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Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO and Why It’s Important

How Search Engines Operate

Do you ever click past the fifth link when searching for information on Google? Studies show it’s unlikely. So as a new business, you want to get your site to the top of the search results to bring high traffic to your site. A key factor to this aspect of business success is SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. SEO is, “a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results” (Moz). Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! are the “roadways” to a website (htmlgoodies). By taking advantage of the hundreds of factors that control a page’s visibility– from using relevant keywords, to creating good information architecture, to building good links­– practicing great SEO can result in a rate of return even larger than other marketing and promotion methods. Better SEO leads to a higher placement on the search results page, and consequently leads to great business growth.

Search Engine Optimization relates to the course topics of Hubs and Authorities and PageRank. Aside from on-page factors of SEO such as website content quality and keywords, off-page factors such as trust and links carry heavy weight in SEO. As seen in the infographic, “The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors”, a page’s authority determined by links and shares, and quality determined by the source of the links, can place a site higher on the search rank. We learned this concept first hand when calculating the quality of authorities and hubs using in-links and the Principle of Repeated Improvement. Page endorsement on the web is passed to each other, summarized by the idea that, “a page is important if it is cited by other important pages” (Networks, Crowds, and Markets). This idea plays into SEO, which relies on a site’s authority to place it higher in the search engine rankings. It is evident that SEO uses PageRank as a factor to determining a site’s visibility because the more reliable and high quality linked page, the higher the search engine will place the website in search results.

Businesses are constantly trying to improve their SEO in order to increase site usage. In fact, people learn how to hack into search engine operations and attempt to increase their search rank through fraudulent methods. Some tactics include paying other companies to submit link directors, selling text links, and creating numerous articles that link back to your site. However, because the algorithms used by search engines are constantly being changed, these practices no longer become affected. As we learned in Chapter 14, SEO is a “moving target” that is always updating. Ultimately, quality page content and an acclaimed, backed-up reputation seem to be the key to SEO and high page ranking.


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October 2016