses of search engines makes it possible to accurately develop, format, and comment on your web content so that search engines can understand it without difficulty. If your SEO isn’t well done, search engines may never see your website.

The Limits of Search Engine Technology

The big search engines all function following the same principles as discussed in  Chapter 1. Automated search bots crawl the web, go through links, and index whatever is found in the huge databases. They complete this task using an impressive artificial intelligence, yet, search technology still has some limitations. There are some technical limitations that can cause problems during inclusion and ranking exist. Here are a few of the most common:

Problems Crawling and Indexing

  • Online forms: Search engines cannot complete online forms like login, emails supply, etc., therefore, any info that requires them may not be seen by the search engines.
  • Duplicate pages: Search engines always look for original contents. Websites that use a Content Management System(CMS) usually have copied versions of the same page and that would be a big problem for search engines.
  • Blocked in the code: When there are mistakes in the crawling directives of a website, search engines may be blocked completely.
  • Poor link structures: A website that has a link that can’t be completely understood by search engines risks having search engines reaching not all content on the website, What content is readable to search engines may be considered too unimportant by them, and therefore will not show up on the results page.
  • Non-text Content: Though search engines continue improving at reading texts that are non-HTML, any content hidden in rich media still remains hard for search engines to get. Examples are text in images, audio, flash files, video, photos, and plug-in content.

Problems Matching Queries to Content

  • Uncommon terms: When using the search bar, people usually type in simple, everyday language to find what they’re looking for. Using an odd term might throw the search engine off and keep people from finding your website. For example, if you wrote “money dispenser” instead of “ATM.”.
  • Language and internationalization subtleties:. If you are not sure, it is better to check what people search on and use the exact words in your content.
  • Incongruous location targeting: Targeting the wrong location (like Singapore, when most of your visitors are from Qatar.)
  • Mixed contextual signals: For example, you have an article titled “Best Chinese Wines” but really your article describes a Dublin bar that serves great wine. Confusing right? The search engines agree.

Ensuring your content is visible.

So now you have a search engine (and user-friendly) website. Hurrah. Now it’s time to actually market your content. Search engines can’t actually rate how good the content on your website is for themselves, so instead they’re relying on how relevant your website’s content is to the searcher’s query. How do they do this? They analyze the stats around what people are doing with your content: what they comment on (and what’s in those comments),discover, link to, react to, etc. So good SEO doesn’t stop at writing good content; you need to make sure it is seen, shared, and discussed.

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