Search Engine Optimization

SEO

Search engine optimization is the practice of making a website more relevant on major search engines using a variety of strategies. Search engines are vital to the amount of hits a website can get, and to make it more accessible to the public through search engines like Google or Bing can significantly bolster the amount of visitors and possible ad revenue. Websites can be optimized in a variety of ways that include code embedding, as well as backlink and inbound link increasing. It is an important internet marketing strategy that is essential if companies want to establish a prominent online presence.

Methods

SEO is based on a program that scours the internet’s web pages and brings the information back to a centralized hub. Crawlers, as they are aptly called, put the information into an algorithmic system that indexes and orders all the information. Some crawlers, however, cannot effectively find every single page on the internet. Companies like Yahoo!, however, can ensure that websites get noticed on their search engine for a small fee. Both they and Google have directories where people or companies can ensure they are indexed—that is, processable by the algorithm.

There are also methods to prevent web crawling. Webmasters or small website operators may not want their sites to be easily discoverable or they may want to keep their information private. One option that they have is to use a “meta tag” to inform the crawling robots not to pick up the site’s information. For security reasons, many websites—ecommerce websites, in particular —use specific coded messages that instruct the robots not to use information that may be private.

There are several methods to improve a website’s search engine prevalence. Cross-linking is one example of this; websites will often include internal links from the same domain to create more hits. Some websites write content using a concentration of potential search terms related to a topic, which in turn generates a higher likelihood of getting noticed on search engines. Companies may also buy several URLs that all redirect to the same domain.

Techniques

There are obvious ethical ramifications behind search engine optimization, as it becomes seemingly easy for websites to fool crawlers when they may not actually have relevant material. Internet commentators have separated the practice into fair and unfair optimization techniques, or white and black hat SEO. White hat SEO actually creates useful content for a user, while black hat will use various cloaking techniques, such as hiding the text with the background or embedding the text offscreen. Fortunately, companies like Google have effective methods for finding sites using black hat SEO, and if the companies fail to comply, they can simply remove them from their search engine algorithms.

Marketing

It is not necessarily a good strategy for companies that may have goals other than search engine optimization. Building high quality websites with high quality content is also more favourable than using aforementioned black hat SEO, and companies do not want to risk losing search relevance if their revenue stems mostly from web hits. Furthermore, search engines are constantly improving their algorithms, which may cause search results to change ranks. For that reason, many established websites no longer depend too largely on appealing to traffic generated by search engines alone.