Search Engine Optimization Girl

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is the process of "optimizing" web sites for Internet search engines. This process consists of "on-page" elements and "off page" elements; both of which effect how a web site is perceived by search engine ranking "algorithms". These computer algorithms are used by search engines to measure and calculate the relevance and importance of information found ultimately determining where exactly web pages appear on search engines results pages. Search engine results pages are often referred to within the industry as "SERPS".

Google Engineer Matt Cutts: SEO is Helpful to Google When SEO's Cooperate

“Our goal is to make sure we return the best possible search results we can. And a wonderful way search engine optimizers can help is by cooperating and trying to help search engines find pages better.” - Matt Cutts

Search Engine Algorithms

A search engine algorithm comes into play after a search engine scans or "crawls" a web site to read and comprehend it. Search engine crawlers, also referred to as "spiders", scan the entire web through links from one page to another and store a record of web pages for each and every web site on the Internet. This information is stored within a network of computers making up a giant index of data. Search engines then run that data through a computer algorithm and apply something in-tune with a "score" for a sites importance, trust, authoritativeness and quality. Sites which score high are displayed at or near the top of search engines for the keywords important to the web site. The process search engines use to deliver ranking takes a fraction of a second from the time a search is initiated.

The computer algorithms used by search engines are very complex in nature and change often. Google and other popular search engines like Yahoo and Bing use hundreds of ranking factors in the algorithms in order to examine the web site itself, the links that point to the web site, historical data for a site, traffic patterns, domain names, social signals and hundreds of other things a computer program has the ability to record and analyze. Over the years it has become increasingly important for search engines to perfect these algorithms due to the tremendous amount of web sites on the Internet. Search engines must deliver the best and most relevant results to maintain their reliability, trust and popularity among users. Click here to see more about how a search engine works.

Search Engine Algorithms

On-Page Search Engine Optimization Elements

Simply put, "on-page" elements consist of anything which makes up the web site itself. This can consist of content, keywords, images, files, contact forms and any information or architectural aspects of a site's back-end coding (the non-visible elements of what is seen by the naked eye). Something as simple as a web site's structure in shape, layout and colors could play a role.

When an experienced search engine optimization company refers to "on-page" changes to a web site, they’re generally referring to things that can be changed on a web site to ensure search engines understand and "index" a web site in a way which makes the site relevant to what its purpose is. It also means the site has been inspected to ensure there isn’t anything on the web site a) that may be counterproductive to the overall goals or b) may contain anything which would appear to a search engine as being possibly “over-optimized” or even web spam, such as hidden text. If the intent is to rank well for the keyword "advertising company", it is important to ensure that search engines understand that the web site is about that topic specifically. This is done by "optimizing" the elements on the web site for that term and ensuring that those terms “stand-out” to search engines. If and when search engines correlate a significant relevance to that term on the web site or web page and it’s also matched with a high algorithmic score (the site is trusted), the page will appear well within SERPS when people search for the term or other related terms like it. Click here to learn more about our affordable search engine optimization services.

Meta Data

Off-Page Search Engine Optimization Elements

Off-page optimization or off-site optimization refers to anything that doesn’t have a direct effect to the look, feel, or architectural back-end of the web site. In other words, nothing on the web site itself is being changed in this process; it’s entirely off-site marketing. For instance, links pointing to the web site from other sites could be "optimized" for relevance using appropriate anchor text. Anchor text is the actual text based words and letters in the link itself which point to a web site. Anchor text plays a significant role in search engine rankings and optimizing or using the appropriate anchor text when linking can be very effective. Social signals, article marketing, press releases and any online references to a web site could also be considered off-page optimization.

Recently, Google has been quite forthcoming with the fact that they are assigning importance and a measure of value to web sites which maintain some level of brand recognition with users. As it is extremely unlikely that brand value could be optimized on-page, this too is considered within the "off-site" optimization process.

The popularity of a web site, how often it is clicked among other results, social signals, how many references or web links point to it, as well as other user behaviors can determine a web sites brand value. This is the newest and most recent significant algorithm change search engines are using in addition to their process of web site evaluation. Search engines are still working on this latest metric which will continue for some time into the future. Click here to read more on off-site optimization such as our affordable web link building services.

Anchor Text

Search Engine Optimization Guidelines

Search engines release publically available guidelines about relevance, optimization, as well as over optimization or search engine spam. It is important for web site operators to strictly adhere to these specific guidelines as those who don’t could find themselves in much worse shape than when they started the optimization process to begin with. Being found on Google and other popular search engines can make or break any business in today’s Internet savvy marketplace. Those who understand not just the desired result, but the process involved in making that result possible, as well as maintaining those results over time will reap larger rewards, with less expense. This effectively increases the overall Return On Investment (ROI) for companies that utilize search engine optimization as a business marketing process.

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