Lesson 3: Google and holistic SEO – SEO for beginners training
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Lesson 3: Google and holistic SEO – SEO for beginners training

In this video, we’re going to discuss what SEO, or
search engine optimization, entails. We’ll also go into Yoast’s concept of
holistic SEO. First things first though: what is SEO? Well, it’s the practice of optimizing websites
to make them reach a high position in Google’s – or another search engine’s – search
results. SEO focuses on ranking in the organic
– which are non-paid – search results. The goal, in the end, is to rank high so the
people who are looking for you or your product can find you. Whether you will be able to rank, depends
on a lot of factors. We distinguish two categories. We have on-page factors and off-page factors. You can influence on-page factors on your website
itself. This includes for example writing good copy
and having a clear site structure. Off-page factors, on the other hand, have
to do with everything outside of your website, like links to your site on other pages. Now, there are a lot more factors, which we discuss
in detail in all our courses, but for now, let’s transition to Yoast’s concept of
holistic SEO. To do that, we need to revisit Google’s
mission. We’ve already discussed how Google works
in the previous video: a spider crawls your site, puts it in the index, and then an algorithm
determines where you will rank. Google updates and changes its algorithms all
the time. Now, in the reading materials, we are going to
go into some major updates Google has done throughout the years, so be sure to read those
after this video to be up to speed. What’s important for now though, is that all these
updates have one clear goal: Google wants to bring order to chaos and it wants to do
that by ONE combating spam and TWO by rewarding good user experience. And this all leads to Google’s mission: to organize
the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. This means that, in theory, the most useful
information should top the rankings. To achieve that, you have to excel at all
aspects of SEO. In other words, you have to look at SEO holistically. So that is what we aim to do: holistic SEO
entails focusing on all aspects of website optimization in order to be the best result. This means that we stay away from what is
called “black hat SEO” or “scorched earth tactics”. Tactics like these focus on trying to fake
Google into thinking that you’re something that you’re not. We’ll list some examples in the reading
materials, but for now let’s look at one example to make clear what scorched earth
tactics are all about. And we’re going to do that by looking at keyword stuffing. Now, there are several ways of optimizing your
keywords. The best way, of course, is to write great
content in which your keyword naturally occurs. Like in this example: in which the author
has written down some interesting information. In the past, however, some companies stuffed
the keyword into their texts, creating texts which were unreadable for readers, but which ranked
high. This slide right here is an exaggeration of
this, but it happened all the time. Sometimes they even used white text to hide
the fact that they were stuffing keywords. So at the bottom of the page, it would say
for example “Galapagos penguin” 20 times in white text. Now, when Google updated its algorithms to account
for this, these results and the websites behind it, were heavily penalized. And using similar tactics can get you banned from
Google for a significant period of time. So what we want you to do is create a sustainable
SEO strategy which will not only have you rank today, but in the long run as well. And of course, the better Google’s algorithm becomes, the less effective these tactics will be. So, let’s sum things up, what are the key
takeaways? ONE: SEO is the practice of optimizing websites
to make them reach a high position in Google’s – or another search engine’s – search results. TWO: Holistic SEO aims at being be the best results.
THREE: Don’t use scorched-earth tactics, like keyword stuffing.
FOUR: Practice sustainable SEO. And number FIVE: Keep the user in mind.

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