Internet Search Engines are vitally important to modern businesses, particulary to small businesses with limted resources. They are also widely misunderstood, or just plain mysteries to many small business owners. The following is an excert from an eBook I am writing to help small business people understand search engines, so that they might better incorporate search engines into their overall business strategy.
1. What is a Search Engine?
Search engines are complex web applications that do the following:
1) They crawl (visit) all available pages on the internet
2) They “index” (store a snapshot) of every web page.
3) They take the word or phrase (search term) entered into their search box and process it through an algorithm (complex equation) to create a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This is a list of links to websites found in the search engines index.
To gain traffic through the Internet it is important that a business’ website show up within the first ten results when the keywords that best describe their business are typed into a search engine.
Myth #1: “Gaining significant targeted traffic through your website is easy.” It is definitely not a matter of “build it and they will come.” Search engine exposure is “free” advertising and is extremely competitive.
2. What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization usually refers to the activity of designing or tweaking a website so that it has the best chance at showing up high in SERPs for the selected keywords. It refers to manipulation of on-page factors – characteristics of the website itself.
Often SEO is used to refer to the entire process of gaining more search engine traffic for a website, however this usage is misleading. Even Wikipedia promotes this idea:
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.
Myth #2: Search engine optimization alone will only result in good ranking for non-competitive searches. Doing well in competitive searches primarily depends on off-page factors – factors not directly modifiable by the Webmaster.
What are off-page factors? Check back next week for the next installment!!!