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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization SEO is a way of analyzing your site and modifying it to allow search engines to read and index it more easily. SEO is all about maintaining and building websites that get ranked highly on the major search engines.

You see, when people use a search engine, they generally don’t look beyond the top 20 or so results. If you want to make any money from your website, you need to get ranked in the top 20 out of potentially hundreds of websites.

Is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid "organic" search results. In general, the earlier or higher ranked on the search results page, and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users.

SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.

How Does SEO Work?

Search engines maintain a huge database containing information from individual websites. Most of the information search engines collect isn’t listed on their results pages, but it is taken into consideration when it comes to deciding those results’ rankings.

It is very important that you encourage the search engines to rank your website in a high position, and you can do this through the keywords that you use on your website, as well as when you submit it. If the keywords you use in your submission tool don’t match the ones on your site then you could harm your rankings – be sure to have all the keywords you want to use on the website itself before you submit it.

Most websites don’t focus on their topic well, and so keyword lists containing 50 or more phrases per page are recommended. By focusing some of the pages of your site on keywords, you will score higher with the search engines.


Free Search Engines


The major search engines on the Internet are still free, and it’s not hard to take advantage of this free advertising – you can do it in as little as an hour.

There are several companies that provide free SEO tools, or you can pay a professional to take care of it for you. Looking around on the web will turn up all sorts of useful resources. 

What is Unethical SEO?

Unethical search engine optimization techniques can be unlawful, unscrupulous, or just in bad taste. You’d be surprised how many people use these methods. A lot of what is now called unethical SEO used to be accepted, until people went overboard and it started to have a negative affect on the web as a whole.

Keyword stuffing is when your site consists of long lists of keywords and nothing else. Don’t do it. There are ways to put keywords and phrases on your site without running the risk of getting banned.

You may have seen ‘invisible text’ if you’ve been selecting the text on a page and found words that are the same color as the background. This text is often lists of keywords put there in the hope of fooling search engine spiders while hiding the words from visitors. This is considered unethical, and you shouldn’t do it.

A doorway page is a page that isn’t designed for real people to see – it’s purely for the search engines and spiders, in an attempt to trick them into indexing the website in a higher position. This is a big no-no and should be avoided.

Even though unethical SEO is tempting, and does work, you shouldn’t do it – not only is it annoying to users, but it’s likely to get you banned from the search engines sooner or later. You sites’ search engine rankings just aren’t worth the risk. Use efficient SEO techniques to get your site ranked higher, and stay away from anything that even looks like unethical SEO.

SEO is a set of techniques used in order to attract visitors or prospective customers to your website, and the goal of a search engine is to provide high quality content to the users of the Internet. These two objectives are not in opposition, if you do SEO the way it should be done.

The plural of the abbreviation SEO can also refer to "Search Engine Optimizers," those who provide SEO services.

By 1997, search engines recognized that webmasters were making efforts to rank well in their search engines, and that some webmasters were even manipulating their rankings in search results by stuffing pages with excessive or irrelevant keywords. Early search engines, such as Altavista and Infoseek, adjusted their algorithms in an effort to prevent webmasters from manipulating rankings.

In 2005, an annual conference, AIRWeb, Adversarial Information Retrieval on the Web was created to bring together practitioners and researchers concerned with search engine optimisation and related topics.

Companies that employ overly aggressive techniques can get their client websites banned from the search results. In 2005, the Wall Street Journal reported on a company, Traffic Power, which allegedly used high-risk techniques and failed to disclose those risks to its clients. Wired magazine reported that the same company sued blogger and SEO Aaron Wall for writing about the ban. Google's Matt Cutts later confirmed that Google did in fact ban Traffic Power and some of its clients.

Some search engines have also reached out to the SEO industry, and are frequent sponsors and guests at SEO conferences, chats, and seminars. Major search engines provide information and guidelines to help with site optimization. Google has a Sitemaps program to help webmasters learn if Google is having any problems indexing their website and also provides data on Google traffic to the website. Bing Webmaster Tools provides a way for webmasters to submit a sitemap and web feeds, allows users to determine the crawl rate, and track the web pages index status.

Methods of SEO

Getting indexed

The leading search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!, use crawlers to find pages for their algorithmic search results. Pages that are linked from other search engine indexed pages do not need to be submitted because they are found automatically. Some search engines, notably Yahoo!, operate a paid submission service that guarantee crawling for either a set fee or cost per click. Such programs usually guarantee inclusion in the database, but do not guarantee specific ranking within the search results.[31] Two major directories, the Yahoo Directory and the Open Directory Project both require manual submission and human editorial review. Google offers Google Webmaster Tools, for which an XML Sitemap feed can be created and submitted for free to ensure that all pages are found, especially pages that are not discoverable by automatically following links.

Search engine crawlers may look at a number of different factors when crawling a site. Not every page is indexed by the search engines. Distance of pages from the root directory of a site may also be a factor in whether or not pages get crawled.

