SEO: SEO is the technique of increasing the number of visitors that visit a website via search engines.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a technique that is utilized in order to increase the amount of visitors to a website. This is achieved by obtaining a higher rating in the general or open section of search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. The general section of search engines is also known as the natural, un-paid or organic section. This section shows results based on what the search engine thinks is most relevant to the users; the more relevant, the higher up it will appear; the higher up it appears the more visitors it will get from that search engine.
The term SEO can also be used to refer to Search Engine Optimizers. These are the people that facilitate SEO tactics. The term can also refer to companies and people that provide SEO services.
How does SEO work?
SEO targets certain keywords. It takes into consideration how search engines work, what people search for, the search terms or keywords that are typed into search engines, and what is the targeted audience of the search engine.
SEO uses this information to try to include the website higher on the search result page. In order to achieve this, the content of the website may need to be edited; and HTML and or other coding may be required to increase the relevance of the website to certain keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Also, SEO may require promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links.
SEO can be used to target different kinds of searches, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
Why use SEO?
Essentially, the higher up the website is listed on the search results page, the more visitors its gets from that search engine. Consider this: How many people scroll down on the results when searching for something on Google? Do they click on a link that is listed on the bottom of the page or on the second page? No, most of us click on the first or perhaps the second or third link of the results; we rarely scroll down to the other results on the page, and we don’t even consider the results on the second or the third page.
Is SEO legal?
SEO is generally considered to be legal; however as with all, there are certain tactics that have developed that are considered to be unfair practices and usually frowned upon. These practices are called the “Black Hat” techniques. These tactics focus solely on search engines, and ignore audiences in the process. Some of the Black Hat techniques include keyword stuffing, invisible text and doorway pages.
These Black Hat techniques are mainly used by people who are looking to get quick returns on their website. They are not used by people that are focused on developing the website by adding content or care about the website’s audience. Furthermore, using Black Hat SEO techniques may also get a website banned from the search engine altogether.
In contract, there are the White Hat techniques. These techniques are generally accepted SEO practices. These techniques and strategies focus on the human audiences. White Hat SEO techniques are also known as Ethical SEO. It is a more long term investment plan in the website. Some examples of White Hat SEO techniques include using keywords and keyword analysis, backlinking, link building to improve link popularity, and writing content for human readers.
What are the Black Hat SEO techniques?
Black Hat techniques are unfair practices that SEOs use to get a website ranked. One of these techniques is the creation of "shadow" domains. These domains get viewers to a website by using deceptive redirects. These domains are usually owned by the SEO, who uses them to redirect audiences to the client’s webpage. However, if the SEO and the client have a falling out, then the same domains can be used to redirect audiences away from the client’s site or to the client’s competitor’s website.
Another Black Hat technique is the creation of "doorway" pages. These pages are created on the client’s website and contain lists of various keywords. The SEO may claim that these "doorway" pages will make the webpage more relevant for numerous searches due to the various different keywords. However, individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. At times, these "doorway" pages may also contain hidden links to the SEO’s website or the SEO's other clients’ websites, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.
A practice called “cloaking,” is yet another Black Hat technique. This practice involves showing two different pages, depending on whether a human user is accessing the page or a search engine is. An additional Black Hat technique is the practice of hiding text within the webpage. This text can be hidden as being the same color as the background or the text can be in an invisible div, or positioned off screen.
What are the White Hat SEO techniques?
White Hat SEO techniques are techniques that follow and conform to the search engines' guidelines. These practices involve no deception, plus as they are within the search engines' guidelines, they are not at risk of being banned by the search engine for utilizing unfair practices. White Hat techniques generally focus on a long-term investment within the site. It aims to create an authentic audience following, rather than just garner quick views, gain profits and get out.
White Hat techniques are generally aimed at creating content for users, not for search engines, and then making that content easily accessible to the spiders, rather than attempting to trick the algorithm from its intended purpose. In many ways, White Hat SEO is similar to web development that promotes accessibility. However, they are not identical.
Most SEOs and other agencies and consultants that follow White Hat practices will offer the following services for a company:
- Review of the site content or structure
- Content development
- Management of online business development campaigns
- Keyword research
- SEO training
- Expertise in specific markets and geographies.
Whereas, SEO following Black Hat practices will make vague promises such as “We will get you ranked as number one within a month. (Just don’t ask how)” or “We will get you X number of views in a month (as long as you don’t ask how.)”
Who can use SEO?
SEO can be utilized by anybody who has a website. Be it a multi-national company or a blogger who runs his or her website from home, both can utilized SEO to increase the website’s visitors from search engines.
One can either hire Search Engine Optimizers to implement SEO on their websites, or they can even get started themselves. There is a variety of SEO help information available on the Internet, with many providing helpful guides to implement SEO.
Image Courtesy: topseopicks.com, mubbixdesign.co.uk