Improving search engine results Part 1: How search engines work.

Improving search engine results Part 1: How search engines work.

High placement on search engine results is critical for a businesses of any size. For a small business, it can be a make or break factor. Unfortunately, getting started with SEO (search engine optimization) can be daunting. In this post, Part 1 of 2, we’ll help you learn the basics of SEO and provide you with useful resources to take you to the next level.  In Part 2, we’ll dig in a bit deeper with some simple techniques to boost your search engine results. Let’s get started! Some definitions. Before we start, let’s define and differentiate SEO and SEM.  The two terms are often confused and incorrectly used interchangeably. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of best practices that help maximize how high search engines will list your page within un-paid (organic) results. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a broader term.  It encompasses a number of marketing activities, including SEO.  However, SEO always refers to un-paid, organic search results. SEM, on the other hand, typically also incorporates paid advertising, including paid search result ads. Oh, what a tangled web the Internet weaves: the basics of how search engines work. The best place to start is to dig a bit into how search engines gather, classify and rank information about websites.  It all starts with links (hyperlinks) and search engine’s unsung heroes: automated “robots” lovingly, and appropriately, called “crawlers” or “spiders”.   These little guys work tirelessly, day and night, crawling the web and following each and every link to whatever website it leads them.  Along the way, they look through the site’s code and record selected pieces of content and other data. As the robots crawl the billions of interconnected websites that make up the World...