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What is SEO? And how do Search Engines work?

 What is SEO? A basic introduction…

SEO marketing is a discipline that focuses on growing visibility in organic search engine results. This means its free and not just paid clicks. It’s also not just about building a search engine friendly website; SEO also makes you site better for the audience viewing it!

Why do I need SEO?

Most web traffic is now driven by the major search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo. Just think when you go into your browser what is the first page you normally open? I’m willing to bet more often than not it’s Google! And although there are other methods of generating traffic to your website (for example social media) these search engines are the primary navigation so getting your search engine optimisation in check is really important.

Also, search engines provide targeted traffic and so if search engines cannot see your site you miss out on opportunities to drive traffic to your site.

Can I do SEO for myself?

Although the world of SEO can be quite complex many people are easily able to understand the basics! Even a little understanding in SEO can go a long way for you!

How Search Engines Work.

Internet search engines are special sites on the Web that are designed to help people find information stored on other sites. There are differences in the ways various search engines work, but they all perform three basic tasks:

  • They search the Internet — or select pieces of the Internet — based on important words.
  • They keep an index of the words they find, and where they find them.
  • They allow users to look for words or combinations of words found in that index.

Crawling and Indexing

Imagine it as the London Underground system, a huge network of stops in a big city. Each stop is a unique document. The search engines need to ‘crawl’ through the entirety of the city to find all the stops so that they use the best path available: Links!

It’s links that allow the search engines automated robots (crawlers) to reach billions of interconnected locations on the world wide web. When the engines find these pages they will decipher the code and store selected items in huge databases. This information is to be recalled later when needed for a search query.

Providing Answers

When a user performs a search online, the search engine looks through billions of documents and does two things: first, it returns to the user with only the results that are relevant to the search query; second, it will rank those results according to the popularity of the websites serving the information. Therefore, it is both the relevance and popularity of a page that the process of SEO is meant to influence.

To a search engine, relevance means more than finding a page with the right words. There are now hundreds of factors that go into finding the best search results for user queries.

Search engines will assume that the more popular a page the more valuable the information is.

Popularity and relevance aren’t determined manually. Instead, the engines employ mathematical equations to sort the relevant from the irrelevant and then to rank them in order of quality.