SEO Stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is about optimizing a web site for Search Engines. It is the process or technique of designing and developing a web site in such a way that it ranks well in search engine results.

SEO also helps to improve the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines. It is a kind of a marketing technique by understanding how search algorithms work and what human visitors might search.

About Search Engine Optimization

SEO is one of the most important Internet marketing strategies. Doing SEO for your website means to consider how search engines work, what people search for, and the actual search terms or the keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience.

This may even involve editing your web content, HTML or the associated code to increase its relevance to specific keywords and to help search engines to index your site better.

Promoting your site by increasing the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic, which is also very crucial.

Before you learn some basic of SEO, it is important that you understand how search engines work and what factors that affect search engine ranking of any web page or website.

How Search Engines Work

The first thing you must understand that search engines bots are not humans. They are special programs built to perform several activities in order to deliver search results.

Search engine crawlers are not capable of seeing images, Flash movies, JavaScript, frames, password-protected pages and directories, so if you have tons of these on your site chances are your website may not rank well, as search engine cannot make out what your site is about. However, one thing you can do is provide adequate content. Content is the thing that a search bot is always looking for.

Crawling: It is the process of scanning all the web pages linked to a web site. This is done by a program, called a crawler or a spider. Google crawler or spider is known as Googlebots.

Indexing: Indexing means saving all scanned web pages and keeping them into their database from where it can be retrieved later. Normally indexing identifies the words and keywords of a web page and assigns ranking to it for a particular keyword or keyword phrase.

Processing: When a query is made for any keyword, it compares the search keywords with the indexed pages in its database.

Calculating Relevancy: Since there are millions of indexed pages in its database, the search engine has to calculate the relevancy of each page so that it delivers the optimum result to the user.

Retrieving Results: The final step that search engines do is deliver you the best matched results. It is nothing but show you result in your web browser.

Major Search engines such as Google Yahoo and Bing often update their algorithm many times a year so that they can provide you the best relevance result for a search query. Whenever you see changes in your website rankings that mean they have made some changes in their algorithm, which is sometimes outside of your control.

Although the basic principle of working of all major search engines is the same, the minor changes in their algorithm can bring about great changes in your website ranking. And in that situation, you simply cannot do anything on your part, you need to try to implement new SEO techniques every time so that your website always ranks well.

Google Yahoo! And Bing

There are hundreds of search engines. However, you should concentrate only on above three, as they hold the major search engine traffic. And if you want free traffic to your website, it is must that you dominate on these three search engines.

You should also remember that all three search engines have their own ranking algorithm, your site may rank well in Yahoo, but it won’t rank well in Google because of the difference in their algorithm, and they pay attention to different factors on a website.

For example, for Yahoo! And Bing, on-page keyword factors are of primary importance, while Google focuses on backlinks.

Getting Your Site Indexed

The major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing, use crawlers to find pages to be indexed in their database. Websites that are linked from other websites that is already indexed do not need to be submitted since they are found automatically.

Yahoo also offers paid submission service that guarantees indexing in their database. However, they do not guarantee specific ranking within the search results.

There are two major directories, the Yahoo Directory and the Open Directory Project both require manual submission, and it is reviewed by humans before the site in listed in their directory. Google provides Google Webmaster Tools, in which you can submit XML or HTML sitemap so that all pages are found by its crawlers.

One thing you need to remember that Search engine crawlers look at numbers of different factors when crawling a site and not every page is indexed by them. Distance of pages from the root directory of a website can also be a big factor in whether or not pages get crawled or indexed.

Blocking Search Engines

To prevent content to get indexed in the search engine, webmasters can instruct spiders not to crawl certain files or directories through the standard robots.txt file, which need to be placed in the root directory of the domain.

Additionally, a page can also be prevented to get indexed by using meta tags. When a crawler visits a site, the robots.txt located in the root directory is the first file which is crawled, which tells the search engines how it wants a website to be crawled and indexed.

Why Use SEO

If your website is currently ranked on page 10 on Google for the search phrase, “best software” but wants to get on first page, then you need to consider SEO. Because search engines have lots of traffic, people searching for your business could easily land up on your site if it ranks well. Ranking well in search engines for popular keywords can bring you more targeted traffic and more sales.