seo-optimised

Topics vs. Keywords: What’s More Important for SEO?

Ever since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the 17th century (1600), information of all kinds has been the fulcrum of businesses of all types. The advancement of internet technology has made it easier for people to share information of all kinds with each other and coordinate better to complete their official tasks more efficiently. 

One of the key tools or platforms via which content creators share their content with the general public is websites or blogs. There are millions of websites on the internet. So how does a search engine like Google decide which web pages to show on its first page of search results? 

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The answer is SEO-optimized websites and articles/blog posts. In this article, we’re going to have a look at what is SEO and how it works, and how businesses use SEO marketing. So, gear up to read an informative article that will make you an informed person as far as SEO and SEO techniques are concerned. 

What is SEO and how does it work? 

The full form of SEO is Search Engine Optimization. In simple terms, SEO is the process of modifying your website or blog post in such a way that it ranks on the first page of Google. 

After all, in this era of instant gratification, nobody has the patience to search beyond the third page of Google. So, making your website or blog rank high, preferably on the first page of Google’s search results is very important. Doing so will drive enormous volumes of online readers to your website every day. 

The higher a website ranks on Google, the more money via Google Adsense a blogger or website owner can make. Earning a monthly income via Google Adsense is the primary motivating factor for many content creators worldwide. If you want to know more about Google Adsense, kindly read this article created by none other than Google itself.  

SEO-optimizing your blog or website is also important because organic traffic contributes to around 73% of a website’s traffic. Only around 20% of a website’s traffic comes via social media platforms and 7% of a website’s traffic comes via YouTube. To know more about organic traffic, kindly read this blog post posted by SEM Rush, one of the world’s most popular keyword analyzer tools.  

Ranking your website organically on Google may be time-consuming but it gives more or less permanent good results for your website and is free of charge. This factor is highly beneficial for small entrepreneurs and bloggers who have just founded their blogs/websites. There are three types of SEO which are described below. 

On-page SEO: This type of SEO deals with creating, altering, and arranging the content of your blog or website in such a way that Google’s crawler finds it easy to crawl or read the information on your website and index it accordingly so that your website can be shown for appropriate search queries. To learn more about indexing, kindly watch this YouTube video created by Adam Enfroy. 

Off-page SEO: This type of SEO primarily deals with getting valuable backlinks to your website to increase its Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) and make it rank high on Google. To know what DA and PA are in detail, kindly watch this tutorial video created by one of the world’s leading online educational institutes, Simplilearn. Off-page SEO is a very important SEO marketing technique.   

Technical SEO: This type of SEO deals with altering the technical aspects of your website such that Google’s crawler finds it very easy to crawl, index, and rank your website on Google’s search results. Some important technical website aspects that website owners should be concerned about are their websites’ load time/speed, the cyber security of their websites, the indexability and crawlability of their websites, etc.

How a search engine like Google works

Any search engine like Google follows these steps or procedures to discover websites on the internet, read the information in them, and rank them on search results. The domain of SEO is based on these procedures followed by search engines like Google.

Crawling

There is no central auto-updating database of websites on the internet that search engines like Google can refer to at any time. Therefore search engines like Google frequently have to search or crawl the internet to discover new content i.e., websites on a lot of domains. 

Once a new website is discovered by Google, it will read the content of the website, index it, and add it to its list of known websites. This process is known as URL discovery. It will also display the website (on some result page) when relevant queries are entered by people.     

Indexing 

During this phase, Google reads the content of a website and judges whether the blog posts are duplicate copies of other content on the internet. If the content of a website is duplicated, it will not be assigned any more DA and PA than the default value which is 1. Such websites will not be ranked high on Google and will not be discovered by people unless the content in them is rectified and SEO-optimized. 

Websites that have 100% original and SEO-optimized content are classified as ‘Canonical Websites’ by Google and it is only such websites that have a good chance of ranking on the first page of Google’s search results. Canonical websites are classified or indexed based on their domains and are displayed when relevant queries are made. 

Saving search results

This is a highly convenient service that Google provides to all users. Once you search for any information on Google, your search query will be saved by Google. It will prompt you your past queries on relevant searches made in the future. 

