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What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization Explained, a Step-by-Step Guide

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization Explained, a Step-by-Step Guide

SEO Definition: What is SEO?

Well, according to Google Dictionary, the definition of search engine optimization (SEO) is…

The process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.

The key to getting more traffic lies in integrating content with search engine optimization and social media marketing. -Google

Wow! Enough said! And easier said than done. Right?!

And according to Dictionary.com

Search-engine optimization is the methods used to boost the ranking or frequency of a website in results returned by a search engine, in an effort to maximize user traffic to the site: The first step in SEO is to generate keywords that are relevant to your site’s content. « Another tip!

And according to Webopedia.com an online tech dictionary for IT professionals…

SEO is short for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.

Last but not least, Wikipedia.com

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.

Ok, so you need keyword rich content and site visitors. That is what I gathered from above. How ’bout you?

The History of SEO

The beginning of search engine optimization began in the mid-1990s when the first search engines started cataloging and indexing webpages across the world wide web. Did you know that Yahoo! came about even before Google? Yep, it’s true, Yahoo! came first before Google. Yahoo! was founded in 1994, Google was founded in 1996 (originally named Backrub « Too funny!), and then Bing years later in 2009.

How Search Engines Work

Search engines require gathering information from webmasters that have submitted their pages to be indexed on the world wide web. It’s the webmasters job to optimize the page with keywords or phrases and then submit that page to the search engines to be indexed. All the webmasters would need to do is submit their pages’ URL to the search engines. The search engines would retrieve the pages and then send a “spider” to crawl the page. This so-called spider would then extract links from the pages and gather information about the pages they have crawled to be indexed.

Black Hat SEO vs. White Hat SEO

In 1997 webmasters began to take notice of these methods on how to index a page and rank on the search engines for targeted keywords. They began to manipulate data with on page and off page optimization techniques. It was then that the term search engine optimization came about bringing also a distinction between black hat and white hat SEO.

Such type black hat methods used to manipulate the web was buying backlinks such as submitting your website to online directories in exchange for money. You can still find these online directories today because many still believe in this method for a quick boost in your website’s search engine optimization. Other black hat methods, were keyword stuffing whether they were hiding them with smaller font or same color font as the website’s background. The webmasters would find a way to manipulate and trick the search engines.

You will now find your website to be penalized with the above blackhat methods. Buying links from scammy directories and stuffing keywords is now a thing of the past. Unless you just don’t know what your doing and reading all that fluff that people have thrown out there on the internet.

Algorithms and SEO

The search engines came up with several algorithms to deal with black hat and white hat SEO methods that were being manipulated by webmasters. The search engines would start penalizing black hat methods and ranking high those websites using white hat methods.

The first “named” algorithm that came along in February 2, 2003 was called Boston. Boston was a combination of algorithm changes and major index refreshes. And in November 2003, the Florida algorithm was announced which cracks down on late 90s tactics like keyword stuffing.

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Hi! I'm Elyssa McGregor. I love helping people succeed online and promoting businesses with our wide range of promotional products. I have a love for search engine optimization (SEO) and getting companies out there on the world wide web. How can I help you?

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