Introduction to SEO
Google has come a long way since its launch in 1993. Now relying heavily on artificial intelligence, its algorithms use hundreds of different criteria to reference your website. Here are four of them:
Your site should have backlinks from reputable sites, for example The New York Times or some other well-known news website. Conversely, you will be penalized if you have too many backlinks from shady sites. It should be clear that the notion of a “reputable” site remains rather vague, even if it seems obvious to a human being. Among the criteria, we can mention, for example, the age of the domain name, the fact that its owner is clearly identified, and that it is not on spam lists.
Many criteria are taken into account, such as the number of followers on social networks or… the number of backlinks. These notorious backlinks, which made Google so successful from its very inception, are now more important than ever.
This time it’s the content of the page alone that matters, regardless of any other factor, so prestigious blogs and sites are on a level playing field for once. How to assess relevance? We can only guess: length of the article, illustrations … we may assume that Google has a database with millions of so-called “relevant” documents and that the AI has learned, from this data, to recognize interesting content.
This is certainly the most important criterion: First, the user must click on the link. If the page is well referenced but the number of clicks is deemed insufficient, the referencing will automatically drop. Conversely, if a lot of people click to visit your page, it will bounce up like a ball until it reaches the much-desired Google’s first page. Once the user is on your site, is he staying for a few seconds or a few minutes? Yes, Google knows a lot about the behavior of internet users, and this can also be regarded as a criterion of relevance, with none of these four criteria being completely independent of each other.
In conclusion, here are the most crucial factors for a good SEO:
• Direct visits to the site
• CTR (click through rate), which is the ratio between the number of times your links are displayed in Google and the number of times people have clicked on them.
• Time spent on the website
• Bounce rate, i.e. the number of people who left your site very quickly after clicking on the link
• Backlinks, both their number and quality.
• Presence of a security certificate for data encryption
• User experience (text size, images, loading speed, etc.)
• Activities on social networks
• Mobile friendliness: if your site is not perfectly readable on a smartphone, it will be penalized even in its desktop version