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Learn search engine optimization – Overview and History

Hello! I will be guiding you all about Search Engine Optimization. You will learn search engine optimization here on daily basis. Before going into more detail and discussing about the SEO trends and working procedures, first let us have a quick look at the SEO history

Overview and History

Search-engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of setting up our Web site so that it ranks well for particular keywords within the organic search results of major search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Unlike paid search marketing, which requires you to pay for every click sent to our Web site from a search engine, traffic sent to your site from a search engine’s organic results is free. In the early days of SEO, the process of gaining top ranking for keywords was much easier than it is today. In those “good old days,” search-engine algorithms were easy to
crack. All you had to do was include the keyword you wanted to rank for in the title tag of your Web page and sprinkle that keyword throughout the content of your page, and chances were you would rank within the top ten results of your favorite search engine. Not surprisingly, over the
years search-engine algorithms have become increasingly complex, which has resulted in Web site owners either outsourcing SEO to professional firms or self-educating through books like this one. Dating back to 1996 or so, search engines started to become a very popular tool for Web surfers looking for all sorts of information. Long before Google and Yahoo became popular, search engines such as AltaVista and InfoSeek were pioneers at providing search results to users within a fraction of a second. Search results in the early days were nowhere near as relevant as they are today.
However, search-engine users in the millions began relying on Web sites like AltaVista more and more frequently to retrieve information about everything from health abnormalities to pricing on the latest gadget. Search-engine optimization found its start in 1997 through public reports and commentary provided by search-engine experts, including Danny Sullivan and Bruce Clay, among others. Early reports about SEO looked at search-engine algorithms and how the various search engines ranked search results. Inspired entrepreneurs and Web site owners began studying these reports and testing strategies for how they could rank well within the search results. Before long the profession of search-engine optimization emerged and individuals were offering services to help rank Web sites on major search engines. As the World Wide Web grew at a remarkable pace the
popularity of AltaVista and Infoseek started to wane. Other search engines came and went, but no company has had more of an impact on search-engine marketing than Google.

Google: The Birth Child of Larry and Sergey

Google was cofounded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were students at Stanford University. Although the company was officially incorporated in 1998, the idea of creating a search engine that would “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”
began as part of a doctoral research project Larry and Sergey began in 1996. The key to Google’s early success was that the algorithm
behind the Google search engine was different from the algorithms before it. Based on Larry and Sergey’s experience with the process of academic research, they believed that Web page authority and relevance could be derived algorithmically by indexing the entire Web, and then analyzing who links to whom. This idea came from the fact that in academia authority is derived when researchers advance their own research by citing one another as part of the research process. Indeed, each piece of published scholarly work (including Larry and Sergey’s dissertation) has a works-cited page at the end of each finished piece of written research, which includes a list of resources that were cited as relevant to the work being advanced.
Larry and Sergey took the process of citing in academic research, and hypothesized that Web pages with the most links to them from other highly relevant Web pages must be the most relevant pages associated with a particular search. To further bolster the concept, Larry and Sergey created
PageRank (named after Larry Page), which not only counts how many links point to any given page, but also determines the quality of those links.
Although the Google algorithm is more complex than just analyzing who links to whom, the process of algorithmically analyzing links was a great idea that has separated Google from its competition. In fact, today Google is the leading search engine with more than 60 percent market share in
the United States and is quickly becoming the preferred search engine in other parts of the world.

SEO: Beware of Snake Oil Salesman

Search-engine optimization is a critical component of a well-rounded Internet marketing strategy. Having a great Web site is simply not enough. Hundreds of millions of people use search engines every day to scour the Internet and find information from relevant Web sites just like yours. In order to appear alongside your competition in the search results, your Web site must be search engine friendly. Moreover, to be competitive within the search results you need to take steps that convince search engines that your Web site is an authority and that your content is relevant for particular keywords related to your business or enterprise. If you are reading this book, you do not need convincing that SEO is integral to your online marketing success. However, the profession of SEO has taken significant criticism for being nothing more than a spammy attempt to anipulate search-engine results. Unfortunately, criticism has come primarily as a result of so-called SEO experts who sell guaranteed top ten placements and instant success
formulas for achieving front page search-engine rankings. Fortunately, such unethical, get-rich-quick, snake oil salesman represent a very small percentage of SEO professionals. The majority of SEO experts are ethical professionals who understand the complex dynamics of search-engine
algorithms and offer assistance and counsel on how to maximize your placement on search engines. The truth is that there are no guarantees in SEO. In fact, if an alleged SEO professional tells you he offers guaranteed placement within Google’s top ten organic rankings, you need to decline the offer. The process of SEO requires great skill and is not quick. You must have patience. In fact, you should look at SEO as an ongoing process that is necessary for you to maintain and maximize your position in the organic search results in the long term. You should set your expectations accordingly and educate other Web site owners of the process so they do not waste money based on hollow pitches from unethical SEO professionals.

