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SEO 101

June 30, 2011

The first time I heard about SEO was when one of our patrons came to me and asked whether we are doing SEO. Not to look uncool I said yes we do SEO and I left that conversation at that point. Within a very short span of time after this conversation I was under constant barrage of companies/tools that promise me the la-la land of top ten listing on google, yahoo and bing. That is when I started look at “What is SEO?. It is not a tool or technique but more of a process that one should follow to build reputation in the wild west world – WWW. Search engines like Google, Bing crawl through your site determining whether it should be listed and if so where should it be listed. So having rich and relevant content is a necessary for you to be in the top listing and hence it is a process.

Why is SEO important?

As of March 5 2011, Google is processing 1,000,000,000 searches per day. Assuming 80% market share by Google and rest by other search engines we are looking at other 250,000,000 searches per day

So What?

Here is the best part – all these searches are being done by people who are looking for information and if you perfect the art of SEO you can be listed at the point of nirvana – that is the first spot on the search results. And more over it is FREE

What should I do to attain Nirvana?

Search Engines promote SEO as they would like to list relevant searches and hence drive more traffic to their search engines. As I had indicated earlier SEO is a process and there are four components.

1) On the page rankings: These are the things which you can control and includes

a) content – are you providing the right content which people on the web are looking for and do you engage people who are visiting your site,

b) HTML: Do you have proper headings and descriptions for each page

c) Architecture: Can search engines understand and crawl your site

2) Off the page rankings: In the early days search engines ranked sites based on the first category which led to many duping the system and hence this category which is not in the hands of the publishers. In this category your site is being ranked based on external factors that include if there are external links to your site, is your site trusted by others and other social aspects

3) As with any system there are also penalties in SEO when anyone tries to spam, embed words in the site to get noticed etc. In this category again the penalty system is based on how a publisher is trying to con the system. So try not to outsmart the system by cutting corners

4) This penalty category is decided by people who are searching for content and who are blocking your content as not useful or irrelevant. All these four categories are nicely explained in this SEO periodic table as shown in the below picture

So What Next

So now you perfected the art and your listing is in the top 10 in each of the search engine. Does this mean you can lay back and relax. Wait a minute there are 1000s of sites that are out there doing the same thing that you have done or might be doing better. So this is a rat race, once you are in it  you are in it. NO STOPPING GET GOING 🙂

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