The term "Search Engine Optimization," or SEO, has become a
pronounced buzz term in Internet commerce. SEO is simply the
process of improving the amount of volume, also known as
traffic, to a website by placing it as high as possible in
search results through a search engine such as Google, MSN, or
Yahoo!. Better search engine placement means a greater
likelihood your website will be found and viewed by potential
customers. Searches can be industry-specific, location-specific,
The search engine results process involves a "spider" crawling
the web page, downloading it, and storing it on the search
engine's own server. A second program indexes specific
information from the web page, such as words and phrases on the
page and links contained in the page. This is how the importance
of keywords came to be.
Unfortunately, webmasters would manipulate page rankings by
stuffing the page full of keywords. The pages may have made it
to the top of search engine lists, but many times the websites
contained information irrelevant to the customer, or the webpage
was so difficult to read the customer would ignore the content.
To combat this problem, search engines now have a much more
complex method of scanning a web page for relevance, making it
more difficult for webmasters to manipulate search results.
There are two methods of marketing your website so it can be
indexed by search engines. The first is the 'natural' method,
where search algorithms scan a complex number of factors such as
relevance of keywords, relevance to the customer, and inbound
links to determine indexing and placement. Search engines such
as Google offer methods of submitting your web page to guarantee
indexing. Pages that are indexed should automatically be
discovered by other search engine crawlers.
The other method of indexing is paid indexing. Yahoo! Is one
search engine that offers either flat-fee or pay-per-click
options of listing your website. Paying for indexing does not
guarantee the website's standing in search results, only that it
will be included.
Techniques used for search engine optimization fall into two
categories, white hat and black hat.
White hat techniques are those that search engines recommend
and that conform to the search engine's guidelines. It is
generally explained as creating content for users, then making
that content easy for spiders to access. One important aspect of
white hat techniques is that the web page indexed by the search
engine is the same content the user will see.
Black hat techniques involve methods that attempt to trick the
search engine into better rankings, or that involve deception.
Hidden text, cloaking (delivering a different page to search
engine crawlers than the one delivered to human website
visitors, and loading a page with paid links are all examples
of tricks that can get you into trouble with search engines.
Improving Your Odds of Discovery
There are over 200 factors that search engines take into
account to rate web pages. You must take a balanced approach
when determining how to best get your website discovered and
indexed by search engines.
Keywords are important, but be certain your content is
well-balanced and the keywords are used sparingly. Make your
content easy to read, with your key word or phrase included at
least once on the page. Heavy keyword repetition is known as
spamming and could get you into trouble.
Adding links from trusted sites, supported by relevant text and
page content and that are relevant to your industry, are the
ones that will help your site.
When submitting to article directories, create useful,
meaningful content that is informative and will encourage
readers to link to. Videos, blogs, product reviews, and so forth
are other informative ways of encouraging reader links to your
When developing your web content, keep the above factors in
mind and ensure you are catering to the best interests of your
clients and not to the search engines.
Robert Abrom: Is the CEO of Abrom Research
Inc., find more resources for your journey to entrepreneurship