Search engine (SE) optimization techniques vary. Some techniques will be beneficial for ranking in some search engines, but other search engines may penalize for overuse of these techniques. An understanding of the different SE and how they rank sites will help give someone who carries out SEO, a better understanding of how they should go about doing it.
It’s important to look at both on-site and off-site SEO to get the rankings you are after. Sites should be built in such a way that search engines notice quickly what your site is about through correct usage of metadata, titles, headings and keywords and you should actively promote your site on other web sites using off-site SEO techniques.
Keywords are the words that people search for in a SE. Metadata keywords are words you can store in the website code as a summary for search engines and they should be carefully chosen so that they actually reflect what is on the page. You need both metadata keywords – not more than 20 – and a meta description – a short description that summarizes the page in well constructed English, and contains the essential keywords relating to the content. Search engines will look at the content of your page and see how it relates to the keywords and whether the keywords are actually present.
One technique that is worth avoiding is keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing refers to the over use of keywords, so that the search engine counts more occurrences and so the page is returned as a more relevant search result, higher up in the search results. This technique should now be considered obsolete and content should be written naturally without the constant repetition of keywords. They should definitely still be there, but not in every line, every title and certainly not hidden by using text coloring that matches the background.
When a site is first listed with the SE, the search engines will not have any information in regard to the site. Sites need to be crawled by ‘spiders’ that gather information which can be used to determine search results. With thousands of new web pages being created and added everyday, it’s unlikely that your page will be crawled straight away. It may even take months.
Link building can increase your chances of being crawled by a SE spider more quickly. Spiders follow the links from other websites that they crawl, and so by having a few links on other sites that are well established in search engines then you can speed up the process. Once crawled, a site may not be visited again for a while. Some sites though are crawled very regularly. These tend to be sites that have new content added constantly. By placing a link to your site on one of these sites, you will certainly increase the chances of a spider coming your way, crawling your site, and soon you will start to receive traffic from the search engines.