What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, it is the method of increasing the amount of quality and the amount of traffic that goes to a web site via the search engines like Google or Yahoo rather than natural traffic results. The way a search engine works is that when you build a site the search engine will send out a robot to scan your site and depending on the content whether it is original or not and the subject matter of the site the robot will report back to the search engine and the search engine will rank the site.
Of course in this case you want your site to be ranked low. Search engines list the sites starting from the number one. Through the process of search engine optimization you can improve your ranking if you are not happy with where the search engine places you. As a webmaster you can target your SEO through other avenues such as local searches, image searching and very specific vertical searches.
The webmaster may want to use algorithms as a marketing strategy. An algorithm is a recording methods used for solving specific math problems. So a webmaster can use an algorithm and try to figure out what people are searching for and how they are searching for it. A webmaster may wish to take a look at their own site and see what they can do to improve the SEO so they could get a better place in the search engines.
There are two types of SEO’s the White hat and the Black hat, it is almost the proverbial good in the white vs. evil in the black. Search engines are more accepting of white hat than black but a good black hat goes undetected. Every couple a weeks a spider or robot will crawl your site and either raise your page ranking or lower it. If the spider reveals a black hat then they you may go from a number 100 in the search engine to a 125. The same works with white hat, if you raise your traffic and improve your site then the search engine will reward you with a lower number.
There are three main search engines, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Each search engine looks at different factors before determining where they are going to place you in the search engine. When the spiders come they do not look at every single page you have on your website. They do not index all the pages. When a site has pages that they do not want the search engines to see because it may affect their ranking they tell the spider not to look at certain files or certain directories through a standard robot file. A spider may keep a copy of the file and it could end up crawling the pages the webmaster did not want looked at.
The webmaster generally prevents the spiders from looking at pages with such things as shopping carts, login pages and other user specific content which may be search results that came from an internal search. Just this past March, Google sent a message to webmasters that they should not index internal searches because their search engines do consider them spam.
Some webmasters do the SEO work themselves but others may hire someone to it for them because no matter how hard they look at their site they cannot see why they are not getting a better ranking. These outside SEO’s could provide a fresh pair of eyes and instruct the webmaster on what he needs to change his site, it could be a matter of adding better and more original content or it could be instructing the webmaster to make the site more user friendly.