search engine optimisation (SEO)

So, what really is SEO? Is it really that important? If you own a site that sells products, then it is THE most important thing you'll do for your site, and you need to read the following.


Search Engine Optimisation - or SEO - is the science of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website from search engines via search results for targeted keywords. Usually the higher a website is listed in the search results, the more visits it gets.

Sounds easy right? Well there is a right way and a wrong way to tell the search engines you want to be seen, and the wrong way will have disasterous results.

The 'wrong way', is known as black hat SEO or spamdexing, and uses methods which tend to harm search engine ranking. Search engines look for sites that use these techniques and will rank them very low or remove them entirely from their list.

SEO is used as a marketing strategy to increase a site's relevance, by considering what people would search for, and then implementing these search phrases as key phrases on the site. SEO involves adjusting the site's code and structure, as well as fixing problems which would prevent search engines from fully indexing the site.

There are many different aspects of a site which determines how well it ranks, and they all need to be taken into consideration. It is estimated that there are hundreds of different criteria which are examined by search engines before the site is ranked, and some of these criteria have several different points of view.

Good SEO can be very difficult to achieve.

If you are looking at getting some SEO for your site, you will benefit from reading this Blog entry


For example, the operators of the popular developer question-and-answer forum Stack Overflow recently published some statistics on their sources of traffic:

Search Engine Visits
Google 3,417,919
Yahoo 9,779
Live 5,638
Search 2,961
AOL 1,274
Ask 1,186
MSN 1,177
Altavista 202
Yandex 191
Seznam 103

As a result of this massive traffic skew, if your business relies on search engine traffic, the main search engine you need to be targeting is Google. While there are seemingly endless parades of shonky search engine optimisers who will submit your website to “thousands of search engines”, the simple fact is that if all these thousands of search engines are providing you with the same proportion of traffic as “Seznam” (the 10th search engine on Stack Overflow’s top 10 list), then you’d need to be listed on over 33,000 search engines to match Google’s traffic contribution. Or, you could just make sure Google likes you, instead, for far less effort and expense.

[...] Google delivers 350x the traffic to Stack Overflow that the next best so-called “search engine” does. Three hundred and fifty times!