SEO — Search Engine Optimization »
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Last Updated on November 18, 2018
Coding a great site is just the first step in building a successful and popular web presence. Once you have your website live on the web, you need for visitors to find it.
While you could boost traffic to your site by placing advertisements on social networks and the search engine results page (SERP) of search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, all of those traffic sources will cost you money – a resource which may not be plentiful when you are first getting started.
As a result, the vast majority of popular websites depend on organic search engine traffic: free traffic coming from search engines as visitors find a website after querying a search engine.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving your website so that it achieves a higher ranking in search engine SERPs, and so that more search engine users click on your website listing in the search engine results.
Google is King
When talking about SEO it is common for the term search engine to be used interchangeably with Google. This happens for two reasons:
- Google is the most popular search engine by a wide margin. Roughly 70% of all search traffic moves through Google.
- A website optimized for Google will also perform well in other search engines such as Yahoo! and Bing.
In other words, focus your efforts on Google and you’ll simultaneously improve your site’s performance in other search engines. As you focus on improving the performance of your website in Google’s SERPs, pay close attention to anything Google says about optimizing your site for search engines.
The Fundamental SEO Philosophy
Search engines are successful when their users find value in the search results they produce. For this reason, search engines are always trying to improve the quality of search results.
On an ongoing basis, search engines update their algorithms to improve SERP quality. Most of these updates focus on weeding out low-quality search results such as spam sites, copyright violators, and sites that provide duplicated content.
Recent updates to Google’s search algorithm have focused on things like favoring websites that are mobile-friendly over those that are hard to use on a mobile device, penalizing websites that repeatedly violate copyright laws, and penalizing websites that appear to employ deceptive or manipulative SEO practices.
Ultimately, a product like Google Search is successful when it returns the results that are relevant, accessible, and high quality. What this means is that effective SEO will align your website with the needs of its visitors by being as relevant and accessible as possible while producing high-quality content.
If you want your website to perform well in Google’s SERPs, here are five things you must do: