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While there are more and more ways for people to find your website today than there were even a few years ago, it’s still true that Google can impact its success or fuel its failure more than any other single platform.
The key is to ensure that your site is well optimized so that it plays nice with Google’s search algorithms, and to do this you need to know about what factors influence how this engine ranks web pages. So let’s look at the most important aspects of optimization, and what you can do to achieve them.The Quality of Content on the Page
When it comes to SEO, content is still king. Google will reward webpages with high-quality content that provides true value for users. This means avoiding keyword stuffing and writing concisely about topics related to your website or niche in a way that educates, informs and entertains readers.
It also helps if you use strong formatting, such as headings and bullet points, to break up text and make for more pleasant reading overall.
Additionally, try to incorporate multimedia elements, such as images or videos, into your page’s content. This engages visitors and keeps them around longer, which in turn will lead to ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Page load time is another important factor when it comes to SEO. Google rewards pages that load quickly, as this improves user experience and keeps visitors on your site longer.
To check your page’s loading speed, use a tool such as GTMetrix or Pingdom to identify areas of improvement. These tools can help you optimize images through compression, minimize redirects/HTTP requests, and enable browser caching, all of which contribute to faster loading times.
For further tweaking, look at reducing any large scripts or code bloat that may be slowing down your website. Getting rid of unnecessary elements will go a long way. And of course working with a provider like NameHero that provides simple web hosting packages at good prices will ensure you aren’t hampered by any server-side issues from a page load speed perspective.The Use of Keywords and Meta Tags
Using the right keywords is essential for Google to understand what your page is about. It’s crucial that you target relevant keyword phrases in the body text, titles, headings and subheadings throughout your website.
Then, use meta tags to describe each page on your site. These are brief descriptions that search engines can read which help them identify what a web page is about without having to crawl through all its content. Make sure they’re unique per page however, because duplicate meta tags could result in penalties and lower rankings within SERPs.Inbound Links From Other Sites
One ranking factor you definitely can’t afford to overlook when it comes to SEO is external links from other sites. These tell Google that your page is popular and trustworthy, thus making it more likely to get recommended higher up among the results for your target keywords.
Try encouraging other websites in your niche, or authoritative sites in related fields, to link back to yours. This could be done through guest blogging, or offering them content that can benefit their audience too.
Also look at creating social media accounts for your site and sharing its content as much as possible. This builds up a larger audience over time, which will lead to more inbound links being found on third party sites.Conclusion
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Before discussing anything about the above topic, let’s first understand what is meant by “perception.”
Perception is a process by which an individual interprets anything that comes in front of him or her. It is the way in which he or she utilizes his or her sensory impressions to interpret a particular situation and give a particular meaning to the environment. However, what we perceive can differ widely from what reality is.
For example, most employees view an organization as the best place to work because it has favorable working conditions, interesting job roles, better pay, and excellent benefits, but not all employees agree. There will be more categories of employees who perceive the organization to be just the opposite of what is discussed above.
The perception of an individual is an important part of organizational behavior because people’s behavior is based on their perception of reality, not on reality itself.Now let’s discuss the factors that affect the perception quickly
How can we explain the fact that an individual may look at the same thing yet perceive it differently? There are several factors that shape and sometimes distort perception. The factors can reside in the perceiver, in the object or target being perceived, or in the situation that is prevailing at the time the perception is being made.Factors in the perceiver
When we look at a target and try to interpret what we see, our interpretation is widely dependent on our characteristics. Let’s look at each of them −
Attitudes − Our attitudes towards anything or anyone have a great impact on our perception. And our attitudes are developed around our living background. Our childhood, our upbringing, and the nature of the people around us form and nurture our attitudes. So our attitude towards a particular target is one of the major factors that influence perception.
Motives − The motive behind anything helps to shape and sometimes distort our perception. Suppose we go for an interview and the motive behind the interview is to get an urgent job, we will perceive everything to be decent and good, and if we already have many options and our motive is to choose anyone among them, then we will start encountering good aspects as well as bad aspects.
Interest − We perceive the target as favorable and good if we have an interest in it. For example, if we choose a particular college because it offers scholarships, we will perceive it to be better than other colleges.
Experience − Our experience and expertise also shape our perceptions. A particular child can view a cartoon as the best thing to enjoy, but a youngster may or may not have any interest in it; he or she may like rock music instead of that, and an old person may not have any interest in any of them. So years of experience shape and modulate our perception towards anything.
Expectations − Our expectations of anyone or anything affect our perception. For example, the expectation of our parents with our exam result makes them perceives differently with a particular situation. The same goes for our expectations of our parents to understand our goals in life and make them perceive us differently in a particular situation.There are a set of factors in the target that affect our perception. Let’s look at each of them
Novelty − The quality of being innovative and different is a pivotal point in any target that affects its perception by someone. Suppose in a set of children a child is very outspoken; the teacher will perceive him to be the best among the group.
Motion − The motion of a particular target helps an individual perceives it differently.
Sounds − The sound of a particular place, thing, or person affects the perception of them by different people a lot. A loud person is perceived as a more confident fellow than a slow-spoken person, who is perceived to be underconfident.
Size − The size of a particular target also has a lot to do with how different people perceive it.
Background − Suppose we see an ornament in a lavish gold shop. We will perceive it to be luxurious and lucrative, but if we see the same ornament on the road, our perception will change. So background matters a lot when making perceptions about anything or anyone.
Proximity − The closeness or similarity of a particular target with the perceived object has a lot of influence on the perception. For example, if we are Indian, we will surely emphasize Indian music more than a foreigner.
Similarity − The similarity of a particular person or thing with the target affects the perception on a wide scale.Sometimes the situation of a particular target affects its perception
Time − the time it takes for a particular situation to happen affects its perception. If it’s a sunny day, then we perceive a child’s drink to be the most lovable thing to have, but if it’s a chilly winter day, we perceive coffee to be the most lovable thing to have.
Work setting − The setting of work at different organizations affects their perception by their employees. Suppose there is an office with hectic work schedules and tedious, tiring work days. Employees of this organization may be reluctant to work there, but if there is a similar organization with fun activities and lots of incentives, employees of this organization may love where they work.
Social setting − The people around us affect the perception of us by different people. For example, many people perceive Bihari to be low, but at the same time, a Bihari can be the most wonderful person on earth.Conclusion
There are different factors that affect an individual’s perception. The favor can be in the target to be perceived, the perceiver, or the situation itself.
Previously here on Search Engine Journal, I covered various Semantic Search Engines which have erupted on the scene as alternatives to Google and Microsoft / Yahoo. Here are 4 more search engines that use different approaches to make results highly relevant.1. Evri
chúng tôi to put it briefly, presents to you connections between content that goes beyond keyword search. The technology powering the site is able to extract the subjects that occur in an article. This is similar to the approach that people use to understand the meaning of sentences where words and their occurrence in a sentence are used to make sense of the right context.
Taking an example from the Evri Blog,
for a sentence like:
Chief Seattle spoke to his people.
In addition, the other cool features from the site are :
EvriFeed, a constantly updating stream of the latest about interesting topics in the EvriVerse.
Evribot, an automated Twitter account that tweets extremely brief summaries of news stories.
Collections allow you to follow entities for latest updates on them.
APIs to make these entity extraction available to Developers
There is an iphone app as well.
Using semantic technologies, Evri is able to search, relate and suggest information beyond the limits of keyword matching. Perhaps the icing on the cake would be providing completely crafted articles that get their information from the ever growing content on the web, but are not being heavily dependent on any single source alone.2. DuckDuckGo
There is a firefox extension for the engine that saves you from useless, parked and spam pages from search results, They have an iPhone app as well.
On DuckDuckGo3. DeepDyve
DeepDyve is a research tool that retrieves content from the ‘Deep Web‘. By applying semantics to a data source not indexed by traditional search engines, the engine has a good chance of returning very relevant data. For now, the engine is limited to these areas :
Life Sciences and Medical
Humanities and Social Sciences
Business and Finance
Clean Technology and Energy
IT and Engineering.
If you need specific information in any of these areas, you must try DeepDyve.
Deepdyve Sources4. Truevert
Truevert claims a semantic model that is not dependent on categorization alone. While the engine presently serves content in context of the environment, the idea is to have a model created for different contexts that a keyword can map to. Their blog provides good information on semantic search and the different approaches. The contextual model makes for highly scalable and quick response times.
Sometimes quality content does not rank. Features such as depth, the authority of the author, how up to date the information is does not seem to matter. It’s not uncommon to see such high quality pages not rank in Google. The following is a strategy, a way of doing SEO, that in my experience ranking websites, has been useful to me for the past few years.Reviewing the Definition of Quality Content
While quality factors are important to Google, in my experience, what is most important is how relevant that content is for answering the search intent that is latent within a search query.
There used to be a commercial for canned tuna featuring a tuna named Charlie. Charlie wanted to be selected by the picky and discriminating tuna company. So Charlie the tuna cultivates himself with fine clothes, a piano, and other signals of culture and good taste.
This is very much the position that publishers with high quality content can find themselves in. Focusing on traditional signals of “quality” is a good start. But there’s more.
Usually, what’s missing from a discussion about quality is the quality of how the content is useful to people who search on a particular search query.
Focusing on depth of content, how complete it is and so on can put a publisher in the same predicament as Charlie the tuna who was cultivating all the signals of good taste.
