The term SEO, most often refers to search engine optimization. This discipline of Internet marketing employs strategies to improve the volume or quality of visitor traffic to a specific webpage. The common belief is that, the closer a webpage appears to the top of search results, the more exposure it will receive.
To achieve SEO success search marketing strategists will target specific types of search; including image search, local search, video search and (in some cases) industry-specific search engines. The proper application of these SEO strategies provides a strong Web presence, works tirelessly to promote your Company’s brand; and consistently generates consumer awareness.
As an important part of any brand building and Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers and accommodates:
- how search engines determine relevancy (algorithm), and
- what people are actively searching for.
A webpage’s relevancy is calculated using a search engine’s unique algorithm.
Possibly one of the least understood words found on the Internet is algorithm. In this application it refers to a strict system of instructions, that a crawler or spider follows, in its mission to correctly rank websites. Nowadays, Google’s algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or “clues” to help you find what you are searching for.
Algorithms are the computer processes and formulas that take your questions and turn them into answers. – Google
To communicate effectively with search engines, the optimization of a website or webpage primarily involves editing page content and Meta data to increase overall relevancy to specific keywords, as well as remove all barriers to crawling and/or indexing.
In order to ensure proper communication with search engines, it is important to incorporate search engine optimization strategies into all website development and design elements that require either immediate or future search engine exposure.
Spiders and Web Crawlers
Popular search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!, use “spiders” to locate relevant pages to return in search results. Also known as a Web crawler, a spider is a computer program that browses the World Wide Web; in a systematic and fully automated manner.
In an effort to return the most current and relevant data, Web crawlers are sent out to visit websites, read the content, Meta data, and also follow any links that the website connects to. The Web crawler then returns all collected information back to a central depository, where the data is indexed. The spiders will return to webpages periodically, and record any information that has changed.
TIP: Pages that are linked from other search engine indexed pages do not need to be submitted; they are found automatically.
To assist website owners with their ongoing search engine marketing efforts, the industry’s leading search engines have made valuable information available to everyone (with an account).
For example, Google offers a Sitemaps program, to help search engine optimizers learn if Google is having difficulty; crawling or indexing their webpages. This service also provides dependable data about overall Google search traffic to your website’s webpages, as well as a list of suggested or best practices to be used as guidelines for do-it-yourself webmasters.
In similar fashion, Bing Webmaster Tools provides a means for website owners to submit URLs, determine how many pages can be found in the index; and review relevant link information.