Learning About SEO

The Basics of SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a concept successful webmasters must understand. Using SEO correctly can make the difference between a site just “taking up space” on the Internet, and one earning thousands of dollars in advertising revenue.

The first search engine, “Archie,” was created in 1990. Since then, there have been several, but Google is the most widely used. Search engines employ algorithmic programs to decide which pages to look at, and how frequently to visit that page. Then, “spiders” or “robots” crawl the site looking for relevant keywords and content. They also find how many backlinks there are to the site. Backlinks are links that websites use to point visitors to other web locations.

The engines use these things, together with the quality and relevance of the site content, to process the value of the site. The result is page ranking. If a site has a high page rank, it comes up on the first couple of pages the engine displays in search results. Obviously, people searching a topic are not going to scroll through many pages of results, so page ranking is important to a site.

Understanding and using SEO can help webmasters achieve that high ranking. The OrangeSoda Internet Marketing Blog goes into many SEO topics in depth, and can help newbies to the Internet understand search engine strategies, but here are the basics. On-page SEO employs keywords to help the “spiders” crawling a site know where to search. It involves writing content that includes words and phrases that are used by people searching for the service or product the site provides. Off-page SEO is building links in other content, or other sites, that will point searchers back to the parent site.

SEO also comes as “White Hat,” and “Black Hat.” White Hat, or Organic, SEO is optimization that is not paid for. It uses keywords that occur naturally in the content and that are relevant, basic linking, and relevant content to achieve page ranking. Black Hat SEO is usually a purchased strategy. It uses trending keywords, whether or not they relate to the content, sometimes “stuffing” them. It also uses hidden text in the content to re-direct searchers to another site. Links are also stuffed in Black Hat SEO, but search engines recognize a site with overuse of keywords or links as low-quality.
Of course, there are advanced techniques and important nuances, beyond basic SEO, that webmasters should understand. For instance, the OrangeSoda Internet Marketing Blog recently featured an entry entitled “5 Steps to Writing Content for Your Target Audience.” Clearly, more knowledge in Internet marketing translates to higher page ranks and increased site revenue.