What Is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, the process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website from search engines. Generally, the higher your website ranks in the search engines, the more traffic you receive.
The process of applying SEO practices to your website relies on understanding both sides of the system. A person must understand how search engines work and know exactly what people are searching on. Most importantly, one must know how to create or maintain a website to have not only good SEO fundamentals, but also an overall strategic vision in how to create a website that is unique and captivating.
Search engines want the most relevant, authoritative, and useful websites to have high rankings. Relevancy and quality are extremely important to search engines, because if they didn’t deliver relevant results to users, users would not trust them. So that brings us to the real question. How do search engines determine which websites are more relevant or authoritative than their competitors? How does Google decide who ranks #1 for the term “Chicago hotels”?
Search engines determine rankings through automated systems using complex algorithms that they tweak regularly. They rely on having little to no human interference when determining search engine rankings. In order to increase your sites rankings, you must increase both your relevance and authority. Increasing your relevance means understanding the keywords you wish to target, and modifying your article to be both easier for search engines to analyze, and more interesting for the people who read the page.
Increasing your authority relies on having relevant content, and is determined by the number of links pointing to your page. Think of inbound links like votes. If someone reads your page and likes it, they may want to link to it from your website. This link represents a vote and adds authority to your page of content.
More about SEO
- SEO on Wikipedia
- SEO Starter Guide by Google
- Official Google Webmaster Blog
- Matt Cutts Blog (Head of Google’s Webspam Team)
- Google Adwords Keyword Tool