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SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

To create or modify a website in a way that search engines considered it as relevant and important for the specific search phrases it relates to and which is therefore ranked high in the search results pages.

In order to find the information they are looking for millions of users turn to the search engines every day and type in that keyword phrase, that they hope is the best description to what they are searching for.

The highest priority for the search engines (at least for the most popular ones) is to keep their customers happy by providing them with a list of those websites which they hope contain the most relevant content for their search. To pick the most relevant websites out of a pool of several billion the search engines have developed highly sophisticated algorithms to index websites and rank them according to certain criteria which are not made public.

The game of SEO then consists of guessing what these criteria are and then designing a website so that it best fits into them. If the guess was good and correct and layout and content match then the website is rewarded with a high ranking and high traffic from the search engines.

There are on-page and off-page factors to SEO

  • On-page SEO has to do with the factors on and within the website andis mostly about intelligent use of keywords in the content and in the tags to tell the search engine spiders what the site is all about. Optimising a site would mean that the top keyword of the page would be included in the title tag, the meta tags, the alt tags of images, the page’s headline and with a certain frequency in the main text. Also a smart internal linking structure such as a sitemap with the keywords in the link anchor text is a worthwhile on-page SEO measurement. These are, of course, only very crude guidelines and there are a lot of refinements worth knowing.

  • Off-page SEO as the designation implies is about factors influencing search engine rankings from outside a website. These are inbound link s, i.e. from other sites directing to the site to be optimised. Given the on page factors are equally well optimised between competing sites nothing helps a better ranking so dramatically than a one way link from another important site. Link exchange tactics leading to a system of reciprocal links are a lot less effective for better rankings as Google doesn’t give credit for reciprocal links anymore. (see under linking  for more information on this subject).


[Search via Old French cherchier = to search comes from Latin circare = to go about, wander; from circus = circle;

Engine comes from Latin ingenium = inborn qualities, talent; originally it meant a trick, device or any cleverly constructed machine;

Optimization comes from Latin optimus = best as superlative of bonus = good]



Recommended Resources:

  • SEO video tutorial as a step by step guide to Search Engine optimization by Peter Hale, one of the leading SEO experts.

  • SEO Elite , a proven software which when applied correctly will make your website rank higher in the SERPs .

  • SEO Book by Aaron Wall, also a top SEO expert.

  • A free report correcting some widespread SEO myths of the "everybody knows that ..." category


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