What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the act of improving the overall visibility or web presence of a website (or page) in search engines such as Google. The goal is to have a specific page show up as high as possible in the organic search results in order to increase the chances of being seen.
Why is SEO Important?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of optimizing your website in order to perform better within search engines. It is the way that website owners get "free", "organic", "natural" or "editorial" traffic to a website. Search engines (Google, Bing, etc.), are how most online users find the information, products and websites that they are looking for online. It's an undeniable fact that the further down your site is in the search rankings, the less likely consumers are to visit your site. As of March 2012, the market share of search engines are as follows
- Google - 64.42%
- Yahoo! - 15.69%
- Bing - 14.32%
- Other - 5.57%
How it Works
Search engine users, search for a "keyword" or "search query" in order to find the information that they are looking for. Search engines determine the order of website that are listed by using a search algorithm. A search algorithm is a mathematical way to find an item(s) with specific properties amongst a series of elements. It has been reported that Google changes its algorithm around 367 times a year, yes that means that Google changes the way it 'grades' a website at least every single day. This means that staying on top of the latest SEO trends takes dedication.
There are two underlying factors that contribute to how well your site gets indexed: relevance and importance. When someone enters a search query, a search engine will scour the billions of webpages it has looked at and indexed and find information that is both relevant and useful to the user. This goes beyond just keywords though as part of the equation is how popular the site is. Using things such as inbound links, page authority, and the quality of content on the page, the complicated algorithms will decide where each site should be ranked.
What Contributes To SEO
There are numerous factors that contribute to the overall SEO value of a given web site or page. Inbound links and interlinking, link authority, page/domain level keywords, page/domain level social metrics, page/domain level agnostic features, page level traffic/data query, but most importantly great quality content that is user friendly will result in a page ranking higher