Chapter 1: What is SEO?
SEO is a fast-changing science. Google updates its algorithms every few months. Google has been tight-lipped about the secrets of algorithms. Even SEO experts who have been engaged in it for many years cannot thoroughly understand the rules and gameplay behind SEO. In view of this, MWI has launched an SEO introductory guide, integrating all major SEO essentials and explaining all things related to SEO, let us uncover the mystery of SEO together!
In the first chapter, we first understand what SEO is. After you have a better SEO foundation, we will elaborate more in-depth topics.
What is search engine optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization, or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in English, refers to the use of different strategies to optimize the content, structure and reverse links of a website, thereby increasing the visibility of the website in search engines and increasing organic traffic (Organic Traffic). Search engine optimization can also be divided into on-page optimization (On-Page SEO) and off-page optimization (Off-Page SEO). Various methods are used to optimize the elements seen on the webpage and the backlinks outside the webpage. More details will be Will be detailed in the following pages.
Is SEO important? Does my website need SEO?
When different SEO companies promote their services, they will repeatedly tell you that SEO is very important. If you want to have quality traffic and increase sales, you can’t do it without SEO. But do you know why SEO is important? To understand the importance of SEO, we must first understand the current presentation of search results. Currently, Google search results pages have different display methods (Search Appearance), including advertisements (Google Ads), local lists (Local Packs), organic results (Organic Results), and compound summaries (Rich Snippets). In addition to advertising, basically other types can use SEO to get higher rankings. Just think about it, when you search on Google, do you prefer to click into the ad page or other pages that get rankings in a natural way?
Let’s take a look at the following chart again. Taking the United States as an example, the click-through rate (CTR) performance of different search results on Google from 2016 to 2019. In addition to the phenomenon of Zero Click becoming more and more obvious, more than 40% of users will click on Organic Results, and less than 10% of users will click on advertising pages. I want to see here, you should already understand the importance of SEO.
As for whether your website needs SEO, it depends on how much you value organic traffic. If you have a huge amount of money to spend on online advertising, you can ignore SEO completely, because online advertising is enough to greatly increase the exposure of your website. However, if you want to make your website appear in natural results in a non-competitive way, you need SEO.
SEO History Course
Before telling more about SEO, you might as well understand the derivative process of SEO and take a simple SEO history course. The history of SEO can be traced back to the 90s. In 1991, the first website was launched. This website was created by Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). The content of the website is to introduce the basic functions of the World Wide Web. Of course, SEO did not appear from the first website, but it depends on the popularity of the website that SEO appeared, so of course this important thing has to be mentioned. Then in 1997, SEO began to attract people’s attention, and everyone began to think about how to make the website rank higher in search engines.
The important era of SEO can be divided into pre-popularization and post-popularization of Google. Before Google became popular, the market shares of major search engines such as AltaVista, Lycos and Yahoo were evenly distributed. The early SEO optimization method was very simple, mainly by changing the content, headings and linking between the pages (Internal Linking). If you want to get a higher ranking, just keep repeating the target keywords. Of course, this method is not user-friendly (Non-User-Friendly). Google was born in 1998 to develop a search engine that can use links to determine the importance of individual web pages on the global information network. The year 2000 was an important turning point for Google. Yahoo and Google became partners, and the word “Powered by Google” appeared on the Yahoo search page. Since then, Google has become a household name. It was not until 2004 that Yahoo developed its own search and advertising technology before ending its partnership with Google. Ironically, the rise of Google depends on the help of Yahoo.
With the development of Google becoming more mature, the ranking algorithm has become more complex, and more and more user experience is the focus. Therefore, if a website wants to obtain a higher ranking, it can no longer rely on the method of filling keywords (Keyword Stuffing) on the page. . Google focuses on different factors on and off the site, and constantly updates its algorithm and cracks down on any black hat activities that use improper methods to defraud Google’s rankings. Since its development, the website needs to continuously establish good backlinks, provide rich and informative content, and continuously optimize the user experience in order to stand out from the crowd.
What are White Hat SEO (White Hat SEO), Black Hat SEO (Black Hat SEO) and Grey Hat SEO (Grey Hat SEO)?
As mentioned briefly above, the black hat campaign is an improper method to deceive higher rankings. When it comes to SEO, we must first clarify the concepts of black hat SEO, white hat SEO and gray hat SEO.
Black hat SEO: Black hat SEO refers to improper or cheating methods to defraud search engines to obtain higher keyword rankings. Common methods include cloaking, stacking hidden keywords, and obtaining backlinks from a large number of spammy websites (Spammy Websites).
White hat SEO: White hat SEO is the opposite of black hat SEO. It refers to using proper methods and following the best practices recommended by search engines to optimize the website to obtain higher keyword rankings.
Grey hat SEO: Grey hat SEO is between white hat and black hat SEO. It refers to the use of clever methods to optimize the website and obtain higher keyword rankings in a shorter time. Grey hat SEO does not violate the ethics of search engines, but you must be careful to “step on the boundary” and turn into black hat SEO. The result is more than the loss.
Can I do SEO by myself?
Coming to the end of the first chapter, I believe you already have a basic understanding of SEO. You may have a question-can I do SEO by myself? Since SEO allows websites to get traffic for free, why pay for SEO?
SEO is characterized by “free” traffic. Contrary to SEM, there is no need for advertising fees, and organic traffic can be obtained for free. However, SEO is a wide-ranging university. If you want to do well in SEO, you must start from multiple aspects, and SEO is changing with each passing day. It is necessary to keep abreast of the news in the industry at all times, and to optimize the website or change the marketing strategy with big and small updates. In addition, many companies may not have enough staff to be responsible for SEO, so they need to seek assistance from SEO companies.