Saturday, 8 March 2014

What Google sees (vs. what you see)

What Google sees (vs. what you see)

What Google sees when it’s scanning your website

We all know that Google scans the internet regularly to see what websites it should show you when you search for specific keywords (if you didn’t know that, now you do). The software applications that Google uses are called spiders or Web crawlers. What you may not know is that these spiders see something entirely different than what you see on your computer.
To illustrate this, we are going to show you two versions of our website,

Version #1: What you see

SMO Pros - What you see
Not too surprising, I hope. This is what everyone sees. It’s a website. It has some graphics, it has some text, a menu, phone number, etc.  You will notice that some of the text is larger than other text. Some of it is formatted as a link or a button that you can click on. The menu allows you to navigate to other pages on the site and the social media icons take you outside the site to our social media properties.
This should all make sense to someone visiting our website (assuming that person has moved beyond a typewriter and fax machine, and has spent at least a few minutes on the Internet). But what do all of there page elements mean to Google, and how do they help people find us during online searches? Well, let’s take a look at what Google sees.

Version #2: What Google sees

SMO Pros Website - What Google Sees
Ok, so if we haven’t lost you by showing this coding image - or inspired you to go watch “The Matrix” – then we can move on to point out a few key insights.
First, Google only sees text. Google doesn’t care how much your website flashes and sparkles. Google just sees a bunch of lines of code. So, the code behind the scenes plays a big part in where you rank on online search results pages. If this code is not formatted correctly or missing, then Google can’t get a good idea of what your site is about, or where you should rank. Google might even penalize you for not having certain code in place, or not using it properly.
A few of the key pieces of information are the title tags and the meta descriptions. This information tells Google what the title of the page is and what the page is about, as well as some specific information for sharing on social media. The title and description are actually used in the search results page, which is what your potential customer will see when looking for you. If this information isn’t specific or doesn’t have a call to action, you either won’t show up, or your potential customer will just move on to the next entry.
There is a bunch of other information that you can add to the code behind your website to help you become more visible, but that is for another blog post. If you aren’t sure about the status of your code, SMO Pros would be happy to run a free assessment for you. This will give you a much better idea of what is working and what could use some fine tuning. You’d be surprised at the positive results you could achieve with a few professionally implemented enhancements. And it sure beats locking yourself in your basement for hundreds of hours to research all of these topics on your own. After all, we’ve already done that for you!
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