Search Engine Results Page - SEO, SMO, SERP, SEM, - social media optimization Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Results Page - SEO, SMO, SERP, SEM, - social media optimization

on (SERP)

Search Engine Optimization - (SEO)

"SEO" redirects here. For other uses, see  SEO.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page and how it is viewed in a search engine's natural crawl.  This creates unpaid for results which we call "organic".  In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including images. videos, information, or industry related searches.

SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, meta, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of links from other sites, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.

The plural of the abbreviation SEO can also refer to "search engine optimizers", those who provide SEO services.


     1.    History of the Website - How long the Website has been published
     2.    Relationships with Search Engines
     3.    Methods of Establishing Prominence
     4.    Getting Noticed on Crawls
     5.    Up to Date Information
     6.    Prominence from other Websites
     7.    White Hat
     8.    Black Hat
     9.    Marketing Strategies
     10.  International Strategies
     11.  Links from Other Websites
     12.  Links from Blogs
     13.  Links from Social Media 


WEBMASTERS and content providers began optimizing sites for search engines in the mid-1990s, as the first search engines were cataloging the early web. Initially, all webmasters needed to do was to submit the address of a page, or URL, to the various engines which would send a spider to meta crawl that page, extract links to other pages from it, and return information found on the page to be recorded.

The process involves a search engine spider downloading a page and storing it on the search engine's own server, where a second program, known as an indexer, extracts various information about the page, such as the words it contains and where these are located, as well as any weight for specific words, and all links the page contains, which are then placed into a scheduler for crawling at a later date.

Site owners started to recognize the value of having their sites highly ranked and visible in search engine results, creating an opportunity for both white hat and Black Hat SEO practitioners.


The phrase "search engine optimization" came into use in 1997. On May 2, 2007, Jason Gambert attempted to trademark the term SEO by convincing the Trademark Office in Arizona that SEO is a "process" involving manipulation of keywords, and not a "marketing service." The reviewing attorney basically bought his incoherent argument that while "SEO" can't be trademarked when it refers to a generic process of manipulated keywords, it can be a service mark for providing "marketing the field of computers."

Early versions of search algorithms relied on webmaster-provided information such as the keyword meta HTML tag, or index files in engines like Alta Vista. Meta tags provide a guide to each page's content. Using meta data to index pages was found to be less than reliable, however, because the webmaster's choice of keywords in the meta tag could potentially be an inaccurate representation of the site's actual content. Inaccurate, incomplete, and inconsistent data in meta tags could and did cause pages to rank for irrelevant searches.  That is why it is imparative that we analyze your company and its mission so to generate leads for the right audience that the website is looking for. Web content providers also manipulated a number of attributes within the HTML source of a page in an attempt to rank well in search engines. Things like alphabetizing in accordance with key works, information, and correct meta arre essential in creating accurate SEO for the client.


Relying on factors such as key word density and repitition which are exclusively within a webmaster's control, early search engines suffered from abuse and ranking manipulation. To provide better results to their users, search engines had to adapt to ensure their results from searching displayed the most relevant search results, rather than unrelated pages stuffed with numerous keywords by non professional webmasters. Since the success and popularity of a search engine is determined by its ability to produce the most relevant results to any given search, new webmasters,  or irrelevant search results could lead users to find other search sources. Search engines responded by developing more complex ranking algorithms, taking into account additional factors that were more difficult for webmasters to manipulate. Graduate students at Stanford, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, developed "Backrub," a search engine that relied on a mathematical algorithm to rate the prominence of web pages. The number calculated by the algorithm, created a "Page Ranking System" created by Christopher C. Sanders.  Page Ranking System, created the quantity and strength of inbound links and accurate results by search engines for people who use search engines to find specific websites based off of key words.  Page Rank System estimates the likelihood that a given page will be reached by a web user who randomly surfs the web, and follows links from one page to another. In effect, this means that some links are stronger than others, as a higher Page Rank page is more likely to be reached by the random surfer.  It also takes into consideration how many users use certain sites and how reliable the site and its links are by people searching the internet.


