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    What Is SEO

    You have a website. You want to bring visitors to it. There are two methods to do this: advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). Ideally you will combine these methods to make your website a success. Advertising includes old fashioned tv, radio, and print ads as well as options such as placing an ad in the yellow pages or participating in an online advertising program. Search engine optimization is the practice of designing and advertising your website in such a way as to help end-users find your website when they search for topics related to your website. Having your website optimized for search engines not only brings you relevant traffic but it also helps end-users find what they are looking for with less effort. For these reasons every website should be search engine optimized.

    There are a lot of gimmicks when it comes to search engine optimization. SEO companies exist to help you optimize your website but it can be difficult to separate the con-artists from the real consultants. Some practices can have great short-term results while having horrible long-term results. It's important to avoid these types of tactics as they can ruin your website and your business. Here we'll describe the tactics that will really work. They are simple but powerful. Tricks and gimmicks you can do without. Ethical and tasteful behavior will give you the best results.

    SEO can be a 30-minute job or a permanent activity. Sometimes it is enough to do some generic SEO in order to get high in search engines – for instance, if you are a leader for rare keywords, then you do not have a lot to do in order to get decent placement. But in most cases, if you really want to be at the top, you need to pay special attention to SEO and devote significant amounts of time and effort to it. Even if you plan to do some basic SEO, it is essential that you understand how search engines work and which items are most important in SEO.

    How Search Engines Work

    The first basic truth you need to learn about SEO is that search engines are not humans. Search engines are text-driven. Search engines crawl the Web, looking at particular site items (mainly text) to get an idea what a site is about. This brief explanation is not the most precise because as we will see next, search engines perform several activities in order to deliver search results – crawling, indexing, processing, calculating relevancy, and retrieving.

    First, search engines crawl the Web to see what is there. This task is performed by e piece of software, called a crawler or a spider (or Googlebot, as is the case with Google). Spiders follow links from one page to another and index everything they find on their way. It is impossible for a spider to visit a site daily just to see if a new page has appeared or if an existing page has been modified. Sometimes crawlers will not visit your site for a month or two.

    What you can do is to check what a crawler sees from your site. As already mentioned, crawlers are not humans and they do not see images, Flash movies, JavaScript, frames, password-protected pages and directories, so if you have tons of these on your site, you'd better run the Spider Simulator below to see if these goodies are viewable by the spider. If they are not viewable, they will not be spidered, not indexed, not processed, etc. - in a word they will be non-existent for search engines.

    View search for: http://
     (eg. iwebtool.com)
    Keywords
     (eg. online tools)


    After a page is crawled, the next step is to index its content. The indexed page is stored in a giant database, from where it can later be retrieved. Essentially, the process of indexing is identifying the words and expressions that best describe the page and assigning the page to particular keywords.If your pages are optimized, it will be easier for them to classify your pages correctly and for you – to get higher rankings.

    When a search request comes, it compares the search string in the search request with the indexed pages in the database. Since it is likely that more than one pages contains the search string, the search engine starts calculating the relevancy of each of the pages in its index to the search string.

    There are various algorithms to calculate relevancy. Each of these algorithms has different relative weights for common factors like keyword density, links, or metatags. That is why different search engines give different search results pages for the same search string. What is more, it is a known fact that all major search engines, like Yahoo!, Google, MSN, etc. periodically change their algorithms and if you want to keep at the top, you also need to adapt your pages to the latest changes.

    The last step in search engines' activity is retrieving the results. Basically, it is nothing more than simply displaying them in the browser – i.e. the endless pages of search results that are sorted from the most relevant to the least relevant sites.

    There are many examples of the differences between search engines. For instance, for Yahoo! and MSN, on-page keyword factors are of primary importance, while for Google links are very, very important. Also, for Google sites are like wine – the older, the better, while Yahoo! generally has no expressed preference towards sites and domains with tradition (i.e. older ones). Thus you might need more time till your site gets mature to be admitted to the top in Google, than in Yahoo!.




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