Process Posts

The First Page of Google and Keywords

Process Post #11

Today I want to talk about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Search Engine Optimization and how important the process is for websites to gain traction. As Hollingsworth (2013) explains “SEO is important for greater searchability and visibility” (para 1).

As humans, we are “cognitive misers”, wanting to solve problems in the most simple and straightforward ways. We like to receive answers, good answers, at our fingertips. In fact, “a clear majority of the world that has access to the internet is visiting Google at least once a day to get information” (Hollingsworth, 2013, para 10). Therefore, when we organically search, we want all the best information to appear in front of our eyes. We don’t want to search high and low. That said, if what we are looking for is on the first page, we aren’t looking for it further. Rather, we won’t be going to page two at all. As presented in last week’s lecture, “the best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google search” (Norman, 2021, Week 11). 

This brings me to my personal reflection about not ever having gone to the second page on Google when I am searching for something. Of course, the best sources or companies would be on the first page, right? When asked about this is lecture, I was actually shocked that I had never visited the second page, but I was immediately reminded that there probably wouldn’t be anything beneficial there for me to look at. Because websites earn their spot on the first page organically, due to views, keywords, links, and high-quality information, I know that the results on the first page are adequate. Essentially, Google has become “more and more of an answer engine offering the sought-after data directly on the SERPs” (Hollingsworth, 2013, para 20). That said, these SERPs create a “positive user experience, leveraging it to work in a brand’s favor” (Hollingsworth, 2013, para 21).

However, what about the ads on the first page? This was another question from lecture that intrigued me, as once again, I hadn’t realized my inherent habits. As mentioned in a previous process post about advertisements and transparency, people are normally deterred away when they see ads these days. On a normal day, in terms of YouTube or Instagram sponsorships, I am also discouraged from watching or enjoying the content, however, I noticed that I would click on ads during my Google searches. Why is that? It’s no different. They are paying to be promoted. I came to the conclusion that when looking for information for school or general knowledge, I may click ads because the keywords match my search, providing what was needed, but when looking for businesses, I will scroll past. I wonder why that is. Do I subconsciously recognize that that company is paying to be there? 

Nonetheless, I was able to learn as well as relate to a lot from lecture and the course readings. For example, Suzanne spoke a lot about using keywords and tags in order to come up organically on Google. She expressed that the best keywords are words that are specific, relevant, searched often, and appropriate for the target audience (Norman, 2021, Week 11). However, she also raised the point about competition for keywords and “keyword stuffing” (Norman, 2021, Week 11). Basically, it was suggested that we refrain from merely using keywords that millions of others may be using, as well as using our main keywords too often. Here, I immediately thought of Tik Tok, and how my Tik Tok videos get lost in the midst of the other billion videos that are using the same hashtags as me. I noticed that when I branch out, using still appropriate, yet, more diverse hashtags, I render more results. 

References

Hollingsworth, Sam. April 13, 2018. “12 Reasons Why You Business Absolutely Needs SEO.” https://www.searchenginejournal.com/why-seo-is-important-for-business/248101/#close

Featured image created with Canva

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