Introduction to Search Engines and SEO

If you’ve heard that you need an SEO to help with your online marketing efforts, you may be wondering exactly what that is and how it can assist your web publishing goals. While the details and technical jargon can become quite complex very quickly, the basic idea is that an SEO is a computer technology professional who specializes in increasing the visibility and reach of organic web content. The position involves efforts toward public relations, brand and reputation management, media placement, and outreach to other websites, brands, and bloggers. It also involves audit and analysis of existing web pages so as to remove indexing problems, increase keyword focus, and troubleshooting other on-page issues that can contribute negatively to search engine rankings.

How Search Engines Work

When you type a question or set of keywords in to a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing!, you’ll receive nearly instantaneous responses to your query that includes hundreds of websites that may (or may not!) match the information you’re hunting for. The algorithms that determine which results are displayed for each search are incredibly complex and a closely guarded secret, but SEO specialists dedicate themselves to studying the available data, testing to create new data, and implementing changes to the website that reflect best practices in the profession. Although there is no handy guide to spell out which steps it takes to get the top search result, there are still ways to derive this information by viewing what works and what doesn’t work.

How Top Results Get Picked

As mentioned previously, the exact algorithms that determine search placement and position are a carefully protected trade secret for each search engine. Not only does it vary from Google to Yahoo to Bing!, but it can also vary from day to day as the exact weights of each variable are tweaked. New variables are even introduced regularly: Google’s SEO spokespeople have claimed that Google considers more than 300 variables when determining which website to show in the results of any given search.

The primary categories of consideration are as follows:

  • Trust
  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Recency
  • Completeness
  • Engagement

Each of those categories is determined by evaluating dozens of variables designed to measure the quality of content, the trustworthiness of a website, how knowledgable it is expected to be on a given topic, how recent the information is, and whether or not the page provides full coverage of the subject at hand.

Establishing Trust in your Website

In SEO terms, “trust” refers to whether or not your website is what it presents itself as. Tricky redirects, misleading advertisements, false claims, and other tricks can quickly reduce how much trust the search engines give you. Excessive affiliate links can also undermine trust by making it seem like every piece of content is merely a sales pitch. Link schemes and disproportionate numbers of backlinks coming in from bad neighborhoods and low quality websites can also be a signal that undermines a website’s trust score.

Data privacy and security is another important aspect of building trust in a website. The easiest and most effective way to accomplish this is to publish all of your websites using the HTTPS protocol. This requires installing an Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate and listening to your web server on port 443 so that communications can be encrypted between the user and the website.

Any pattern of these deceptive behaviors or a visible lack of security can undermine trust and make search engines hesitant to risk their own reputations in endorsing you.

How helps websites build trust

If your website is struggling with trust-related issues, don’t fret! There are many steps that can be taken to improve this part of your online reputation. Link schemes can be disavowed and deceptive tactics can be cleaned up so that users get the experience they expected – rather than some underhanded bait and switch. While these shady tactics may seem profitable in the short run, they almost always spell the long term decline of a website.

Installing an SSL certificate is also an essential step these days. A recent report showed that more than 90% of Google’s top search results – for a wide variety of keywords and search terms – pointed to websites that were published on the HTTPS protocol. In 2020, a lack of encryption on a website is just simply unacceptable.

Again, the good news is that we at can fix these trust related website problems.

Relevance to the Target Audience

Search engines also need to make sure that the websites they’re linking to are relevant to the information being requested. This is largely achieved through a combination of on-page content analysis as well as considering the anchor text and sources of links pointing to the website and each of its URLs.

A website’s relevance to any given search term can be evaluated not only by it’s topic and subject area, and the subject area of websites pointing to it, but also by information about the user. Google, Yahoo, and Big! increasingly personalize their search results so that data is returned in an individually tailored fashion. This may be based on geographical location and even the user’s previous online behaviors and the preferences of users who fit a similar demographic profile.

How helps websites demonstrate relevance

Understanding your target audience’s search behaviors and the intent behind those behaviors is critical to establishing and demonstrating your website’s relevance. Once this research and analysis is completed, new content can be produced that is also specifically tailored for the demographics and expected actions of the target audience. We can also assist in reaching out for the purposes of establishing relevant links from relevant sites with users who have shared interests.

