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What Is SEO?-Beginner's Guide to SEO (Search Engine Optimization)-QasimTanoli

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to your SEO learning journey!


You'll get the most out of this guide if you desire to learn search engine optimization (SEO) is exceeded only by your willingness to execute and test concepts.
This guide is designed to describe all major aspects of SEO, from finding the terms and phrases (keywords) that can generate qualified traffic to your website, to making your site friendly to search engines, to building links and marketing the unique value of your site.
The world of search engine optimization is complex and ever-changing, but you can easily understand the basics, and even a small amount of SEO knowledge can make a big difference. Free SEO education is also widely available on the web, including in guides like this! (Woohoo!)
Combine this information with some practice and you are well on your way to becoming a savvy SEO.

Here's what you'll find in this SEO guide

Ever heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs? It's a theory of psychology that prioritizes the most fundamental human needs (like air, water, and physical safety) over more advanced needs (like esteem and social belonging). The theory is that you can't achieve the needs at the top without ensuring the more fundamental needs are met first. Love doesn't matter if you don't have food.
Our founder, Rand Fishkin, made a similar pyramid to explain the way folks should go about SEO, and we've affectionately dubbed it "Mozlow's hierarchy of SEO needs."

Using this guide, here are 7 steps to successful SEO:
  1. Crawl accessibility so engines can read your website
  2. Compelling content that answers the searcher’s query
  3. Keyword optimized to attract searchers & engines
  4. Great user experience including a fast load speed and compelling UX
  5. Share-worthy content that earns links, citations, and amplification
  6. Title, URL, & description to draw high CTR in the rankings
  7. Snippet/schema markup to stand out in SERPs

We'll spend time on each of these areas throughout this guide, but we wanted to introduce it here because it offers a look at how we structured the guide as a whole:




What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, as well as exposure to your brand, through non-paid (also known as "organic") search engine results.

Despite the acronym, SEO is as much about people as it is about search engines themselves. It’s about understanding what people are searching for online, the answers they are seeking, the words they’re using, and the type of content they wish to consume. Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to connect to the people who are searching online for the solutions you offer.

If knowing your audience’s intent is one side of the SEO coin, delivering it in a way search engine crawlers can find and understand is the other. In this guide, expect to learn how to do both.

Search engine basics


Search engines are answer machines. They scour billions of pieces of content and evaluate thousands of factors to determine which content is most likely to answer your query.

Search engines do all of this by discovering and cataloging all available content on the Internet (web pages, PDFs, images, videos, etc.) via a process known as “crawling and indexing,” and then ordering it by how well it matches the query in a process we refer to as “ranking.” We’ll cover crawling, indexing, and ranking in more detail in Chapter 2.

Which search results are "organic"?

As we said earlier, organic search results are the ones that are earned through effective SEO, not paid for (i.e. not advertising). These used to be easy to spot - the ads were clearly labeled as such and the remaining results typically took the form of "10 blue links" listed below them. But with the way search has changed, how can we spot organic results today?

Today, search engine results pages — often referred to as “SERPs” — are filled with both more advertising and more dynamic organic results formats (called “SERP features”) than we've ever seen before. Some examples of SERP features are featured snippets (or answer boxes), People Also Ask boxes, image carousels, etc. New SERP features continue to emerge, driven largely by what people are seeking.

For example, if you search for "Denver weather," you’ll see a weather forecast for the city of Denver directly in the SERP instead of a link to a site that might have that forecast. And, if you search for “pizza Denver,” you’ll see a “local pack” result made up of Denver pizza places. Convenient, right?

It’s important to remember that search engines make money from advertising. Their goal is to better solve searcher’s queries (within SERPs), to keep searchers coming back, and to keep them on the SERPs longer.

Some SERP features on Google are organic and can be influenced by SEO. These include featured snippets (a promoted organic result that displays an answer inside a box) and related questions (a.k.a. "People Also Ask" boxes).

It's worth noting that there are many other search features that, even though they aren't paid to advertise, can't typically be influenced by SEO. These features often have data acquired from proprietary data sources, such as Wikipedia, WebMD, and IMDb.

Why SEO is important

While paid advertising, social media, and other online platforms can generate traffic to websites, the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines.

Organic search results cover more digital real estate, appear more credible to savvy searchers, and receive way more clicks than paid advertisements. For example, of all US searches, only ~2.8% of people click on paid advertisements.

In a nutshell: SEO has ~20X more traffic opportunities than PPC on both mobile and desktop.

SEO is also one of the only online marketing channels that, when set up correctly, can continue to pay dividends over time. If you provide a solid piece of content that deserves to rank for the right keywords, your traffic can snowball over time, whereas advertising needs continuous funding to send traffic to your site.

Search engines are getting smarter, but they still need our help.

Optimizing your site will help deliver better information to search engines so that your content can be properly indexed and displayed within search results.

Should I hire an SEO professional, consultant, or agency?
Depending on your bandwidth, willingness to learn, and the complexity of your website(s), you could perform some basic SEO yourself. Or, you might discover that you would prefer the help of an expert. Either way is okay!

