Basics of Search Engine Optimization

Note: This Search Engine Optimization Tutorial that I wrote years ago when i was into SEO but never published it. It had been lying as draft all these years, never finished. today, I discovered it while cleaning my drafts & decide to publish it in its current state as it is. so warning this might contains lot of errors, please read at your own risk.

this is basic tutorial which makes you understand the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), search engine optimization is more than page optimization, it depends on many factors like link building, quality of incoming links etc. So lets start with the basics.

What is search engine optimization?

Its a magic which no one can understand, kidding  Actually, It is a simple concept which any kid can understand. It works like this:

For a human being, to become popular he needs to do something extra ordinary so that whole world can know about it and he becomes known face in the world from nowhere. So same logic applies for websites also, to make your website popular first you need to do something good so that other people know about it, for example: you have a genuine site with good content and once people know about it they talk about the site (provide links, give your site links in forums, sites, blogs etc)

#### Search engine optimization is a process of taking something extra ordinary out of your site and let the whole world know about it.

Now to make your site known to public you will have to do few things on your site.Lets start by explaining things one by one in short which are important part of your site and are helpful for ranking:-

On Page Factors

Page Title: The most important part. Page title plays major role in SEO, your page title must contain the keywords you are optimizing page for. Let me give you one example: Our example keyword is Technology Blog

Title 1: Example.com - Your own Technology Blog Title 2: Technology Blog - Your own Tech Blog by Example.com

Now from above 2 examples Title 2 is correct because it gives keywords as first preference than the site. It also includes one more keyword - Tech Blog - so you can optimize for one more keyword on the same page. Here is why Title 1 is not correct.

Title 1 started with the site name i.e. example.com which people are going to hardly search but the main keyword - Technology Blog - which gets search by people, is given last preference.

*Meta Keywords: *Many people say that none of the search engines do not use Meta Keywords tag but I do not agree with it. But there are still search engines which give preference to Meta Keyword tags.

This tag should only include the keywords which you are optimizing our page for.In our case the keywords will be technology blog, tech blog. Many people just stuff the Meta Keywords tag with useless keywords but there is no point in doing that, you will never get top tanking with it. Adding long list of keywords in the tag won't give you top ranking at any cost.

Meta Description: This tag plays very important part in the ranking. Many search engines fetch content from this tag. Best example about this would be search engine Google. Google fetches description of the site from Meta Description tag and if not present, page content is used. So if you use your keywords in a smarter way then it makes sense to both, users searching for the keyword as well as search engines. Let me explain this by examples:

Description 1: Technology Blog, Tech Blog, Technology Blog India, Tech Blog India. Example.com is India's best Technology Blog. Example.com is India's best Tech Blog.

Description 2: Technology Blog - India's First Tech Blog with latest happening in the technology world. Technology news, tech reviews and more

Now in this 2nd Description is more readable than the first one. It makes more sense to users reading as well as for search engines. The keywords are not repeated many times but are framed such way that it makes proper sentence as well as includes keywords more than once.

So stuffing keywords is certainly not the way to get higher ranking but still few sites succeed in it but sooner or later search engines will detect and consider those sites as spam. So it is always better to play safe.

Page Content:People say content is king and I won't disagree with that but at the same time I would call Page Title and Meta Description also as king because they are as important as page content. I have seen many sites with less content but powerful Title and Description tag on top and I have also seen sites on top with no description, no keyword tags..just Page title and Page content. so content is really the king. Page content should contain the keywords but like I said earlier, the keywords should not be stuffed in the content. The content should be readable to the users. Person should not use the hidden text i.e. keeping text color same as page background or use CSS to hide the text. It is always better to use heading tags in the page i.e. H1, H2 etc but it should be used only when it is needed and misuse of these tags may land you up in a ban from search engines. Now a days search engines (Specially Google) are becoming very smart and detects search spam done using Heading Tags and CSS. Google employee, Matt Cutts blog gives very good information on Search Spam.

