Business owners and bloggers usually have a lot of topics and expertise to write about, but the problem comes in when they discover that Google and other search engines control how and where that content gets ranks and presented to their potential customers.
Below, we will describe explain how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is like a library and exactly how Google searches and finds relevant content for the end user.
Then we will show you how you can apply that knowledge to increasing your reach to future customers.
So, first...let's answer the question: how is SEO like a library?!
Search Engine Bots and Crawling Libraries
One of the best metaphors on how to explain SEO to most people is by comparing it to a Library. Let’s say you are a librarian and you receive a request for a stack of random books.
Now your job is to figure out where in the library these books are located so that you can retrieve them.
You would first look over (or crawl) the list in front of you.
You would then pick each title and figure out a bit more context about the book so you could better locate it.
Is it fiction or non-fiction?
Who is the author?
What are the titles of the chapters and how does that help determine what type of book it is?
Search Engine Bots Work Like Librarians
This is how search engine bots work.
They crawl throughout the internet and look for similar topics, genre’s, inquiries, etc. and then bucket them accordingly as they create similar semantic associations between the content.
So, back to the library.
Imagine that now you have to decide what books need to go on your “Best Seller” shelving in the front of the store.
Where would you start?
With the most popular books that most buyer have bought in the past month, right?
Or, you would place books from popular authors or titles that lots of people are talking about within the library, right?
This is how SEO works as well.
Search engines want to place the most relevant, popular and authoritative content they can find in front of their customers, on the “Best Seller” shelving = top of SEO ranking.
How Does Google Rank My Content?
Your content’s ranking is primarily driven by two things:
How much high-quality content you have created and continue to create on the topics you want to be known for.
Authority built by getting lots of high-quality links back to your website and content.
So, for the sake of this blog’s topic of maximizing and understanding SEO, we will stick to diving in on the main pillars of how search engines classify content.
1. Discovery Stage
Search engines utilize bots to crawl across the web and quickly decipher the content located on each specific web page.
2. Relevance Stage
At the relevance stage, the bots essentially decide how relevant your content is to the user’s search inquiry. They do this through a process known as “indexing”.
This means they are taking the keywords and titles and comparing it based on the what the user initially searched.
3. Authority Stage
This stage primarily henges on your site’s authority in the given space the user is searching within.
This is determined by ranking backlinks used from other authorities linking back to a relevant topic on your site or a relevant and informative blog that you have written about.
Discovery, Relevance, and Authority Depend One Another
It is important to note that the 3 stages bots use for SEO ranking are not mutually exclusive.
They are all highly dependent on one another.
For example, if your content isn’t relevant, then it has little change of ranking, no matter how authoritative it is.
But You Need Authority
Yet, if you lack authority, then you have little chance of ranking, even if the content is extremely relevant.
The magic sauce is finding the balance between the two!
As a certified Platinum Tiered HubSpot Partner Agency, we not only understand the benefits of using the inbound marketing platform to increase traffic and engagement, improve SEO, generate leads and boost sales, we know how to make it happen.