This prompting of users’ past queries saves a lot of time and manual labor for Google’s users and gives them easy and quick access to information. Last but not least, Google provides relevant information to users’ queries worldwide by employing hundreds of complex algorithms. Google is truly a marvelous search engine and a tech behemoth.

Keyword analysis 

Keywords are words or phrases that people type in search engines like Google to get information on a particular topic. Since search engines like Google give responses based on users’ queries (which contain many keywords), keywords are an important component of SEO. They are especially the fulcrum of on-page SEO. Keywords are classified into two main types which are:

Short-tail keywords: These keywords contain a maximum of four words. They are “short”. Hence their name. Examples of short tail keywords are “salons near me”, “Popular South Indian cuisines”, “Climate change”, “Mass extinctions”, etc. 

Long-tail keywords: These keywords contain a short or a long phrase. Hence their name, “long-tail keywords”. These keywords are typically used to derive highly specific results. Examples of long-term keywords are “Top 10 most popular South Indian Cuisines”, “houses for rent near me under £190”, “used cars outlet near me under £3,000”, “Hollywood films that have made a profit of over £10,000 this year”, etc.   

Keywords are classified by keyword research tools from “most suitable” to “least suitable” based on their Monthly Search Volume (MSV) and Competition. MSV is a figure that indicates how many searches a keyword has received until then and the competition or difficulty percentage is a percentage that indicates how many websites are ranking for that keyword and how tough the competition is for your website to rank for that keyword. 

You must ideally choose keywords that have a moderate search volume and competition at least in the beginning phase of your blogging career. Only then your website or blog will have a good chance of showing up on search results. Using appropriate keywords for blog posts is a very important strategy of SEO marketing. 

Types of SEO marketing techniques

Now that you know that employing appropriate SEO techniques is vital to making your website or blog rank on the first page of Google’s search results, you must also know that there are three types of SEO techniques that people and organizations use to rank their website or blog on Google. They are as described below. 

White Hat SEO techniques

This is the most desirable and straightforward SEO marketing technique. It involves scrupulously following all the SEO guidelines laid down by Google to the ‘t’ and ranking your blog or website ethically on Google. 

White Hat SEO techniques may be difficult to follow and may take a lot of time to give you the desired results but the achieved results will be golden and glorious. The achieved results will also be long-lasting and will give blog owners peace of mind from Google’s penalties.

Gray Hat SEO techniques       

This set of SEO techniques relies on “deception” to make a website or blog rank high on Google. A website will not be banned from Google if Gray Hat SEO techniques are applied but the website’s DA and PA will take a hit resulting in the website ranking lower on Google and thereby becoming less visible to its target audience. Some of the commonly used Gray Hat SEO techniques are as described below.

Keyword stuffing: This involves using relevant keywords repeatedly and excessively in an article to make one’s blog or website rank for the used keywords. Using relevant keywords excessively overly appeals to a search engine about what an article is about and overly prompts it to display one’s blog post for the used keywords. This technique does work but one risks lowering one’s website ranking on Google if caught. 

Hidden text: Here the blogger uses certain keywords in his or her article that are not visible to readers. The chosen keywords are the same color as the web page’s background color and in a very small font size. 

Therefore, they are not visible to readers but are certainly visible to search engines like Google. The usage of hidden text in blog posts will make web pages rank for the used keywords even though the content on the web pages may not be relevant to the used keywords. This practice is now penalized by most search engines including Google. A website’s Google ranking will certainly slip if hidden words are used. 

Link schemes: Here bloggers buy backlinks, trade backlinks, and buy comments to heighten their website’s DA and PA and thereby their website’s Google rankings. The backlinks obtained may not even be relevant to the niche the blog belongs to and the users’ comments obtained are not heart-felt and genuine. 

Google’s algorithms are smart. They not only check the value of the backlinks obtained but also their relevancy. For example, a high-ranking fashion website cannot give backlinks to a low-ranking sports website. Google will reject such backlinks obtained and they will not have any effect on the low-ranking website. 

Google cannot detect one or two bought comments but if the same user comments on all the blog posts on a website, then Google’s algorithms will certainly detect that something’s fishy and will lower the DA and PA and thereby the ranking of that website.     

