Understanding SEO Agency Techniques – Site Design for Optimised Performance
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a key concern for anyone who wants to promote a website. The internet is already full, in a real sense – it has hundreds of millions of pages on it, which means that any business trying to secure a corner for itself is up against some stiff competition.
The competition faced by clients of any SEO agency can be split into two basic strands – directly competitive business interests (so if you are selling shoes, then anyone else selling shoes is a rival); and the search engines. Search engines are faced with the unappealing job of having to parse out genuinely relevant pages to return, for any search query entered, from all the hundreds of millions mentioned above. So they are constantly creating and refining algorithms that let them do that as well as can be expected (for something that has neither eyes nor a real brain).
The algorithms search engines use are now so complex and sophisticated that every SEO agency has its hands full just trying to keep up to date. Google, for instance, is capable of looking not just at text and HTML code to determine a page’s relevance to a search term – but also to inbound links (where they come from; how often they come; and how many people are actually following them); site layout; even the words contained in the pictures embedded in each page.
Modern SEO agency techniques have had to adapt, in a kind of evolutionary arms race that shows no theoretical boundary. Google, after all, has no physical body – so it can’t grow too big for gravity, or develop a set of tail feathers so immense it overbalances. It just keeps on getting smarter and smarter; and all the web companies can do is run along after it.
Modern site design has increasingly become part of what an SEO agency does. It will either do this in house or farm it out – but the result is the same, your site is now likely to be maintained, overhauled or redesigned specifically for SEO purposes.
Some of what a search engine does involves looking at the code of site to determine the kinds of functions it might have. Older, unfashionable functionality is seen as outdated and therefore less relevant. Remember that “relevance” is the key word to end all keywords here. Google is obsessed with the now. It wants to return only the kinds of web pages that its users expect to see – and that means keeping up with the times in a design sense as well as continually working to parse out erroneous or useless information.
One of the biggest problems faced by both Google and the SEO agencies that fight to keep their client sites relevant, is the difference between an informational query and a query with specific commercial intent. It’s long been the case that Google itself is weighted towards commercialism – so searches returning in Google have always had a bias for sales and the advertising of things people can buy.
That doesn’t mean Google wants to show its users sites that they won’t find helpful or trustworthy, though. So the algorithms still try to find ways of returning results that people would have pulled out themselves, had they had the information to do so.
One of the most common ways in which modern net consumers find sites is by friend referral. As a result Google tries to weight in social media recommendations and chatter when it returns: a fact that the SEO agency now has to take into account.
Idania Silvia is a technology writer for a number of online magazines. She writes frequently about the SEO agency and Google.