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Introduction to SEO

James Mahony

Are you looking for some inside information on SEO? Here's an up-to-date report from SEO experts who should know.
Over the last few years, search engine optimization (SEO) has been needed and used more and more, although it has been around for much longer than most people think. With new development tools being used to create websites that are heavy on Java, Flash and images, it's important to have something that the search engines can read. If the content can't be read by search engines then they can't index it, and if your site doesn't get indexed then it won't be found when people search for it on Google, Yahoo, MSN, or anywhere else. This article will outline what SEO is, how it works, and some unethical SEO methods that you should avoid.
What is SEO?
SEO is a way of analyzing your site and modifying it to allow search engines to read and index it more easily. SEO is all about maintaining and building websites that get ranked highly on the major search engines.
You see, when people use a search engine, they generally don't look beyond the top 20 or so results. If you want to make any money from your website, you need to get ranked in the top 20 out of potentially hundreds of websites.
How Does SEO Work?
Search engines maintain a huge database containing information from individual websites. Most of the information search engines collect isn't listed on their results pages, but it is taken into consideration when it comes to deciding those results' rankings.
It is very important that you encourage the search engines to rank your website in a high position, and you can do this through the keywords that you use on your website, as well as when you submit it. If the keywords you use in your submission tool don't match the ones on your site then you could harm your rankings - be sure to have all the keywords you want to use on the website itself before you submit it.
Most websites don't focus on their topic well, and so keyword lists containing 50 or more phrases per page are recommended. By focusing some of the pages of your site on keywords, you will score higher with the search engines.
Free Search Engines.
The major search engines on the Internet are still free, and it's not hard to take advantage of this free advertising - you can do it in as little as an hour.
Knowledge can give you a real advantage. To make sure you're fully informed about SEO, keep reading.
There are several companies that provide free SEO tools, or you can pay a professional to take care of it for you. Looking around on the web will turn up all sorts of useful resources.
What is Unethical SEO?
Unethical search engine optimization techniques can be unlawful, unscrupulous, or just in bad taste. You'd be surprised how many people use these methods. A lot of what is now called unethical SEO used to be accepted, until people went overboard and it started to have a negative affect on the web as a whole.
Keyword stuffing is when your site consists of long lists of keywords and nothing else. Don't do it. There are ways to put keywords and phrases on your site without running the risk of getting banned.
You may have seen 'invisible text' if you've been selecting the text on a page and found words that are the same color as the background. This text is often lists of keywords put there in the hope of fooling search engine spiders while hiding the words from visitors. This is considered unethical, and you shouldn't do it.
A doorway page is a page that isn't designed for real people to see - it's purely for the search engines and spiders, in an attempt to trick them into indexing the website in a higher position. This is a big no-no and should be avoided.
Even though unethical SEO is tempting, and does work, you shouldn't do it - not only is it annoying to users, but it's likely to get you banned from the search engines sooner or later. You sites' search engine rankings just aren't worth the risk. Use efficient SEO techniques to get your site ranked higher, and stay away from anything that even looks like unethical SEO.
SEO is a set of techniques used in order to attract visitors or prospective customers to your website, and the goal of a search engine is to provide high quality content to the users of the Internet. These two objectives are not in opposition, if you do SEO the way it should be done.
There's a lot to understand about SEO. We were able to provide you with some of the facts above, but there is still plenty more to write about in subsequent articles.
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James Mahony is the founder of Search Engine Optimization Tips - A site dedicated to Search Engine Optimization
SEO Tips
All About Domain Names
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