Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO)
This is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines like Google via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.
Other forms of search engine marketing (SEM) target paid listings. These links usually appear on the very top of Google results or on the side. You will see the word “ads” in small letters by these.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Search engine optimizers may offer SEO as a stand-alone service or as a part of a broader marketing campaign. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a web site and site content, SEO tactics may be incorporated into website development and design.
Another class of techniques, known as black hat SEO or spamdexing, uses methods such as link farms, keyword stuffing and article spinning that degrade both the relevance of search results and the quality of user-experience with search engines. Search engines look for sites that employ these techniques in order to remove them from their indices.
Web developers or web site hosting companies that guarantee placement on the first page of Google, accomplish this through black hat SEO, or grey hat SEO—methods that are not ‘technically’ considered black hat, but still violate the principle of have quality content.
A more detailed description is available at wikipedia SEO
How Small Business gets ranked higher on Google
Google announced changes to their algorithm. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful."
Specifically, "...reduce rankings for low-quality sites..." The announcement also mentions "low-value add for users" and sites that "copy content from other websites." Content farms, to start. These sites exist and profit based on volume. To most observers and users, this focus on volume resulted in millions of low-quality pieces of content cluttering the search engine results pages (SERPs). The writers producing content for these content farms are paid largely based on views. No indexing in Google, no views. No pay, no writers ... and no content.
Without question, the focus is now on producing original, quality content. So-called scraper sites are doomed. In all, this update should be a good thing for the Web – both for users and those who work tirelessly to produce quality content.
As a small business owner, you should:
- Keep a constant watch over your website analytics. Are overall numbers dropping?
- Be aggressive about building your user base. Solicit quality inbound links. High-quality links will remain a pivotal factor in search engine rankings.
- Be diligent about networking with like-minded content producers and work to get links – quality links, including those with keyword-rich anchor text.
- Produce varied forms of content. Search engines like a little variety.
This public call for quality content might warrant the hiring of a skilled writer for some businesses. Well-written, compelling content tends to attract links, garner social mentions and spread through online communities. Remember that today's skilled writer also knows how to create SEO-friendly content.