22 March 2009

Understanding SEO Introduction

Search engine optimization (SEO) is not about technology, it is about marketing. SEO also known as SEP (Search engine positioning) is basically a plan implemented to increase a sites visibility. It mainly involves selecting keywords that will generate the targeted traffic, researching search engine policies and guidelines, and most importantly understanding the customer. There is a wide range of companies that offer SEO services, each employing strategies that may be significantly different from one another and hence producing varying results. Understanding these different strategies is the most important factor in choosing your SEO company.

Need for Optimization
It is critical for every company to take into consideration how well its Web site will rank in the most important search engines and directories. There are various but deliberate measures that a company must undertake in order to maximize their web site’s potential for success in search engines and directories. These measures, which produce concrete results, comprise the very heart of search engine optimization. Many companies underestimate the importance of search engines and fail to understand the ranking process so they end up ignoring what may be the most crucial ingredient of Internet marketing strategy.

Classification of Search Engines
One of the first things to understand when approaching Web site optimization in a strategic manner is the difference between search engines and directories.

Crawler based search engines are entities that rely on automated software agents called spiders. These spiders grab information like page titles, meta data, and textual content to be included in the search engines index or database. Search engines determine relevancy by applying a set of rules known as algorithm. The algorithm determines whether to include a specific page in the results based on the items captured by the spider. Google is an example of this type of search engine.
The other types of search engines are those that have a directory component. The main distinguishing factor between the directory and a search engine is the human element. Directories are organized by human editors who actually visit the submitted website. They play a large role in the categorization of the web site and the wording of the titles and descriptions that will be the basis by which searchers will find the web site. Look Smart is an example of human powered directory.Search engines like Yahoo and MSN, present both crawler based and human powered results. These are known as hybrid search engines.

How does SEO work?
While the algorithm of each engine may be different, they all look for the similar things:

Location of Keywords:
Search engines first check title tags, headlines, and the first two paragraphs for keyword matches. Keywords are the cornerstone of every SEO campaign.

Frequency of Keywords:
The search engine checks how often a word appears on a page. The more frequently the word appears the more relevant is the site.

Link popularity:
Increase in the relevant, external, qualified inbound links to other websites.
An SEO campaign can be broken down into 7 basic functions as shown in the table below:

* Keyword Identification
The right keywords have to be identified first. These are words related to the site and ‘USED’ by surfers while finding your service or product.

* Competition Analysis
Here the websites ranking high for the keywords selected are reviewed for their link structure optimization method and incoming links.

* Page optimization
In this stage the website is thoroughly optimized with meta tags, body text, internal links.

* Link building
Qualified incoming links are generated in this step.

* Submissions
The web pages are systematically submitted to various search engines and directories.

* Analysis & Tweaking
The results are observed over a period of time depending on the rankings and traffic trends the website is tweaked up.

* Reporting
Throughout the course of the optimization, web stats have to be observed and tactics have to be changed based on the traffic trends.

Facts about SEO :

eb site optimization always involves aiming at a moving target and therefore must be an ongoing process rather than a finite project.

Merely submitting the website is a small part of the larger process of Web site optimization. Website optimization consists of site design and layout, scientific research, determination of the best keyword phrases, monitoring rankings, algorithmic and industry changes and much more.

Website optimization professional services firm must do website optimization.

contributed by, ABHISHEK SEO

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