Search Engine Optimization (SEO) definition

Techniques designed to influence a website’s ranking in search engines, such as Google and Yahoo. The techniques used are based on knowledge of the algorithms used by the search engines to decide which sites rank in what positions when users search for a word or combination of words. These algorithms used a variety of metrics to rank sites. SEO is concerned with manipulating the value individual sites receive on these metrics in order to improve the site’s performance as a whole.

SEO can be split into white-hat and black-hat techniques – the former refers to manipulative techniques acknowledged by the search engines as suitable and acceptable, while the latter are considered by the search engines as inappropriate or unfair. Blatant deception is a common characteristic of black-hat techniques.

Since Google dominates online search, most search engine optimisation efforts are targeted at Google. Search Engine Optimisation has been acknowledged by Google as an anomaly in their technology.

Search Engine Optimisation is a subset of internet marketing. Businesses should not solely rely on search engine optimisation for their online marketing strategies because the algorithms used by the search engines can change rapidly. If Google changes something in their search algorithm that makes a metric less important in determine a site’s ranking position, the positive effects of previous search engine optimisation efforts may be reduced or lost.

Also see pay per click and organic search results.


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