Preventing Crawling Robots Exclusion Standard

To avoid undesirable content in the search indexes, webmasters can instruct spiders not to crawl certain files or directories through the standard robots.txt file in the root directory of the domain. Additionally, a page can be explicitly excluded from a search engine's database by using a meta tag specific to robots. When a search engine visits a site, the robots.txt located in the root directory is the first file crawled. The robots.txt file is then parsed, and will instruct the robot as to which pages are not to be crawled. As a search engine crawler may keep a cached copy of this file, it may on occasion crawl pages a webmaster does not wish crawled. Pages typically prevented from being crawled include login specific pages such as shopping carts and user-specific content such as search results from internal searches. In March 2007, Google warned webmasters that they should prevent indexing of internal search results because those pages are considered search spam.

Increasing Prominence

A variety of methods can increase the prominence of a webpage within the search results. Cross linking between pages of the same website to provide more links to most important pages may improve its visibility. Writing content that includes frequently searched keyword phrase, so as to be relevant to a wide variety of search queries will tend to increase traffic. Updating content so as to keep search engines crawling back frequently can give additional weight to a site. Adding relevant keywords to a web page's meta data, including the title tag and meta description, will tend to improve the relevancy of a site's search listings, thus increasing traffic. URL normalization of web pages accessible via multiple urls, using the canonical link element or via 301 redirects can help make sure links to different versions of the url all count towards the page's link popularity score.

White Hat versus Black Hat techniques

SEO techniques can be classified into two broad categories: techniques that search engines recommend as part of good design, and those techniques of which search engines do not approve. The search engines attempt to minimize the effect of the latter, among them spamdexing. Industry commentators have classified these methods, and the practitioners who employ them, as either white hat SEO, or black hat SEO. White hats tend to produce results that last a long time, whereas black hats anticipate that their sites may eventually be banned either temporarily or permanently once the search engines discover what they are doing.

An SEO technique is considered white hat if it conforms to the search engines' guidelines and involves no deception. As the search engine guidelines[27][28][40] are not written as a series of rules or commandments, this is an important distinction to note. White hat SEO is not just about following guidelines, but is about ensuring that the content a search engine indexes and subsequently ranks is the same content a user will see. White hat advice is generally summed up as creating content for users, not for search engines, and then making that content easily accessible to the spiders, rather than attempting to trick the algorithm from its intended purpose. White hat SEO is in many ways similar to web development that promotes accessibility, although the two are not identical.

Black hat SEO attempts to improve rankings in ways that are disapproved of by the search engines, or involve deception. One black hat technique uses text that is hidden, either as text colored similar to the background, in an invisible div, or positioned off screen. Another method gives a different page depending on whether the page is being requested by a human visitor or a search engine, a technique known as cloaking.

Search engines may penalize sites they discover using black hat methods, either by reducing their rankings or eliminating their listings from their databases altogether. Such penalties can be applied either automatically by the search engines' algorithms, or by a manual site review. One example was the February 2006 Google removal of both BMW Germany and Ricoh Germany for use of deceptive practices. Both companies, however, quickly apologized, fixed the offending pages, and were restored to Google's list.

As a Marketing Strategy

SEO is not an appropriate strategy for every website, and other Internet marketing strategies can be more effective like paid advertising through PPC campaigns, depending on the site operator's goals. A successful Internet marketing campaign may also depend upon building high quality web pages to engage and persuade, setting up analytics programs to enable site owners to measure results, and improving a site's conversion rate.

SEO may generate an adequate return on investment. However, search engines are not paid for organic search traffic, their algorithms change, and there are no guarantees of continued referrals. Due to this lack of guarantees and certainty, a business that relies heavily on search engine traffic can suffer major losses if the search engines stop sending visitors. Search engines can change their algorithms, impacting a website's placement, possibly resulting in a serious loss of traffic. According to Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, in 2010, Google made over 500 algorithm changes – almost 1.5 per day. It is considered wise business practice for website operators to liberate themselves from dependence on search engine traffic.

International Markets

Optimization techniques are highly tuned to the dominant search engines in the target market. The search engines' market shares vary from market to market, as does competition.

Legal precedents

On October 17, 2002, SearchKing filed suit in the United States District Court, Western District of Oklahoma, against the search engine Google. SearchKing's claim was that Google's tactics to prevent spamdexing constituted a tortious interference with contractual relations. On May 27, 2003, the court granted Google's motion to dismiss the complaint because SearchKing "failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted."

In March 2006, KinderStart filed a lawsuit against Google over search engine rankings. Kinderstart's website was removed from Google's index prior to the lawsuit and the amount of traffic to the site dropped by 70%. On March 16, 2007 the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Jose Division) dismissed KinderStart's complaint without leave to amend, and partially granted Google's motion for Rule 11 sanctions against KinderStart's attorney, requiring him to pay part of Google's legal expenses.

Why Is Search Engine Optimization Important

If your business is dependant on customers visiting your website, then you should take a second and ask yourself if you’re happy with the amount of business you’re receiving from your site. If the answer is yes and you’re overloaded with work, then you probably already had your site optimized or chose other means of advertising. However, being that you’re reading this article, you are probably in search of answers or suggestions as to creating more traffic to your website.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s address why optimization is important. For starters, who doesn’t want more business, right? It means business is money and almost everyone enjoys making more money.

So, with that being said, seo is an essential part of the online community when it comes to actually making money.

Whatever your company sells or offers as a service is more than likely offered by many others. Some of your competitors have probably already had their site optimized.

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