Tuesday, November 17

Search Engine Eptimization, part 1 - Introduction

Right then, I have finally got round to planning and writing some of that promised SEO series. What it will include is basically a set of posts centering around search engine optimization for websites/blogs, ie - link building, on page SEO and getting more targeted traffic. It will mainly be aimed at beginner webmasters but I'll put in a few tips that may also appeal to those more experienced SEO-ers; some little pieces that could help you with your site optimization.
In this first post of the series, I'm going to talk to you about what search engine optimization (SEO) is. SEO has been around since the first search engines started to crawl the web and index web pages (I'm going to assume you know what a search engine is!). Nowadays, many people think Google is the 'god' of the search engines. It seems all powerful with its hundreds of seperate branches ie - blogging, e-mail and I think Google even owns YouTube now. And it seems to most people that The Big G has been around since the dawn of time (or at least the start of computing and the Internet). But in fact, Google is one of the newest of the big search engines as it was only launched in 1998. But since then, Google has introduced a huge number of techniques to help them rank sites more effectively, leading to them becoming so successful. An example of these is PageRank. This technique counts the number of links to a page, as well as analyzing the quality of the link (more on that in my next post), to influence where it ranks in there results. Google is constantly changing how they determine where to rank websites. This means that people have had to find ways to make their website rank better - come up higher in search results - than their competition, and also adapt to these changes, thus getting more clicks and therefore traffic. This process of SEO has become a large industry and there are many companies offering it as a service, but the best way is to learn it for yourself, so you can have total control over your website.

First of all, there are two types of SEO. On page SEO and off page SEO. They are both pretty self explanatory - on page search engine optimization is changing aspects of your websites to influence how much the search engines 'like' them. On page has the benefit that it is very quick to do, and easy to start doing but harder once your reach an upper ceiling. Off page search engine optimization mainly involves garnering links to your pages from all over the web. This is great because it can also bring you traffic from these links, but many links are hard to get (especially high PR links).
I will explain about these two types of search engine optimization in more detail, in my next post and what you can do yourself to help your site rank higher. EDIT: Click for part 2 of my SEO series.
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