SEO tips for developers from our expert
Rightmove’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Manager, Tomas Vaitulevicius talks to us about the latest changes to Google and the steps you can take to outrank your competitors.
Rightmove (RM): In its simplest sense, what is SEO?
Tomas Vaitulevicius (TV): SEO is a series of techniques and methods to make sure that Google and the other search engines rank your website highly in their listings.
RM: So what makes a website rank well with Google?
TV: Google uses over 200 factors in its ranking algorithm to determine how good (or how bad!) a website and its pages are. That being said, the key factors are:
- • The contextual relevance of your page, and the website as a whole, to a given search term for example an engaging and insightful article about the best cafés in London from a website about coffee should rank when people search for “Café in London”)
- • Naturally earned links (i.e not links that are paid for) from other quality websites
- • Social shares, such as Facebook and Twitter
RM: If you were building a developer website, what would you focus your SEO efforts on?
TV: It really depends. If you already have technical expertise in-house then I would recommend upskilling those people on the basics of SEO first. This doesn’t have to be a full blown training course either; there are lots of good online resources that do the same job for free. I personally like – http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo.
However, if there is no one in your team with an interest in technology and some time on their hands then hiring an SEO agency for a one-time SEO audit may be a good solution. The audit should give you some direction on whether your site’s technical structure is set up correctly for Google, as well as giving you some pointers on where you might want to focus your SEO efforts in the future.
RM: What’s next for Google?
TV: Unfortunately only the privileged few who work at the Google Campus really know the answer to that question. That being said, the SEO community is of the opinion that there will continue to be a drive for rewarding good quality content that adds value. After all, Google don’t want to be sending their customers to poor quality websites that just regurgitate irrelevant content!
RM: Where should people go if they want to learn more?
TV: My favourite resource for keeping up to date with all of the latest Google updates is the Moz blog (http://moz.com/blog) closely followed by the Search Engine Watch at http://searchenginewatch.com/.
For the more technically minded of you, I recommend bookmarking the Webmaster World SEO forums at http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/.