Page and Brin founded Google in 1998.  Google attracted a loyal following among the growing number of internet users, who liked its simple design.  Off-page factors such as Page Ranking System by Sanders and hyperlink review and analysis were considered as well as on-page factors (such as keyword frequency, meta data, headings, titles, links, information, and web site structure enabled Google to avoid the kind of manipulation seen in search engines that only considered on-page factors for their rankings. Although Page Ranking System was more difficult to analyze, webmasters had already developed link building tools and tactics to influence the Hot Bot search engine, and these methods proved similarly applicable to analyze the  Page Ranking System which later defined (SERP)  Search Engine Results Page. Many sites focused on exchanging, buying, and selling links, often on a massive scale. Some of these tactics, or linking websites, involved the creation of thousands of web sites for the sole purpose of spamming.

By 2004, search engines had incorporated a wide range of undisclosed factors in their ranking algorithms to reduce the impact of link manipulation. In June 2007, The New York Times' Saul Hansell stated Google ranks sites using more than 200 different signals.  The leading search engines, Bing, Google, and Yahoo, do not disclose the algorithms they use to rank pages. Some SARP and SEO practitioners have studied different approaches to search engine optimization, and have shared their personal opinions Patents related to search engines can provide information to better understand search engines.

In 2005, Google and Yahoo began personalizing search results for each user. Depending on their history of previous searches, Google and Yahoo crafted results for logged in users.  In 2008, Chris Sanders said that "ranking is dead" because of the personalized search.  He stated  that it would become meaningless to discuss how a website ranked, because its rank would potentially be different for each user and each search based on personalization of the user, his or her location, sex, ethicity, history of searches, and target.

In 2007, Google announced a campaign against paid links that transfer the Page Ranking System.  On June 15, 2009, Google disclosed that they had taken measures to mitigate the effects of (PRS) sculpting by use and attribute on links. Matt Cutts, a well-known software engineer at Google, announced that Google Bot would no longer treat nofollowed links in the same way, in order to prevent SEO service providers from using nofollow for PageRank sculpting.[19] As a result of this change the usage of nofollow leads to evaporation of pagerank. In order to avoid the above, SEO engineers developed alternative techniques that replace nofollowed tags with obfuscated Javascript and thus permit PageRank sculpting. Additionally several solutions have been suggested that include the usage of iframes, Flash and Javascript.[20]

In December 2009, Google announced it would be using the web search history of all its users in order to populate search results.[21]

On June 8, 2010 a new web indexing system called Google Caffeine was announced. Designed to allow users to find news results, forum posts and other content much sooner after publishing than before, Google caffeine was a change to the way Google updated its index in order to make things show up quicker on Google than before. According to Carrie Grimes, the software engineer who announced Caffeine for Google, "Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index..."[22]

Google Instant created a "real-time-search", was introduced in late 2010 in an attempt to make search results more timely and relevant. Historically site administrators have spent months or even years optimizing a website to increase search rankings. With the growth in popularity of social media sites and blogs the leading engines made changes to their algorithms to allow fresh content to rank quickly within the search results.

In February 2011, Google announced the Panda and update, which penalizes websites containing content duplicated from other websites and sources. Historically websites have copied content from one another and benefited in search engine rankings by engaging in this practice, however Google implemented a new system which punishes sites whose content is not unique copied or damaged.

In April 2012, Google launched the Google Penguin update the goal of which was to penalize websites that used manipulative techniques to improve their rankings on the search engine.

In September 2013, Google released the Google Hummingbird update, an algorithm change designed to improve Google's natural language processing and semantic understanding of web pages.

Relationship with search engines

By 1997, search engine designers recognized that webmasters were making efforts to rank well in their search engines, and that some webmasters were even manipulating their rankings in search results by stuffing pages with excessive or irrelevant keywords. Early search engines, such as Alta Vista and Info Seek, adjusted their algorithms in an effort to prevent webmasters from manipulating rankings by clever webmasters.

