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What is SEO and How It Works?

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What is the impact of SEO on the search results? What are the items that have an effect on the search results that we have a tendency to get?

What is SEO and how it works?

When we use search engines we search for products, we search for potential employers, we search for whatever.

One is the query type. So, Google has put a lot of effort and we are not talking about Google. Because in countries like Russia where Google is not even number one. Many other search engines besides Google is really popular. There are Baidu, there are Yandex, you know tons of them. But the general principle is the same, SEO is the same. So, depending on the query type search engine picks what type of results it gives you. For example, if you never tried you could try sometime and put in Google timer 20 minutes and it will start a timer. You can put a flight number and it will give you flight information.

So the query type that way in putting if it’s for example, somebody’s name Google tries to figure out. If it’s some public figure and then provides information about the person. So, that’s one of the things that impact your location. If you go to google and you search for the best restaurant, just the best restaurant, it will show you all restaurants and not good restaurants in, for example, Delhi or somewhere. So Google knows your location from your IP address and from your settings possibly and so on and so forth. That’s one thing.

Then there is authorship and before search engine optimization (SEO) was easy. The way that Google revolutionized the search engine field was really simple but again very complex. You know, before Google came on online, started working and providing search results were used to now there were other search engines. But what Google founders came about is an algorithm. I think it’s now much less used but it was the Page-Rank algorithm. It was the idea that you could estimate the authority of the site by analyzing links that link to the site, you know links from other websites.

So this is the core of the way that Google worked at least many years ago. Now the algorithm has been much much much more complex, very very different, much more sophisticated. But basically, it meant this if you have a website and you have 4 million links you will have authority. If you have another website that had a hundred links it has less authority.

And then quality came into question, you know not every link is the same and so forth and so forth. But primarily, links tell plenty regarding the authority that you simply have on-line.

So links created plenty of authority for you on-line.

Another way to establish authority to display information about the author. There are some meta tags and some stuff you can do to say that, Hey I am Dibyajyoti Bordoloi, I wrote this. Then Google will provide you with a touch little bit of a lot of authority looking at what quantity you write and content then forth.

And your social graph this is often cool chilling don’t apprehend however you recognize you guys have friends well a minimum of a number of you.

And some of you have got even friends on-line for you. So and Google knows about your friends.

For example, if you use Twitter your friend's information is public unless you lock your profile. So this is Google trying to be helpful, saying like hey your friend like this restaurant.

So when you search for the best restaurant in Delhi for example, it could display information that your friend indicated that this is a good restaurant. You know the same way that we do in real life. You ask your friend what’s the best restaurant and probably you’ll receive some reply and you trust that a bit more than a just random reply from somebody else.

There have been a lot of talks but basically, when you create a profile Google puts a lot of information there and tries to track it and understand. Obviously, it’s not somebody that has nothing else to do in his life and just goes through the mail and like you know my mail would be so boring it’s just you know cats and work-related stuff not very interesting. But still, it wants to learn about you. The additional it is aware of the higher and clearly, that's the knowledge that Google will leverage for ads, yeah. So your past behavior.

I remember one client, you know, he said like hey Dibyajyoti you told me that this SEO is hard but I did it and I’m like whoa cool tell me more. He’s like you know I went and I searched for our service online and we were number three. And then I clicked a lot and it came number one. And he’s like I did it, I don’t need you. I will keep my money.
So anyway, what happened is Google realized that hey I can save him some time and put this up for him since he always clicks it. But it only worked for him. Only when he was logged in Google was trying to be helpful. He thought that he found out a way to cheat Google. But again that’s at least it brought some light to my afternoon.


Okay, so What is SEO and How It Works?

What Is SEO?

Well, SEO is Search Engine Optimization and I will try to break it down a little and then we’ll go into the fundamentals of SEO  and then maybe we can talk more. Well, I will see how interested you guys on the topic.

