For those who do not know, SEO is an acronym for 'Search Engine Optimisation' and it is a tactic for getting your website further up the rankings of search engines.
An example of this is when someone types in 'Web Design Barnsley' into a search engine. If a website has been properly serviced with SEO and has kept within the search engine’s guidelines, it should appear fairly high in what is known as the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
The three major search engines where this philosophy applies includes Google (first and foremost), Bing and Yahoo!
Can SEO go wrong?
Unfortunately it can.
In the old days, Google ranked websites by order of who had the most links pointing to it. So for example, if one web design company in Barnsley was mentioned on 5000 websites, with links passing through to its website, it would rank higher than a website with only 1000 links.
However, as you can imagine, this idea is a little frail, and within no time, this was a much abused tactic of getting websites to the top of Google rankings.
Today however, Google is cleaning up its SERPs by imposing strict penalties on websites that have abused the search engine’s guidelines; meaning that they rank very lowly or worse, do not rank at all.
Now Google is beginning, with a greater degree of accuracy, to judge not on the amount of links that a website has, but on the quality of those links and how worthy they are for the people that go on them.
So what can happen when Google gives your website a penalty?
Unfortunately, when this happens it means that your SEO tactics (usually performed by a paid marketing agency), have been ‘spammy’ and have not adhered to Google’s SEO guidelines. This kind of marketing tactic is sometimes referred to as ‘Blackhat SEO’, and is often thought of as a dark art that is only practised by a few, largely unpopular marketers.
When such a penalty occurs, although it is not the end of the world, it means that a business must work hard by removing and ‘disavowing’ the infringing links pointed to their website.
This work is often hard, as a website must gather as much data as possible in an effort to rid as many bad links as possible.
After submitting a report of deleted links to Google, a penalty can then be removed, though this may take numerous attempts to succeed.
So is SEO worth it?
Yes, if done properly, with a trusted agency or freelance individual, a website can successfully rise through the SERPs using ‘white hat’ SEO techniques that focus on what is provided to the consumer.
A website therefore, that is laden with adverts, has very few images, and text that is only designed to influence a purchase, will not do well. However, a website that has high quality text, many images and good interaction in the form of comments and social shares, is likely to succeed.
If you want to know more about SEO, or are worried about Google Guidelines, give us a call!