What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are steps taken to improve the existing ranking of a website in the listings of search engines. In this context, it may be taken as another function of search engine marketing. Consultants who take up this job of optimizing a website with the specific aim of getting a good ranking in the search engines are called Search Engine Optimizers (SEO). Therefore, SEO means Search Engine Optimization as well as Search Engine Optimizers.
The listings of the search engine pages are called as search engine results pages (SERPs). The listings are of various types, namely, organic search results (the relevant websites with the word or phrase searched for), pay per click advertisements, paid inclusion listings, and other advertisements. The field of SEO concerns with being listed in the top positions in the organic search results. This is achieved by using keywords. Site owners usually weigh the cost of optimization against the cost of pay per click advertising. The most cost effective strategy is usually adopted.
SEO experts classify their efforts as “white hat SEO” and “black hat SEO”. The former sticks by the rules of the search engines, while the latter attempts to manipulate and trick the search engines, the justification being that all SEO, whether white hat or black hat, is after all unfair.
On what basis do search engines rank?
Search engines usually have programs that “crawl” the site, and are hence known as spiders. They scan the webpage and then sort them out according to the required search. The logic of this sorting program is known as an algorithm. All search engines have kept their respective algorithms secret. Webmasters found that the domain name, text within the title tag, URL directories and file names, keyword sequence, keyword proximity, keyword density, keyword adjacency, Alt attribute for images, text within the NOFRAMES tags, and other HTML tags like (em, strong), etc., played a positive role in the rankings.
Two Stanford University PhD students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, started Google and they brought the concept of inbound links. Their algorithm rotated around the logic that each link to a page proved the popularity of that page, and thus the most popular page is ranked first and so on. Webmasters worked on this and they started to build link-building tools. Soon they exchanged, bought and sold links in huge numbers. To overcome this, search engines started to develop semantic (how meaningful), linguistic (how grammatically correct), heuristic (directing the attention towards discovering), and predictive (calculating beforehand) algorithms. Currently, search engines use more than 100 factors in the creation of their algorithms and in determining their rankings. Hence, nowadays, much of SEO, is actually making guesses on what works and what does not work.
Some factors to consider when writing for SEO
* Age of the domain name, site, content, frequency of the content being updated, links and the reputation of the site from where the page has been linked, as well as sponsored links.
* Uniqueness of the content, citation and research links, usage of stem-related terms like marketing, employment, finance, etc.
* Use of HTML meta tags, “rel=nofollow”, and other tags.
* Metrics collected from Google programs like adwords, adsense, analytics, etc.
* IP of hosting service and other sites hosted by the same IP.
* Use of 301 or 302 for redirection, showing a 404 server header instead of 200 server header for pages that do not exist. Appropriate use of robots.txt.
* The hosting uptime.
* Cloaking (serving different content to different users) or not cloaking.
* Broken links being promptly rectified.
* Illegal and harmful content.
* The quality of coding. * Keywords, density of keywords.* Stemming.
Some important features of the SEO article content
* The content should answer the searched question.
* The content should have academic and literary value.
* The content should be original and help users.
* The content should be well researched.
* The content should be clear and concise.
* The content should give a detailed timeline of the product/service.
* The content should provide good research links to other quality and relevant sites.
* The content should be socially relevant.
Writing for SEO is a challenging job, and although much is speculation, yet, the best results are obtained when something original is said, something which a person believes in.