So, the goal of SEO is to get high-quality traffic from search engines.  So, you know a lot of talks are there, is a lot of talk about social media. I mean that’s the sexy new trend. I always say like well yeah social media is cool. But when you want to buy a new Laptop do you go on Facebook and search for like, you know like Tablets really cheap or if you want to find like a Smartphone or something do you go on Facebook and search for like really good mobile phone?

So, Google is still the king if you want to actually find something online. Social media is very different and they are not necessarily you know one is not necessarily better than another. They just support each other. But if I have a service that I want to sell just I’m interested just in sales. I want to get high-quality traffic which means it’s people that really want to see the information that I want to provide them. Want to see my services and search engine is definitely one of the best ways to do it.

Well, let’s break down the sentence “Search Engine Optimization” :


When people search for something they are searching for a solution that very rarely people understand this. But there if you want to have some fun later on you can go on Google Trends, it’s a free service by Google and you can see which are the most popular search words in India for 2018 and I think one of the most popular was “ Narendra Modi”. People are really seeking a solution to their problem. People search for a solution. So, when you provide, when you think about search engine optimization you have to think about how I can solve somebody’s problem. Obviously, the example I mentioned before cannot be really easily solved. But still, in other cases, we can be more helpful.


There is another word we need to understand. An engine is a machine. And at Google, it’s a very complex machine nowadays. We’re talking about billions, probably of dollars and research and development testing and so forth. So, we need to understand that Google wouldn’t be Google or some other search engine wouldn’t be what it is today unless there was a machine that made all the decisions. So we have to realize that the machine has an algorithm. An algorithm has a pattern. And if we basically tweak our content to fit into that pattern then we optimize it.


The last word optimization is the ongoing process. So it’s not something you do once and you forget. I can tell you one very good example. Google makes rollouts of new algorithm every few months. And everybody just waits like for a judgment day when the new algorithm update comes. When the latest algorithm update arrives it changes the style and it goes through all the sites, pushes it through the style and then changes the results before you were in the number one position for women’s clothes and now you are number 379 which is basically nothing. So the algorithm is changing all the time and that’s why the things I’m going to talk about today are not quick tricks that you can do but fundamental, that’s something that will never change. Okay, but the optimization is an ongoing process.

Black Hat and White Hat:

In the SEO world, there is a term called black hat and white hat. And no it’s not about clothes and a Parral.

Black hat means you try to manipulate the search engine into giving you a better ranking than you deserve. So you are trying to basically trick it.

White hat means you play by the rules and you try to get search engine ranking improved. But you do it in the way that you can just walk up to you know CEO of Google and say hey we do this and he’s like what good job, very good.

So I can tell you a story. When I was in high school I wanted to earn a little bit extra cash. I started a website where I sold Amazon DVD. I don’t know if you know but Amazon has an affiliate program. Basically, you sign up they give you a special link. You send people through that link to Amazon, anything they buy you get 10% or whatever I don’t remember. Very simple. I thought hey I would be stupid not to take advantage of such a great opportunity. Sit on my ass and do nothing and just get the monies.

So anyway, I opened a website where I basically what I did is I linked reviews and so forth with suggestions for movies and then put links to Amazon I thought to behave a cool site, people can find movies they’re interested, they can see related movies they can read reviews and stuff like this. And then you can buy the movie on DVD and I get the monies, improve the world.

So that worked for a little bit, I got a few dollars here and there and then at like hey, this search engine optimization is really cool. I could do something you know, like forget the links. I’m gonna do something smart. I’m going to add a lot of keywords on the website and make it the same color as the background so normal people will not see it. But search engine will. So I thought I was really clever and for a while, it had a small impact. I got maybe a few dollars more.

But then one day I woke up at 12 o’clock in the morning, went to my computer, open my statistics and saw zero. I was like whoa it’s like not good. Let’s see what’s up. Started searching just for fun of it I went on Google and tried to search for my website and was like no results. My heart went really low. I was like oh my God what happened!

I Started searching and so forth basically my site was tagged for a review. Somebody went reviewed and realized I was trying to beat the system. And they removed me and then I realized that being part of the Google search is not a national right. It’s a private corporation. They can do whatever they want. So I was like okay okay what do I do, what do I do now. Of course, I removed the text and I’m like okay okay okay...

