An Introduction to Search Engines and SEO
Searching for information on the internet would have been an impossible task if not for search engines. A search engine is a program that has a database and related tools which are used to search the user’s input or keywords. Two terms with which people often get confused are search engines and web directories. Search engines are operated with the use of algorithms while web directories are upheld by human editors. Search engines have an advantage over the web directories as the algorithms regularly return to the sites and keep track of updates. As a result, they have the latest information on hand all the time.
Web search engine stores information about websites that are recovered from their web addresses. They make use of a Web crawler (also called a spider) which automatically keeps track of the links on the webpage. The details of the page are then indexed by using the titles or other fields. This indexed data is preserved in an index database for easy access. Indexing facilitates quick easy access to the information. When the search engine receives a query (in the form of keywords) from the user, this database is searched. For instance, Google preserves the coding from the source or cache and other information in its index. Maintaining a cache is very effective as it provides the original web page to the user even if the page has been updated or deleted. This practice increases the search satisfaction and relevance as they can even source data which may not exist any longer. When search engine like Google receives a query, it inspects the index and comes up with a list of the ideal matches to the given input. Each item in the list will consist of the document heading and a brief description. However, documents cannot be searched by date as of now as most search engines today operate via Boolean operators. Some search engines provide an advanced search option in which users can pick the exact words they want in the document, their order and even words that should not be present in it. Search engines such as Ask.com let you ask complete questions in the same manner as you would to a fellow human being. The effectiveness of a search engine is measured by the relevance of the results that it returns. Even though there may exist thousands of pages with the given keyword, some may have higher significance and utility to the user.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is performed to enhance the visibility of a website using the algorithmic process. This improves awe site’s presence on the internet, better listing and increase in traffic. SEO helps to ensure that your website is reachable to your target audience. If you have a company, this would mean higher access to your potential local and global customers. Increased hits on your website give an opportunity to convert them into profitable customers and thereby more revenue. SEO provides an effective marketing opportunity through which you can earn higher returns on your investment. Fourteen billion online searches performed every month is a high scope opportunity for any company that hopes to gain a strong foothold in online business. SEO is an inevitable step for any organization if it wishes to continue in business for any delay may result in competitors lapping up all their customers.
SEO is one of the best ways to get a higher ranking for one’s website. In order to get a higher rating, it is advisable to include good quality content of more than 200 words in your organization’s web page.
SEO services providers help you improve your website thereby increasing the traffic flow and long term rankings. They offer a number of SEO techniques out of which you can pick the ones that suit your organisation’s requirements.
With SEO, you can aim for consumers who are looking for your company’s products (or closely similar) and in this build brand recognition. The optimized content which is highly relevant provides elevated exposure in the online market. If the organization is involved only in online business, SEO plays a major role right from marketing to revenue generation. SEO also provides quantifiable results through which we can know exactly how many hits have been converted into actual sales.
Increased traffic: Search engine optimization increases the traffic of a website by placing it within the first 10 or 15 search returns when a user types in a search engine. This increases the likelihood that the user will visit the website therefore increasing the exposure among potential customers. The increased traffic directly translates into higher returns on investment for the firm.
Entrepreneurs have a number of options to make their website more accessible and appealing to customers. They could buy advertising space on Google advertising product- Adwords. A number of other companies provide marketing concepts which require you to pay per click. These forms of advertising are quite expensive and not feasible for the long run. SEO on the other hand has a long lasting effect and is much more affordable.
The Search engine optimization industry follows three tactics- black hat, gray and white hat marketing. Black hat SEO make use of tactics such as keyword stuffing, link farming, and hidden content and spamming meta-tags. Black hat SEO is considered to be unethical as it redirects search results in a manner that goes against the norms of search engines. Websites generally tend to be banned once the Black hat tactics are discovered.
White hat marketing involves a number of practises that abide by guidelines and norms of search engine. Alternatively known as ethical SEO, this method involves using only relevant keywords, regular updating and linking with other websites. White hat SEO although may not generate instant results, it has longer lasting effects.
The last form of marketing is the Grey hat SEO. This method is riskier when compared to white hat as some of the search engine guidelines are disobeyed while not to the extent of that of black hat.
The author is proclaimed SEO Expert and regularly writes on SEO, Social Media, Online Marketing, Web Performance and Web Design. He works for SEO Company in Australia.