Search Engine Optimization
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of your content in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, video search, music search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
Most big websites / services have a search engine helping their users to navigate and you should always keep in mind that having a high ranking and good visibility in search engines is an important part of online marketing. Example of services where being found in the search engine can be key for your success: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, iTunes, Spotify, Wimp ++
The different search engines might use different algorithms to decide what content to show. As a good online marketeer you should try toanalyze search results optimize your content based on this.
Getting indexed on search engines
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.
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. Read more about Google Webmaster Tools under our tools section.
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.
SEO as a marketing strategy
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.
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. In 2003, Danny Sullivan stated that Google represented about 75% of all searches. In markets outside the United States, Google’s share is often larger, and Google remains the dominant search engine worldwide as of 2007. As of 2006, Google had an 85–90% market share in Germany. While there were hundreds of SEO firms in the US at that time, there were only about five in Germany.As of June 2008, the marketshare of Google in the UK was close to 90% according to Hitwise. That market share is achieved in a number of countries.
As of 2009, there are only a few large markets where Google is not the leading search engine. In most cases, when Google is not leading in a given market, it is lagging behind a local player. The most notable markets where this is the case are China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the Czech Republic where respectively Baidu, Yahoo! Japan, Naver, Yandex and Seznam are market leaders.
Successful search optimization for international markets may require professional translation of web pages, registration of a domain name with a top level domain in the target market, and web hosting that provides a local IP address. Otherwise, the fundamental elements of search optimization are essentially the same, regardless of language.
The Most Important SEO Strategy
- Keyword-rich text. The majority of a site’s pages should contain the words and phrases the target audience types into search queries. Pages should appear somewhat focused on these important keyword phrases, and the phrases should be featured prominently on the page. Otherwise, the page won’t convert well or receive consistent search engine traffic over time. Keyword research and copywriting for individual HTML tags are a part of this building block.
- Information/site architecture and page layout. Search engines and end users must be given easy access to keyword-rich content. How text, graphic images, and multimedia files are arranged on a page tells search engines and site visitors which content the site owner believes is most important. URL structure and technical architecture figure into that as well.
- Link development. Commonly referred to as link popularity, this is the number and quality of objective, third-party links pointing to a URL or Web site. Of course, not all links pointing to a site are objective, third-party links, but those types of links aren’t always the most credible.
Source Wikipedia and clickz.com.