I found a form. I found the form and the form is just like really simple. There is not really much in it. Just give your website URL and provide the reason why you want to be listed again. After you submit the form they say that hey we are not obligated to do anything but we’ll try.

After six weeks or something I got back into Google but it was never the same. It never worked anymore. So I had to close the site and move on to something else. But that’s basically what is black hat. You try the trick short term the search engine.

Well, the best guys you know in tricking are the guys who are selling Viagra. Those guys are good. If they put all that effort into something else they would be much more may be rich. But anyways, for example, there are things that people in the black hat community do is they hack websites. But before the hacking of the website was really simplistic. People wanted to cause damage. And one of my client’s website was hacked in 2016. You go to a website you see a huge picture and you are like oh, I have been hacked. Then you go and you restore the backup, no problem.

But now they are getting really sneaky. What they do is they hack your website but you don’t notice anything. Sometimes they try to even improve your website. So it loads better and works better. You are like whoa-ho, yes everything is great. But when the search engine goes to that website they detect the search engine and feed the search engine absolutely different information than what you see when you go to visit the site. So they put links to their own website and so forth. Really sneaky guys!
And my empire at the high school crumbled because my website was hacked by Indian hackers and deleted. So there is karma in this world. I got what I deserved. But anyway, that’s the story.
But why search engine optimization. When we think about online marketing there are so many things you can do. You can do something really stupid on facebook, you can buy an advertisement, you can get listed on article websites, you can do whatever.


Why would you focus on search engine optimization (SEO)?

I think one of the reasons is that it’s a really good return on investment. And by good, I mean really awesome. If we think about you cannot be seen from here. But if you search for hotels in India, people are searching I don’t remember how many times but anyway, if you want to buy an advertisement from google for keyword” hotel” it costs you three dollars about, for a click, one click. if you want to buy a thousand clicks well you need a lot of cash.

But with search engine optimization what we can do is we can rank, we can try to improve our ranking. So when people search for the word “Hotel” in India they would receive our website at the top. That's basically searching engine ranking. Now search engine optimization and this is the reason why good return on investment. Search engine optimization is a long term. So if you want to make something happen today search engine optimization (SEO) is not for you. Better to invest in ads or something else.

If you think about what else can you do in terms of online marketing that can give you such good returns for such a long time. I can tell you a small secret. Just like with running, I can tell you straight I know very little about running. As you can see I could use a little bit of running but that’s have been the next dream. So to speak after everything works out in the business. But just like running it’s really easy to get started. Just put shoes on when you want to start running and you just run. Anybody can do it. You really don’t need shoes actually.

Just like running anybody can start doing search engine optimization. You don’t need a degree from a university, don’t need to have money and you don't need even experience.  Anybody can get started right away today now. You guys have like fancy MacBook you don’t even need that. So anyway, really easy to get started. But just like with running you know, I couldn’t run a marathon even if I tried. Just like running, SEO to be good like one of the best in the world. You need to put as much effort as a person who is training to be the best in the world is running for example.

So, this is a part that is really awesome for me is that the search engine spectrum is always evolving. There is always something awesome and new. A video was kind of cool, people did a little bit of optimization for video and then Google went and bought YouTube and our video is huge. And then mobile started coming. You guys have like the most awesome devices ever and you use them a lot. Probably much more than your computers. Many of you wake up and the first thing you do is you see that WhatsApp message or something.

So we have a lot of things that are changing all the time. There are smartphones, videos, there are e-commerce and so many things going on. The search engine is also evolving when the web is evolving. There is always something new. For example, now the video game, everything comes to India very late in terms of web and the video finally came to India more or less. So now if you want it to do search engine optimization(SEO) you would probably start doing video marketing and doing videos and optimizing those. But you probably have seen when you search for something online on Google and you see a video you know like how to speak to ladies? How-to guide 10 minutes?
Anyway, your search for something and you see the video result. So for example in India, because well  Indian people don’t do a lot of videos in terms of business. There are a huge gap and a lot of opportunities. So if you create a video you can get a much higher position because others don’t do it.


