Google is the leading Web search engine, processing more than 80% of all search requests. So when webmasters and bloggers talk about search, search engines or SEO, you can be almost sure it's about Google.
As a new blogger, Google is the only Web search engine you should care about.
The reason bloggers pay attention to Google is because it can send visitors ("traffic") to your site. To understand how you can get traffic from search, let's see how Google actually works.Here is how a visitor (let's call her Alice) arrives to your site through Google:
- Alice has a need in mind, whe wants to know how to paint her house.
- Alice types two words into the search box: "house painting". We call these words "keywords" - short phrases people type into Google. The keywords are a short expression of the Alice's need.
- Google looks at "house painting" keyword and comes up with several concepts Alice might be asking about. It might very well be "how to paint her house", or "order house painting services", or "I want some paintings of houses", or even "I want the painting of specific house".
- Google knows that based on the years of searchers' behavior history, most people typing "house painting" are actually looking for guides and tips on painting their house.
- Google shows "search results" - list of links that it believes are the best answer to Alice's need. The first page of search results contains 10 links (we also call them "top 10" or "page 1"). The links don't lead to "websites" - links may lead to homepages, but also to specific posts and pages on those websites (we call them "URLs" - any web resource with an address).
- Alice may click on one of the links, and if that link points to a page on your site, Alice arrives at your site. Alice almost never goes to second page of search results (95% of all people only click on links from top 10).
It's a pretty simple process that everyone goes through multiple times a day. And we can now have some basic conclusions about how to get visitors from Google:
Some common myths of how Google works are
- Google serves existing demand. Some people in the world should have the need you're addressing with your content. If your content is so unique and creative that no one is searching for it, then Google probably won't have searchers to send to you (social networks might work better here).
- Keywords are what Google gets from people. Keywords are the expression of searchers' needs. If you want your post in Google, you'd better have some understanding of a specific need you're serving, and the keywords people use to express that need.
- Google has to be super selective with what it shows on the first page of results. From billions of pages all around the web, Google must only choose 10 (it shows more than 10 on further search result pages but those mostly don't matter).
- Google considers not "websites" but specific pages and posts. You might get hundreds of search visitors to one post, and absolutely none to another.
: you tag your random post with words like "chicken, recipes, cooking, healthy", and all of a sudden your post starts getting some share of worldwide search traffic related to these words. Or, you repeat words like "house, cleaning, clearance, home, services" all over your site and then suddenly visitors come in. That's NOT how it works!
Your specific post must serve specific existing need, and do it better than most alternatives. And then Google might choose to show your post in top 10. And then you get visitors to that specific post. That's how it works.
Now, out of billions of pages on the Web, what exactly makes Google choose one page over another?Great question!
The short answer is: modern Google shows your post in top 10 if your post is more likely to satisfy the users typing specific keyword.User satisfaction is the ultimate goal of Google.
It's not about technical tricks, tags, plugins, keyword densities or whatever old school or plain wrong ideas you might have read on the internet. (You do need to have some technical stuff in order, but that's just not enough.)
And that's what search engine optimization (SEO) is all about.
We study how Google works, and come up with ideas, frameworks and processes that increase your chances to satisfy searchers and thus get visitors from Google.