Authority Within the Field

Related to relevance, but also distinct, a website’s authority variables attempt to determine whether or not it is a valuable source on a particular topic. It’s one thing to create a lot of related content, but how do search engines evaluate if that content is accurate and worth sharing?

The answer, in part, involves the trillions of backlinks that search engines have cataloged and indexed across the internet. Is the website being linked to by spam farms, or by respected leaders, academics, and professionals in the field? Are the backlinks coming from paid sponsorships, or are they coming from editorial endorsements?

Search engines can also consider brand references and mentions that don’t directly link to the brand. Context clues can indicate if these mentions occur in a positive context or negative one – and this context can help the search engines understand if users are having positive or negative experiences with the services a particular domain offers.

How showcases your authority

By collaborating with the client’s expertise, meticulously fact-checking sources, and keeping old content up to date and accurate, JacksonvilleSEO demonstrates your website’s authority on its topic by providing the most factually sound content available. Outreach and collaboration with other recognized subject authorities is also always an essential part of the strategy for cementing your reputation at the top of your field.

In addition to auditing all published content for accuracy, it is also important to monitor your brand’s reputation and pay attention to any discussions. Many times, disgruntled customers or users will take their complaints public before attempting private resolution, and participating in these conversations can help to allay some of the concerns being created about your brand. There is also a lot of helpful positive feedback that is publicly posted to social media that we can help you capitalize on.

Why Recency and Freshness Matters

Increasingly, people turn to the internet to get the latest information. For political and economic developments, news often breaks across social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and Reddit long before the cable news stations have prepared their report. This has become so common that the more traditional broadcast media outlets have turned toward reporting on those very tweets and social media posts that originally broke the story!

Things also just naturally change. A guide to your zip code’s elected representatives wouldn’t be very useful today if it was compiled in 2014. So, in addition to trust, relevance, and authority, search engines also have to consider how timely something is. Was it published recently? Is the information fresh and up to date?

How keeps it fresh

In addition to updating old content to preserve accuracy and authority, also provides content writing and media production services that ensure new resources for your users on a regular schedule. Campaigns can easily be scaled up to match any competitive requirements, and we embrace publishing with the written word, audio, and high definition video. If you prefer copywriting and press releasing produced in house, we can also provide training and consultation with your managers and associates to ensure that all of their new content output is maximizing the site’s SEO potential and working toward your organic search objectives.

Completeness and Answering the Query

Microblogging is a great tool for quick communication, but it’s not exactly what surfers are looking for when they type questions in to Google. Search engines have become extremely wary of sites that produce large amounts of short content and pages with little to no unique information on them. Even if these sites are generally authoritative and relevant, they may suffer from the problem of being incomplete.

While it’s good to keep your content focused and organized, it’s also increasingly important to make sure all of the details are covered. Written content should be structured in a way that both humans and computers can quickly reference and understand what they’re looking at. Complex details should be displayed in lists, and headings should always direct the user to the specific aspect of the topic that they’re hoping to learn more about.

How establishes completeness

With more than a decade of content marketing experience, specializes in creating and curating the best and most thorough copy around. We don’t just fill up the page, we anticipate the user’s questions and concerns – and we’ve got them covered. Every task begins with investigative research from professional analysts and we’re not in the habit of cutting corners.


Google has a wide array of user behavior information, including but not limited to data from Analytics and Chrome. This info lets Google know how much time people are spending on a website – and if they’re bouncing back to the search results and picking an alternative after failing to find what they were looking for on the first attempt. The longer users stay around, and the more internal links they click, the better it looks from Google’s perspective.

How does boost engagement?

Understanding and improving the user experience (ux) is central to improving engagement. can provide recommendations and even code updates aimed at streamlining how users interact with your web interfaces. These UX updates are always based on data insights about user behaviors and they’re designed to increase the amount of time users spend interacting with your website.

Building a community through social media organization and reciprocal communication can also be a great means of boosting engagement for your site. Your most passionate users can become your greatest advocates and marketers if they’re properly engaged!

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is rarely something that can be completed all at once. It is, instead, best approached as a process for optimizing all of your online efforts toward a specific, profitable purpose. Understanding how your audience and target market gathers information and changes their opinions is an ongoing responsibility that requires a sustained and ongoing commitment toward the website’s many goals.

It’s also an investment that can pay for itself many times over so long as the investment is made with diligence and care.