Key Factors Of Search engine optimization (SEO):

So, let’s go to the key factors of search engine optimization. Some of the things that we can all of us do and something that you can guys hopefully remember still a week after. So one thing is I guess the biggest most important thing is just content.

How many of you have a blog?

Nowadays when you do marketing online it’s all about content anyway. So if you guys are young, you use online a lot and what you care about is content. Because content gives you value. It doesn't have to be valued, I mean doesn’t have to be money kind of value. Value can be anything but it should be inherent value.

So if you think about content, content is the currency of the internet. Google rewards companies that have a lot of content and well I wouldn’t say punishes but it doesn’t give the benefit of the high ranking to people who have very little content.

So typical business website -> Front page->Services->Company->contact . That’s it. That’s about it. And maybe if you are lucky a blog that has been updated in 2012. That’s if you are lucky. So basically there is very little content.

In terms of the search engine what a search engine thinks? There is like free pages, come on, try something. You have a content idea then put it on. Do something. If you think about content, for example, let’s imagine something very very far from technology. Lets’ take a company that cleans, you know, a company that provides cleaning services in all the regions. They can do a lot in terms of the content to rank better on Google. For example, they could describe the way they work, they could have a blog, they could have a video of how the process works.
For example, I never purchased that service that would somebody come and clean my house. But the first thing that I’m really really would be anxious to know is what would they make fun of me if they came to my apartment. Because it does not look good when it needs cleaning. So they could have a video where they describe the process that brings you a lot more trust in people. But video can also be optimized.

They could have a blog where they talk about it. For example, things related to cleaning, cleaning products, reviews and so forth. For example, they have tested a lot of different cleaning products, they could write reviews about them. Help people to buy good products so that they can clean themselves in their own house. They could tell you which vacuum cleaner is good because when they buy a vacuum they buy it for five years. So they could actually have a lot to talk about.
There is a lot of offline stuff you can do that you can transform and bring online. I am talking about digital assets. Every time you create some kind of content online that is unique, that is an asset, a digital asset that you have that you can use to promote yourself. For example, if I have a video I can put it in a newsletter, I can sell it may be at some point whatever. That’s an asset I can leverage.

 Technical factors:

That’s the nitty-gritty part, that’s the part that I like a lot. Well, I’ll give you an example that for a long time Google wouldn’t understand flash. So if you had a website developed maybe in the 90s or early 2000 it could be really flashy, it could use flash technology, it could have like sound and everything is flying and then in Google nothing. You wouldn’t get any kind of visibility in search engines. Because Google cannot read flash. Now it can a bit but still not as well.

Technical factors for the website are really important. Do you have a title here, the title there... I’m not going to go into detail but in many cases, if you have a website there is usually you can just Google if your website is built using WordPress or if your website is built using Drupal or something usually you can just Google Drupal search engine optimization. It gives you just tips on how to optimize your website, that’s all. But technical factors are really important.

And authority, you have to have a lot of backlinks and you have to have authorship. so, again not going into nitty-gritty but the best way to remember how to handle authorship is and to get authorities you have to create such good content that other people online want to talk about it.

By the way, how many of you are not using Facebook? Like not on Facebook... My idea was really simple you have probably seen lately a lot of stuff on Facebook where the title goes like this -> a little girl was dying and then they brought a dog and then you will not believe what happened next! And then you are like ah now I have to click it. So because I want to know what happened to the little girl. I’m not made of stone. So anyway, those are click baits.

So basically it’s articles or content that is aimed to get people to click. you have to write content that others want to talk about. There are many ways to do that. You could do always something stupid. People love those contents or videos.

So user experience:

There is something that a lot of people don’t understand yet but I think it’s coming slowly. Like many other things, this will land in India also. But user experience basically is really really important and it’s more or less easy to measure. But if we think about it when we go and visit a new website about two seconds we can right away tell if it’s trustworthy, is it interesting and does it have what we need now.

