Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

SEO – An Introduction To Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation is the holy grail of free targeted traffic. Almost all internet business website owners give some thought towards search engine optimisation. Put briefly, SEO is simply the process of taking certain steps so that major search engines like Google and Yahoo ranks your site near the top of the search results.

Take a look at our introduction video on SEO here:

Here’s some terminology and basic facts about search engines that will help you to become a SEO expert:

How Search Engines Work

What Are Algorithms?

Each search engine has something called an algorithm which is the formula that each search engine uses to evaluate web pages and determine their relevance and value when crawling them for possible inclusion in their search engine. A crawler is the robot that browses all of these pages for the search engine.

Google’s algorithm is very important – it has a comprehensive and highly developed technology, a straightforward interface and a wide-ranging array of search tools which enable the users to easily access a variety of information online.

Google users can browse the web and find information in various languages, retrieve maps, stock quotes and read news, search for a long lost friend using the phonebook listings available on Google for all of US cities and basically surf the billions of web pages on the internet!

Google boasts of having world’s largest archive of Usenet messages, dating all the way back to 1981. Google’s technology can be accessed from any conventional desktop PC as well as from various wireless platforms such as WAP and i-mode phones, handheld devices and other such Internet equipped gadgets.

Page Rank based On Popularity

The web search technology offered by Google is often the technology of choice of the world’s leading portals and websites. It has also benefited the advertisers with its unique advertising program that does not hamper the web surfing experience of its users but still brings revenues to the advertisers.

When you search for a particular keyword or a phrase, most of the search engines return a list of page in order of the number of times the keyword or phrase appears on the website. Google web search technology involves the use of its indigenously designed Page Rank Technology and hypertext-matching analysis which makes several instantaneous calculations undertaken without any human intervention. Google’s structural design also expands simultaneously as the internet expands.

Page Rank technology involves the use of an equation which comprises of millions of variables and terms and determines a factual measurement of the significance of web pages and is calculated by solving an equation of 500 million variables and more than 3 billion terms. Unlike some other search engines, Google does not calculate links, but utilizes the extensive link structure of the web as an organizational tool. When the link to a Page, let’s say Page B is clicked from a Page A, then that click is attributed as a vote towards Page B on behalf of Page A.

The Importance Of Backlinks – Popularity Votes For Search Engines

Quintessentially, Google calculates the importance of a page by the number of such ‘votes’ it receives. Not only that, Google also assesses the importance of the pages that are involved in the voting process. Consequently, pages that are themselves ahead in ranking and are important in that way also help to make other pages important. One thing to note here is that Google’s technology does not involve human intervention in anyway and uses the inherent intelligence of the internet and its resources to determine the ranking and importance of any page.

Unlike its conventional counterparts, Google is a search engine which is hypertext-based. This means that it analyzes all the content on each web page and factors in fonts, subdivisions, and the exact positions of all terms on the page. Not only that, Google also evaluates the content of its nearest web pages. This policy of not disregarding any subject matter pays off in the end and enables Google to return results that are closest to user queries.

As you progress through this site you’ll find a LOT of useful information and videos on helping you maximising your search engine rank. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

– A website should have crystal clear hierarchy and links and should preferably be easy to navigate.

– A site map is required to help the users go around your site and in case the site map has more than 100 links, then it is advisable to break it into several pages to avoid clutter.

– Come up with essential and precise keywords and make sure that your website features relevant and informative content.

– The Google crawler will not recognize text hidden in the images, so when describing important names, keywords or links; stick with plain text.

– The TITLE and ALT tags should be descriptive and accurate and the website should have no broken links or incorrect HTML.

– Dynamic pages (the URL consisting of a ‘?’ character) should be kept to a minimum as not every search engine spider is able to crawl them.

– The robots.txt file on your web server should be current and should not block the Googlebot crawler. This file tells crawlers which directories can or cannot be crawled.

And here are some things to avoid:

– When making a site, do not cheat your users, i.e. those people who will surf your website. Do not provide them with irrelevant content or present them with any fraudulent schemes.

– Avoid tricks or link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking.

– Do not employ hidden texts or hidden links.

– Google frowns upon websites using cloaking technique. Hence, it is advisable to avoid that.

– Automated queries should not be sent to Google.

– Avoid stuffing pages with irrelevant words and content. Also don’t create multiple pages or sub-domains that have no real content.

– Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines.