Types of SEO

Tags
SEO

There are three types of SEO:

  • Content SEO - how you write your content
  • Social SEO - how to get others to link to your content
  • Technical SEO - speed, security, and other tech stuff

Content SEO

Essentially, this is how you let the spider know what your page is about. We'll talk about that in the next couple of lessons.

Social SEO

One of the most important ranking criteria is the number of pages that link to your page. The spider considers a link to your page a vote for it. If fifty history buffs link to your page, that's fifty votes for it.

That includes links on social media. When someone tweets...

I'm really liking Kieran's business web apps course. It's at https://learnweb.skilling.us.

... that's a vote as well.

So, how would you get links to your Beer Hall Putsch page?

Adela
Adela

Well, if you tell people who are into history about the page, they might go to it, like what they see, and link to it in a blog post, or something.

Ray
Ray

Yeah, but how would you let them know about it?

Georgina
Georgina

Put something in a Reddit forum for history folks, maybe?

Ray
Ray

Oh yeah, that would work. And Facebook groups. There are probably Twitter hash tags for history, too.

Yes, there are. Good ideas, y'all!

Adela
Adela

So, like, I get this would work. But you'd have to know about Facebook groups, hashtags, forums, and that.

Aye, you would. You don't pay $ to Google for organic SEO, but you pay in time.

Georgina
Georgina

Yeah, but it's OK. I'm into roller derby. Keeping up with roller derby on Reddit is fun for me. People know me there. I'm elbow2face-grl, BTW.

Adela
Adela

Hey, that's you? I'm trip-or-treat666!

Georgina
Georgina

No way!

Adela
Adela

Yes way! If you said you'd written a blog post on something, I'd def check it out.

Cool! That's how social SEO works. If Adela tweets about the blog post, that's a vote for it. Links to it on Facebook? Another vote.

Scamming

Ray
Ray

Dude, you could totally scam this. Like, you pay some guy a few bucks, he makes ten pages with links to your pages.

Come to think of it, I don't see lots of pages like that. Why not?

There used to be lots of pages like that, in the early days of the web. They were called link farms.

So, why don't you see so many of them now?

Adela
Adela

I gotta guess link farms pissed Google off. Did they do something about it?

Yes, and yes. Google codes their spiders to detect link farms. They get blacklisted, not showing up in any search for anything.

Making link farms is an example of black hat SEO. Basically, trying to scam Google. If you own a website with any traffic, you'll get offers from people who "guarantee" to raise your rankings. "Easy! You don't have to do anything! Just pay us $199 per month."

Adela
Adela

Sounds like an if-it-sounds-too-good-to-be-true-it-probably-isn't situation.

Indeed. Except it's worse. You can get banned from Google. That would kill some small businesses.

So that's social SEO. Make good content, that people will want to link to.

Technical SEO

This is about technical aspects of websites. The main issues are:

  • HTML quality
  • Speed
  • Security

HTML quality

In this course, I've asked you to make complete HTML pages. For example, don't have a page that starts with the body tag. Make sure head is there as well.

If a page's HTML is incomplete, a spider might not be able to figure it out, even if the page looks OK on the screen. Remember, the spider doesn't look at the screen. It analyzes the HTML. Make sure the HTML follows the rules, and the spider will have no problem with it.

Speed

Speed has become a Big Thing with Google in the last few years. They down-rank (another SEO geek term) sites that are slow. People are impatient on the web. For each second it takes a page to load, you'll lose some visitors.

Image file size

One way to speed up your site is to reduce the size of your image files.

Note

I'm talking about the size of the files, not the height and width of the image on the screen.

Here are two pictures of a happy doggo. One is 206K, the other is 16K, less than a tenth of the size.

Doggo Doggo

Which is the big file, and which is the small one?

Adela
Adela

I can't tell. It's a cute doggo, though!

Aye, it is a cute one. Actually, I've forgotten which is which. Let me check, using FireFox. Right-click on the image, choose View image info...

View image info

Here's info on both images.

Image info Image info

The dimensions are the same: 411 pixels wide, 304 high.

The file sizes are different. The second image is in a much smaller file.

The file extensions are also different: PNG and JPG. JPG is a lossy format, so JPG images lose color data as they get smaller. However, human eyes don't need all the color data in a raw image.

Use JPG for photos. Compress with a tool like XNView. Your images files will be smaller, your site faster, and your Google score higher.

Hosting

Reclaim's shared hosting is cheap. "Shared" means that one computer handles a bunch of customer accounts. That's how Reclaim keeps the price down. It also means your website doesn't get all the processing capacity of the computer.

You can get more computer horsepower by, for example, having your site as the only one on the computer. That's called dedicated hosting. It costs a lot more, of course.

There's something in the middle called VPS, for virtual private server. There might be just a few other customers on the computer. Cost and performance are between the other two options.

If you go with a cloud service, you can have things set up so that the amount of computing power for your site (and the price) depends on load. If you get a sudden burst of traffic, more computing power is added to your site automatically.

Let's not go over the deets. Just know there are lots of hosting options available.

Security

We're talking about technical factors that increase your Google score. Two are good HTML, and speed. Another one is security.

HTTP is the protocol used to send data around the web. It sends HTML and form data in plain text.

So what?

Adela
Adela

Wait, you said data in forms is sent in plain text?

Aye, in HTTP.

Adela
Adela

When we log in, the user name and password, is that a form?

Yes it is.

Adela
Adela

Well, that's a problem!

Indeed!

Ray
Ray

Your name, credit card, social. You type that in.

Yes, that goes in plain text.

Is it only forms we have to worry about?

Georgina
Georgina

The stuff you type into forms, it gets shown on pages later, right? Like, you order something, you get a page saying "Thank you," that shows what you ordered, your address, all sort of things.

Right! Good thinking. Those pages are made of HTML, containing the data.

The chances of someone intercepting the data aren't high, but it is possible.

That's why HTTPS was developed. It's the same as HTTP, just encrypted. So before form data gets sent, your browser encrypts it. The server decrypts the data. As the data bounces around the internet between your computer and the server, it looks like a bunch or random junk.

The same thing happens in reverse when the server sends HTML. The server encrypts it, and your browser decrypts.

Used to be, that HTTPS was a pain to use. These days, not. There's no reason not to use it, AFAIK.

When you choose hosting, make sure you get HTTPS for free. Reclaim does that. Most hosting companies do.

Summary

There are three types of SEO:

  • Content SEO - how you write your content
  • Social SEO - how to get others to link to your content
  • Technical SEO - speed, security, and other tech stuff

We've talked about the last two. Let's move on to the first one, content SEO. It's where you'll spend most of your time, if you do SEO.