Get Started

The first step to getting started with your search-engine optimization campaign is to select a topic. If you already have a Web site covering a topic that you are satisfied with, then you may want to skip this step. However, keep in mind that you need to set realistic expectations based on your chosen topic. Increasing your Web site rankings for competitive topics is much more difficult than increasing rankings for less competitive topics. To get the most from your SEO efforts, you must carefully consider your target audience. Your target audience includes the specific people you are trying to put your Website in front of. Understanding who your target audience is and what they are searching for can greatly increase the effectiveness of a search-engine-optimization campaign.

Prior to beginning your SEO efforts, you should set goals, including how much money you want to dedicate to your efforts. If you are going to conduct SEO internally, you need to set a budget only around the tools you need and the amount of money you must allocate to paying your internal SEO team. If you intend to outsource your SEO, you should set aside a minimum of $3,000 to $5,000 monthly for a dedicated SEO professional.
Putting together an internal team of people to help with your SEO requires you to select one or more individuals with varying proficiency in HTML writing, knowledge of CSS, data analysis, graphical design, server administration, copywriting, link building, and blogging. Although the scope of your project dictates how many people you need to fill out your team, you can always consider outsourcing one or more components of the job.
Although writing large amounts of original content may seem like a daunting task, there are countless professional copywriters that can provide you with well-written content at a reasonable price. Moreover, online services such as Elance allow you to hire copywriters and other service providers through an auction system. The auction system allows you to post your work so that multiple service providers compete for the job. You have the option of comparing multiple vendors and ultimately choosing one or more based on skill level and past performance within the Elance network.
One of the best places to keep up-to-date with what is happening in the search-engine marketing industry is to read blogs and other online news sources. Blogs such as SearchEngineLand.com, seroundtable.com, and SEOmoz.  Com provide current perspectives and tips, and news Web sites including DMNews.com, ClickZ.com, and WebProNews.com provide breaking news and commentary on search-engine marketing.
Another way to increase your knowledge about the searchengine marketing space is to attend an industry conference. Leading search marketing conferences, including Search Engine Strategies (SES) (www.searchenginestrategies.com) and Search Marketing Expo (SMX) (www. searchmarketingexpo.com) offer dozens of educational sessions led by panels of search marketing experts.

Keyword Generation

Effective keyword generation is one of the most critical elements of successful search-engine optimization. All keywords are not created equal; some keywords are easier to rank for than others, and some keywords tend to be almost impossible to rank for. Broad or general keywords tend to be highly competitive and therefore should represent only a small portion of your overall SEO efforts. Specific keywords, which include those keywords that
describe your specific product or service and are more than hree keywords in length, are less competitive and therefore should make up the bulk of your keyword generation efforts. For example, if you own an e-commerce Web site you stand a better chance of ranking within the top search results for product-level keywords than you do for broad keywords that generally describe your business. Although broad keywords tend to generate higher levels of search volume, product-level terms can generate significant search volume and tend to convert at higher rates than broad terms.

There are numerous useful keyword generation tools that can help you discover effective keywords for your Web site. Keyword generation tools such as Keyword Discovery, Wordtracker, and Google’s Keyword Suggestion Tool allow you to carefully research, analyze, and filter potential keywords. It is not enough to just generate massive lists of keywords. Instead, your keyword lists should represent a cross section of broad and specific terms that your Web site stands a legitimate chance of ranking for. Because keyword generation is so critical to your SEO success, consider making a modest financial investment by purchasing subscriptions to tools such as Keyword Discovery, Rapid Keyword, and Wordtracker even though Google and other companies offer tools for free. Keep in mind that despite the fact that keyword generation tools can quickly generate thousands upon thousands of keywords, each page of your Web site should be search engine optimized for only one or two keywords. Therefore, focus less on generating massive lists of keywords and more on generating keyword lists that directly relate to your Web site and give you the best shot at ranking well on search engines.

One of the most effective ways to generate target keywords beyond basic keyword generation is through competitive research. Readily available competitive research tools such as SEMRush, KeywordSpy, Compete.com, and KeyCompete provide various data about your competition, including
what keywords your competitors rank for in the organic search results, as well as what keywords your competitors are using on pay-per-click search engines such as Google. Armed with competitive research information, you can compare your success to your competition and use the information to devise a plan of attack to improve your own ranking within the organic and paid search results.

Here Lets u stop here. We will be now discussing Keyword Generation in our next Chapter. Just Stay Tuned.

Next Post: Learn search engine optimization – Page Creation, and Website Structuring

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