At the end of the commercial, a voice says, “Sorry Charlie. We don’t want tuna with good taste. We want tuna that tastes good.”How to Write Relevant Content
In my opinion and experience, the better approach is to understand what those keywords mean to the people who are using them. This is what the meaning of relevance is today.
Relevance used to mean matching the keywords in a search query to content on a page. But for the past few years it has increasingly meant matching the content with the needs of the user who is typing in that search query.
Keyword research today means asking “What is Google ranking and why?”Be Relevant to People
Firstly, I am not saying to abandon keywords. What I am saying is to expand on what you are currently doing by being relevant to people.
In 2024, almost three years ago, I wrote the following in an article about keyword research. The concepts here are important to understand:
“Algorithms are tuned to satisfying user queries by answering questions. They are no longer merely matching search queries to keywords on a web page.
This does not mean that you should phrase your pages as questions and answers. It means understanding the user intent/search intent latent in the keywords and constructing your content so that it satisfies the user/search intent implicit in the keyword phrase.”
That first part is about being relevant to the people making the search queries, not to their keywords. Be relevant to the people making the search queries.
Now the second part is about how being relevant to people who can boost exposure of your web page with social sharing and boost rankings with links:
“Web pages rank because websites link to those pages. Websites link to those pages because those pages solved a problem, because it scratches an itch.
Nobody ever linked to a web page because of its keyword relevance. Only an SEO walks into a bar, a dive, a speakeasy. Nobody links to that.
…View your keyword list through the framework of user intent/search intent and then consider how the resulting content can be used to create a positive user experience.”
You see how being relevant to people works? It’s a killer strategy that in my opinion is tuned to how search engines rank sites today. There are many different approaches to this, including providing a good user experience, making your content easy to read and so on.
But at the heart of all of those actions that creates a path from the user to your content, it all hinges on thinking in terms of being relevant to the user.More Resources
Images by Shutterstock, Modified by Author
Perhaps what has given desktop Linux its biggest shot in the arm is the evolution of various disruptive technologies that have, by design, made desktop Linux adoption just that much easier.
The following are some of the most disruptive examples of disruptive technology on the Linux platform – including current technologies and those whose adoption is coming just around the corner:
WINE – Using Windows applications without needing to fall into the Windows licensing trap. Thanks to WINE, end users on the Linux platform are able to run a number of Windows applications without needing to utilize any sort of Windows emulators of any kind.
How is it disruptive? WINE’s very mission of allowing users to run software on their terms, regardless of the license that the software happens to use is particularly disruptive. Closed source, open source, whatever – it just works. What makes WINE such a killer app is allowing Linux users to use their existing Windows software without needing to purchase a copy of Windows to be run inside some sort of virtual machine.
There’s no question that this disruptive technology has been a boon to desktop Linux adoption.
NDISWrapper – I appreciate and admire the hard work in the NDISWrapper project’s attempt to support made-for-Windows wireless adapters. Unfortunately, NDISWrapper is also lending support to the enemy – by supporting made-for-Windows wireless devices. These wireless devices are produced by vendors who have worked very hard at being as uncooperative with the Linux community as possible.
Using ever-changing chipset revision numbers for the same device models, refusing to release any code to the community for Linux development, I am astonished by anyone foolish enough to further enable this kind of behavior.
How is it disruptive? NDISWrapper as a project, provides a means of making incompatible wireless cards compatible with Linux, albeit with mixed results. I have used the NDISWrapper utility both successfully and unsuccessfully in the past. It has allowed a fair percentage of desktop Linux users to use their existing wireless hardware in lieu of supporting the few wireless vendors that actually provide made-for-Linux wireless cards. I do not support NDISWrapper in any way, even considering the honorable intentions of its developers.
Virtual Machines – VMWare, Parallels, etc. Today’s OS emulation tools have truly picked up on instances where access to another OS is a must. For Both OS X and Linux users, being able to emulate a Windows desktop from within the host OS environment is of huge benefit to the end user.
Speaking for myself, having access to the Windows desktop without needing to create a separate partition for it in a literal sense on my existing hard drive means I’m not jeopardizing an existing boot record should something go wrong during my partitioning or installation of the second OS.
How is it disruptive? Having the ability to run an operating system from within another one is quite powerful. When executed right, it allows the end user to break free of any platform restriction issues they may have faced previously.
Unlike WINE listed above, using a guest OS means there are almost no restrictions set forth due to compatibility with the software being used. While some applications, such as those requiring DirectX, might not work well in a emulation environment, generally speaking this is not the case when using software run with a virtual machine.
Fluendo restricted codecs – Up until recently, most users were really left to their own devices when it came to finding and installing what is referred to as “restricted codecs” on the desktop Linux platform. Here in the U.S., certain codecs, such as various Windows Media codecs, MP3, and other formats created a lot of problems from a distribution angle, since it’s widely perceived that a fee must be paid ahead of time.
