How do they do this?! And more importantly how can optimising for search engines still play a role in helping your business get found?
In the simplest terms, you can think of searching the web as looking in a very large book with a very, very impressive index. This index tells you exactly where everything is located. When you perform a search, programs check against the index to determine the most relevant search results, as well as the order (or “rank”) in which they will appear and be returned to you.
The Changing Face of SEO
More recently, the ingredient list for a “perfect” search ranking has expanded to include tweets, retweets, likes, social mentions, page load time, , and content marketing. Along the way, some old standbys made their appearances ... things like user experience, quality of content, and depth of content, to mention a few. Yet with all of this SEO knowledge that has been accumulated, so many websites still fail. How is this possible?
Once upon a time, SEO could be defined using two broad categories: 1) on-page SEO, and 2) off-page SEO, which could be boiled down to 1) keywords, and 2) links. The idea was to aggregate as many of each in order to beat your competitors in the search results and rank as close to #1 as possible.
1. SEO was treated like a game.
2. SEO was about quantity, not quality.
3. SEO was focused on search engines, not searchers.
According to Google, SEO is “about making small meaningful modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimisations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site's user experience and performance in organic search results where your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.”
In short, you need to understand not only the web, but also your visitors and what your visitors want – and get – out of your website. By creating content that is high quality, compelling, and relevant, you can engage your site’s visitors in a meaningful way. When content resonates with someone, it feels personal and authentic.
The new direction of SEO is all about creating a meaningful user experience for each visitor.