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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The Secrete to Achieving Top Search Engine Rankings

 Internet advertisement has helped generate a large portion of business for many firms. In 1999, $2 billion was spent worldwide in online advertisement, that number today is over $20 billion. The internet is quickly becoming the primary means of advertisement and product promotion for many firms and small businesses. Many companies are now focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) of their websites to drive more traffic and business by getting top search results on the major search engines. Since the invention of the first search engine, there has been much work done by the search engines to create new algorithm that would more effectively filter the search results of relevant content. This article will discuss the most effective strategies and techniques that SEO masters are currently using to drive web traffic.  It will also discuss different methods and strategies that are used to optimize webpages on-site and off-site. This article will focus mostly on Google, however these same techniques will work with most other popular search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, etc…


HOW DOES A SEARCH ENGINE DETERMINE PAGE RANKING (PR)? The algorithm that search engines use to rank websites is kept as a secret. This algorithm is constantly evolving and updating in an effort to battle spam and new SEO techniques. In truth search engines hate SEO! Search engine are designed to provide the most relevant websites based on the text in the body, the title, the keywords, the site descriptionE and the popularity of the website.  Spammers use this to their advantage to either saturate the body of the website with keywords that are invisible to the user when they click the link, creating keyword filled redirect websites, and masking the content of the site, there exists many other black hat SEO practices and search engines are constantly forced to update their algorithm in a fight against the spam and filter quality results.  Search engines until recently determined the page rankings (PR) using META tags, these are tags imbedded into the HTML code of the website, with things like title, description and keywords.  Search engines would look at keyword density in the title, description and the body and rank the sites placing more emphasis on sites with the highest keyword saturation on top of the search results. With Google, came a whole new way of search engine optimization.  Google revolutionized the search engine by determining the websites PR based almost entirely on backlinks instead of the Meta tags and keywords. It still looks at the title of the website and the description, but gone are the days of counting keywords in the description and the body to make sure it meets the “required” keyword density.  These old methods are still used by some search engines; however Google took a new approach that seemed to provide much better search results of more relevant content.  Google now looks at the backlinks as the primary determining factor for page rankings. This new approach fundamentally changed the way SEO is done.      
Google along with Bing and Yahoo puts a lot of weight on backlinks when determining the website’s PR.  Backlinks are a one way link from a website back to the site being optimized.  Google sees a back link as “hey people are talking about this website and linking to it, it must be good and have relevant content!”. So the SEO has been divided into on-site and off-site optimization.  The off-site consist of building backlinks, while the onsite is optimizing the HTML to make it more search engine spider friendly. 


Although onsite optimization is no longer THE key to getting top Search Engine Results Placement (SERP), it none of the less is still an important factor to consider.  Having a well thought out of title and description will aid users in quickly understanding what the website is all about.  When performing on-site SEO, the following are generally good guidelines to abide by

KEYWORDS: Most search engines ignore the actual keyword META tag in the header of the website, but keywords are still important part of SEO.  It’s crucial to pick relevant keywords that are not overly competitive.  One of the better and free tools to use for keyword analysis is Google Adwords keyword tool to determine how many searches a keyword gets a month and how competitive the keyword is. The trick is to pick relevant keywords that receive a lot of searches but are not overly competitive.  Another trick to keywords is making a keyword longer than two strings, for example “Limousine Services” would provide a massive amounts of results and would be a very competitive and broad keyword to gain top SERP, however “Limousine Service in Alpharetta” would yield a much more narrow search criteria and it would be much easier to gain top SERP with a longer stringed keywords such as the example above.
TITLE:  This is probably the most important part, Google and many other search engines still put a lot of weight on the title. The title has to affectively capture what the website is about; the title should use at least 2 of the keywords. 
DESCRIPTION: Description should use keywords effectively as well, it’s recommended to have at least 3 keywords to be used in the description.
BODY: The body of the website should have at least 5 of the keywords used in it. However it’s important that when writing text for a website, to consider that this is primarily intended for the users to see, not the search engine spider only, so general keyword stuffing should be avoided.
SITEMAP: Usually an .xml file that is placed in the root of the website’s FTP server and is only visible to the search engine spider.  A sitemap lets a spider quickly index all the pages and determine how they link with each other.  Having a sitemap.xml is a crucial step to aid the search engine in the indexing process.   


Link building is a process that involved a lot of work and attention in order to be successful. The primary focus of link building is creating one way links from websites that have high search engine rankings.  The higher the website ranking, the more weight Google (or most other search engines) will place on that particular backlink.  Some of the most popular ways to creating back links includes:

  1. Article Submissions: Some of the most popular methods used today is writing meaningful informative articles and posting the articles on an article directory that are ranked high, with a backlink to the site being optimized.
  2. Blogging: Blogs have become a sweeping phenomenon, and the reasons for their popularity is Google like most search engines likes content updates, because blogs send out a ping when there is new content posted, search engine crawler are able to index the website much quicker.
  3. Natural Link Building: Writing useful content on the website or in the blog to which people might subscribe to regularly and eventually link back to.  This method is difficult, but very rewarding in the end.
  4. Reciprocal Linking: Exchanging links with other websites, however it must be all one way link, this means there can’t be a link going back and forth between the two websites because Google usually nullifies those as valid backlinks.
  5. Posting on Blog comments or forums:  Providing useful information on a forums or in the blog comments with a link to the websites being optimized is another preferred way of creating a one way link.  
  6. Vendor Partners Linking:  Liking directly from a firm’s partner’s website back to the site being optimized is another common back linking practice.


Some black hat and just disruptive SEO practices will end up with Google banning the website from its index.  The following Black Hat SEO practices should be avoided:
Blog Pinging: Setting up multiple blog sites with a back link followed by constant blog pings that attracts the search engine spider. 
Spamming Message Boards and Blog Comments: Spamming message boards and guest books with meaningless comments and backlinks will eventually end with the board administrator banning the user and deleting the posts, no valuable backlinks will be generated with this practice.
Cloaking & Redirects: Creating cloaked websites stuffed with keywords, that only the search engine spider sees, however when a user clicks the link, the user is redirected to an entirely different site.
Invisible Content: Stuffing the websites with keywords that are invisible to the user because the text is the same color as the background.  Most search engines have methods of detecting this and will result in a website being banned from the search index.
Link Farms: Google and most other search engines look down upon websites that are listed in Link Farms.  Link Farms is an un-organized table with columns and rows filled with nothing but unorganized back links.  It’s important to avoid any automatic link submitters that promise 2000+ backlinks in under a minute; these techniques will eventually hurt the websites page ranking (PR).


SEO is an ever evolving field with new techniques and practices that emerge almost daily.  When performing SEO it’s important to do a thorough keyword analysis to determine which keywords the website should target, the website must use effective title and description not only for the search engine spider but also for the users.  The final step is to attempt and generate as many quality backlinks as possible in order to boost the websites PR.


  • 438 responses to "Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The Secrete to Achieving Top Search Engine Rankings"

  • Minert and Associates
    20:28 on December 27th, 2010

    This was so informative. A lot of articles I’ve read on SEO was sooo
    confusing. Your article was perfect.