If you run your own website or blog, or in fact spend any time on the Internet (and who doesn't)you will have heard the term “search engine optimization”. Also abbreviated to the acronym SEO, search engine optimization is a term used for the tactics of using certain keywords to improve a website's search engine ranking.
In years gone by search engine rankings (where you appear in the search results)was dependent to a large extent on how “keyword rich” your sire was. This led to a situation where site owners and SEO experts were simply flooding articles and websites with certain words and phrases.
This practice led to articles which did not read well and in extreme cases were simply gibberish, with no context and no effort being made to engage the reader in any way.
The case today is very different. Google, which runs the most popular search engine in the world is making every effort to encourage site owners and SEO experts to clean up their act. What Google wants to see is sites that are filled with good content. This content needs to add value to the experience of the Internet user through providing unique and valuable information.
The information supplied can be in the form of video, images or copy. In fact many content experts believe that a combination of these three is the secret (or not so secret) formula to attracting more visitors to their online channels, be they blogs, the social media or their websites.
The more quality content that a website has, the more links it will attract. In essence the content is attractive to other site owners who may feature that content on their own websites and provide a link to the original source. Google recognizes that this type of content is shared willingly due to its unique high quality information and rewards the developers of such content with a higher search engine ranking.
The production of quality content is especially important in the social media due to the ease with which it can be shared. Goof content can reach millions of social media users, allowing a business to increase traffic to their site and increasing the possibility of making sales.
The rise of unique and engaging content has not meant the end of search engine optimization through the use of keywords. Today the job of the SEO expert is to produce articles and content that is rich in keywords (but not too rich, around 3 – 4% of an article should be keywords)but still readable and interesting to the site visitor, in other words adhere to the Google guidelines for the production of unique and value added content that enriches the Internet experience of the user.
Many companies choose to make use of SEO experts in order to increase both their site ranking and optimize their content. In addition to keywords these experts will also recommend behind the scenes changes to the website itself (such as meta tagging) which increase search engine rankings.
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How to Search Engine Optimization (Photo credit: SEOPlanter)
What really is Search Engine Optimization? (Photo credit: Go Local Search)
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