We Know: All About Search Engine Optimization

What is search engine optimization?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is another term for link popularity. A website is made visible on the Internet to attract search engine spiders. Search engine spiders are robots that search the Internet (crawl) for pages that link to or from the website. These pages are included in the search engine's database. Search engine optimization improves a website's visibility and ranking on search engines such as Yahoo, Google, and Excite. The website content is enhanced with keyword-rich search phrases.

Why is search engine optimization important?

Search engine optimization is a marketing tool that targets an audience by using specific keywords. Improving rankings draws more traffic to a website.

How does search engine optimization work?

You have to understand what gets your website ranked in order to appreciate the beauty of search engine optimization. An article by Paul Boutin provides sound advice for optimizing your website. Use the following checklist to optimize your website:

  1. Use a descriptive title that describes your website and uses keyword-rich phrasing. Think of a phrase Internet users are likely to search by.
  2. Use key tags, or Meta Names, that contain keyword descriptors.
  3. Use popular phrases that summarize your website.
  4. Design your page so that other websites will link to it.
  5. Enhance the content on your website by making it keyword rich.
  6. Design your website so that people will want to return to it.
  7. Set your optimization to meet the standards of popular search engines. Most of your traffic comes from search engines like Yahoo and Google.

What do I need to do to get ranked?

To get noticed, you'll want to advertise on the popular search engines. This includes the big ones: Yahoo, Google, Excite, and Inktomi. Some of the goals you should aim for in search engine optimization include:

  1. Get into good graces with Yahoo. You'll want to be listed with this popular search engine.
  2. Make your presence felt so that Google and Inktomi send out crawlers to your site and its affiliated pages.
  3. Create your web page with links to external resources.
  4. Formulate a strategy to get yourself listed on other search engines.

The higher the quality of the web pages on your website, the higher you'll rank on Google's PageRank link popularity tool. To improve the quality, you'll want to:

  • Design your website so that it adheres to accepted industry standards.
  • Enhance content with keyword rich phrasing.
  • Promote ease of navigation.
  • Incorporates external links.
  • Does not slam the user with useless advertisements.
  • Contains valid links.

Are there good and bad methods of search engine optimization?

There are good, bad, and ugly forms of SEO. If you want to appeal to search engines, you'll follow methods that are standard to the industry.

The bad and ugly methods of SEO (also called "black hat SEO") include:

  • Spamming - entering a keyword in a search engine's search tool returns gobbledygook.
  • Planting hidden content using the NOSCRIPT tags.
  • Placing keyword rich content on a page that has nothing to do with that particular topic.
  • Misleading web surfers by enticing them to your site with false claims.

Reasonable and preferred methods of SEO (also called "white hat SEO") include:

  • Adhering to SEO and SEO industry guidelines.
  • Provide an easy way for search engines to crawl your pages.
  • Make your pages accessible using a site map.

Using good search engine methods provides for a more flexible approach.

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