Optimize for Search Engines

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Optimize Search Engine and Browser Journey Through Site

Technical optimization starts on the server (which is where Google – and your users’ browsers – start when they access a website. They then progress through any site-wide software to the pages. They do not start on the pages). Websites consist of layers, or stacks, usually three. We apply technical optimization at every layer:

  • Host server. Everything here affects everything below, good or bad.
  • Site software. Everything here affects everything below, good or bad, but nothing above.
  • Pages. Pages can’t affect anything above them but they impact browsers.

Like DNA (good and bad), server configurations and website settings (good and bad) are passed down, not up, and are passed on to users’ browsers from a page. Google pays close attention to this.

3 Website three layer stack

Optimize Search Engine and Browser Journey Through Site

Website layers are made up of different types of applications and code. Humans don’t see code (they see words, images instead), but search engines and browsers do. Code is all they see: They can’t “see” words or images; instead, they programmatically “read” coded representations of them. In fact, search engines never see pages as you do, they only see page code on the server. So your webpages, site-wide software and server need to be configured to work with how they operate. Technical optimization removes obstacles to them and increases the features that help them traverse your site easily, download it cleanly and index it accurately in order to rank it:

Server

Google has specific preferences for how a server is set up. The way you do this can make or break your site. Server settings control how your content is stored, served and consumed. All those beautiful brilliant pages will count for little if your server settings are wrong. They’re important for other reasons too: For example, Google specifically scores how well your site performs for social, local and mobile criteria. Many of the key points to deal with these criteria aren’t on a page – they can only be configured on the server or in site-wide software.

Site-wide

Your site structure and much of its performance are determined here, in the space below your server but above your pages. Some software and settings operate across the whole site, not just on an individual page. They affect everything to do with how your entire site is laid out and presented, and they affect how every page is displayed to users. The way these are handled technically is critical for Google as well as for browsers.

Pages

Webpages. On-page, from a technical perspective there are three things that matter to how your site performs in search results.

  • Clean code, which is essential if you want your webpages to perform well in search results and on users’ browsers.
  • Associating pages with each other using new code formats that Google looks for instead of query-keyword matching. This is a step beyond putting keywords on your pages, and it’s accomplished using technical methods separate from the actual words on the page.
  • Making sure your site can be socialized in ways that prompt the types of user engagement which Web and social search engines value.

Social profiles. Social networks don’t allow access to their servers and site-wide software, so technical optimization is on-page:

  • Methods to stimulate and amplify the interaction between your users, your profiles and your site in ways that Google recognizes and counts favourably. Google looks closely at links, likes, follows, tweets, shares, etc., but it grades them differently (some it values more than others, certain things it will penalize you for).
  • Ensuring your social profiles reference your website correctly and that activity on them benefits your website’s search results position. And vice versa.
  • Adding new code formats to the profile code (which humans don’t see but search engines do).

Links

Backlinks (links pointing to your site) are critical to your search ranking. Google values some (not all) types of links highly because they indicate an independent “vote” for a site. The wrong type of links will get you penalized and possibly banned from Google’s index. We implement technical methods with site-wide software and on-page to ensure you keep all the credit from good links people do point to you. Just as important, there are steps we can take to get rid of bad links – the links Google will penalize you for.

Link building is a distinct aspect of optimization because, like social network activities, it’s off-site. Neither you nor we can control them — they’re made by other people — but we can help you influence the quality.