Thanks to Fluendo’s Web store, desktop Linux users have a choice if using restricted codecs is something they wish to pay for.
How is this disruptive? By providing users a choice of purchasing a license to use these restricted codecs in a way that’s safe for U.S. distribution, everyone wins. The disruption begins when users find they have a means of using restricted codecs that are Linux-compatible and don’t present any licensing/legal concerns.
Google is constantly tweaking its ranking factors to ensure it shows only the best results to searchers.
Because only the most relevant, authoritative, and highest quality content ranks at the top of the SERPs. Right?
Sometimes low-value webpages that offer little value to searchers still manage to rank well.
This article will highlight five of the most common types of content that, sadly, I come across too often in the organic search results.1. Toxic Sites That Drive Traffic & Monetize It Through Banners
This page ranks well for such keywords as “seo techniques” and “seo tactics”.
The big problem with this page is that its major goal is to drive and monetize traffic through the swarm of banners placed everywhere on this website.
How does a user benefit from all of this? Unclear.
Alas this page isn’t the only one of its kind.
Here’s another example of a similar site.
Examples of this content type mentioned above demonstrate how a page can exist to fulfill only one purpose: to get as much organic search traffic as possible.
Often, this kind of websites blindly copy contents from other sites with higher authority. The script does it all, including all of the backlinks within the site.
Many SEO experts can remember the days when you could easily make a buck by creating a site like that and placing a couple of banners on it. The flow of traffic was outstanding.
Now Google does everything it can to eliminate such sites from the SERPs. But even artificial intelligence needs some time to locate and block all of these sites from the search results.2. Tons of Pop-Ups & Zero Search Query Matches
As I was analyzing the search results for [CPA marketing] on Google, I noticed something interesting.
Check out this screenshot:
The page in Position 3 also ranks for a keyword that has more than 2,000 monthly searches, based on SEMrush data. Although the keyword here is “CPA marketing”, the content on this page has nothing to do with this particular subject.
It’s also hard not to notice the title of the third page mentions money twice.
Nobody argues that making a profit is important. But do you really need to be so blunt?
Apart from the author’s subtle humbleness and CTAs that whisper his accomplishments, there are several other issues with this page. Where to begin?
Content is locked out with tons of pop-ups.
You know who else is a big fan of pop-ups? Neil Patel.
That’s why, at times, I find it difficult to read his blog posts.
Because of the constant interruptions.
OK, let’s give Vladi here some credit. The post is decently written.
Yet, the content doesn’t match the search intent of “CPA marketing” (which is an informational search). The article covers how one can start making money by becoming a member of an affiliate network.3. Poor Quality Content
More often than not, searching for a helpful article can be like taking a trip to a mall on a Sunday.
Take a closer look at this article:
While it’s miraculously resting on its laurels at the top of the SERPs, it is nothing but a digested and rewritten content, copied from other articles.
The keywords in this post are straightforward, hence it has a solid number of users coming to this page.
However, the quality of this content is low, to say the least, the post doesn’t even get close to explaining how to start making a killing on Snapchat.
Unfortunately, a lot of digital marketing blogs suffer from similar counterproductive content.
No doubt, your page may also get lucky and appear at the top of Google. But once a different page with higher-quality content comes around, your article won’t stand a chance.4. Outdated Content
Do you ever see something that makes you say, “Am I really seeing this?”
Well, here’s another page.
Talk about a terrible user experience!5. Poorly Structured Content
This post ranks in top three results for [ecommerce stats 2023] search term:
Fearing they might lose their readers too quickly, these guys decided to go all out for a win. They geared up with links, placing as many of them as possible.
Sure, they meant well, but the road to user experience hell is paved with good intentions.
Not all growth-hacking strategies are equally good, I suppose.
I have another example of an article that ranks well in Google:
Oh no, it’s me! Yes, I got caught producing something useless.
For some reason, online users don’t seem to enjoy reading my post. The bounce rate for that post is astronomically high compared to other pages:
Here’s the main search query that brings traffic is “best backlinks analysis tool”:
So what’s the problem with this post? I believe it’s mainly a result of poor structure:
There’s no summary table that would demonstrate the functionality of each tool featured in my analysis.
It lacks navigation and shortcuts to specific sections.
This post is for those few people who like to scroll and read lengthy studies. Apparently they haven’t found my article yet!Conclusion
Even though these articles are doing strikingly well in terms of ranking and attract a lot of readers, I bet those readers don’t come back.
If you want to bring value to your online community and be recognized for good things, then create content that earns you readers’ trust and good business. And the traffic will come.
More Content Marketing Resources:
All screenshots taken by Alexandra Tachalova, May 2023.
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