When your SEO company starts talking about “blocks”, you’d be forgiven for scratching your head and furrowing your brow. I mean you’ve heard about tags, and headers, right, but what’s all this about blocks? Last time I looked that was a street division in America. |
Not any more. In a website a block is a portion of the screen, which the search engine assumes to be dealing with the same information. Think about the page you see when you load your most-visited website. The header is one block, the navigation area another – and the main text on the page a third. So search engines are starting to look at these blocks to more sensibly divide each web page into parcels of information.
An SEO company has a simple job – to keep your site doing everything search engines like, and to make sure it doesn’t do anything they don’t. Actually that’s not simple at all – because there are so many things search engines do and don’t like, and every month it seems more things change in their algorithms. As search engines get more sophisticated they are better able to mimic the needs of a human user. By paying attention to blocks, search engine bots are trying to do what the human eye and mind do naturally – segment visual areas of information into separate packets.
So what does this mean for your SEO company? Well, with search engines using routines that let them define blocks on a web page, the ways in which pages are used becomes more sophisticated. In general there are three areas affected – advertising, search results return, and the formatting of web pages for use on small screen devices.
For instance, a page about garden trowels, with an advertising sidebar for something totally unrelated, contains two types of information. One is useful to the person searching for stuff about gardening or trowels and the other isn’t. If the search engine can distinguish between the two blocks – the body of the page and the ad – it can disregard the ad when it returns search results for search terms about gardening.
The search engine may also direct appropriate ads of its own – where a web page has been populated with search engine generated ads, talk to your SEO company about this – to pages featuring blocks of the right content. So a search engine might populate your garden trowel page with its own gardening ads, once it has identified that your page is about things horticultural. In terms of an SEO company and its interest in the new technology, the primary function of search engines looking at blocks on a web page is their ability to extract topics and sub topics by defining the subject matter to which these blocks refer.
If a search engine is looking at blocks then it makes sense to arrange the information on your page into them. And you’ll need to be careful all the blocks on your page contain relevant information or you run the risk of being indexed poorly for having unfocused content.
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