How do people discover content on the web? Three of the most important ways are social sharing, following links from other websites, and using search engines.
The best way to maximise exposure in all three of these areas is to provide high-quality original information - or content - that people want to read and share. When you offer interesting, unique content for people to consume and share with others, search engines are more likely to include (index) your site in their search results pages. So the best way to optimise your site for search engines is to optimise it for people.
Search engines use computer programs, known as crawlers, to methodically index websites based on their content. In the world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), many people try to game the system by filling their pages full of meaningless keywords. Search engines are wise to these practices, and make continual adjustments to their search algorithms to stop people abusing the system.
To help search engine crawlers understand and recognize our site, we can use Semantic Markup, which means using HTML tags – pieces of text describing different site elements – to tell them about our content. Here, we are using the "article" element to tell spiders and browsers that our article is an article:
<article>Content of the article</article>
If our content is in plain text (with no HTML tags), a crawler has no way of working out which information is most important and relevant to the page. But if we use Semantic Markup, they can immediately understand our content and information hierarchy.