First a bit of history about Search Engine Optimisation

SEO can trace its history way back to 1994 when the early pioneers discovered that they could use the Internet to drive traffic to their sites and hence sell their goods. As this idea became more accepted, people started competing with each other for traffic and that meant that they had to ‘convince’ the Search Engine of the day to list their site for appropriate terms.

The Search Engine of the Day has changed over the years, Alta Vista, Ask Jeaves and Yahoo all being the top dog at some time. However, today, the big player is Google and thus that is the engine everyone wants to get listings on, and that of course means you have to understand the rules.


The Rules of The Old SEO

The rules that the Search Engines use have altered drastically over the years, as they have become more and more sophisticated. At the start, it was easy to ‘trick’ the Engines, all you needed to do was to stuff the pages with your keywords and get some links to the site (Google’s first stab at SEO was based on something called PageRank which basically is all about the number of links to  a site – and not much else).

These ‘old’ rules however had one big problem, in that the SEO professionals of the day kept finding ways around them and thus the Engines had to keep taking steps to close these ‘holes’ in their rule sets.

This process escalated over the years, especially since 2010, and basically Google decided that enough was enough and decided on a whole new approach, one that could not be
tricked and relied on one thing, perceived quality.


The New SEO and Perceived Quality

Today, with the advent of something called ‘SEMANTIC SEO’ (the meaning of a site, what it is really all about), things are a lot different, it being all about the quality of the content of a site.

But Why use the term Perceived Quality?

I use this term as I believe that there are limits to what Google can do, in that its computer algorithms cannot ‘really’ decide on what is real ‘quality’ content and what is not. Also, as mentioned above, links had, and still have a vital role to play in how Google decides what site to list for what.  But it cannot always tell if these links are ‘real’ or have been created, thus in all cases Google looks at a page/site and decides (using it’s rule sets) if it is quality or not.

This is why I say it is the quality that Google perceives in a site that is important. So how can you convince Google that your content is good enough to get a top ranking??

The Rules of the NEW SEO in Detail

Despite all the changes that have taken place in the world of SEO since 1994, but all of them are based on four things, one of these only recently coming to the fore.

The Four Things SEO is and was Based Upon

 Site Construction

The way a site is built is important as if it is constructed in the wrong way then Google cannot (or may just not want to be bothered to) find all the pages in a site. Also if the site is built in such a way that it is very slow, or is not mobile friendly, then too Google will downgrade the site in various ways.

One thing that does not cause so much of a problem today is that of the ‘Code to Text’ ratio (the amount of code that is used to build a site versus the number of words visible to the visitor). In the old days, too much ‘construction code’ was an issue, but today, with the advent of WordPress and the like, Google has been ‘forced’ to ignore this area, virtually all sites being very code heavy.

You MUST however ensure that the site can easily be navigated, a failure in that department being very serious indeed. Plus you should also use a fair number of internal links (not just the navigation) to highlight to Google what each page is about.

Words, Pictures and Videos

This is the area most affected by the new SEMANTIC SEO, it being vitally important to use all the ‘right’ words in a page. Gone are the days of just stuffing a page with the words you want to be found for. Today you need to understand what words Google wants to see and then make sure you include them in the copy, also making sure that you include pictures and where possible audio and video content on the page.

Reverse Engineering is the Key

This is where reverse engineering can help, the idea being that if you know what words are being used on the top pages (for a given term) then by including them (using correct grammar of course, as this is also checked) you must be getting closer to the perfect page.


In the early days of SEO Links were vitally important, in fact they could, all by themselves get a page listed. However, today things have changed a lot. Links are still important counting for some 40% of the reason for a site getting a rank, but they are not as all powerful as they used to be.

Google is Watching You

Besides not being as important as they used to be, the links to a site are now carefully checked by Google. Their aim?, to make sure that the links to a site are ‘natural’ and not all built by an SEO company (although they know of course that the practice goes on all the time).

This checking is carried out by Google, the process being labelled as ‘Penguin’. Basically this checks a sites linking structure to see if it complies with the ‘rules’ and is hence seen to be natural. Here the number of links using the domain or URL of the site as the anchor text (the bit we humans click on) are checked, as are the number of links using ‘money words’ (the terms that a site wants to be found for) and those ‘noise’ links, like ‘see this site’, or ‘click here’. If the balance is not right, or they seem to have been created too fast, then a site can be heavily penalised.

