SEO knowledge base

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, defies easy definition. But here's a short version:

Search Engine Optimization
Using keyword analysis and other legitimate practices to gain the highest possible search engine and directory rankings, under a given key phrase, for a given URL.

Every SEO professional in the world just cringed, so I'll break this definition down a bit and hopefully prevent a hail of angry e-mails:

Keyword Analysis is the process of mining keyword search data to find the best balance between the keywords you need and the best potential search niche. More on this later.

Search Engine means an automated search engine. 'Search Engines' include Google,, Yahoo (powered by Google plus their own directory information), AOL Search, Ask Jeeves and MSN Search. A search engine obtains its results from 'spiders' or 'bots' -- small programs that come to your web site read it in much the same way you would: By reading the content on a page, and then moving from page to page via links. A directory, on the other hand, is built at least in part by human beings reading sites and other information and deciding where each site fits into the directory structure. Yahoo's directory area and Open Directory are both examples of directories.

Ranking is the numeric rank reflecting your position in the results list when someone performs a search on a particular set of keywords.

Highest Possible means getting as close to number one as you can. Sometimes you just can't get that number one spot. Maybe someone else has a 400-page web site solely dedicated to the key phrase for which you're attempting to optimize. Or maybe they're paying a fortune in advertising. That's life, sometimes...

Key Phrase is the keyword or set of keywords someone types into the little 'search' field in Google or Alta Vista or any other search engine.

A URL is the address of one page on your site. Most search engines display keyword search results and provide a link directly to the page most relevant to those results, rather than your home page. It's very, very important to keep that in mind when you build and optimize your site.

Legitimate Practices is a pet peeve of mine. A true search engine optimization campaign will not use practices such as page or content cloaking, redirects, or lists of links (so-called 'link farms') but relies on good coding practices, well-written content, steady link popularity work and site features that will be every bit as valuable for site visitors as for search engine ranking. Anything less is a short-term fix that will likely reduce your rankings more often than increase them.

So, the long version of the definition would be:

Search Engine Optimization
Using keyword analysis, good coding practices, well-written copy, link popularity analysis and careful site organization to move a web page as close to the number one search results position as possible for a given key phrase, in both search engines and directories.

2 Komento ng Ulirang Guro:

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