SEO, SEO, SEO – you’ve heard that word so many times and yet you really have no idea on what it’s REALLY about.
In this article, I will explain to you thoroughly what SEO is all about. No hype and no fluff. By the end of this article you’ll be able to understand SEO fully.
Before we start, I want you to consider how people look for information online: they open up a search engine (most likely Google), type in the keywords that they’d like to know about a particular topic, hit “Search” and voila! Everything related to the keywords that they’ve typed are not displayed neatly on a single page. Then they start browsing the net.
Search engine’s task is easy to understand: to help people look for sites and pages which contains information based on the keywords that they have put. A recent survey showed that 90% of the people on the internet use search engine in their internet activity.
You want people to find your site and search engine provides this bridge by linking up your relevant site content with what keywords the user is typing.
So the role of the search engine is very important – no doubt about it. And for your site to be ranked on the top list of the search engine? It’s EXTREMELY important.
But getting listed on the top of the search engine is another thing. It’s not as easy as it sounds. The one that are listed on the front page are the ones who are the most visited, relevant site.
So SEO is the process in which you optimize your site (on-site and off-site) so that search engine will list you on the front page, naturally.
In the simplest form: SEO is just another form of advertising for your site.
It is probably one of the most technical form of advertising on the internet.
In order to be successful in SEO and getting that first page ranking, you must be able to satisfy both the search engine and your users.
You want to optimize your site content and structure for search engine relevance. And you want to get as many links possible from related, authority sites to establish your reputation in front of the search engine.
And at the same time, you have to keep feeding your users with great content, not some robotic content for the search engine to swallow.
Those are the real challenges for SEO.
How Search Engine Works
Search engine is a very technical thing in nature but it’s not that hard to understand. You can get ranked by using several ways in search engine – paid and organic.
With paid listing, you bid for your site to be associated with some keywords to be displayed on the front page of Google. You can look at Google’s Adwords program for this.
With organic listing, you create content on your site and wait for the search engine spiders or robots to come to your site and assess them. If they like what they see, they’ll bring your content back to their main system and use certain algorithm to integrate it in the organic search result.
Notice that with paid listing, your site gets ranked faster than with the organic listing. However, as far as conversion, organic listing is better than paid listing.
SEO in the Past
SEO practices can be traced back to the mid 1900s, quite a long while ago. At those times, webmasters need to submit their sites to different search engine to be cataloged in their search results. The spiders then will collect, organize and order the information for them to be displayed to the users according to their search term.
There were many abuse on SEO practice because SEO was at its infancy. Webmasters recognized the importance of meta tags for search engine and they abuse the use of it. The practice of keyword stuffing – putting keywords everywhere on the page to make it appear to the search engine that your site is relevant – becomes very common.
The search engines took notice and decided to change their algorithm to counter this practice. Now with their more complex algorithm, they took into account other factors such as the title tag, domain name, file name, keyword density, LSI keywords and many more factors to rank a website.
The good old days of simple, but scammy SEO are gone.
The Current State of SEO Today
Today you don’t need to submit your site to the search engine for it to notice. The modern spiders are very capable of tracking down websites through link flows and footprints. Some webmasters also use sitemaps to help spiders navigate their site better.
With the new algorithm, SEO practice becomes harder and more complex because there are so many factors to consider. It is best to learn it properly or to hire an expert if you want to employ SEO in your advertising arsenal.
Although SEO will not be as easy or as fast compared to other advertising method, it still gives the best conversion. And conversion means profit for your business.