Google Search Engine Optimization 101

By the time you are done reading this sentence, Google’s search engine will have completed over 300,000 queries, each one containing unique webpages, advertisements, photos, and other information.  The sheer computing power of Google can be mind-boggling, yet the typical user never asks the simple question, “How does Google work?”

Organic Search
All search engines, whether it’s Google, Bing, or Yahoo, work in similar ways. In order to find relevant material associated with a search term, the engine deploys their army of automated robots (software programs) to browse through billions of individual links.  If a link is seen by a robot, its on-page content, link information, and page titles are stored in a massive index. When a search is conducted, Google’s bots return to those indices and look for webpages that contain the search term. Google then considers over 200 factors to determine a webpage’s relevance and popularity. These factors include:


Project Loon

In the most recent Google I/O Conference a lot of new and exciting technology was announced to be hitting the internets in the coming months. One particular piece of tech that was touched on, and is of particular interest to all of us in the website world, was Project Loon.

Why Project Loon?
Everyday, digital marketers take advantage of their opportunity to reach a wide audience of people with the power of the internet. But did you know that two-thirds of the world’s population does not have Internet access? By taking interest and understanding Project Loon, you will see how the innovative minds over at Google are trying to close that gap of unconnected people.


Video Camera Icon

In the digital age, it becomes easier and easier to build your business with virtual toolkits filled with software and apps that can help your small business function like big business.

But at the same time, we know that the same technology can change in the blink of an eye and unveil a whole new toolbox of resources that can grow your business.

With 63 million Americans telecommuting by 2016 (Global Workplace), it makes sense to evaluate if your own business is providing the necessary technology to keep current employees happy and prospective employees knocking as the typical workday shifts from office to home.


Examples of clever 404 Errors

Have you ever been browsing the internet and reached a page screaming, “404 Error Page!” and been afraid you had done something terribly wrong to harm your browser and/or computer?

Have no fear! We have all been there.

Good news is that is completely normal for a user to come across a 404 error page, and for your small business website to return one.  Because in the definition of a 404 Error Page (or HTTP 404 for our more technical audience) it describes the error as a web page that simply could not be found when attempting to follow a broken or dead link (or one that you’ve typed in incorrectly).


How Google Works Screenshot Infographic QuickSprout

In October 2014, Google improved their search experience with less spam and more procured content in their algorithm updates named Panda and Penguin.

While most of us like to pretend we know exactly what these algorithms do and how they affect us, the formula that runs behind the scenes on Google can truly be complex and confusing.

For small business owners and entrepreneurs, Google is important for website discovery with local listings and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts. But to excel in these areas, it is essential to take the time to learn how Google works.


Google Plus Infographic

As with any social network, the answer to the perennial question of what to post on Google+ depends entirely on your social media goals.

If you saw Pagemodo’s Posting Playbook infographic a few months ago, you know the rules for what to post on Facebook and Twitter depending on your business goals. If you’re curious how to similarly strategize your Google+ posting practices, CircleCount and Digital Information World have some answers in the form of the infographic below.


Amazon search bar

Technically, search engine optimization (SEO) is a means of optimizing your website’s ranking in just about any search engine. However, since Google is by far the most popular search engine in the US, most SEO agencies and gurus abide by Google’s standards of SEO best practices. Although the search engine giant is notoriously secretive about the details of their algorithm, they’re open about general best practices such as producing high quality content, good link building, avoid black hat tactics and the like.


Penguin and Panda

If you are a small business owner who finds Google alliterative algorithms Penguin and Panda to be intimidating territory, you’re not alone. You have enough on your hands with running a business and maintaining a website without having to decipher what each Google algorithm update means for your marketing and SEO strategy.

While it’s certainly possible to make a full-time career out of the analysis of these search engine rank determiners, it’s also possible to break it down into manageable and actionable bites. Let’s start with some clarifications:


Google's Iam.Soy website header

You might remember back in January this year we talked about the release of hundreds of new generic top-level domains. These included specific brand names like .NIKE, .APPLE, and .AMEX, as well as more generic terms like .GURU, .COMPANY, and .SHOP. While small business owners and individuals were excited about this at the time, it’s been awhile since there was any news on the gTLD front – until yesterday.

If you follow Google’s business blog, or spent any time on Twitter yesterday, you no doubt heard about the launch of Google’s first new top-level domain in the United States: .SOY


Variety of doors

You know how people say that less is more? Yeah, they are not talking about webpages. When it comes to the number of pages that connect to your website’s domain, more is always better – especially when you’re doing search engine optimization.

In today’s online world, people rarely come to a website by typing in the name directly. Most website hits come from search engines – specifically from Google. If you want more people to enter your website, consider adding more doors. And not just more, but doors of all different shapes and sizes.



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