This means that a site’s links have to be built very carefully over time and not all in a rush.

Social Media

This is very new in SEO terms and the amount of ‘power’ that social media chit chat, comments on Facebook and Twitter provide is not fully understood. In my view, the importance of Social Media is more to do with other marketing channels, but nevertheless, obtaining links via things like ‘Social Bookmarks’ can be useful.

Putting it All Together – Scientific SEO

So, what does all this mean?? Basically, it means that you must


  1. Find the words you want your site to be found for – KEYWORD RESEARCH
  2. Find the words you need to include in the copy of the page(s) using Reverse Engineering – CONTENT RESEARCH
  3. Build the links to the site, CAREFULLY
  4. If you can get some Social Media comments going (more important for sites selling direct to the public than B2B sites)
  5. Monitor the progress and make changes to improve matters further



I hope this helps you understand how the matter of SEO has to be approached today.

Using video to improve your SEO

Video can be very useful in helping your SEO, however, it is important to know what you want to achieve from it, for instance do you want to use it for targeting keywords or for link building or for something else. Do you want to use it to drive more traffic to your website or do you just want maximum exposure on social media? Video can really help your SEO because Google particularly likes the length of time that viewers remain on the link that they have clicked in order to watch the video, as a general rule of thumb, short stays can indicate lower quality whereas longer stays can imply higher quality content. Using informational videos rather than sales videos can actually help your product pages improve their rankings on Google. At the moment, there is more chance of appearing on the first page of Google with a video than without because there is less competition in this area so it could be a very smart move particularly if you are in a popular sector and want a higher profile.


As most search engine optimization (SEO) experts are aware, getting a first-page Google result is harder than ever. Not only do Google’s search and indexing algorithms continue to evolve in complexity, but Google has given over more and more of its search results real estate to “blended” search results, displaying videos and images towards the top of the first page, and pushing down—and sometimes off the page—traditional web results that would have otherwise competed for top rankings.

But where problems arise, so do opportunities. Although Google’s newfound enthusiasm for video has created more competition for fewer traditional search results, it has enabled sites with video assets—even sites that would otherwise score poorly in the Google index—to successfully achieve first-page rankings. In fact, Forrester Research found that videos were 53 times more likely than traditional web pages to receive an organic first-page ranking.

Here’s what a blended search result looks like for the search query “777 built in 4 minutes“:

Those images at the top of the search results are video thumbnails, and today, there’s only two ways to get there:

1. Upload your video to YouTube.

The advantage of this is that you are 100% certain to be indexed into Google’s search engine. This does not guarantee you’ll get a first-page result, but at least it ensures that Google knows your content exists.

The drawback, of course, is that anyone who clicks on a YouTube result will be taken to YouTube, which may be fine if your goal is branding (i.e., you only care that people watch your video). If your goal is driving traffic, as is typically the case with SEO, this won’t be a successful strategy.

Your other alternative is:

2. Video SEO

Video SEO is a set of techniques designed to make sure that:

  • Google finds your video content
  • Google successfully indexes your video content
  • Google will display your video content when specific keywords are entered as search terms

Here’s how to make it work:

You Need Video Content

Google is fairly flexible in what it considers to be video content. You can use actual video footage, but screen captures, slide shows, animated PowerPoint slides, and other content will work just as well. Google can’t actually “see” what’s inside the video content, so it relies on title and other meta-data to determine what content your video actually contains. Click here to continue

Further reading

Building a video SEO strategy

The secret guide to video and SEO

SEO for local businesses

Not every business wants to be a multi-national, some want to offer their goods and services to a more local audience and as such, the way they run their online campaigns will be slightly different. For these businesses, having websites that can be viewed from mobile devices is essential as often, people looking for them will be using their mobile phone or tablet. Making use of local directories, local review sites, social media and local business group sites such as Chamber of Commerce, are great for getting a business known in a particular area or community. Using long-tail keywords using local geographical terms will help with the search engine listings as well. Video can be particularly useful and as many people view these from their mobiles and then share them with their friends, this is an area that should not be ignored.

