What is Search Engine Optimisation ?
If you look up a thesaurus or a dictionary, the word “optimisation” will generally describe any activity that enhances and improves the performance of something, in relation to something else. So what is search engine optimisation? Well, a website can be optimized in relation to a search engine. Therefore, when used in the context of a search engine, optimisation is the process of enhancing the capability of your website so that it fares well during search engine queries.
What does it mean to “fare well”?
Millions of us search the vast resources available on the internet daily, in order to find specific information that we require. We do this by “querying” the search engine to find what we need. But with millions of pieces of similar resources and information available out there, on thousands of similar websites, how do search engines know what material is relevant to your query? And what is search engine optimisation doing in all of this?
Well, in response to your query, the search engine will reach out and pull up a number of websites and present them to you. It knows which ones of the millions of sites are relevant, because those websites have used a number of search engine optimization techniques to tell the search engine that they are the sites you are looking for. The most common, though not by far the only, technique is using search engine optimized keywords that scream “pick me, pick me!”, as the search engine hunts for relevant pages.
How do Search Engines Work?
To truly understand what is search engine optimisation good for, and what the benefits of search engine optimisation are, we need to briefly understand how a search engine works. Well, search engines such as Google and Yahoo have a sophisticated system built, that goes out and searches the net for content. They do this using software known as Crawlers, Robots and Spiders.
These automated creatures sniff out content, based on keywords, tags, links and meta data that webmasters use to optimize their sites and make them relevant to a certain audience, in a specific context. The search engines then use all that data to build powerful databases, indexes and cross-references to help them relate and rank each site to quickly pull up information about a website when necessary.
Benefits of Search Engine Optimisation
As a user and a layperson, without really knowing what is search engine optimisation, you enter certain keywords into a search engine. The benefits of search engine optimization are that, the search engine takes those keywords and puts them through a complex set of calculations, matches those results against the indexes it created earlier and presto! You are presented with a series of links in your browser, which meets your criteria.
Fine-tuning web pages, to ensure that search engines are offered the benefits of search engine optimization, ensures that the site is consistently ranked high and rated as relevant during web search queries. The higher a site ranks in a search, the more traffic it will receive, and the more popular it becomes, the higher it will climb in its ranking!