SEO. Three letters that could mean the difference between a profitable web business and a failing one. So what exactly is SEO?
Well according to Wikipedia, Search Engine Optimisation(SEO) is defined as the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results for targeted keywords.
Basically it is all about improving your website so that it appears near the top of the search results for your chosen keywords.
In recent years it has become very big business and a lot of people have made a lot of money either by optimising their own sites or through the work they have done in optimising other people’s websites.
Like a lot of profitable industries, the SEO market place has seen (and continues to see) it’s fair share of people jumping on the bandwagon and all claiming to be SEO experts.
There are lots of people claiming its highly technical or highly secretive. You’ll probably hear people claim that they have cracked the Google Algorithm. I doubt it!
For me it’s quite clear that for the search engines to survive they need to serve up highly relevant sites that match the searches their customers are doing. That way, their customers will stay with them. It’s the model that Google uses. They focus completely on giving users of its search engine highly relevant and high quality websites. Yahoo has been quick to follow Google’s lead.
So a lot of SEO techniques are based around the idea of making sure the search engines can see that your site is relevant for your chosen keywords and is high quality.
A word of caution, avoid what are known as Black Hat SEO techniques. These are techniques that try to trick the search engines into giving a website a higher placement in the search engines than the website deserves. They are usually based on some exploitable flaw in the rules that the search engines use to work out how relevant your website is for the keywords you are targeting. The problem with these techniques is that not only do they usually promote websites that give a poor user experience but also their high position in the search engines is usually short lived once the flaw they are exploiting is fixed.
If you want to try some ethical and successful SEO techniques then there are a few professionals that are worth listening to. Aaron Wall and Dan Thies are names I would put into Google to find out more.