So what is SEO, anyway?
October 5, 2006 • Glenn Murray
You’ve no doubt heard a little (or a lot) about SEO. Chances are, not all of it has been very clear. Hopefully this entry will shed some light on the subject for you.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s the art of increasing your site’s search engine ranking (in the natural search results – not the paid listings down the side, like Google AdWords).
There are two main steps involved:
- Tell the search engines what your site is about, so they know what searches it should appear in. This is commonly referred to as ‘on-site optimization’. Your site needs to be search engine-friendly so that the search engines can access it properly, and you need to use the right keywords in your HTML code and in your copy. Generally speaking, ‘on-site optimization’ – by itself – won’t increase your ranking much, if at all. But it’s a necessary first step.
- Prove to the search engines that your site is important in its field (i.e. most relevant). There are millions of sites out there; only one can be first in the search results. At the moment, the search engines figure this out mostly by counting the links TO your site, and considering where they’re from. TIP: Think of the Internet as a big election, where every site is a candidate and every link TO a site is a vote for that candidate. The candidate (site) with the most votes (links TO it) wins! (Of course, not all links are equal, but that’s a discussion for another day…)
In my next few entries, I’ll be discussing the ins and outs of optimizing your site and generating links to your site. So stay tuned…
But in the meantime, feel free to do a little advance study by visiting our SEO glossary.