Search engine optimization (SEO) experts are always working to keep their skills up to date. They have to, because the internet changes all the time as well. The biggest internet giant is Google, which is the most advanced and the most sophisticated. What they say goes, in other words, and everyone wants to be indexed by them.
Two types of SEO exist:
- On-page optimization.
- Off-page optimization.
Because of the size of the internet, and the race to the top of the search results on Google, adding a couple of keywords and writing a good meta tag simply isn’t sufficient anymore to have a ranking website. This is known as on-page optimization and only around 20% of the factors that Google uses for ranking are classed as on-page.
This means 80% of the factors are off-page. Some of the things Google looks at include:
- How many inbound links go to your website.
- What the anchor text of the inbound links is.
- The ranking of the page that holds the inbound link.
Why Does the 80/20 Rule Exist?
The 80/20 rule actually makes a lot of sense. On-site optimization is important, because it enables Google to look at the finer details of a page. But off-site optimization is what shows whether a website is relevant to online visitors. It is off-site optimization that shows traffic is organic and genuine, and not made up of spammers.
A webmaster has 100% of their on-site optimization. Hence, there is always a chance that it is manipulated or abused just to meet the search engine’s criteria. Those are known as black hat tactics and they continue to be quite widespread. But with off-page optimization, the information comes from other webmasters. Hence, manipulating the results is a lot more difficult. In so doing, nobody is supposed to get an unfair advantage.
Of course, there are still ways around this. A webmaster could start multiple websites, for instance, and use those to link to each other. However, the Google robots are pretty clever and they usually figure this out. And once they do, the penalties are very significant. In fact, a website may just be completely banned from the search engines.
Search engine optimization is incredibly complex, even if the above makes it look quite simplistic. There are a lot of things to take into consideration. Starting with the 80/20 rule, however, is a good idea. This will, if nothing else, show you just how much work is involved in creating something that can be found by others. You may feel that there is a degree of unfairness in this, not in the least because you may have to pay for inbound links and because it will take you a great deal of time to reach the point that you get found, but the reality is that this is indiscriminate of who you are. Whether you are a giant like Nike or a tiny mom and pop store, you all have the same opportunities.