SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Last updated on December 5th, 2019 at 04:36 pm

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

What is search engine optimization?

Search engine optimization a.k.a SEO is the practice of gaining traffic to your digital presence (be it a business website, a personal blog, an app, etc.) through optimizing your digital content so the search engines can find them, crawl them, index them in the search engine results pages or otherwise known as SERP.

What is a SERP?

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Pages. These are the web pages displayed by search engines after you type a query on a search engine’s search box.

The list of results is usually a mixture of organic and sponsored listings. Each listing includes the web page’s title, the linked page URL (uniform resource locator), and a brief description of the page content. In some cases — there can be rich snippetsthe Knowledge Graph, and who knows what other features a search engine like Google might think of.

What are rich snippets?

When a website contains a structured data markup, rich snippets can be displayed by Google in the search results pages.

 What is a structured data markup?

Structured data markup serves the Google algorithm to understand your content better; and thus to better index them in the SERP.

Here are some data types that Google supports as rich snippets in their search engine results pages.

  •  Product – Information about a product, including price, availability, and review ratings.
  •  Recipe – Recipes that can be displayed in web searches and Recipe View.
  •  Review – A review of an item such as a restaurant, movie, or store.
  •  Event – An organized event, such as musical concerts or art festivals, that people may attend at a particular time and place.
  •  Software / Application – Information about a software app, including its URL, review ratings, and price.
  •  Video – An online video, including a description and thumbnail.
  •  News Article – A news article, including headline, images, and publisher info.
  •  Science Datasets

What is the knowledge graph?

The Knowledge Graph is used by Google and its services to enhance its search engine’s results with information gathered from a variety of sources. This information is presented as an infobox beside the search results. Knowledge Graph infoboxes started in the United States last May 2012.

What are the benefist of SEO?

Here are the obvious reasons for implementing SEO or search engine optimization on your digital presence like your website or blog.

It is FREE.

This statement needs to be qualified. It is FREE if you spend time and resources learning SEO. Other business owners and business executives prefer to outsource this work to SEO specialists so as to cut the learning curve and hasten better results. This is where digital marketing agencies and seo specialists can come into the picture. (Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need one: brodneil @ (no space before and after the @ symbol).

Passive traffic month after month can be expected.

Passive here means that you don’t have to tinker on your site everyday. This can mean that you can focus more on the nature of your business instead of spending countless hours trying to bring in visitors to your website.

A local-shop owner can then spend more time selling or improving the services and products after implementing proper SEO. A travel blog owner can also spend more time creating content, which matters more to him or her, instead of spending hours calling friends or looking for people to read the blog.

Site in this context can mean a business website or a blog alternately. Once your site is properly search engine optimized, then you may expect traffic (site’s visitors) to flow into your SEO website. Though I should say that passive still entails a degree of regular maintenance to keep the traffic steady or increasing.

What is an SEO website?

An SEO website is just a fancy word for websites that are search engine optimized.

Gain more qualified traffic.

Implementing proper SEO can attract the quality of traffic you are targeting. You can focus your SEO efforts on your target audience knowing that they can bring in more sales.

For a food catering website, it is important to focus where the traffic is coming from. Is the incoming traffic (site visitors) within the vicinity you are providing your food catering services? Or is it coming from across the globe?

To further explain, if your business is only providing services within Metro Cebu, Philippines. Optimized your site for this target. This is also called local SEO. It does not mean though that your site cannot be searched or accessed by visitors outside of Cebu Philippines. It only means that you are more likely to get sales from where you can really deliver your services.

SEO can also target at least who your visitors are mostly like to be. Are they within the income-bracket of your target audience?

The more you refine your SEO website according to your target audience, the more likely you are to convert them to a goal or purpose you have in mind. In our case for the food catering service provider, that is sales.

Note that you may attract a huge amount of traffic to your site, but if they don’t serve your purpose, then what good can they be? An common example usually given would be a vendor selling apples online and all you get are site visitors looking for an Apple computer.

Thus SEO is important to inform the search engines like Google what your site is really about and to give a hint on the search engines who your target audience might be.

Note that the quantity of traffic is also very important to incease your sales. However, this should only come after you optimize your site for the quality of traffic you are trying to achieve.

 What is local SEO?

Local SEO is optimizing your site to rank better for a local audience.

