Search engine optimization (SEO)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.
Web content providers also manipulated a number of attributes within the HTML source
of a page in an attempt to rank well in search engines. By relying so much on factors
such as keyword density which were exclusively within a webmaster's control, early
search engines suffered from abuse and ranking manipulation.
To provide better results to their users, search engines had to adapt to ensure
their results pages showed the most relevant search results, rather than unrelated
pages stuffed with numerous keywords by unscrupulous webmasters.
Since the success and popularity of a search engine is determined by its ability
to produce the most relevant results to any given search, allowing those results
to be false would turn users to find other search sources.
PageRank estimates the likelihood that a given page will be reached by a web user
who randomly surfs the web, and follows links from one page to another. In effect,
this means that some links are stronger than others, as a higher PageRank page is
more likely to be reached by the random surfer.
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.
As the search engine guidelines 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.
SEO is not an appropriate strategy for every website, and other Internet marketing
strategies can be more effective, 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.
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