What Exactly is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization of often referred to as ‘SEO’. It’s a method use to improve your websites search engines rankings. It puts you in a higher page rank with engines like Bing, Google, and Yahoo. Whenever you can improve your sites position with the search engines, it means more targeted traffic to your site, which can result to sales. And this is a way to do it naturally, or organically, with a method you don’t have to pay for.

There is a whole industry of SEO consultants available now who get hired all the time by companies with websites that need their rankings improved. And SEO can fall into one of three categories – The Black Hat (not good, unethical), the Grey Hat (not so bad, not so good), and the White Hat (the best way to go).

The black hat methods are the ones the go against the policies of the search engines. They use spam and other nefarious methods like spamdexing, which gets them a lot of low quality links from either spam blogs or link farms. There’s also methods like link stuffing or article spinning. Black Hat methods of SEO get you there quicker, but you suffer in the end. It gets used a lot by those who don’t care, whenever a product may be around for a short time. This system is unnatural and uses some types of softwares that can trick search engines into thinking their site has a ton of actual real organic traffic. This is a very short term way to do business, and can result in getting banned from dong business, because the search engines have gotten really good at sniffing it out.

The Grey Hat type of SEO is a method that falls in between the Black and the white hats. This can be buying links from related sites or purchasing blog posts that will be written so as to link back to their site. Duplicate content can sometimes be used for re-posting on other sites and then get linked up to paid sites. This can result in being seen as legitimate, and instantly improves the websites standing in the search engines, but it can’t get higher than the site that had the original content on it.

Then you have the White Hat method of SEO. This is where you use strategies for building links. One strategy is link baiting, where a site writes an article or posts a video that can get other people to link to it from their own sites. Social Media can play a huge role in White Hat strategies for SEO. It’s to get your website to go viral in this social arena, like maybe Twitter for instance, or maybe Digg or Delicious, or all three. They can get your website noticed by lots of bloggers that will link to it, and this in turn makes your position with search engines much stronger and your links much more relevant. It’s indeed the better method of the three.

Most of the SEO consultants will buy links for linking back to sites using specific keywords. The more of these links you can buy for these keywords, then the higher that keyword ranks for that particular site with search engines. And it helps for the website to mention this keyword, or keyword phrase, it the meta tags, in the site title, and on each page withing the site. It’s also good to use it in articles and advertising, and the H1 tag that’s in your HTML code.

A good webmaster has many ways of performing on-site SEO that can help them move their site up. Metatags are one way, along with making use of specific keywords again and then again within your pages. Even making some of your text BOLD can give that keyword a bit more weight.

But to sum it up, the White Hat is the way to go if you’re serious about keeping a good reputation and an online presence. It’s organic, it’s natural, it’s clean, and you never need to worry about being banned.