And we’re back! Here is the second installment of our SEO basic FAQ’s answered. (If you missed the first article you can view it here.) Again, this series is a review of the answers to some of the most frequently asked SEO questions we get from our clients to give you a better understanding of basic SEO terms, influencers and trends. If you have any questions that haven’t been answered send us an email, we’d be happy to answer them.
1. Q: Why do my search engine rankings rise one month and then drop the next?
A: Search engine results and keyword positions rarely stand still. This fluctuation is part of an algorithmic process whereby a page’s strength and position in the index is constantly measured, reassessed and recalculated for relevance based on
- a) the volume of content
- b) the quality
- c) the number of incoming links
- d) the website itself
- e) the number of competitors
Sometimes a sudden shift in a search engine algorithm can cause hard earned rankings to fall hard from the top results. Sometimes search engines go through adjustment periods and the rankings gets shifted around, this is outside of our control and the only course of action is to wait for the engine to get back on track. Adding fresh, optimized content, getting inbound links and staying on top of the latest search engine changes can help to keep the fluctuation to a minimum wherever possible.
2. Q: What is “Natural/Organic” traffic?
A: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the process of improving visibility of a web site via search results that do not cost you money every time a visitor clicks on a link to visit your site. Visitors that come to your site via Search Engine Optimization are referred to as natural or organic traffic.
Paid ads appear in the search engines under a headline entitled: “sponsored links”. Sometimes the ads appear on a colored background. These sponsored links are ads that work much like an auction. The search engines sell search result positions which is ad space for specific keywords. In Google the ads are created via their “Adwords” program.
On a Google SERP, sites that have had search engine optimization currently appear beneath the places results (which are indicated with red marker and a map). The placement on the page is something that changes periodically.
3. Q: Would it be wise to register web site domain names that are similar to mine, or those of my competitors, which would redirect people to my website when entered in the address bar?
A: Yes, it is a very good idea to purchase domain names that are similar to yours and your competitors and redirect them to your current web site so that
- a) you get direct traffic when they are typed into the browser
- b) your competitor doesn’t get that traffic.
For your own web site domain name you should purchase the .net variation (meaning you should own your own website name as a .net extension and have it forwarded to your .com address). You only need to purchase the .com extension for the domain names that are similar to your name and/or your competitors as that is the most popular extension.
If you would like to learn more about SEO basics, stay tuned for our coming post which includes a compilation of back articles we have written on the topic.