In 2005, an annual conference, AIRWeb, Adversarial Information Retrieval on the Web was created to bring together practitioners and researchers concerned with search engine optimisation and related topics.

Companies that employ overly aggressive techniques can get their client websites banned from the search results. In 2005, the Wall Street Journal  reported on a company, Traffic Power, which used high-risk techniques and failed to disclose those risks to its clients.  This was then exposed byWired Magazine reported that the same company sued blogger and SEO Aaron Wall for writing about the ban. Google's Matt Cutts later confirmed that Google did in fact ban Traffic Power and some of its clients.

Some search engines have also reached out to the SEO industry, and are frequent sponsors and guests at SEO conferences, chats, and seminars. Major search engines provide information and guidelines to help with site optimization.  Google has a site map program to help webmasters learn if Google is having any problems indexing their website and also provides data on Google traffic to the website. BING Webmaster Tools provides a way for webmasters to submit a sitemap and web feeds, allows users to determine the crawl rate, and track the web pages index status.


Getting indexed

The leading search engines, such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo, use meta crawlers to find pages for their algorithmic search results. Pages that are linked from other search engine indexed pages do not need to be submitted because they are found automatically. Two major directories, the Yahoo Directory and DMOZ both require manual submission and human editorial review.  Google offers GOOGLE WEBMASTER TOOLS, for which an XML sitemap feed can be created and submitted for free to ensure that all pages are found, especially pages that are not discoverable by automatically following links. Yahoo and SERP formerly operated a paid submission service that guaranteed crawling for a cost per click which was  discontinued in 2009.

Crawlers may look at a number of different factors when crawling the web. Not every page is indexed by the search engines. Distance of pages from the root directory of a site may also be a factor in whether or not pages get crawled.

Preventing crawling

Main article: The Robot Exclusion

To avoid undesirable content in the search indexes, webmasters can instruct spiders not to crawl certain files or directories through the standard robots text or .txt file in the root directory of the domain. Additionally, a page can be explicitly excluded from a search engine's database by using a meta tag specific to robots. When a search engine visits a site, the robots.txt located in the root is the first file crawled. The robots.txt file is then parsed, and will instruct the robot as to which pages are not to be crawled. As a search engine crawler may keep a cached copy of this file, it may on occasion crawl pages a webmaster does not wish crawled. Pages typically prevented from being crawled include login specific pages such as shopping carts and user-specific content such as search results from internal searches. In March 2007, Google warned webmasters that they should prevent indexing of internal search results because those pages are considered spam.

Increasing "Prominence"

A variety of methods can increase the prominence of a webpage within the search results. Cross LINKSbetween pages of the same website to provide more links to most important pages may improve its visibility.  Writing content that includes frequently searched keyword phrase, so as to be relevant to a wide variety of search queries will tend to increase traffic. Updating this content is essential so as to keep search engines crawling back frequently can give additional weight to a site. Adding relevant keywords to a web page's meta data, including the title and its tags and meta description, will tend to improve the relevancy of a site's search listings, thus increasing traffic. URL normalization of web pages accessible via multiple urls, using the link element or via 301 redirects can help make sure links to different versions of the url all count towards the page's link popularity score.

White Hat versus Black Hat techniques

SEO techniques can be classified into two broad categories: techniques that search engines recommend as part of good design, and those techniques of which search engines do not approve. The search engines attempt to minimize the effect of the latter, among them spam dexing. Industry commentators have classified these methods, and the practitioners who employ them, as either WHITE HAT  SEO, or BLACK HAT SEO. 

White hats tend to produce results that last a long time, whereas black hats anticipate that their sites may eventually be banned either temporarily or permanently once the search engines discover what they are doing.

