An Introduction to SEO

Search engine optimization may sound almost frightening for newcomers that wish to have a web presence; however, it does not have to be a scary experience. The truth is, search engine optimization also known as SEO is nothing more than the process used to improve the amount of visitors or the number of quality visitors known as traffic to your website from search engines that came to your website through search results and not any type of advertisement. The belief by internet gurus is that if your website appears near the top of the search results you will receive more visitors or traffic from the search engine.

Search engine optimization may be found across a wide array of searches including image search, video search and local search to name a few. These search engine results is what provides a website with web presence.

The strategy behind search engine optimization considers the way in which search engines work against the way in which individuals search for things on the internet. In most cases to optimize your website you must focus on editing the content, HTML, and all other coding to increase your websites relevance for certain keywords as well as removing things that can stop the search engine from listing your website.

Methods Associated with Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Indexing

The big search engines Google and Yahoo use what is called crawlers that search for pages that match their algorithmic search results. If your website is indexed by another search engine, it is not necessary to submit your website to these search engines, as they will be found automatically by their crawlers.

You will find some search engines offer a paid inclusion in their search engine. Yahoo has a paid submission service that guarantees their crawlers will crawl your website for a certain amount of money, which can be a set fee, or a specific amount per click. Even though you are guaranteed to have the crawlers visit your website, this does not guarantee a high-ranking result in their search engine for your specific keywords. Some search engines like Google offer an XML sitemap feed that you can create and submit without cost that will ensure all of your pages are crawled.

Search engine crawlers do not always look for the same factors when they are visiting a website, thus the reason that not all pages are indexed in the search engine. Pages that happen to be far from the root directory is an example of a page that was not indexed.

Not Allowing Crawling

You may think that it would be crazy to stop search engine crawlers from visiting your website, but there are instances that you do not want certain pages indexed. Unimportant pages do not need to be crawled such as log in pages, member’s areas, and pages from an internal search.

One reason you want to index some pages and not all pages is part of search engine optimization. You want your front pages to be more important and rank higher than the other pages mentioned above. It would be a nightmare if you were searching for your keywords and the log in page of your website was higher in the results than your front page.

The easiest way to stop search engine crawlers to crawl certain pages of your website is to create a robot.txt file.  To create this file, just open notepad and paste this small piece of text –

User-agent:  *

Disallow: /public/test.html

Now, save as robot.txt. Of course, you will want to change the /public/test.html to the name of the page you do not want search engines to crawl. You can even choose which search engines you want to not crawl the page. Let’s say you do not want Google to crawl the page. The code would be

User-agent:  Googlebot

Disallow: /public/test.html

You can stop all other search engines the same way, just by changing the User-agent to that search engine, including Googlebot-Images, ia_archiver (Alexa), Scooter (Alta Vista), Sidewinder (Infoseek), Slurp (Inktomi), Gulliver (Northern Light), WebCrawler, ArchitextSpider (AOL/Excite), and fast (All the Web).

Once you have save the robot.txt file, you must place the file in the public folder of your website. You can add the code for each of the search engines above and they will not crawl the page or pages you have chosen.

Increase your Websites Reputation

For your website to be successful, you will need to follow a few search engine optimization methods. One is increasing your reputation and ranking in search results. A few ways you can achieve this is by cross-linking between pages of your website, writing keyword rich content using keywords and keyword phrases, and by adding keywords to the meta data which includes the title tag and meta description. This will help your reputation and your ranking, which will increase visitors or traffic to your website.

In-Bound Links

In-Bound Links are other websites that have a link to your website. Some search engines are now frowning on paid links or reciprocal links, which is nothing more than trading links. However, submitting articles to article directories, posting articles in blogs, posting comments in blogs, joining forums and having your website URL in your signature are all great ways of receiving in-bound links. The more times a search engine finds your URL, the more important your website becomes for the keyword you are using.

With all the above, you still may not make it to the high rankings without a bit of help from professionals that understand all that goes into search engine optimization. Hiring a professional will give you the best opportunity to rank for your keywords as these professionals stay on top of the changes that occur every day in the way the search engines rank, crawl, and index.