Here’s a local search optimization tactic that is a staple in the repertoire of many professional SEOs: YouTube Optimization. It’s particularly effective in local search since relatively few businesses have created and published video promotions for themselves.

Before launching into the technical tips for optimizing your YouTube videos for local search, it’s worthwhile to mention the content itself. While my tips below will provide benefit somewhat independently of whatever the video is actually about, all benefit derived from the work will be magnified if the video is compelling. So, subject matter and the way it is conveyed are of primary importance. I don’t mention “quality” (although that can contribute) because there are many videos of poor production quality or low resolution that are extremely popular. The subject matter of a video and the way it’s conveyed — its “interestingness” — are more likely to determine whether people will watch it, whether they’ll watch all the way through, and whether they’ll share it with friends.

YouTube Local SEO

Some businesses simply make an ad about themselves when they do a video. While these can be informative for prospective customers, they are typically not all that imaginative (and usually not as effective as less overtly promotional videos).

A better approach would be to publish a series of brief videos over time about aspects of your industry, its products, and its services. Provide how-to videos that demonstrate how to do what you do. Obviously, if you sell a service, you won’t make money off of do-it-yourselfers, but these videos are typically more popular and will therefore convey more ranking potential to your business. They can also serve to establish you as an expert — and sometimes, when you show what’s involved in what you do, it will persuade people to pay to have it done.

Other types of videos can teach consumers about how to select the sorts of products you sell, or tell them how to discern qualities about services offered. These “public service” sorts of videos may train consumers in how to be more discerning and, in the process, train them to choose you instead of your competition. Click here to continue

Further information

5 simple steps to improve your local SEO

2013 local search ranking factors

Local SEO tips for small businesses post Panda/Penguin


Getting started with video marketing

Video content marketing is on the rise and as videos are very popular, this makes sense. Just think about some of the recent videos that have gone viral and have been viewed around the world, being able to harness even a little of this power could help your business branding. Video can be used for many purposes and having a specific message for each one is important so that the purpose is clear and not muddled. This does not mean that you need to be using hard sell tactics, that will just put people off, so prepare a script and read it in front of the camera so you can view it and see how it looks. It always looks better if you look as if you are just talking rather than reading off a script, so perhaps learn it well beforehand. Popular ideas for videos include blogs, how to…, product reviews and interviews. These can be as serious or as fun as you want them to be but remember, you are promoting not only yourself but your business as well so being able to portray the image that suits both is important. Here is some information to get you started:

Video is taking over the world, with more than 4 billion hours of video viewed each month. In fact, YouTube is now the second most used search engine, right behind Google (market domination much?).

Unfortunately, integrating video into your marketing campaign isn’t as easy as simply creating a video and putting it up on YouTube. Creating a video that is effective, relevant, and successful can offer big rewards, but how do you integrate it successfully?

Here, we’ll take you through the basics of video as a media type, discuss issues you will want to consider when brainstorming video content ideas, and suggest some types of content that typically work well for video, using case studies to highlight these points in action.

Understanding video as a media type

The most common mistake made by companies creating video is thinking of video content as being identical to blog posts or infographic content, rather than as a unique and independent media format. Where blog posts and infographics may consist of text and image content, video utilizes text, moving images, and sound simultaneously, making it a more media format.

Video, then, is not an appropriate medium for all content goals. If you ever find yourself trying to “convert” content into a video, rather than developing the video idea organically, that’s an indicator that your creative process has gone awry. Click here to continue

Further information

3 things any video needs to go viral

Why online video is vital for 2013 content marketing objectives

Making use of YouTube for your business

YouTube can be a very useful tool for businesses and can be used in a number of ways. It can be a great medium for brand awareness, imparting information as well as for fun. It is important that you consider how it can help your business and use that information to create short videos that will enhance both your business and your online presence. Make use of it to really get your message across and remember to keep it short and snappy, there is nothing worse than enduring someone droning on and on.

YouTube’s not just for posting silly videos of sleepwalking dogs and other embarrassing moments — it can also be used as a highly effective business tool. You can use it to show off your expertise, share knowledge, market your products and connect with customers, colleagues and prospects.

Here are 34 ways to use YouTube (and other video hosting services) for business.