You know we are so selfish online because nobody is standing behind us and looking at what we do. When we browse websites online it’s just like two seconds, next two seconds, next… you know you don’t care, you don’t own anything to that person who created the website so it’s just like whatever.  So the website has very few seconds to be interesting and to provide you some sort of hook. So that you stay and you learn more and so forth. And you can measure that with bounce rate.
The bounce rate is a percentage of people who visit your website and leave right away. You can measure it with that.

If it’s two seconds then you know you have a problem.

And then navigation:

How good is the navigation? All of those things playing out to be really important in search engine optimization. Because for example, I give you one very simple thing to think about. When you search something on Google you click on a result then you go and visit that website and then you come back. Google knows that you came back and it gives just a bit of a minus point to that web result. Because if you came back it means that that result didn’t answer your query. So the user experience is very very important.

Now the last part of the talk. Search engine optimization (SEO) as a process:

I mentioned that it’s an ongoing process. It’s not something you do once and you forget about it. It’s something that you do every day if you have the time, every week, every month and so forth. You do as much as you can. So we can frame it as a process and it makes it a lot more manageable.

#1: Research your niche:

There is an awesome tool called Google Adwords Keyword Planner. It could be a much shorter name I admit. But still with this tool you can, you can go and just search for whatever keyword you want and it will show you how popular is this keyword in terms of search engine traffic. So you can do a lot of research so let’s say we had that cleaning company in a small town, Tezpur.

We would want to rank, you know better we would want to optimize our search engine ranking, get it higher we would go to this tool and search like cleaning all or cleaning services all and so forth. And the tool would show us how much traffic there is and most importantly on the lower part of the screen you can see related search terms.

This way you could see maybe there are some ideas for content. So when you are still staring at that blank screen and you think okay I’m now working in this company and they sell this and I have to write this content because well content is important.

For me personally, I go on this tool I find something relevant to my field, but something that people are searching actively. If I, for example, solve vacuum cleaners I could write a blog post about how to choose the best vacuum cleaner if you have a pet. You know is valuable to the person I would write content. So these tools are really important to realize and find out and understand what people are searching, how big competition there is in terms of paid advertising and then you can also find out how big is the volume. Should you write content about this or about that. Maybe you should write about a bit different subject because it’s much more popular, people are actively searching for it.
And then another really good tool to use is open site explorer. And I talked about authority today a little bit and with this tool you can see website authority, you can also see where this website is getting links from, how many links and so forth, how valuable are those links. So if you are starting a new company, let’s say you are going to sell MacBooks and you are starting your company, you are just starting your website and so forth and you are thinking that where can I get links from? You can just put your comparator there. And see where he’s getting it from. And do a little bit of business intelligence.

So a very simple tool, very easy and obviously the tools that I mentioned are free. So you can use them.

#2 Creating Optimized Content:

Well, I talked a lot about content. Now we are finally getting to the important part. Well, if you think about it there are so many different types of content you can create. Content is basically anything unique and valuable to the user. It can be a game, it can be a recording, it can be whatever. It can be a presentation, PDF file, article whatever. So you have to create optimized content. In many cases, you still place your content on your company website.  That’s how it works or if you have a personal website you want to promote we’ll still house that content on that site. The easiest way to optimize your content is that when you create a new page for new content on your website you just remember to optimize title and meta descriptions.

In many content management systems, there are free plugins or some extensions or something that can help you to input that metadata that Google finds valuable.

#3 Mention Keywords: 

Again something really simple, really easy to understand. When you are riding that metadata obviously you have to mention keywords that you researched before and found to be valuable to your business. So for example, if I created a YouTube video I’m probably going to name this video Search Engine Optimization, Beginners, Lecture or something. I want to appeal to the named lecture, I want to appeal to the name beginners, I want to appeal to the keyword search engine optimization and in the meta description of this video I will write that in this post we talked about Google AdWords, keyword tool and this and that and getting backlinks and valuable content and so forth. So that when people search for something similar they will find my content.