Your site can give you the opportunity to target most likely any part of the world that have access to the search engines. However, if your target audience (customers/clients) are most likely in your vicinity or the vicinity near you, then you need to implement local SEO.

In my experience, before the term local SEO was ever coined or had become popular, quite a number seo specialists were already implementing it. For us, it was basically just SEO. Local SEO is a must even if you are targeting a broader audience. If the price does not vary, why try to sell your services to those who are 100 kilometers away from your shop if you have ready-to-buy customers within your vicinity.

Basically, local SEO would involved optimizing the city name and address where your business is located.

Have you tried using similar search terms in Google?

  • corporate lawyers in Cebu
  • Veterinarian in Banilad
  • plumber near me
  • caterer in Mandaue
  • condominium within Mactan

I hope you see my point. Though it is most likely to target the brick-and-mortar businesses, online shops can still benefit from local SEO.

The fundamental reason for this is that the search engines would really want to make the search results relevant to what the people are searching for. If the results would not be relevant, they lose the purpose of being called search engines.

Top Search Engines for 2019

You might have noticed that I always use Google as a search engine example. This is because Google has the most market share in all three (3) areas: desktop, mobile, and tablet.

Search Engine Market Share for Desktop

Search Engine Market Share for Desktop

Search Engine Market Share for Mobile

Search Engine Market Share for Mobile

Search Engine Market Share for Tablet

Search Engine Market Share for Tablet

The source for the market shares is taken from

There was a time when the Internet was not yet around or fully evolved; people, particlularly students, hugely rely on public or university libraries. To find the book you need, you have to go through the catelogue of books making use of index cards sorted out by the librarians.

The search engines are of the same nature. The obvious difference is that they are much faster to crawl (find) and index your sites; and it will be quicker for people to access them. At present, it is just at your finger tips.

To simply put, search engines are your digital libraries; and they are more than that. If the index card in the libraries can store the names of the books, search engines can store and index every “book” and every page in that “book”. These are the domains and every URL on that domain (so not just the websites, but every webpages of those websites).

Search engines can do this using their algorithms. Thus in the world of SEO, you can sometimes hear the word: Google algorithm.

Though generally no SEO specialist can ever claim that he knows how this algorithm work, at least they have quite a number of clues as they progess and update themselves in years.

What is basically the job of the SEO specialist?

SEO specialist needs to demonstrate to the search engines like Google that the content of your webpage is the most relevant and the best content for the topic being queried. As I have mentioned earlier, the search engines’ purpose is to deliver the best and most relevant results or listings to what a given user is looking for at that specific period in time. That is its goal or main purpose (aside from any other goals like making a profit and all the others).

Note, however, that different search engines may have different criteria. So I would rather spend more time doing SEO for Google than any other search engines. This is simply because of the market shares of Google. Granting that my website would top for the search term, seo specialist in Cebu Philippines, it would likely get more traffic from Google because more people are using Google for their search or queries.

For Philippine websites, I instantly go for Google as my first search engine to optimize; that if I do need to optimize to Bing or Yahoo thereafter. Obviously, if you are doing a website for the Chinese market, you might need to consider going for Baidu. It is said to have 75% of the shares in China as of this date (2019 September).

It has been known for years that Google has at least more than 200 ranking factors. Yet after Bing mentioned about its 1,000 ranking signals, there has been rumors (if this is still a rumor) in the SEO circle that Google hinted to have 10,000 ranking signals instead.

Do we know all of them or at least the 200 ranking factors? Of course not. “SEO is more of a strategic and logical execution of (informed/educated) guess work derived from years of experience, practice, and testing.” That is to state it bluntly.

There are times though that Google has clearly stated what some of these ranking factors could be. And if you will stick with this website, we are gradually publishing them for you.

SEO Basics and Your Free SEO Training Online

Please bear in mind that SEO still follows the business fundamentals and marketing fundamentals. This is no shortcut. If you haven’t done so, kindly research on those.

Though our expertise is on digital marketing and search engine optimization, knowing those fundamentals can sustain you in the success of your business or goal.

What else are we creating websites for? Be it for business or personal, there must be a goal, a purpose, and a reason. Even if your goal is simply for the fun of it or for on-going learning and testing. There’s your goal, purpose, or reason.