Doorway pages: A doorway page is a web page that contains a small amount of content and ranks for certain keywords. There are also numerous links on that page that redirect readers to another website or web page. Doorway pages are unnecessary. They demean the niche a website belongs to. They are also viewed by search engines as a shady marketing or promotional technique.

Black Hat SEO techniques

This SEO marketing technique is dangerous and undesirable. It will surely result in the website being banned or delisted from Google if discovered. Black Hat SEO techniques like Gray Hat SEO techniques work and that too pretty quickly but they come at a terrible price if discovered by Google. Some of the most commonly used Black Hat SEO techniques are as described below. 

Link farms: Here, a few bloggers agree to always give backlinks to each other’s websites irrespective of the quality of content on the websites. The backlinks provided may also be irrelevant. 

Link farms are rarely of use to readers and make even poorly written blog posts rank on the first page of Google. Link farms are sometimes difficult to detect and go unnoticed by Google but they will surely result in the banning of a website if detected by Google. 

Inappropriate and excessive internal linking: Internal linking is a desirable practice in on-page SEO but the internal link/s provided should be relevant to the article and of high quality. 

Giving irrelevant and numerous internal links in an article will confuse the reader and Google’s crawler as well. It is also a deceptive way to increase a website’s PA and will result in a website being delisted from Google if discovered. 

Using generative AI to produce the content on one’s website: Generative AI is useful in many ways but when it comes to writing long-form SEO-optimized articles, it still has a long way to go. 

The content generated by Generative AI is brief and lacks reader engagement. Such content will bore readers, provide insufficient information, take the originality away from all bloggers, and will not rank on Google as it is not SEO-optimized. Google’s algorithms can easily detect AI-generated content on a website and will delist the website if discovered. 

Our take

The internet is a great platform and websites are effective means to share information and ideas with people. SEO rules are Google’s way of filtering out poor quality and inappropriate content from the internet. Websites with poor quality or inappropriate content will not be ranked on Google and will thereby not be visible to users. 

Using Gray Hat or Black Hat SEO techniques will allow content creators with nefarious intentions to rank their websites on Google and deceive people, confuse them, or loot them in some way. 

Gray Hat and Black Hat SEO techniques will degrade the quality and effectiveness of the information on the net and if left unchecked, will render the internet and search engines ineffective or even harmful to public morale. 

FAQs

  • What is the minimum length an article should have to be visible on Google?

Technically, Google accepts and ranks articles that are at least 300 words in length but most bloggers worldwide say that a word count between 1500 and 2500 words is the sweet spot to rank your blog posts on Google. 

  • What is the 80/20 rule in SEO?

The 80/20 rule in SEO is that websites get 80% of their traffic organically and only 20% via other means like SMM, YouTube, paid listings, etc. 

  • What is the golden rule for choosing keywords to use in your articles?

You must choose only relevant keywords with moderate search volume and competition at least during the initial/growth phase of your blog in order to get your blog posts visible on search engine results. 

  • What is an SEO triangle?

The three Cs (triangle) of SEO are content, code, and credibility. Content means producing and posting only high-quality and relevant content on your blog. Coding means coding your website or building it in WordPress in such a way that it has a neat, easy-to-navigate, and appropriate layout. Credibility means to ensure that the content on your website is at least 95% original and not plagiarised beyond acceptable limits. 

  • What are the three most important elements in on-page SEO?

Using relevant and high-quality keywords, creating and posting original and informative content, and using sufficient internal and external links on one’s blog posts are the three most important practices in on-page SEO. 

  • Which is the world’s most popular SEO plugin?

Yoast SEO is the world’s most popular SEO plugin. It is robust yet easy to use and is an ideal choice for beginners and seasoned bloggers. 

  • Which is the most important and major component of off-page SEO?

Getting relevant and valuable backlinks for one’s website or blog is the most important and major component of off-page SEO. It will make one’s website rank high and eventually on the first page of Google’s search results. 

  • Which is the most popular plugin to make a website load faster on mobile?

AMP which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages can make a website load faster.

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