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Thread: The Very Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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    Moderator Andrew's Avatar
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    The Very Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of getting your site to show up higher in Google (and others like Yahoo or Bing) for a specific search term or keyword. If you owned a site that was currently in the 5th position for “Video Game Reviews” and you wanted your site to rank 3rd or better, you would do something called Search Engine Optimization to help your site move up higher.

    Why do SEO? Of course, we want to do this because the higher we show up for our search terms, the more people will click from Google to our site. The difference in traffic from the site that shows up #1 to the site at #2 can be dramatic. And needless to say, if you show up 11th or worse (which is off of the first page) you will get very, very little traffic. In general, you want to be AT LEAST #5 or better for your main terms.


    The Two Factors of Ranking Highly

    There are two things required to rank at the top of the search engines. With both of these elements in place, your site should see high placements. But if you are weak in either, ranking will be almost impossible. They are: relevant content and links...


    Relevant Content
    It may seem obvious, but I will point it out anyways. If someone types video games into Google, your site on the topic of carpet cleaning will not show up. This is because Google will automatically know what your site is about. In a nutshell, it will check your site and say “okay, this site is about video games. When someone types video games into me, I will make sure that this site is somewhere in the mix.”

    This is not to say that your site will automatically be at the top (remember, there are also millions of other sites about video games). This just means that Google knows which terms your site MIGHT rank for. To determine whether it is #1 or #1 million, we have to look at the second element...


    Links
    After relevant content, there is another equally important factor: the number of links from other sites that are pointing to your site. This is an over simplification, but the site that has the most links pointing to it will rank higher than others. If your buddy links to your site from his, Google considers this to be a VOTE to push your site higher. If 5,000 people link to your site, you will be pushed much higher. Got that?

    Repeat this until it makes sense: the more links a site has pointing to it, the higher it will rank.

    That is rule #1 about linking, but there is also more too this linking stuff than just that. Let me illustrate by giving you a puzzle. Go to Google and type in “Click Here”. The first result should be either Adobe Reader or Apple Quicktime. Based on what we have learned, why would these sites possibly show up here? Neither of them say “click here” anywhere so the content is clearly not relevant...

    The answer: there are so many other sites that point to Adobe Reader with a link that says Click Here (i.e. click here to download Adobe Reader). The point I am getting to is that what the link actually says matters immensely. If someone points to your site with a link that says: YourSite.com, that will help you rank for YourSite.com. If they point to you with a link that says Learn to Knit, that will help you rank for Learn to Knit.

    Remember, it's all about relevant content and relevant links. That's the whole game of SEO in a nutshell. Virtually all SEO work will be some variation of getting more relevant links or adding more relevant content.

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    Registered Member LaTamir's Avatar
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    Re: The Very Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Andrew, thanks for this outline. I'm pretty new to internet marketing and SEO, and I know there's a lot of aspects to it but I like how you simple you made it sound. Descriptions like this are a big help in organizing the ideas in my head, if that makes sense
    Last edited by LaTamir; 04-07-2012 at 04:08 PM.

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    Re: The Very Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
    Repeat this until it makes sense: the more links a site has pointing to it, the higher it will rank.
    I'm curious... how about the quality of the links, Andrew?

    -wittyblogger

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    Re: The Very Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Quote Originally Posted by wittyblogger View Post
    I'm curious... how about the quality of the links, Andrew?
    Okay, okay. Quality is a big factor, BUT in my experience even lower-quality links can be helpful in big volume. If you have 100 site-wide links from small blogs, for example, it can start to carry major weight, even if they're not directly related to your niche. And this is backlinks 101, link quality is more l like backlinks 201

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    Re: The Very Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
    Okay, okay. Quality is a big factor, BUT in my experience even lower-quality links can be helpful in big volume. If you have 100 site-wide links from small blogs, for example, it can start to carry major weight, even if they're not directly related to your niche. And this is backlinks 101, link quality is more l like backlinks 201
    Ahaha, true that.

    Would be great if you could reveal some secrets about how you link-bait!

    -wittyblogger
    Last edited by wittyblogger; 04-21-2012 at 08:35 AM.
    Copy that crackles with fire and rock-hard SEO. How is it impossible to make money online?

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    Re: The Very Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Quote Originally Posted by wittyblogger View Post
    Ahaha, true that.

    Would be great if you could reveal some secrets about how you link-bait!
    I can never reveal my secrets! haha. No, I truly believe that high quality content is the best way to build links. Write a great "Top 10 Ways to ___." post and it'll go viral. I know I mentioned low-quality links, but I'm not very much into that myself. I'd rather provide real value, let it attract real links, and go from there. That way, you never have to worry about getting banned and your results will last for years.

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    Re: The Very Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
    I can never reveal my secrets! haha. No, I truly believe that high quality content is the best way to build links. Write a great "Top 10 Ways to ___." post and it'll go viral. I know I mentioned low-quality links, but I'm not very much into that myself. I'd rather provide real value, let it attract real links, and go from there. That way, you never have to worry about getting banned and your results will last for years.
    Too true, haha. I'm a big fan of top lists. They always draw in a huge number of visitors.

    I've been thinking of investing in an infographic though - i wonder if it draws in more visitors... according to seomoz, it does.

    -wittyblogger
    Last edited by wittyblogger; 04-21-2012 at 08:35 AM.

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    Re: The Very Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Quote Originally Posted by wittyblogger View Post
    Too true, haha. I'm a big fan of top lists. They always draw in a huge number of visitors.

    I've been thinking of investing in an infographic though - i wonder if it draws in more visitors... according to seomoz, it does.
    You know what, I was thinking the same thing for my personal blog just this morning. I was going over some ways to build links to it and an awesome infographic would be a great idea. If you do it and find a designer who works well... please share!

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    Re: The Very Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Great post, although I think that might be an over-simplification of backlinks.. Obviously the quality of the backlinks themselves need to be taken into account and it is also better to have a 'backlink wheel' set up rather than just a whole lot of links coming from nothing sites all over the web.

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    Re: The Very Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anton Demarco View Post
    Great post, although I think that might be an over-simplification of backlinks.. Obviously the quality of the backlinks themselves need to be taken into account and it is also better to have a 'backlink wheel' set up rather than just a whole lot of links coming from nothing sites all over the web.
    True, it was an oversimplification. That's why it's called "The Very Basics"

    Backlink wheels can help. There's a post in this forum about just that topic - http://zzzprofits.com/threads/34-quo...t-by-Pat-Flynn - Pat Flynn's system is top notch in terms of a solid backlink wheel.

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