How SEO uses the human factor

TransparencyGoing further into my SEO research for my Lunchtime Learning video this month, I am fascinated by how complicated it is. So I will need to be mindful of how I’m going to explain my findings in a way that isn’t too heavy for you!

The old way keywords were used was to make sure they were relevant, had a high readership with low competition, and their strategic positioning in the headline, post’s URL and the post itself. This was all well and good, and worked with the old style of search criteria and algorithms. There is no reason why this won’t work today too, except there are now some extras that need to be taken into consideration.

Search used to work a bit haphazardly, taking the 10 most probable answers to satisfy a search request. Now it uses an additional 200 metrics to arrive at its results so it can provide more direct answers than before. This is why it can work in favour of a site that is not heavily SEO-ed, stuffed full of keywords and therefore rendered unreadable.

Search engines are now favouring people rather than websites. They are placing themselves on the side of the searcher, the business content marketing provider, and how people use speech connected to human thought processes. There may be a downside to this, as by adapting the algorithms to respond to the true meanings of words, would the variances between UK English to American make a difference? We have yet to find out.

This has come about from the rise in popularity from social media. It is here where people react on the internet in a human way, responding in a conversational mode, flitting back and forth in a reciprocal manner, stimulated by real-time reactions. Things can change and adapt at breath-taking speeds, stuff can go viral at a drop of a hat, and information spreads like wild-fire to a potentially huge audience. This is all responding to the basic gossipy element of communication that is sometimes faster than which with the news media can cope and keep up.

Therefore search needs to transform from being unstructured to become structured. It needs to work on the concept of trust, authority, reputation, longevity and the user’s digital profile. In other words, the more active you are on the net, particularly with original and worthwhile content, the better the results will be, and not just because you’ve stuffed your content up to the gills with keywords.

The old keyword usage combined with link building and content duplication now take on a secondary role. SEO now needs to work on the basis of trustworthy content that generates valid and relevant comments, receives copious sharing on a variety of social media sites (bookmarking as well as networking) and reciprocal referral and recommendations by authoritative contributors.

Search engines also now need to assess the importance of content in relation to its relevance to the activity it represents, eg any links or call to actions to reputable and relevant destination sites. In other words, relevance plays a much larger part in confirming SEO in content marketing than before.

In other words, SEO is becoming more real, honest, transparent and, well, human!


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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.
Ashutosh - 3 August 2013

Very true. I completely agree with you that Information is for humans and therefore it must be interpreted in a way that human engine works.

It is good to see that the gap between the humans and machines are slowly getting narrowed down with time but as mentioned in your informative post, how these search engine algorithms are going to consider the different between two forms of English language; British english and American english. Something that really is valuable for local search.

Thanks for giving a deep insight about such a wonderful topic.

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