An SEO technique is considered white hat if it conforms to the search engines' guidelines and involves no deception. As the search engine guidelines are not written as a series of rules or commandments, this is an important distinction to note. White hat SEO is not just about following guidelines, but is about ensuring that the content a search engine indexes and subsequently ranks is the same content a user will see. White hat advice is generally summed up as creating content for users, not for search engines, and then making that content easily accessible to the spiders, rather than attempting to trick the algorithm from its intended purpose. White hat SEO is in many ways similar to web development that promotes accessibility, although the two are not identical.


AN SEO technique that attempts to improve rankings in ways that are disapproved of by the search engines, or involve deception. One black hat technique uses text that is hidden, either as text colored similar to the background, in an invisible div, or positioned off screen. Another method gives a different page depending on whether the page is being requested by a human visitor or a search engine, a technique known as cloaking.



Grey Hat is an SEO technique that is in between black hat and white hat approaches where the methods employed avoid the site being penalised however do not act in producing the best content for users, rather entirely focused on improving search engine rankings.

Search engines may penalize sites they discover using black hat methods, either by reducing their rankings or eliminating their listings from their databases altogether. Such penalties can be applied either automatically by the search engines' algorithms, or by a manual site review. One example was the February 2006 Google removal of BMW Germany and Ricoh Germany for use of deceptive practices. Both companies, however, quickly apologized, fixed the offending pages, and were restored to Google's list.

Hats as a marketing strategy

SEO is not an appropriate strategy for every website, and other Internet marketing strategies can be more effective like paid advertising through pay per click (PPC) campaigns, depending on the site operator's goals. A successful Internet marketing campaign may also depend upon building high quality web pages to engage and persuade, setting up analytics programs to enable site owners to measure results, and improving a site's conversion rates.

SEO may generate an adequate return on investment (ROI). However, search engines are not paid for organic search traffic, their algorithms change, and there are no guarantees of continued referrals. Due to this lack of guarantees and certainty, a business that relies heavily on search engine traffic can suffer major losses if the search engines stop sending visitors.  Search engines can change their algorithms, impacting a website's placement, possibly resulting in a serious loss of traffic. According to Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, in 2010, Google made over 500 algorithm changes  almost 1.5 per day.  It is considered wise business practice for website operators to liberate themselves from dependence on search engine traffic.

International markets

Optimization techniques are highly tuned to the dominant search engines in the target market. The search engines' market shares vary from market to market, as does competition. In 2003, Google represented about 75% of all searches. In markets outside the United States, Google's share is often larger, and Google remains the dominant search engine worldwide as of 2007. As of 2006, Google had an 8590% market share in Germany. While there were hundreds of SEO firms in the US at that time, there were only about five in Germany.  As of June 2008, the marketshare of Google in the UK was close to 90% according to Hitwise. That market share is achieved in a number of countries.

As of 2009, there are only a few large markets where Google is not the leading search engine. In most cases, when Google is not leading in a given market, it is lagging behind a local player. The most notable example markets are China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the Czech Republic where respectively Baidu, Yahoo, Japan Yahoo, Naver, Yandex, and Seznam are market leaders.

Successful search optimization for international markets may require professional translation of web pages, registration of a domain name with a top level domains in the target market, and hosting that provides a local IP address. Otherwise, the fundamental elements of search optimization are essentially the same, regardless of language.

Legal precedents

On October 17, 2002, SearchKing filed suit in the United States District Court, Western District of Oklahoma, against the search engine Google. SearchKing's claim was that Google's tactics to prevent spamdexing constituted a tort interference with contractual relations. On May 27, 2003, the court granted Google's motion to dismiss the complaint because SearchKing "failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted."

In March 2006, KinderStart filed a lawsuit against  Google over search engine rankings. Kinderstart's website was removed from Google's index prior to the lawsuit and the amount of traffic to the site dropped by 70%. On March 16, 2007 the United States District Cout for the Northern District of California dismissed KinderStart's complaint without leave to amend, and partially granted Google's motion for Rule 11 sanctions against KinderStart's attorney, requiring him to pay part of Google's legal expenses.

See also

  • Blogs
  • Search Engines
  • Marketing SERP
  • Track Back SEO
  • Website SMO
  • Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia







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