3 years ago I wrote a guide to be able to read the Seo Website Stats blog so that an SEO course is completed in the right order. Since then I have published more articles and some SEO aspects have evolved, so it is a good time to rewrite the guide again and serve as a course for the new season 2020-2030.
I keep the introduction then: throughout different articles I have reviewed many aspects that I consider important in modern SEO, starting with basic classic aspects, following by more current aspects and including various practical examples, step by step tutorials, tool guides or hostings, monetization or other issues. I have tried to do it in an orderly way and with a certain structure that allows the blog to serve as a guide for those who want to learn SEO for free.
In today’s post I will make a general review of SEO that serves as a reference and entry point to this blog for those who want to read it as an online SEO course. I will make introductions to different SEO issues while linking to articles that expand the information. The result is summarized in:
The blog can be read as a free online course, serving this post as a reference and starting point.
Let’s start, but first of all, let’s go with the basics.
What is SEO?
I do not mean the definition, search engine positioning, but to understand what SEO consists of, and more importantly, what it does not consist of. It’s not a banal question. It is important for those who want to know this discipline to know what to expect or get from SEO and what not.
For starters: it’s not magic. SEO today does not consist of a series of tricks that applied with piquancy allow you to deceive Google. Until 2011 maybe we could have discussed this definition, because until then it is true that the SEOs sought to deceive Google. We tested or learned techniques that gave us enough advantage to overcome competitors with better content or higher quality than that of our portals.
But today it is no longer so. Modern SEO is no longer simply about fooling Google. It consists of knowing what signals Google expects and giving them, and more specifically in:
Indicate which terms you want to position and with what contents.
Send signals indicating that such content should be in the first positions.
The first thing is done essentially with onpage SEO (not only, but above all). The second is done with offpage signals, which are actions that occur outside of our portal that suggest to Google that your portal is important. The most important are the links (link building) and the user response.
What happened in 2011?
The key to my statement is in Panda and to a lesser extent Penguin, 2 changes in Google’s algorithm aimed precisely at detecting manipulation of its algorithm.
Summarizing a lot, Panda tries to measure the quality of a portal and Penguin the quality of incoming links.
Since the arrival of these updates and with their successive versions Google is increasingly better detecting content or Junk links.
I mean you can’t manipulate Google?
It depends on what you understand by manipulating. Let’s say it’s not so simple to “sneak garbage”at him. You can get and see examples daily but if instead of trying to deceive him, you seek to “give him what he wants” you get better results and greater profitability. I like to express this situation with the following sentence:
Google has made it more profitable to position quality than garbage.
I also like to draw parallels with classic advertising, for example on television. Can you manipulate the consumer with an ad? To some extent yes, but if you also make an attractive product then you will achieve optimal performance.
Well, that’s what SEO is all about today, creating the content that Google wants and sending you the signals it expects.
How to create such content?, what strategy to follow?, how do I send you signals and which ones are the most profitable? All this is what I explain in the blog.
Where do I start learning SEO?
From my experience I consider that:
The most didactic way to learn is to start with classic SEO (SEO onpage and link building) and then follow the more modern aspects (user response and strategy).
The following 2 articles allow you to know the most basic aspects of classic SEO:
- Introduction to onpage SEO
- Introduction to link building
They can be supplemented with 2 articles from the Softalian blog with lists of factors to consider in each pillar:
- 35 factors in onpage SEO
- 30 factors in link building
Then you could continue with other articles on SEO onpage but at this point I recommend making a slight foray into modern SEO and reading superficially:
- Introduction to user response
- The SEO formula
With these readings you get a first view of what modern SEO consists of and at least know some concepts that are named in several articles. I would like to underline the need to make a light reading because at this point I only intend that these concepts are known, not to delve into them. Several readings later yes I will recommend going back to these articles and assimilating them.
Once we know the basics we can move forward with other aspects of link building:
- Anchor texts of links
- How to rate a link
There are various tools and plugins that make your work easier. You can start by reading:
- SEO tools and metrics
- SemRush Guide
If you use WordPress you should also read:
SEO onpage for WordPress
At this point you will see that I make mention of user response concepts. For that reason he proposed to at least know them but without delving into them to know a few minimums of classic SEO.
You can optionally read the article Google Mobile First, but I summarize it already: make your website responsive / adaptive (that looks good on mobile) and consider mobile content as the main one, instead of the desktop one.
There are more aspects of SEO onpage and link building that are discussed in the blog but at this point it is convenient to start understanding modern SEO, complete the overview of SEO and from there read the following articles with that base.
The 2 big differences between modern and classic SEO are: user response and SEO strategy.
