Saturday, August 25, 2012

Guest Post: What is SEO? (Search Engine Optimization)

Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is the ongoing process of making web pages rank highly in a search engine’s search results for certain search terms. SEO refers to the optimization or organic search results, which are not to be confused with paid search results. While there are many different tasks that an SEO must do to make a webpage rank highly within a search engine’s results, the various tasks can be categorized within three main areas: structural website optimization, content optimization, and off-site optimization. While I will be discussing each of these three areas if discipline in later articles, this article should serve to give a very basic understanding of what SEO is.

To begin, you may be wondering why, or how, SEO exists. In order to answer this question, we should first acknowledge, at least briefly, how search engines work.

First, search engines gather data by crawling web pages online and evaluating these pages based on a long list of criteria, also known as ranking signals. Depending on how well a given web page meets each individual criterion, that web page is given a certain ranking within the search results for a given set of search terms.

By understanding how search engines work and understanding the major criteria for ranking highly in search, webmasters can begin to optimize their webpages for high search rankings. While we can thank those who have dedicated themselves to investigating the search signals and testing their hypotheses, the ability to perform SEO is actually a natural side effect of how search engines work.

At this point, I’m sure many of you are wondering how SEO works. While this requires a very in-depth explanation that I will give in future blog posts, I felt it appropriate to give a very brief explanation here.

Search Engine Optimization begins within the code of the page you are trying to optimize. The webpage should be properly tagged in order for the search engine to know what the page is about. This involves having appropriate titles for the page as well as having tags within the page’s code that tell the search engine that the page is relevant for search results.

Next, the page needs to have good, substantial text content. This content should be original and should be focused on a single topic. If you wanted your website to rank in search results for five major search terms, it would be best to discuss each term on five different pages (and try to optimize each page for a certain term), as opposed to discussing five major terms on a single page. Remembering this will help you to create good, focused content.

Last, SEO requires you to make sure that other related websites are signaling to the search engines that your webpage is relevant, and worthy, to rank for a given search term. This is done primarily through obtaining links from external sites to the page being optimized. While this aspect of SEO requires an explanation longer than a single sentence, this should provide a general understanding of what off site elements are necessary for rankings.

Hopefully this article has provided you with a general understanding of what SEO is and how it works. Please leave questions in the comments section and I will try my best to answer! 

George Fox is a marketer for SuperheroDen.


preeti said...

great post showing what is an actual SEO, how search engine work and Search Engine Optimization important factors.

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Crescendo said...

interesting article, thanks for sharing, I really appreciate you for all the valuable information that you are providing us through your blog.

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cmsbuffetca said...

I really like your awesome article, fantastic presentation about SEO & on-page optimization, cause your article helps me a lots and I have inspired to implement your nice ideas for my site ..

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greem smith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Muthu Paiyan said...

Nice sharing about SEO[Search Engine Optimization].

I am using the Search Engine Visibility[SEV] service for my website.I got this service at low cost from with many features and excellent customer service.
It helps to promote the site in following ways:
Complete Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for one website,One-click submission to Google, Yahoo!, Bing and AOL,Easy submission to over 100 search engines and directories, Google Keyword Generator and increase your page rank in Google and many other search engines.So,website traffic will also increase.

Wabbitt bearing said...

Great tips Nick. Also, if it's a word press blog, using Comment Luv plugin would be good. would like to know your thoughts on this, as your is a word press blog and you're not using it? Babbitt bearing

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