Expertise and Thought Leadership

  1. Upload recordings of presentations you’ve given, to demonstrate authority and public speaking skills.

  2. Share slides from presentations that weren’t recorded.

  3. Create short videos of valuable tips of interest to your clients and prospects to show off your expertise.

  4. Conduct an interview with an expert.

  5. Turn your podcasts into videos, to expand your reach.

  6. Engage with the YouTube community by leaving comments and uploading video responses to videos on topics related to your business or industry. Click here to continue

Further reading

How to use YouTube to drive business

8 effective ways to use YouTube for business

9 killer tips to use YouTube for business

Making use of video blogging for your business


Many people and businesses use video blogging as a way to connect with others. There are many reasons for making use of this type of media and it can have very good results. You can use it not only to tell the world about your products and services, but also to pass on useful tips or show others ‘how to’ do something. If you think you would like to have a go at video blogging, check out the following articles.

You’ve heard us say before that content creation is the key to a great social media strategy. But content creation is so much more than just blogging– it includes infographics, podcasts, videos and more. One of the great things about all of these technologies is that the barriers to entry are very low–these types of content don’t require a bunch of fancy equipment or professional expertise. All you need are some basic tools, a little research and a willingness to learn.

). It’s because creating videos is another way to create quality content–and that just makes good marketing sense. Here’s five reasons why video is one of the best things you can do for your brand….More at Short Form Video is the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Brand


More Reading


Promote your online business with short videos

We are always encouraging you to promote your business on the internet and making use of video is an excellent way of getting your message across. Business video can be used in many different ways, it need not just be about promoting products, it can be used for giving hints and tips on how to do things, as a recruitment drive, giving information on forthcoming events and so on. Make sure you have a bit of a script which you know before filming begins. Keep it short and to the point, viewers will not want to see someone droning on and on. Here are some more ideas to help you make the most of your video opportunities.


As the online and offline worlds con­tinue to evolve and inter­act, mar­keters con­tinue to seek advice and data to ratio­nal­ize the choices they make about what kind of con­tent to pop­u­late their web­sites with.  When con­sid­er­ing online video mar­ket­ing for your busi­ness, review the evi­dence below, that shows you can increase sales and con­ver­sion rates, drive more traf­fic to your site, reduce ser­vic­ing costs, make a strong con­nec­tion between on and offline mar­ket­ing efforts, and per­haps most impor­tantly, build long-​​term rela­tion­ships with your cus­tomers.  That said, one caveat to a suc­cess­ful online media strat­egy is that qual­ity of con­tent and strate­gic deploy­ment of online video mar­ket­ing material….More at Online Video Marketing: Things you need to know | intro60 Blog

More Reading


A few ideas to make your own business videos

Social networking is all the rage and many businesses are making use of it to enhance their online profiles. YouTube is very popular with many people and a short video can be really useful to your business. Whether you want to promote a particular product or service, or want to do a ‘how to’ video, YouTube can be an excellent medium for sharing.

If you decide to produce a short video, plan ahead and consider what you want to show. If you are appearing on the video, be yourself but try and come across as confident and professional. If you are doing a ‘how to’ piece, produce a case study that looks real and run through it a few times before shooting the video so that your piece looks smooth and professional. There really is nothing worse than watching a ‘how to’ video that has not been properly prepared with the host ‘umming’ and being unsure of what they are doing, this really does not show their work to their best advantage. By all means inject a little humour into the piece but be fully au fait with what you are doing so that you really do appear to be an expert in your field and not end up looking like amateur night, which could be damaging to your business reputation. Keep your video short and simple, don’t diverge off topic so that you give the information that is pertinent. It is easy to get carried away and make your video too long but if you make nice bite sized pieces, people are more likely to watch.

So, to sum up, when making a video; be yourself but be professional, keep it short and to the point, make it fun if you can and be well prepared before filming begins.

Using YouTube Videos for SEO?

I am often asked about using videos for Search Engine Optimisation purposes, mostly referring to YouTube.  Those that have checked will have seen that YouTube use ‘No Follow’ in any links out, so that means that any site is unlikely to get much ‘linking juice’ from the transaction.

However, there is more to using videos than just for direct links. With this in mind I have added another page to our ‘How, What, When and Why’ section. This is designed to help people with the questions they have about Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Optimisation.

Check out this latest page at – https://www.serendipity-online-marketing.co.uk/how-to-use-youtube-for-seo.asp