I feel it may be worth talking about what the Google gods want before they will shower you in search engine golden good times. This is likely to be a long explanation but it’s worth getting the bigger picture than just the tags and meta data mentioned above.
TLDR: CONTENT IS KING! And the long tail is more impressive than the rocket.
Remember the bad old days when search results would often lead you to web pages that were just filled with long strings of keywords that made no freaking sense and provided nothing of interest? And I’m sure you recognize that things are much improved now.
Well, Google and the lesser search engines learned that the more they revealed about how to optimize your website so you would get good search result listing, the more people tried to game their algorithms and the lower the quality of the actual content. And that was really really bad for their business.
So to understand SEO it’s good to have a solid grasp on what business Google and Bing (who uses Bing, I mean really) and DuckDuckGo are actually in, what they are selling, and under what circumstances they are willing to send you traffic.
They are in the Advertising Space business and they are selling my, and your, attention. That’s it. Final. It’s that simple, nothing more to read into it. But knowing that fact and comprehending it’s implications are two different things. We’ll circle back to this.
Back to the Al Gore Rhythm. So after years of playing a game of cat and mouse with website builders they decided to completely obscure how their search engine crawling indexing system worked and gave out a blanket statement. “Content is King”. As long as you focus on content, our system will view you favorably and you will bask in the golden glory of page one search results. This has proven true for years now and they have gotten better and better at sorting the wheat from the chaff.
BUT, a couple of things from SEO days of yore remain true.
- The name of the website domain is the most important deciding factor in page ranking. eg. You want to get page one results for the search term “how to scramble eggs” then howtoscrambleeggs. com wins! howtoscrambleeggs. gov will come in a close second.
- having the keyword search term in the page url is the second most important deciding factor in page ranking. eg tmro. tv/how-to-scramble-eggs.html
- h1 h2 h3 h4 tags are still important and should contain the keyword search term or relevant variations.
But remember Content Is King. The best way to explain this is to think about news papers who are also in the advertising space business and also sell my and your attention. But who would read the news if they just posted the same story every day. They can’t do that. They have to show you the latest developments in those things that interest news paper readers. And so too do search engines. So not only do you need to produce some content to be ranked well. It needs to be recent content. And it needs to be original content.
BUT, there’s a problem. Video, and audio, while great content, take way too much processing power to analyse and index. So the crawlers will look at the headings and page titles and it’s just not quite enough. And if you are embedding youtube videos then IT’S NOT EVEN YOUR CONTENT. It’s youtube content. Google bought youtube because they are in the advertising space business selling your and my attention. So if you have made the perfect video with the perfect title and meta data and all the ensuing relevant comments then it will rank high in the search engine in that special place reserved for youtube videos on the search results page. And people will be directed to youtube, NOT TMRO.
There is however a way to turn that video content into SEO friendly content that will result in better ranking. Take the transcription of the video and turn it into a nice text page with solid headings and titles etc. Which leads us finally to THE LONG TAIL.
You simply cannot win the SEO game for “space news” because that title will forever more go to spacenews. com. But you could get “international space station depressurization”, or “cape canaveral launchpad rebuilding schedule” or any number of related search terms that get very few searches but actually make up the bulk of the real search volume.
The only problem with that is, if you consciously try to go after all those long tail search terms you’ll go insane. Which is why you stick to Content Is King and find a way to write solid articles with relevant h1 h2 h3 h4 tags because then it just sort of happens naturally which is what the search engines are really looking for anyway. Good quality relevant recent content they don’t already own. The stuff that make you and me say “Hey that’s exactly what I was looking for. Wow this search engine is great. I’m going to use it again.”