Search Engine Optimization was a term that was coined in 1997. This process involves adding or optimizing website pages or the website in the search results of a search engine.
When a topic or a word is searched on any search engine, it comes up with a list of paid and unpaid results, getting the web page or website under those top unpaid results is in short Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
How it started
The first search engine started indexing the worldwide web around the mid 90s but the idea of a search engine is rather old, somewhere around 1945.
To understand how Search Engine Optimization works, it is important to know what actually and how Search engines work. Search engines consist of three parts:
- Spiders or Bots: These bots crawl the internet to find new web pages that are not indexed or catalogued yet. They also check for pages that have been updated since their last visit.
- Index: It is a catalog where all the pages crawled by the bots are added. This index is periodically updated, this is the reason you might find outdated information on Google’s search results when compared to the actual web page.
- Search Engine UI: This is the part that a user sees. When a user searches, the UI first accepts the query, it will then first check the vertical database to check if the query matches any specific segment like any product or news, it then checks the organic search results and finally if the query matches any paid ads.
When search engines were used on a daily basis by millions of people worldwide, site owners found a way to manipulate the search results by taking few simple steps and this way they would earn money using the internet. But the quality of these manipulated search results was mediocre.
Those times, the search engines would work on simple algorithms, so when a user searches a keyword, the search engine would search that word in its catalog and displayed the result. So webmasters started using such keywords over and over in their content, thus pushing their rank up on the displayed results, and the other way was to put up spam backlinks.
Search engines were able to fix this issue but by that time the black hat SEO practices had significantly increased which were not resolved.
These issues gave rise to the idea of Google’s algorithm and it can be said that this paved a way for the modern day SEO.
The year 2005 had a huge impact on SEO, this is when Google launched personalized search results which used users browsing and search history to give more precise results.
This year Google also launched “Google Analytics”. This is a free web application which can be used to track website traffic and immensely helped in SEO and digital marketing.
In the year 2009 Google updated their search engine to include contents like Breaknews, social media links, etc. So now SEO had a broader spectrum and was not just confined to webmasters.
By the year 2015 mobile phones had penetrated the internet world, with around 52% of mobile phone users online. This is when Google released an updated where pages with less or no mobile friendly pages would receive lower page rankings. So now SEO was also about creating responsive web pages.
Keyword research is the building block of SEO, it involves getting to know about the keywords that a user enters in the search engine. When such keywords are identified, it not only helps in getting visitors to the website but also makes sure the right type of user reaches your site.
It is rightly said that keywords are like the guide for your online campaign, they show the correct path and help you understand if you are making progress.
How to weigh a keyword
It is not just about getting a keyword that is most searched and using it on your website but it is about knowing various combinations users use with that keyword to get the desired result.
There are four steps that are involved in selecting perfect keywords:
- Assessing Yourself: The best judge of a website is the owner itself. So an owner or a webmaster should be able to come up with keyword that best suits or describes the website, checking if the user will get what they need if that keyword is used.
- Testing the keyword: Using search engines like Google and Bing, search for the keyword and check the results that come up. This will help in understanding the value of the keyword, higher number of Ads equals to a more valuable keyword that can easily get converted.
- Using Google Adwords: Google Adwords can be used to track the number of hits the keyword is receiving and the number that is getting converted. Even test traffic can be purchased on Adwords.
- Final Conclusion: Based on the above test, you will get an idea about the value of the keyword and its potential to attract traffic and more important, the conversion rate.
Suppose you are running a store with gaming devices, so you have to think not only about keywords related gaming console like PS4 or Nintendo but also games that are available for these devices. This opens up a channel for a large number visitors and can also increase the conversion.
When a user goes online, they are assigned an IP address by their internet service provider and it becomes their identity on the internet and can also be used to block the user from accessing a particular website.
A proxy can help to get over this blockade and also spoof the user’s location. By using a proxy the original IP address that is provided by the service provider can be hidden thereby bypassing the block placed on the ISP’s IP.
How does it work
A proxy server acts as an intermediary between the destination website and the user, thus all the website traffic is routed through the proxy server and it then goes to the destination.
For example, a scenario without a proxy where a user enters Google.com, the request first goes to the ISP and then to Google servers, so your original IP is exposed.
When using a proxy, the same request is sent to the proxy server instead of the ISP and then to the Google servers. For Google, the request will be coming from the proxy server and not the users.
Advantages of using proxies For SEO And Keyword Research
Without SEO, it can takes years for the website and a good amount of reputation to appear on top search results.
When you opt for SEO, there are various way to get your website up there and these processes are often known to blacklist the internet IP address. This is where proxies come in handy, proxies empower you to use the same internet connection while having multiple IP addresses and it directly benefits the SEO process like Backlink building, social media, etc.
Following are few commonly used SEO practices
1. Data Scraping
Data scraping is a technique to extract a large amount of data from web pages and store it locally. This data can then be used to analyze the competitor and adding more content to your website. However, this comes with a cost, when you scrape data continuously, the website will block your IP address which can be temporary or permanent. This is where proxies can be used to hide the original IP address and using them for scraping Even if one proxy gets blocked, it can be easily replaced by another.
2. Competitor analysis
This allows you to know about the market trend and also gives an insight into your SEO competitors. By knowing why the competitors get more traffic and ranking, you can build a strong SEO campaign and also improve your keyword research
- The first step is to know who exactly are your competitors. This will include the direct competitors and the businesses that you come across after doing an online search
- The second is doing backlink analysis using which you can determine which sites are linked to your competitors and can be linked to yours
- The final step is to identify which keywords work for the competitors but not for you. A detailed analysis into this can help bridge this gap, it can include revamping the existing content, adding new contents, etc
By introducing proxies in this process, you can lift the geographic restrictions. Consider an example where a company from UK is trying to establish their shoe brand internationally, apart from known shoe brands, it is necessary to know the local market as well. So the company can use a US proxy to find their competition in US market even though they are located in UK.
3. Building links
Link building is now an easy task with the help of tools like GSA Search Engine Ranker. These are automated tools that generate backlinks in bulk thereby boosting your ranking online. As this can be related to blackhat SEO practice, using proxies is a must as it will prevent from your internet IP from getting blocked.
4. Social Presence
Marketers agree how important social media presence is. Search engines like Google not only check generic indexed information but also gather data from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Creating multiple social media accounts to test a particular market is not possible when using a single IP address, as it will get blocked under suspicion of spamming. Hence proxies can be used to create multiple accounts and handle them from the same internet connection.
5. Keyword Search
Multiple tools can be used to get the desired keyword for the website. The advantage of using proxies here is that you can spoof your location and check the search results from different countries sitting in one place. This can be very useful in analyzing and determining the correct keywords that you boost your ranking.
Building online presence may seem to be a lengthy and tedious process but with the right tactics, SEO tools and most importantly, proxies one can build and boost their ranking on search engines.