Footer:This part should contain link to the important section of the site and in this you can include keywords too. For example if you have 2 different sections News and Reviews then you can have links with text Technology News, Tech Reviews etc.Some people prefer stuffing keywords with the footer copyright note but there is no point in that and should not be done.

Site Map:This should be the page containing links to main pages of the site. This will help search engines and users to find the sections of the site. Search engine crawlers will crawl through the links provided on that page and include them in the search index. (It is possible that it may not crawl all at the same time but sooner or later the pages get included)

*Resources or Links section: *If you are optimizing the site then you can have this section for link exchange. You can include the links of your link partners or in simple worlds, the guys with whom you have exchanged links. More the links you have coming from various sites, more it helps. Search engines will find more sites pointing to you and will increase the importance of your site. (This section is not necessary in all the cases. You can also optimize the site without this section too.)

Now this does not mean that you have to exchange links with every other site you see in the world. It is always better to exchange links with the sites in your theme and make sure that you ask them to write your keywords in your link. Following examples will make you understand it properly.

For a technology blog, there is no point in getting links from sites which are totally in different category. i.e. getting links from sites dealing in clothes, gifts or link directories which are not related to technology. Google will consider them as a link but the value of link coming from technology site will be much higher than the one coming from non-technology site. Getting links from tech forums or other technology blogs could help a lot.

Now 2nd part of this is, including keywords in the link:

Link 1: Example.com Link 2: Example.com - Technology Blog and Tech Reviews

From above examples 2nd one is better because it includes the keywords of your site and it will make search engines understand that, example.com contains Technology Blog and Tech Reviews.

*Page Code: *This is not very important part for many sites but yes it should not be ignored too. Cleaner the code, better the chances. Many people will disagree with this but somewhere down the line, page code plays some role in optimization. Many people use table to create the layout. there is nothing wrong in it, the person should use whatever he is comfortable with it BUT the code should be clean i.e. there should not be many unnecessary tags.The same thing can be driven by CSS and this will make code clean and search engines will find your page content easily compared to messy code.

I personally use CSS based layouts for my websites because I feel that it makes code cleaner because of less lines and everything is driven by CSS file so pages are also of less size and it also saves bandwidth.

Off site factors

Once modifications are done with the site, you will have to move on to submitting the sites to directories.

There is no need to submit the sites in search engines. The ones who say, we will submit your site to xxx number of search engines and all are just fake. Till now (as far as I know) only 3 major search engines are present; Google, Yahoo and MSN. These 3 search engines have their different crawlers. Rest of the search engines just use combination of search results generated by these 3 major search engines. There are few more search engines which use their own crawlers but they still use combination of search data from these 3 major search engines.

To get your site listed all you have to do is, get a link from the site which is already listed in search engines. For example: if any of your friends is having a site or blog which is already listed in search engine, ask him to provide your link on his site, search engine will visit his site, find your link (if easily visible), follow the link and jump to your site. so this way your site will also get listed. OR if you have RSS feed of your site, you can submit it to Yahoo, Technorati and other blog search networks. This should help to get the site crawled quickly.

Now let's move to Submitting the site to directories: For this you will have to pick selected directories only i.e. no point in submitting the sites to the directories which are meant just for spam purpose. Generally the spam directories have many links on the page as sponsored section. I have seen few directories with keyword stuffed links in header, footer and right navigation area. So it is better to stay way from these sites.

Directories like Dmoz, Best of the world (BOTW) are examples of good directories. (BOTW is paid now)

There are many paid directories too but I personally won't suggest submitting the site to paid directory unless it is needed. In some industries paid directories are must and very helpful in generating leads and sales. But in our example technology blog, there is no need to submit the site to paid directories and waste money.

The list of good directories can be found here

The other important factor in search engine optimization is:

Link Building. this factor mainly deals with getting links from other websites or exchanging links with other

websites. You can use sites like Link Market, Link Metro etc…

But I must remind you, these link exchange sites are helpful only for basic purpose, for serious SEO purpose, you need to go way beyond these link exchange sites.

That's it, I this is the end of 3year old post. Hope it is helpful to some people. And please excuse me for errors, if any

Source:who else, me