And this is the final place where social media can help a little bit. So after you have content that you created, optimized content for the keywords you researched previously now you have to get exposure. You have to get basically links and so forth. If you put your black hat on you can buy links. Google actively fights against that but you can still do it. And those who tell you that buying links don’t work, I like.

Because how Google can know if it’s bought link or not know-how. It can have some sort of an idea but there is no way to find out for sure. To, for example, I will tell you through my personal process. So when I, for example, create the content I posted on my blog, then I  share it on Twitter, I share it on Linkedin, I go to the Linkedin group that I subscribed where there are other marketing people I share it there and I share it also on our Facebook page, it gets distributed through email newsletter and so forth. So I try to get exposure to the content that I create. And when I get more and more links my authority grows and grows to the point where I will be master of the universe, well not really...
I have one cool client story. I had one client, obviously cannot name names but he said half-jokingly that you know like Dibyajyoti, you help us do this, we’re going to be so rich, we’re going to buy the internet. So yeah, maybe someday, you know….

#4  So and then you analyze results:

There are really lots of good tools to analyze SEO results but probably the best ones are Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, free tools to analyze results. There are tons of books about SEO and guides and so forth. So I’m not going to go into detail on those but basically once you created what you can do is you can go on Google Analytics and just see that one content piece that you created and you can see how well did it do, did it get exposure, did it get links, did people visit, how long did they stay on the site and so forth.

And obviously every time we create content we want to get high search engine ranking. We still have to remember we have to make money. So every time somebody comes to see our blog post or something, there has to be a way for him to continue our sales funnel you know and give us his monies, we need it for stuff. So basically if you’re selling online marketing services like I do, you know at the bottom of your blog you could write that like hey, hope you enjoyed this article on SEO. If you ever need a professional search engine optimization services you can contact us blah blah blah.
Many times I get business just because people go on Google they find my presentation on SlideShare and main presentation I explain how to do everything and they call me like yeah no-no too much work, could you do this for us? Basically what I try to do is I try to build up my authority and my basically brand and I do that very simply. I just share all the information I have. And the more I share the better I do. So that’s really sharing is caring.

And then the last step is very important. For the rest of your life, you start to repeat this process regularly. So, that’s basically in a nutshell I guess would be the search engine optimization process.


Start a Blog:

But if you want to start it right now you may don't have a company, you don’t have anything, I urge you please start a blog. I know very few people will care, trust me. I know. But basically what it will do? It will provide you a substitute for a company that you can try to gain leverage. Because you know, no matter what you write about you guys. Some of you do dancing, painting whatever. You have some sort of passion. Maybe you really like studying. Who knows there might be a few here that actually do. So you know you have some sort of passion, you can write about it. And you don’t have to even worry like, you don’t have to think about like yeah I’m gonna make this huge, its gonna be the best swimming blog in the world.

But the idea has you put Google Analytics there and you just think hey, I started from nothing, from zero. How can I get at least 200 readers? Because I can tell you these will give you much better expertise once you actually enter the workforce and start to online marketing. Because you will have to do something that I do every day. Something that you will be able to put it into practice. I can tell you straight. Once you want to start searching for a job, enter the job market and so forth.

I can tell you a story again. I worked for an I.T company. The company was called "spring echo" and they were recruiting and so forth. My boss was really a great guy and I still keep in touch with him. He wanted to recruit a programmer. And one programmer I think got in touch and he said “I don’t have work experience and I don’t have any sort of education for programming. But I have this blog”. And then when my boss went to see his blog he realized that this guy has been blogging for like seven years about programming. He was just reading and reading and he’s like you hired, you know whatever just get in here. Take my monies. So he basically was hired because he was able to prove and again think about it.

Once you gonna start searching for a job opportunity, if you show me your swimming blog or whatever and you said that I started it in university and its already been four years and I have two thousand subscribers around the world, that’s going to mean a lot much much more than anything else. Because I know then that you can actually do it, you know the process, you committed to for years, you create content you realize the value blah blah blah. That means you are one of the good guys.  That’s it.

You have got some idea about what is SEO and how it works.

Hopefully, you liked this content! Thank you.