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04 November 2015 | Online Marketing
Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website on organic (“natural” or un-paid) search engine result pages (SERPs), by incorporating search engine friendly elements into a website. A successful search engine optimization campaign will have, as part of the improvements, carefully select, relevant, keywords which the on-page optimization will be designed to make prominent for search engine algorithms. Search engine optimization is broken down into two basic areas: on-page, and off-page optimization.
On-page optimization refers to website elements which comprise a web page, such as HTML code, textual content, and images.
Off-page optimization refers, predominantly, to backlinks (links pointing to the site which is being optimized, from other relevant websites).
What goes into SEO?
To understand what SEO really means, let’s break that sentence down and look at the parts:
Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in products that you offer.
Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.
Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for..
How SEO works
You might think of a search engine as a website you visit to type (or speak) a question into a box and Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or whatever search engine you’re using magically replies with a long list of links to webpages that could potentially answer your question.
That’s true. But have you ever stopped to consider what’s behind those magical lists of links?
Here’s how it works: Google (or any search engine you’re using) has a crawler that goes out and gathers information about all the content they can find on the Internet. The crawlers bring all those 1s and 0s back to the search engine to build an index. That index is then fed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with your query.
The O part of SEO—optimization—is where the people who write all that content and put it on their sites are gussying that content and those sites up, so search engines will be able to understand what they’re seeing, and the users who arrive via search will like what they see.
Optimization can take many forms. It’s everything from making sure the title tags and meta descriptions are both informative and the right length to pointing internal links at pages you’re proud of.
How Search Engines Work
The first basic truth you need to know to learn SEO is that search engines are not humans. While this might be obvious for everybody, the differences between how humans and search engines view web pages aren’t. Unlike humans, search engines are text-driven. Although technology advances rapidly, search engines are far from intelligent creatures that can feel the beauty of a cool design or enjoy the sounds and movement in movies. Instead, search engines crawl the Web, looking at particular site items (mainly text) to get an idea what a site is about. This brief explanation is not the most precise because as we will see next, search engines perform several activities in order to deliver search results – crawling , indexing , processing , calculating relevancy , and retrieving.
First, search engines crawl the Web to see what is there. This task is performed by a piece of software, called a crawler or a spider (or Googlebot, as is the case with Google). Spiders follow links from one page to another and index everything they find on their way. Having in mind the number of pages on the Web (over 20 billion), it is impossible for a spider to visit a site daily just to see if a new page has appeared or if an existing page has been modified, sometimes crawlers may not end up visiting your site for a month or two.
Although the basic principle of operation of all search engines is the same, the minor differences between them lead to major changes in results relevancy. For different search engines different factors are important. There were times, when SEO experts joked that the algorithms of Bing are intentionally made just the opposite of those of Google. While this might have a grain of truth, it is a matter a fact that the major search engines like different stuff and if you plan to conquer more than one of them, there is need to optimize carefully.
The evolution of SEO
Search engine algorithms change frequently and SEO tactics evolve in response to those changes. So if someone is offering you SEO advice that doesn’t feel quite right, check in with the specific topic page.
Keeping up to date with SEO
The algorithms used by Google and Microsoft to determine the order of their results are subject to tweaks and improvements as they attempt to deliver ever more accurate search results. As a result, SEO is something of a moving feast and it pays to stay up to date. That said, these basic principles are unlikely to change significantly as they are key determinants of websites ranking
TYPES OF SEO
There are two major types of search engine optimization, white hat search engine optimization (the ‘good’ kind), and black hat (the ‘not so good’ kind). There are of course differing opinions about the nature of each type of SEO. Get the information you need to be able to tell them apart and make an informed decision
There are a number of SEO services which can help contribute to the improvement of the organic search engine rankings of a website. These services include, but are not limited to, on-page (or on-site) optimization, link building, search engine friendly website design and development, and search engine friendly content writing services.
FOR WHOM IS SEO SUITABLE?
On the surface, search engine optimization is a good way of marketing a website; after all, who doesn’t like free traffic. Unfortunately, that kind of approach to SEO is exactly how many individuals and companies invest thousands of dollars into SEO campaigns without useful results.
WHAT CAN SEO ACCOMPLISH?
There is a lot of misinformation about what an SEO campaign (company) can accomplish when it comes to organic search engine rankings. Here we try to dispel the myths, and give you realistic expectations of what a search engine campaign can accomplish in the short, mid and long term