If you end up looking for expert help, it's important to know that many agencies and consultants "provide SEO services," but can vary widely in quality. Knowing how to choose a good SEO company can save you a lot of time and money, as the wrong SEO techniques can actually harm your site more than they will help.

White hat vs black hat SEO

"White hat SEO" refers to SEO techniques, best practices, and strategies that abide by search engine rule, its primary focus to provide more value to people.

"Black hat SEO" refers to techniques and strategies that attempt to spam/fool search engines. While black hat SEO can work, it puts websites at tremendous risk of being penalized and/or de-indexed (removed from search results) and has ethical implications.

Penalized websites have bankrupted businesses. It's just another reason to be very careful when choosing an SEO expert or agency.

Search engines share similar goals with the SEO industry
Search engines want to help you succeed. In fact, Google even has a Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, much like the Beginner’s Guide! They're also quite supportive of efforts by the SEO community. Digital marketing conferences — such as Unbounce, MNsearch, SearchLove, and Moz's own MozCon — regularly attract engineers and representatives from major search engines.

Google assists webmasters and SEOs through their Webmaster Central Help Forum and by hosting live office hour hangouts. (Bing, unfortunately, shut down their Webmaster Forums in 2014.)

While webmaster guidelines vary from search engine to search engine, the underlying principles stay the same: Don’t try to trick search engines. Instead, provide your visitors with a great online experience. To do that, follow search engine guidelines and fulfill user intent.

Google Webmaster Guidelines
Basic principles:
Make pages primarily for users, not search engines.
Don't deceive your users.
Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?"
Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging.
Things to avoid:
Automatically generated content
Participating in link schemes
Creating pages with little or no original content (i.e. copied from somewhere else)
Cloaking — the practice of showing the search engine crawlers different content than visitors.
Hidden text and links
Doorway pages — pages created to rank well for specific searches to funnel traffic to your website.
It's good to be very familiar with Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Make time to get to know them.

See the full Google Webmaster Guidelines here 
Bing Webmaster Guidelines
Basic principles:
Provide clear, deep, engaging, and easy-to-find content on your site.
Keep page titles clear and relevant.
Links are regarded as a signal of popularity and Bing rewards links that have grown organically.
Social influence and social shares are positive signals and can have an impact on how you rank organically in the long run.
Page speed is important, along with positive, useful user experience.
Use alt attributes to describe images, so that Bing can better understand the content.
Things to avoid:
Thin content, pages showing mostly ads or affiliate links, or that otherwise redirect visitors away to other sites will not rank well.
Abusive link tactics that aim to inflate the number and nature of inbound links such as buying links, participating in link schemes, can lead to de-indexing.
Ensure clean, concise, keyword-inclusive URL structures are in place. Dynamic parameters can dirty up your URLs and cause duplicate content issues.
Make your URLs descriptive, short, keyword-rich when possible, and avoid non-letter characters.
Burying links in Javascript/Flash/Silverlight; keep content out of these as well.
Duplicate content
Keyword stuffing
Cloaking — the practice of showing the search engine crawlers different content than visitors.
Guidelines for representing your local business on Google
If the business for which you perform SEO work operates locally, either out of a storefront or drives to customers’ locations to perform service, it qualifies for a Google My Business listing. For local businesses like these, Google has guidelines that govern what you should and shouldn’t do in creating and managing these listings.

Basic principles:
Be sure you’re eligible for inclusion in the Google My Business index; you must have a physical address, even if it’s your home address, and you must serve customers face-to-face, either at your location (like a retail store) or at theirs (like a plumber)
Honestly and accurately represent all aspects of your local business data, including its name, address, phone number, website address, business categories, hours of operation, and other features.

Things to avoid

Creation of Google My Business listings for entities that aren’t eligible
Misrepresentation of any of your core business information, including “stuffing” your business name with geographic or service keywords, or creating listings for fake addresses
Use of PO boxes or virtual offices instead of authentic street addresses
Abuse of the review portion of the Google My Business listing, via fake positive reviews of your business or fake negative ones of your competitors
Costly, novice mistakes stemming from failure to read the fine details of Google’s guidelines


