Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting free, organic traffic to your website through major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The search engines rank web pages and other content based on what they consider to be the most relevant to those who are doing the searching. When people view search engine results, they generally don’t look past the first 20 or so listings, so it’s important to have your site fully optimized.
With new development tools being used to create websites that use Java, Flash, and images, it’s important that the search engines are able to read the content. If the content can’t be read by search engines then it can’t be indexed, and if your site doesn’t get indexed then it won’t be found when people search for it.
How Does SEO Work?
Search engines maintain a huge database of information from individual websites. Most of the information search engines collect isn’t listed on their results pages, but it is taken into consideration when it comes to deciding those results’ rankings.
It is very important that you make it easy for the search engines to rank your website in a high position, and you can do this by the keywords you use on your website, as well as those you use when you submit your site. If the keywords you use in your submission tool don’t match the ones on your site then you could harm your ranking. It’s important to have all of the keywords you want to use on the website itself before you submit it.
Most websites don’t do a great job of focusing on their topic, so it’s recommended to use 50 or more phrases per page on your site. By focusing some of the pages of your site on keywords, you will score higher with the search engines. There are several companies that provide free SEO tools, or you can pay a professional to take care of it for you.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat or unethical search engine optimization techniques can be unlawful, unscrupulous, or just in bad taste. You’d be surprised how many people use these methods. A lot of what is now called unethical SEO, used to be accepted until people went overboard and it started to have a negative effect on the web as a whole.
They would engage in keyword stuffing. That’s when your site consists of long lists of keywords and nothing else. There are better ways to put keywords onto your site without running the risk of getting banned.
Perhaps you’ve seen invisible text when selecting the text on a page and found words that are the same color as the background. This text is often lists of keywords put there in the hope of fooling the search engine spiders while hiding the words from visitors. This is considered unethical.
Another technique is the use of a “bridge” or “doorway” page. This is a page that isn’t designed to be seen by the user, but an attempt to be seen by the search engines and spiders, in order to trick them into indexing the website in a higher position. Not a good idea.
Even though Black Hat SEO is tempting, and may work, you shouldn’t do it. Not only is it annoying to users, but it’s likely to get you banned from the search engines sooner or later. Your site’s search engine rankings just aren’t worth the risk. Use efficient SEO techniques to get your site ranked higher, and stay away from anything that even looks like unethical SEO.
While SEO is important to getting found on the web, there are right ways and wrong ways to approach optimization. You can attempt to do it yourself or find someone that is experienced in SEO to assist you or just handle it for you. It will take time, but with diligence you may ultimately find your site ranked in the top few which means enhanced visibility for your business and the resultant clicks that can lead to business success.