If you follow along with digital marketing advice, you know content is king and search engine optimization is one of the most important marketing efforts you can invest in. But SEO and Google are complex, and with constant updates with names like Penguin and Panda, it’s easy to get confused.
We’ve demystified some of the terms related to Google SEO below, making it easier for deathcare marketers and firms to understand what goes on behind the scenes of SEO.
- Search engine algorithm. Algorithms are systems, usually based on AI and math, that evaluate factors related to a page to determine where it should rank in search engine results for specific keywords. Google says that it uses an entire system of complex algorithms to achieve these results.
- Search engine update. When you hear people talk about Google updates, they usually mean an update or change to one or more algorithms. Google makes many updates daily, but it generally announces a big update that might impact numerous sites. These are usually given names within the SEO or marketing community, which is why you may have heard about Penguin or Panda updates.
- Crawling. Google and other search engines use automated programs referred to as spiders or crawlers. They “crawl” the web, moving through content and links to gather data that helps Google determine the purpose and intent of various pages. The most common way these bots crawl the web is through links of pages that Google already knows about, which is one reason it’s important to create internal linking on your site. This helps the spiders find all your pages.
- Indexing. Google takes the data gathered during the AI crawl and feeds it into the algorithms to figure out how a page should rank for keywords. Ultimately, it’s looking to serve the most relevant pages for each query.
- Search engine results pages. When you type a search term into Google, it returns a list of pages indexed for that search term. These are the search engine results pages. Google considers the links on the top results pages to be the most relevant.
- Ranking refers to where in the search results an individual page shows up for each query. Showing up on page one (typically the top 10 links) is important, because most people never click past that page. Most of the traffic goes to the top three links, so the higher a page ranks, the better.