The user response essentially represents those signals that Google receives that indicate how satisfied a user was when visiting your website.
This set of signals are called differently in different portals and media: user experience, quality, etc, and on some sites simply list the different factors that intervene (CTR for example). I proposed the term answer because I understand that it better explains how Google actually works, given that Google cannot measure quality as such and not even a user’s experience. What you can measure is how the user responds to such quality, that is, you can measure their response.
About this pillar we can read:
- Introduction to user response
- Measure user response
- Keyword research and content strategy
- Optionally you can consult the post about the Google Panda algorithm.
The post on keyword research already talks about strategy, an aspect in which I put a lot of emphasis on the blog because unlike as it happened before 2011, now:
The same volume of work or investment can have a very different return depending on the strategy you follow.
Historically SEO has been understood many times as a set of actions (I do this on the web, put these links, put this menu, etc) and more or less by doing individual actions certain results were obtained. Today the difference between doing certain actions with one strategy and the other is vital.
Posts from the previous block should be supplemented with others explaining the evolution of Google from 2019 to 2021. It is still appropriate to read the previous modern concepts first and then add to them the most current ones.
In particular, these articles are important:
- Informative Keywords, transactional keywords and mixed keywords
- SEO evolution in 2020
It is also necessary to understand today’S SEO read:
- SEO efficiency
- Cannibalization SEO
- Non-binary SEO
- SEO strategy
- The following articles to a greater or lesser extent deal with strategic aspects.
About strategy and link building we can read:
- How user response influences your link building
- Distance between domains
- SEO Guide To Making a network of independent portals
About strategy and SEO onpage we have:
- Indexing tags and other debatable quality content
- Domain extensions
- Internal links
- Blogs for ecommerce and content marketing
- Keywords research and content strategy in 3 levels
- Bounce rate and the risk of misinterpreting Analytics metrics
- Basic guide to doing an onpage SEO audit
And about strategy and user response are very important to know how to work different types of projects:
- Big brands
- Small portals
- Markets without user response
With these 3 articles we see good examples of how the actions vary depending on our project and it is not enough to “go doing”. The same effort but poorly focused can mean the difference between success and failure. A good strategy can lead you to excellent results.
The post about initial user response is also useful.
Strategy for ecommerce and online stores
Although almost the entire blog can be applied for any type of portal, ecommerce has some particularities. Some of them I review in:
- SEO strategy for ecommerce
- Text and SEO
- Other articles
The theoretical part can be completed with various articles:
- Cache and load time
- Panda 4.0
- Adsense and Adwords
- How to write an SEO post
I also include 2 reflections that I find useful if you query other sources:
- Discrepancies in SEO
- Reviews about SEO
There are other complementary articles in the post whose reading is less priority but that can be useful once assimilated the rest. I will not list them all and anyone who wants to read them simply scroll through the blog. An example would be the 2017 New factors guide or when I talk about cannibalization.
Step-by-step practical guides
Whenever I can I include examples of my articles to illustrate my affirmations. Additionally I Published 6 articles in which I explained a very simple project and (really) within the reach of anyone who positioned a simple theme. You can also find 2 more complete guides, one about Adsense and one about Amazon Affiliates.
Before reading that practical guide I recommend, now yes, re-read the post on the SEO formula and finish assimilating the way to balance your SEO strategies.
The articles in the guide deal with:
- Project study
- Keywords and contents
- Link building
- Results and income
- Networking and monetization
And the 2 most current guides would be:
- Full SEO strategy of a massive traffic portal
- SEO Guide for Amazon Affiliates
To these 2 posts I recommend that you dedicate time.
Current SEO formula
In 2017 I proposed the following SEO formula:
P = R * O * L
This formula is still a very good approximation to calculate the positioning (P) in Google. However, if we add the Google changes of 2020 it would be more accurate to turn it into:
P = CR * O * L
O and L would remain SEO Onpage and Link Building respectively, but R (user response) should also include quality content (C) given the weight it has gained in recent months. CR (quality content + user response) would therefore be the third pillar of current SEO.
Finally, we must remember that the ultimate goal is not only to position (P), but to monetize (M) and for this we must add aspects that we have developed extensively throughout the blog: efficiency (E) and strategy (E).
Without going into more details, since it is explained in several articles, the reference formula for monetization of an SEO project would look like:
M = E * P * E = E * CR * O * L * E
As a rule mnemonic M = ECROLE I think it is quite practical.
The Seo Website Stats blog contains articles to review from the most basic concepts to aspects of modern SEO strategy. You can read it in the order you want, but if you are just starting out, using this guide as a reference will allow you to assimilate concepts more clearly and efficiently.