Many of us will ask, how come my company or my website does not appear on the first page of the organic search in Google?
Let me explain what is organic search.
In Google, whenever there is a search, it can be classified into 2 types of results. The first type is called paid search. What is this paid search? Paid search is for those company or website who pays Google via Google Adwords to have their advertisements in the search if someone searches for the relevant keywords. These paid search will have an "AD" beside the result to indicate this is a paid advertisement. A few bidders can bid for the same keywords and usually the bidder with the best quality (relevant score and bid price) will be the top of the search. This is also what we called SEM (Search Engine Marketing).
The second type of search is called organic search. So what is organic search? Organic Search is free but to be in the organic search result, it takes a lot of long-term effort to be there. This is what we called SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). We can further divide SEO into 2 parts. We have onsite SEO and offsite SEO.
So now, what is onsite SEO?
Onsite SEO is the way we structure your website to make sure everything is in order. When we look at a web page, it is very different from what the search engine look at it. So what does the search engine look for? First of all, we have to make sure that there is this file called robots.txt in our website. This is the instruction to tell the Google Bot where can they crawl and where they should not crawl. We have to include the sitemaps in this robots.txt file. You notice that I am using the word sitemaps and not sitemap. It is because there are a few sitemaps. You can have a normal sitemap, an image sitemap, a video sitemap and a location sitemap. At the minimum, we need to have a normal sitemap. This sitemap will let Google index your website. Without a sitemap, the Google Bot will not know what to crawl. Next, we have to make sure every page that is listed in the sitemap will have a few basic information before Google index it.
What do we need to let Google index your web pages?
We need to have a relevant title, meta title, header and meta descriptions in order for Google to see and understand about your web pages. I am sure for those who understand SEO will ask, where do I put my meta keywords? Actually, there is no need to put meta keywords. In the past, many SEO practitioners abused meta keywords and Google decided to take away the use of meta keywords as part of the process to analyse web pages. As a result, we should exclude meta keyword in our web pages. All these meta titles and meta descriptions can be seen if we press Ctrl+U. If there is no meta title and meta description on a web page, Google may not want to index your web page.
We have given you a summary of what you need to touch up in order for Google to index your web pages. Certainly, this is the basic items but that does not mean that Google will show your web pages in the organic search result. There is a need to have offsite SEO as well which is the real competition arena.
What is offsite SEO?
In order to let Google knows that your website is popular, there must be many people talking about it. We agree with that and it gauges the popularity of a website. In order to show that your web page is popular, there must be someone writing about your company or your website. So we have concluded that there must be "backlinks". A backlink is something that appears in other's web page with a URL pointing to your web page. It can be on someone's blog, forum or article site. The number of backlinks will determine how popular is your website. Now you understand why business and website owners are willing to buy backlinks. In fact, some backlinks are expensive and some are cheap. if you have a backlink from either web page ending with a .edu or .gov, it will be more expensive than the normal backlink. If you have a backlink on a web page with hundreds of backlinks, that is not a good sign. In fact, Google may penalise it. Just key in "Google Penguin" and you will understand.