What is Search Engine Optimization?

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Search engine optimization (also called SEO for short) is defined as the process of improving the visibility of websites or web pages in the results found in search engine rankings.

The goal of SEO is to deliver naturally, unpaid search results to searchers. These types of search results are also often referred to as organic or algorithmic results.

Why is it important to rank higher in search engine results?  The higher your sites or page rank, the higher or earlier they will appear on the results pages that are presented to those who use the search engine to look for things they are interested in.

The frequency of your sites or pages appearance in the search engine results is also important.  If your results are in the top 10 results, or make up 2-5 of the results in the top results, you will receive more traffic to your pages or websites.

More traffic usually leads to increased sales, downloads, signups, followers, or leads. Increased sales, downloads, followers, signups, or leads usually lead to increased income as well.

Also, once the searcher has visited your page or site as a result of his search he may mention it on his Facebook page, LinkedIn page, MySpace page, Twitter feed, or other social media as well as talk about it to his friends, family members, employers, co-workers, or acquaintances.

So you aren’t just marketing to the searchers who visit your pages but also to their Facebook friends, their LinkedIn network, their Twitter followers, and their friends, family, and acquaintances.

Using Search Engine Optimization

SEO walks a fine line between attracting the attention of the search engines (who use crawlers known as spiders to index your content, webpages, or website) and attracting the attention of actual customers.  The spiders don’t spend money or download software from your site, but the customers do.  However, you need the spiders to attract the customers.

If you expect to get highly ranked for a certain keyword or keywords, you must use SEO to attract the search engines to your content. If you expect to keep the attention of the customers you attract from search engine results, your pages must be readable, your content must be engaging, and your website must be easily navigable.

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One of the tools you can use to attract search engine spiders is duplicate content detection software.  A great paid site for this type of software is Copyscape; they charge $0.05 a search for their basic service but now that Google severely penalizes sites that have copied content—even if it’s not done on purpose–Copyscape is worth its weight in gold.  If you just can’t afford the $0.05 per search that Copyscape wants, try Plagium.  It’s a free duplicate content detection site. You can also find other free and paid sources for duplicate content detection software simply by searching for them using Google, Bing, or another reputable search engine.

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