Table Of Contents
  1. What is SEO in 2019?
  2. TL;DR –  What Really Matters if you do SEO in 2019?
  3. An Introduction to SEO
  4. Google Rankings Always Change
  5. ‘User Experience’ Does Matter
  6. TAKE NOTE: Google is Moving To A ‘Mobile First‘ Index in 2019
  7. NOTE: Google has a ‘Page-Heavy’ Penalty Algorithm
  8. NOTE: Google has an ‘Interstitial and Pop-Up‘ Penalty Algorithm
  9. What is the PURPOSE of your page?
  10. Ranking could be based on a ‘duration metric’
  11. Rankings could be based on a ‘duration performance score‘
  12. What Makes A Page Spam?
  13. If A Page Exists Only To Make Money, The Page Is Spam, to Google
  14. Doorway Pages
  15. What Does Google Classify As Doorway Pages?
  16. What Is E.A.T.?
  17. Main Content (MC) of a Page
  18. Supplementary Content (SC) on a Page
  19. The Importance of Unique Content For Your Website
  20. Balancing Conversions With Usability & User Satisfaction
  21. NOTE: User Experience Across Multiple Devices & Screen Resolutions
  22. NOTE: Which type of Adverts Annoys Users?
  23. How To Fix Issues Found In the Google Ad Experience Report
  24. What Does Google Mean By “Low-Quality“?
  25. Google Is Not Going To Rank Low-Quality Pages When It Has Better Options
  26. Quality Raters Do Not Directly Impact YOUR site
  27. Quality Bar – Always Rising – Always Relative?
  28. Ratings Can Be Relative
  29. Can Thin Content Still Rank In Google?
  30. What Are The High-Quality Characteristics of a Web Page?
  31. What Characteristics Do The Highest Quality Pages Exhibit?
  32. What Are The Low-Quality Signals Google Looks For?
  33. Pages Can Be Rated ‘Medium Quality’
  34. Google Quality Algorithm Updates
  35. What Is Google Panda?
  36. Identifying Which Pages On Your Own Site Hurt Or Help Your Rankings
  37. Specific Advice From Google on Pruning Content From Your Site
  38. Specific Advice From Google On Low-Quality Content On Your Site
  39. Investigating A Traffic Drop
  40. Technical SEO
  41. Example ‘High Quality’ E-commerce Site
  42. What Are YMYL Pages?
  43. What Is “Domain Authority“?
  44. Is Domain Age An Important Google Ranking Factor?
  45. Google Penalties For Unnatural Footprints
  46. Ranking Factors
  47. Keyword Research
  48. Do Keywords In Bold Or Italic Help?
  49. How Many Words & Keywords Do I Use On A Page?
  50. What is The Perfect Keyword Density?
  51. Keyword Stuffing
  52. Focus On The User
  53. Optimise For User Intent & Satisfaction
  54. Focus on ‘Things’, Not ‘Strings’
  55. Can I Just Write Naturally and Rank High in Google?
  56. Do You Need Lots of Text To Rank Pages In Google?
  57. Optimizing For ‘The Long Click’
  58. User-Generated Content & Forum SEO Advice
  59. Page Title Element
  60. Meta Keywords Tag
  61. Meta Description Tag
  62. Robots Meta Tag
  63. Robots.txt File
  64. H1-H6: Page Headings
  65. Alt Tags & ALT Text
  66. Link Title Attributes, Acronym & ABBR Tags
  67. Keywords In URLs Make Search Engine Friendly URLs
  68. Absolute Or Relative URLs
  69. How long is too long for a URL?
  70. Subdirectories or Files For URL Structure
  71. How Google Treats Subdomains: “We… treat that more as a single website”
  72. Should I Choose a Subfolder or Subdomain?
  73. Which Is Better For Google? PHP, HTML or ASP?
  74. Fetch As Google
  75. Check How Google Views Your Desktop Site
  76. Check How Google Views Your Smartphone Site
  77. Check How Your Site Renders On Other Browsers
  78. Is Valid HTML & CSS A Ranking Factor?
  79. Point Internal Links To Relevant Pages
  80. Link Out To Related Sites
  81. Broken Links Are A Waste Of Link Power
  82. Does Only The First Link Count In Google?
  83. Duplicate Content
  84. Duplicate Content SEO Best Practice
  85. Double or Indented Listings in Google
  86. Create Useful 404 Pages
  87.  301 Redirects Are POWERFUL & WHITE HAT
  88. NOTE: Some Redirects May Be Treated As Soft 404 Errors
  89. You MUST Redirect To Equivalent Content in 2019
  90. How To Use 301 Redirects Properly To Preserve Rankings in Google in 2019
  91. Redirect Non-WWW To WWW (or Vice Versa)
  92. The Canonical Link Element Is VERY IMPORTANT
  93. Do I Need A Google XML Sitemap For My Website?
  94. Enough Satisfying Website Information for the Purpose of the Website
  95. Dynamic PHP Copyright Notice in WordPress
  96. Rich Snippets
  97. Adding Schema.org Markup to Your Footer
  98. Keep It Simple, Stupid
  99. How Fast Should Your Web Page Load?
  100. A Non-Technical Google SEO Strategy
  101. Does Google Promote A Site Or Demote Others In Rankings?
  102. What You Should Avoid When Practicing Website Search Engine Optimisation
  103. Don’t Flag Your Site With Poor Website Optimisation
  104. The Continual Evolution of SEO
  105. How Does Google Search work?
  106. Beware Pseudoscience In The SEO Industry 
  107. How Long Does It Take To See Results from SEO?
  108. A Real Google Friendly Website
  109. What Are The Best SEO Tools for SEO in 2019?
  110. Google Webmaster Guidelines
  111. Free SEO EBOOK (2018) PDF
  112. Disclaimer
Free Trafic For Website

What Is A Successful Strategy?
Get relevant. Get trusted. Get Popular. Help a visitor complete their task.
SEO is no longer just about manipulation in 2019.
It’s about adding quality and often useful content to your website that together meet a PURPOSE that delivers USER SATISFACTION over the longer term.

If you are serious about getting more free traffic from search engines, get ready to invest time and effort in your website and online marketing.

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