Technology has provided the world with all the information each one of us needs – in just a blink of an eye, one click of a button, and one tap of a finger. This vast array of information and seemingly endless sources of knowledge is found in what we now call the Internet. However, the Internet is not only for people who are searching but it is also for those who have data, information, and what-nots to offer. But what good are these data if they are buried under the more popular sites that have less useful information to offer?
This is where the Search Optimization, more commonly known to many as SEO, comes in. SEO is the process that webmasters use to affect a website’s visibility in search engines. It is a kind of marketing strategy used in the Internet to highlight what people usually search for – subjects of research, images most frequently looked at, videos most commonly watched, keywords usually searched, et cetera. Upon determining said subjects, a website’s visibility is optimized by the process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
For instance, you have created a website on, say for example, baking. Your website has a lot of useful information on baking, as well as recipes interested bakers, moms, and even young learners could use. However, it is unknown to the world wide web and nobody even knows of the website address of this very useful platform. It is also so new that you have not been listed in any Search Engine Return Page (SERP) yet. How do you, then, get your site be known in the Internet world? Your job now is to show search engines such as Bing, Google, Yahoo, et cetera, that your page belongs to the top spot that appears after the searcher has clicked the Go or Search buttons – and this is where search engine optimization comes in.
The most significant factor for a page or a website to land the top spot in search engines is strong content. However, even if your website has the most complete and extensive information in a particular subject, reality dictates that strong content in itself cannot guarantee your site’s place on the top spot right away. It could take months, or even longer, based on how search engines are used. What is worse, even if your site appears to have been visited often, there is no guarantee that you can land the top spot.
For some website makers, it is not important whether or not the websites they have created are on the top spot or not. However, for people who rely on website-making for money, it is a great deal for them to have these sites seen up there and really making their appearance in the number one spot.
Basically, the three simple steps in search engine optimization are: first, getting indexed; second, preventing crawling; and third, expanding the site’s reach and heightening its prominence.
Getting indexed is simply being listed in the search engine where you want your website to be. It may be in Yahoo, Google, Bing, or any other search engine of your choice. Manual submission and actual editorial review are required in order to get indexed in Yahoo and DMOZ. Google Webmaster Tools is utilized by Google to make sure that all pages of the website are accessible.
Preventing crawling is simply not letting web crawlers and web spiders to access certain files or data through a robots.txt file engrained in the directory of the website’s domain. The said robots.txt file is the one responsible in the prevention of the robot as to which pages should and should not be accessed.
Lastly, heightening the prominence of the website can be achieved through different processes. Cross-linking is one of the most effective ways to do such, as well as writing contents that are usually and most commonly being searched in search engines.
There are two basic approaches webmasters can use: the white hat approach and the black hat approach.
White hats produce results that last a longer, while black hats know that eventually their sites will either be temporarily or permanently banned the moment their actions are discovered.
If there is no deception or masking of the content, then the technique is white hat. It is the “what you see is what you get” technique. White hat is all about following guidelines. However, it is not just all about that. It is inclined in ensuring the content of the indexes of search engines and the ranking of the pages that the users will see.
White hat is the technique that caters to the needs of the users and not of search engines. It does not trick searchers, nor use any other ploys or deceptive moves and machinations to lead to a site.
On the other hand, black hat technique is a technique that is commonly termed as deceptive and misleading. It is, in many ways, considered deceitful and a scheming kind of search engine optimization technique.
One of the methods used in black hat technique is keyword stuffing. Here, webmasters will use keywords repeatedly. They even hide them at the bottom of the page where visitors won’t be able to see them. Invisible text is also used. It’s just text with a color that matches the background of the page.
Another black hat method is page stuffing. In this technique, web pages are duplicated so all of these pages will appear on top of the list, therefore pushing other competitor sites out.
Two other popular black hat techniques are selling and farming links. A link farm is a pool of webpages that all interconnect with each other for the purpose of improving a site’s ranking.
It is a reality that search engines look at links to determine how relevant a webpage is. Therefore, some webmasters buy links from other sites to boost a page’s rank. When these link farms are detected by the search engines, they flag each and every included site. At times, not only are they flagged down but search engines automatically demote the rank of the page. Worse, search engines will ban all the sites altogether.