nagging gently encouraging Mr Rock n Roll Bride to start writing blog posts for The Green Room ever since we came up with the idea. As many of you will already know, Gareth is the brains behind this operation. I may be the wedding obsessed one, but he’s the one who enables my wedding obsession and rambles to be set free! He is a rather handy commodity to have around the place and so I feel it’s only right that we share some of his vast knowledge on all things computer/internet/geek related with you too.
If you have any other techy type questions or topics you’d like us to cover in future, be sure to leave a comment below. But for now, I’ll hand you over to my secret weapon…
Photography Credit: Marianne Taylor Photography (iPhone photo taken at our Beloved shoot)
For as long as there have been search engines there has been search engine optimisation (SEO). Briefly, SEO is the practise of enhancing a web site, through both its copy and its source code, to rank higher in the top search engines for particular search terms. But then you knew that already, didn’t you? Because SEO is big business. Companies specialise in it, websites are dedicated to it, profits are won and lost because of it.
Or so the industry would have us believe.
I’m here to tell you it’s OK to design your website for people, not search engines. In fact, I implore you to do so and I can sum up why with just one sentence: You and search engines share one very important goal, you both want to give visitors a great experience.
If a search engine doesn’t deliver the best, most relevant, websites at the top of the results it gets usurped by one which does. A lot of people spend time and money trying to optimise their blogs for Google without really considering that lore. Today’s search engines are extremely complex and clever beasts. With over 73 million WordPress sites in existence, it’s in their own interests to be equipped to figure out exactly what those blogs are about.
Step back in time with me for a moment, when Yahoo was at its peak there were a handful of tricks which absolutely worked to ‘game’ their system. Some examples were stuffing keywords into page titles, picking out phrases in bold and italics, and invisible text. But the experience to the human reader was always compromised. Invisible text, for example, often resulted in a large blank space at the bottom of a web page and in those dial-up days most visitors waited there, thinking images were still loading.
As knowledge of these exploits spread the quality of Yahoo’s search results deteriorated and it didn’t take long for an innovative newcomer to snatch the crown from Yahoo’s head, its name was Google. Google banished most of the spammy websites from their search results by using off-page factors which the website owners had little control over. But through time ways were found to abuse even those methods. Today, Google is making changes to parts of its core algorithm on a daily basis to improve results for its users. If you’re trying to massage keyword ratios in a blog post or an ‘about me’ page today the only thing you can be certain of is that in three months it will be out of date and you’ll be getting the cheque book out yet again to get that consultant in or wasting a whole mess of time finding out what the latest theories are for yourself.