Key to SEO is optimizing content for search engine parsing is one of the primary functions of business website SEO and helps to drive traffic to the site. Although keywords are important, search engines evaluate more than just the presence of certain words when ranking sites, looking for complete sentences and paragraph structures. Content is evaluated on the basis of freshness; newer content receives a heavier “weight” than old content. The presence of complete and properly formatted metadata also influences search engine rankings.
Search engine routines evaluate several parameters of a website, based on the keywords input by the user. Each of these criteria are assigned a numerical value referred to as “weight”, with higher aggregate values earning more visible spots within the returned results. Every search engine program is considered a trade secret; the primary search engine providers will not discuss the specifics of their programs. Even without specific operation weights, the basic search engine parameters for small business SEO are well known.
Keywords are the primary basis of evaluation when search engines parse a website. Users are accustomed to inputting keywords as the search criteria when initiating a search. The absence of keywords and key phrases virtually ensures that a website will be bypassed when a search engine parses the content. Just listing keywords by themselves also works against the website. Business website SEO using keyword lists receive very little weight when a website is evaluated for placement in returned results. Search engines give higher priority to keywords contained within sentences and paragraphs, even though the program has no way of evaluating the quality of the surrounding information.
Content on the Internet never goes away; that’s something to remember when posting to social networks and commenting in public forums! It also means that search engines have huge amounts of data to parse when searching for keywords and phrases. Every entry on a website bears a time and date stamp in the metadata attached to the page. When a search engine parses this information, it gives a heavier weight to content with a more recent date. This helps to return entries that will be more relevant to the user and keeps outdated information towards the bottom of the results page. Keeping websites current through regular updates plays an important part in achieving a high ranking with small business SEO.
The time and date stamp is only one example of metadata, information attached to a web page that can be read by search engines but isn’t seen by regular users. Keywords should be present in the metadata as well as within the text of the web page. This allows search engines to evaluate both presence and context. The Internet is an unquestionably visual medium, but search engines have no way to evaluate graphics unless the image files are tagged with properly constructed descriptive metadata. Audio and video files suffer the same limitations, as do interactive applications. Search engine programs are only able to evaluate these files on the content of their metadata.
Even for programmers that work for the major search engine providers, keyword programming is art rather than science. No website construction or keyword saturation will ensure a high ranking on the results from any given search engine. By keeping information current and using proper metadata, websites earn higher rankings with search engines.