You may also check out these pages for an introduction of what they are and how they could help your SEO efforts.

  • Business Fundamentals
  • Marketing Fundementals

If you are done, please proceed below.

Learn SEO: Free SEO Training Online

Learn SEO by making use of this free SEO training. We will try to make a step-by-step SEO for you.

SEO Tips, Updates, Articles and Notes:

Below are some tips, updates, articles, and notes we’ve made or gathered through the years while learning and doing SEO:

On-page SEO

Technical SEO
Website Optimization
On-page Optimization
Content Marketing

PPC BlogAdwords to Adsense Arbitrage: A Tutorial ~ PPC Blog.


Some Google Analytics Language Codes.

Off-page SEO

Outreach and Promotion
Social Media Marketing

SEO related posts:

Yoast Robots Meta

Because of French copyright law, every page using Yoast SEO plugin will have the following robots meta bit added to its robots meta string — unless a page is to noindex or nosnippet: max-snippet:-1, max-image-preview:large, max-video-preview:-1 If you are really keen to change the robots meta value, you can do it in a filter called wpseo_robots.
Posted in | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Noindex Directive in Robots.txt Is No Longer Supported by Google

Google has officially announced that GoogleBot will no longer support a Robots.txt directive for indexing.
Posted in | Leave a comment

Page Speed is as important as your Content and Links

Last updated on December 3rd, 2019 at 05:58 pm This is just a quick note before I take leave for the weekend. We’ve all heard that (Quality) Content and (Good) Links are two of the most important factors for your site to rank, especially in Google. Here is a 3rd factor I’d like to emphasize.…
Posted in | Leave a comment

Traffic Is Not a Google Ranking Factor

Don’t get me wrong. Kindly read the post before you disagree. And if you must disagree, share your view on traffic as a ranking factor.
Posted in | Tagged | Leave a comment

Is IP Canonicalization Important for SEO?

Should we implement IP canonicalization for SEO?
Posted in | Leave a comment

How to Verify Your Shopify Site in Google Search Console

How to verify Shopify in your Google Search Console after encountering this: The Google Analytics tracking code on your site looks malformed. 
Posted in , | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Google Index Status Is 0

Getting an index status of 0 in Google Search Console can be alarming. Here is what you can do to check your actual index count.
Posted in | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What happens in Google Webmasters Tools when I change my site from http to https?

Whenever you change your site from http to https, it is always good to add a new site in your Google Webmasters Tools.
Posted in | Leave a comment

Is link building still effective in 2015?

Yes is the short answer. Link earning, no longer link building.
Posted in | Leave a comment

HTTPS as Ranking Signal By Google

This is a question most small-to medium-sized business (SMB) owners would like to know: do they really need it?
Posted in | Leave a comment

Is your site mobile friendly from Google’s perspective?

Is your site mobile friendly from Google’s perspective? 2 quick steps to know if your site is considered as mobile-friendly by Google.
Posted in | Leave a comment

How to Prevent Spiders from Following Unnatural Links You’d Created

Use robot.txt or .htaccess to prevent spiders from following unnatural links you’d created.
Posted in | Leave a comment

The End of Google Authorship

After 3 years of experimenting with Google authorship – Google has finally decided to end the journey. Google announced that it will no longer be tracking data from content using rel=author markup and will no longer show authorship results in Google Search. This was announced by John Mueller of Google Webmaster Tools in a Google+…
Posted in | Leave a comment

New Ranking Signal: HTTPS

Does HTTPS have more weight than HTTP? Does this count in the ranking signal? What does Google say about it?
Posted in | Leave a comment

Are You Making or Generating Money from All These SEO Campaigns

Are you generating a good amount of money from your SEO campaigns?
Posted in | Leave a comment

Shocked with the Multiple H1 Tags in HTML5 Sites?

Thinking of fixing the multiple H1 tags in your HTML5 site? Wait… read this before doing a fix.
Posted in | Leave a comment

Are your sites safe from Penguin 3.0?

Last updated on November 22nd, 2019 at 08:36 am The objective of every algorithm update is to return relevant search results to users. And spamming the search results does not make that happen. Hence the ongoing algorithm updates like that of  Penguin (from 1.0 to the most recent 3.0). According to Neil Patel of,…
Posted in | Leave a comment