Introduction to SEO
“SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of getting traffic from the free, organic, editorial or natural search results on search engines“.
SEO is part of the broader topic of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), a term used to describe all marketing strategies for search. SEM entails both organic and paid search. With paid search, you can pay to list your website on a search engine so that your website shows up when someone types in a specific keyword or phrase. Organic and paid listings both appear on the search engine, but they are displayed in different locations on the page.
Whenever you enter a query in a search engine, you get a list of web results that contain this query. Typically, users usually visit websites that are at the top of this list, because they perceive those that are more important to the query.
SEO is a method that helps search engines find and rank your site higher than millions of other sites in response to a search query. Thus, SEO helps you to get traffic from search engines.
How Search Engine Works
Search engines have one objective to provide you with the most relevant results possible in relation to your search query. If the search engine is successful in providing you with information that meets your needs, then you are a happy searcher. And happy searchers are more likely to come back to the same search engine time and time again because they are getting the results they need.
Every search engine has what are referred to as bots, or crawlers, that constantly scan the web, indexing websites for content and following links on each webpage to other web pages. If your website has not been indexed, it is impossible for your website to appear in the search results. Unless you are running a shady online business or trying to cheat your way to the top of the search engine results page (SERP), chances are your website has already has indexded.
So, big search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo are constantly indexing hundreds of millions, if not billions, of web pages.
The search engines consider two main areas when determining what your website is about and how to prioritize it.
- Content on Your Website.
2. Who’s Linking to You.
Content on your website
When indexing pages, the search engine bots scan each page of your website, looking for clues about what topics your website covers and scanning your websites back-end code for certain tags, descriptions and instructions.
Who’s linking to you
As the search engine bots scan web pages for indexing, they also look for links from other websites. The more inbound links a website has, the more influence or authority it has. Essentially, every inbound link counts as a vote for that websites content. Also, each inbound link holds different weight. For instance, a link from a highly authoritative website like The New York Times (nytimes.com) will give a website a bigger boost than a link from a small blog site. This boost is sometimes referred to as link juice.
History of SEO
- 1995 – Yahoo Launches its Web Directory.
- 1998 – Google Launches, DMOZ launches this same year.
- 2000 – Yahoo Drops AltaVista, Uses Google’s Algorithm instead.
- 2001 – Page Rank is revealed to users through the toolbar.
- 2005 – No Follow Tag Introduced.
- 2009 – Google Introduces Caffeine Algorithm, a major shift in SEO.
- 2009 – Bing and Yahoo Merge.
- 2011 – Panda Algorithm Update. A major step in the history of SEO.
- April 24th 2012 – Penguin Algorithm Update.
- September 27th 2012 – EMD Update (Exact Match Domain).
- October 4th 2012 – 65 Pack Rollout.
When developing an SEO strategy, it is best to split your initiatives into two buckets: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO covers everything you can control on each specific webpage and across your website to make it easy for the search engines to find, index, and understand the topical nature of your content. Off-page SEO covers all aspects of SEO that happen off your website to garner quality inbound links.
On Page Optimization
- Content Optimization
- Title Optimization
- Site Loading Page time optimization
- Meta keyword optimization
- Internal Linking
- URL Optimization
- XML sitemap.robot.txt ,canonicalization etc
Off Page Optimization
- Press Release Submission
- Article Directory Submission
- Web 2.0 posting
- Social Bookmarking
- Directory Submission etc.
Types of SEO
There are four main types of SEO or search engine optimization. They are given below.
- White Hat.
- Black Hat.
- Grey Hat.
- Negative SEO.
1. White Hat SEO
White hat SEO practices strictly adhere to search engine guidelines. As such, they are less likely to be negatively impacted by search engine algorithm updates that occur 500-600 times a year. Results take longer because you do not employ cheats and shortcuts.
Examples of white hat SEO include writing relevant, useful content that helps your search audience do what they need to do. It includes promoting your content on social media so it earns exposure and links, and soliciting the use of data aggregators to acquire local business citations.
2. Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO employs practices that do NOT adhere to search engine guidelines and therefore carries the risk that your website and/or content will be demoted or banned from search results. Future algorithm updates have the potential to negate or destroy any short-term advantage you may have gained by employing black hat practices but you tend to rise faster because you are less constrained by the “rules”.
Examples of black hat SEO include keyword stuffing or hiding, plagiarism, paid backlinks, cloaking (where different content is shown to human and search engine visitors), thin content (less than 300 words per page or post), and private blog networks (where a set of sites under the control of the SEO service provider is used to acquire backlinks). For a more extensive list see 44 Black Hat SEO Techniques That Will Tank Your Site from Cognitive SEO.
- Gray Hat SEO
Grey hat SEO falls somewhere in the middle. These practices are not specifically called out in the guidelines but should still be considered risky.
Examples include clickbait (content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page and not deliver value), spun (slightly altered) content, prolific link exchanges, and paying for reviews.
- Negative SEO
Negative SEO is the practice of implementing black or grey hat SEO techniques on someone else’s website with the intent of causing harm. Harming your competitors makes room for you to move up in search results.
These practices often focus on building unnatural or undesirable links to a competitor’s website, stealing their content, posting negative reviews, or hacking the site and modifying its content.
Advantages of SEO
1. It is economically profitable. You do not need to pay the search engine to advertise it. At the moment, when you have to pay for almost everything; it’s good to know that there are still free things. The best part is that you can use it for your advantages, such as the simulated effect of selling your business.
2. If you are well appreciated, your company has more chances to become visible throughout the world, while you stay at home. The Internet is an effective marketing tool. This is actually a market with many potential customers. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that your business will start quickly but it will surely be, little by little.
3. Once your site gets a good place, you somehow consider yourself one of the best. This means that you somehow value yourself in the SEO community. In reality, which occupies the first place in their field, they are perceived as really good. They are even considered to be one of the largest. It’s the same in the virtual world. If you are the highest rank, people will think that the product you are selling should have.
4. Money is needed to optimize search engines, regardless of the number of hits. This saves you some money. In addition, you are not confused with a part of accounting. Another thing, you do not worry about the money that you need to shell out for the case when you have a lot of hits.
- Target audience
- Keyword choices
- Directory submission
- SSL authentication
- Firewalls and closed ports
- Databases & query string URLs
Conclusions of SEO
The importance of search engine optimization is primarily the fact that it improves the visibility of your website. In modern business, visibility is everything if you want to go ahead. People have to be able to find you and this is not an easy task, having in mind the number of competitors, i.e. those who want to be positioned for the same keywords..
To do this it is necessary to:
- Understand the basics of how search engines rate sites.
- Use proper keywords and phrases throughout the Web site.
- Avoid giving the appearance of spamming the search engines.
- Write all text for real people, not just for search engines.
- Use well-formed alternate attributes on images.
- Make sure that the necessary meta tags (and title tag) are installed in the head of each Web page.
- Have good incoming links to establish popularity.
- Make sure the Web site is regularly updated so that the content is fresh.