A little knowledge about search engines
Approximately 75% – 80% of website traffic comes through search engines. What’s more, research shows that most people don’t look beyond the first 2 pages of search results. This means if your website doesn’t rank in the first 2 pages of the major search engines, it’s only receiving 30% of its rightful traffic… and revenue. (And remember, being ranked number 1 when you search for your company name or web address doesn’t count. You need to rank highly for the words your customers use at search engines.)
Search Engine Results
The biggest concern for search engine companies like Google and Yahoo is finding content that will bring them more traffic (and thus more advertising revenue). In other words, their results must be relevant. Relevant results make for a good search engine; irrelevant results makes for a short-lived search engine.
Most search engines these days return two types of results whenever you click Search:
- Natural/Organic The real search results. The results that most users are looking for and which take up most of the window. For most searches, the search engine displays a long list of links to sites with content which is related to the word you searched for. These results are ranked according to how relevant and important they are.
- Paid Pure advertising. This is how the search engines make their money. Advertisers pay the search engines to display their ad whenever someone searches for a word which is related to their product or service. These ads look similar to the natural search results, but are normally labeled Sponsored Links, and normally take up a smaller portion of the window.
Step 1 Understand what SEO means.
When people use search engines to find content, they normally pay a lot more attention to the natural results than the paid results because they know these results are more relevant (and they know the Sponsored Links are simply ads).
When we talk about search engine ranking, we’re talking about ranking well in the natural search results. This ebook does not cover Sponsored Links.
How search engines decide what appears in the natural search results
IMPORTANT: You cannot pay a search engine in return for a high ranking in the natural results. You can only get a high ranking if your content is seen as relevant by the search engines.
Search engines identify relevant content for their search results by sending out spiders or robots which crawl (analyze) your site and index (record) its details. Complex algorithms are then employed to determine whether your site is useful and should be included in the search engine’s search results.
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