Search Engine Optimization is fairly easy to understand. All you need to do is put your self in a Search Engines Shoes.
Let’s start with Google’s Mission:
“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Nice and Simple. But it gives you a good understanding of what you are working with and helps us to realize some very basic truths about Search Engines.
Search Engines Truth:
Search Engines want to find useful, informative sites for every search term.
Duh… And they do that by using robots (or bots) that are programmed to “index” websites and decide how useful/informative they are. So our job as Search Engine Optimizers is to make it obvious to search engines that your site is useful and informative. Here are some basics to Search Engine Optimization:
Use Valid Code: The search engine bots don’t have eyes, so they can’t see your website, but they can read the code that makes your website, and they do know how to read valid HTML. But if your code isn’t valid, the bot can get confused and ignore parts of your site.
Content is King: Anyone can make a site that says, “Hello World!” Search engines don’t value sites that don’t have any content. You need to have relevant content on your website. If your site is about fixing Race Cars, but you never say race cars on your site, don’t be surprised when you never find your site under the search term “race cars.”
Don’t Hide Text: An old search engine “cheat” was to have white text on a white background. This would allow you to have lots of keyword heavy content on your site without actually having to bug your visitors with the large amount of text. This will damage your rankings much more than it will help.
Basic Principles: Google recommends that you don’t do anything solely for search engines, which isn’t to say that you shouldn’t get your site search engine optimized, but rather, don’t waste time and money trying to develop tricks to deceive the search engines. Just make a good, quality site that people will find informative and useful.
Links: If someone likes your site enough, they’ll link to it. Duh. So if your site is extremely useful, and a lot of people like it, you’ll have a lot of links to it. The number of links you have to your site is one of the biggest things that the search engines will judge your site on.
That’s a nice overview of how search engines think, and the basics of search engine optimization.
-Use it wisely