Let me start with the simple definition.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The goal of SEO is to get more of your content to show up higher in the search engine results for particular keywords or searches.
SEO is part science and part art. You may hear of “White Hats and Black Hats”. Just like in the Wizard of Oz there are good witches and not so good witches. Black Hats try to trick Google into showing their content using shady tactics. White Hats better understand the issues and use proper technique to achieve better results. There’s a few specific things that you can do to better your SEO. Most are described HERE.
Every search engine ranks sites for keywords based on what is called an Algorithm. Google (or Bing) does not come out and specifically say what or how their algorithm works. We do know the search engines also tweak their algorithm on a regular basis. Google reportedly says they do this up to 6 times a day!
There are very smart people who conduct very smart tests to come up with educated guesses on SEO.
Conversely there are also a bunch of traveling circus clowns that mask themselves to look like smart people, pretend to have all the answers, which they will gladly sell to you to get you to the front page of Google for any keyword you want.
Does that sound familiar? That’s why I say that…
SEO is also the SNAKE OIL of the internet age.
SEO is never a one click and done, pay me and I’ll make you #1 kind of thing. If you hear that, turn around and walk away as fast as you can.
SEO is a marathon race, it’s a struggle to get to the top and then a constant struggle to stay there. To start you need a properly built website. From there you need to apply a specific and systematic approach to achieve your goals. Once there you need to constantly adapt and apply the new approach just to maintain your position.
Google recently applied a filter to their algorithm called “Panda”. You can read about what effect it might have on your site HERE
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