Author: Prashant Shukla
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of methods aimed at improving the ranking of a website in search engine listings, and could be considered a subset of search engine marketing. The term SEO also refers to “search engine optimizers,” an industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients’ sites. Some commentators, and even some SEOs, break down methods used by practitioners into categories such as “white hat SEO” (methods generally approved by search engines, such as building content and improving site quality), or “black hat SEO” (tricks such as cloaking and spamdexing). White hatters say that black hat methods are an attempt to manipulate search rankings unfairly. Black hatters counter that all SEO is an attempt to manipulate rankings, and that the particular methods one uses to rank well are irrelevant.
Search engines display different kinds of listings in the search engine results pages (SERPs), including: pay per click advertisements, paid inclusion listings, and organic search results. SEO is primarily concerned with advancing the goals of a website by improving the number and position of its organic search results for a wide variety of relevant keywords.
Early search engines
Webmasters and content providers began optimizing sites for search engines in the mid-1990s, as the first search engines were cataloging the early Web. Initially, all a webmaster needed to do was submit a site to the various engines which would run spiders, programs to “crawl” the site, and store the collected data. The default search-bracket was to scan an entire webpage for so-called related search words, so a page with many different words matched more searches, and a webpage containing a dictionary-type listing would match almost all searches, limited only by unique names. The search engines then sorted the information by topic, and served results based on pages they had crawled.
Organic search engines
Google was started by two PhD students at Stanford University, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and brought a new concept to evaluating web pages. This concept, called PageRank, has been important to the Google algorithm from the start. PageRank relies heavily on incoming links and uses the logic that each link to a page is a vote for that page’s value. The more incoming links a page had the more “worthy” it is. The value of each incoming link itself varies directly based on the PageRank of the page it comes from and inversely on the number of outgoing links on that page.
The relationship between SEO and the search engines
The first mentions of Search Engine Optimization don’t appear on Usenet until 1997, a few years after the launch of the first Internet search engines. The operators of search engines recognized quickly that some people from the webmaster community were making efforts to rank well in their search engines, and even manipulating the page rankings in search results. In some early search engines, such as Infoseek, ranking first was as easy as grabbing the source code of the top-ranked page, placing it on your website, and submitting a URL to instantly index and rank that page.
Due to the high value and targeting of search results, there is potential for an adversarial relationship between search engines and SEOs. In 2005, an annual conference named AirWeb was created to discuss bridging the gap and minimizing the sometimes damaging effects of aggressive web content providers.
About the Author:
Prashant K Shukla is a successful webmaster and author. Visit his website http://www.mysmartseo.com to read more articles on SEO. Know about lot of free tools to help link building, get back links, boost traffic and ranking of your website. Permission to reprint this article is granted if the article is reproduced in its entirety, without modification, including the bio information. Please include a hyper link to http://www.mysmartseo.com
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