Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Demystifying Search Engine Optimization

By Arthur Gueli

The term Search Engine Optimization is something that most net savvy individuals are now familiar with. From press releases to blogs to articles to whitepapers, anything and everything that appears online is being optimized. Videos uploaded to YouTube or Google-video are also optimized, and Pod casts are being optimized. Hence, you never know how someone will first come to learn of your product or service.
The concept of Search engine optimization is basically all about improving, via a more technical means, the ranking of a website in the organic, free Search Engine Results Page on the major search engines.
The process of Search Engine Optimization requires a deep and profound understanding of the complicated ranking algorithms that modern search engines use. Search engine ranking algorithms change constantly.
The ever changing and transient nature of search engine algorithms means that the ranking of a page on any of the search engines can also change either for better or for worse at any given point of time.
The change occurs not because another page is doing a better job, but also because any changes in the ranking factors that determine a page's position in the Search Engine Results Page can cause your page to be deemed more or less relevant.
The term "Search Engine Optimization" was coined by Bruce Clay, a Search Engine Optimization veteran and expert. However, as an industry, Search Engine Optimization is fairly new, gaining importance and size only in recent years.
The practice Search Engine Optimization of has been around since the first search engine that used crawler was launched on the Internet that made use of mathematical algorithms rather than human editorial votes to determine page rankings.
Search Engine Optimization evolved as both the complexity of the algorithms and the amount of competition on the Internet increased and subsequently in the present times the art of Search Engine Optimization has undergone a sea change from being a geeky hobby of webmasters to a multi-billion dollar business.
How your commercial website is represented in the major search engines can be a decisive factor that can decide the fate of your online venture or ecommerce website.
Search Engine Optimization at its core is basically about reverse engineering of a search engine's ranking algorithms. It also takes into consideration what is the most relevant factor in the website code in addition to off-site marketing efforts.
The ranking factors in Search Engine Optimization efforts can be understood in a lot of ways. Some considerations are simple and of a mathematical nature like how often does the keyword appear in the content?
Other considerations are basic questions. Several Search Engine Optimization tactics are quite deceptive and often simply about exploiting the weaknesses in an algorithm.
Search engine providers are aware of this and usually there exist guidelines in place that state which methods and techniques are considered to be incorrect or a violation of their Terms of Service.
The penalty for violating the guidelines can be as simple as de-ranking to complete removal from a search engine index.
Ultimately when ever you go in for Search Engine optimization it is bets to make use of a professional to do the work to avoid the penalties mentioned above.

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