SEO: Why Search Engine Optimization Anyway?

    November 25, 2005

SEO is short for search engine optimization. I can almost hear the yawns already as you roll your eyes with boredom.

Most website owners and bloggers have little interest in optimization of their blogs or websites. As long as the search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search index them, most people are satisfied.

After all, SEO sounds boring and pointless at best, or shady and dishonest at worst. More myths than facts surround the concept of search engine optimization. These myths are fueled by discussions of Google penalties and search engine banning of sites. Many people mistakenly believe that SEO involves all sorts of trickery and underhanded tactics. Many other people consider the topic too boring to even contemplate. Drying paint as a spectator sport appears to have more appeal.

In fact, SEO is not really boring or dishonest, as much as it’s misunderstood. The idea of SEO is to make your blog or website more visible in the search engines. Increased visibility means more visitors, and it’s hoped they convert to paying customers. SEO critics believe that their site should rise or fall in the search engine rankings based on merit. Of course it should. The only problem is the search engines like Google can’t always see those great website or blog qualities.

What SEO does, in the most basic sense, is to help the search engines discover, read, index, and rank your site based on a number of factors. In order to achieve their goals, the search engine spider robots need to know the themes and topics of your blog or website. They can’t guess. It’s up to you to show and tell them. That’s the purpose of SEO.

Fixing the title tags that appear at the very top of the web browser (blue line at the top of Internet Explorer, for example) shows the spiders the topic of the page. The on page content contains words. Obviously. What the spiders need is the appearance of searched keywords. You can’t rank for blueberry muffins if they are never mentioned on your blog. By including the searched upon words in the post titles, headings, and body of the content, you are helping the search engines understand your blog or site topics and themes. Once understood, they can be ranked.

Gaining links from other blogs, websites, and internet directories tells the search engines that your content is important and informative to other bloggers or traditional site owners. As such, the search engines can give your pages higher rankings. Popular linked to pages get the benefit of higher search engine placement. If the clickable link from the linking page, contains the searched words found on your page, so much the better. The search engines then understand the topic of your page is also recognized by others as well.

There is no need for dirty tricks or underhanded tactics, in your SEO efforts. You know your blog or website contain valuble and informative content. What optimizing the pages does is helps the search engines understand their importance too.

SEO is like holding the hand of the search engines and guiding them to your blog or website. Once there, the optimized title tags, links, headings, and post titles and body give a guided tour of the content. The spiders need spider food in the form of great content. Your SEO efforts show the spiders the way to the cupboard, and keep the spiders well fed.

SEO will help make your blog and website content easier to find, read, and digest. That’s important to the search engines. By helping them, they will help you by providing your blog or web pages with higher search engine rankings.

After all, you do want everyone to enjoy your great content.

SEO gives your content more visibility for the search engines, making it easier to find, read, index, and rank highly.

That is neither boring nor dishonest.

Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

Check out Blog Business World for yourself.