To understand how SEO or Search Engine Optimization works, you must first need to understand how search engines operate.
Search engines are Internet sites designed to help users locate information from other sites. Each search engine has its own way of locating information but all of them perform three basic tasks. First they search the Internet based on certain keywords or phrases. After which, they keep an index of what they find and where they found it. Then, when they have indexed sites that are in their listing, they would put them in a database so that it can be easily retrieved when a user requests a search.
Now that you know how a search engine operates, you will more or less have an idea what kind of work is involved in doing SEO.
SEO targets to raise a site’s ranking in search engine results page (SERPS) and traffic volume by making it easier for search engines to find your site. There are several ways how to do this. The most common way is to improve site content. Since search engines are text-driven, the right placement of keywords relevant to a site makes it easier to be traced.
Other ways that SEOs could build up ranking and traffic is through increasing link popularity. Link popularity is the measure of the total number of other websites which link to a specific site on the World Wide Web. Link popularity plays a vital role in the visibility of a web site at the top of search results because it is a major factor used by search engines to determine a site’s ranking. Commonly, the more inbound links a site has, the higher the position it gets on the search list compared to a similar site that has fewer links.
Moreover, some search engines require at least one or more links coming to a web site or else it will be dropped from their index. Google, for example, uses a special system to do link analysis and then rank web pages based on this.
Another technique concerns meta tags. Officially referred to as Metadata Elements, meta tags are HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) or XHTML (Extensible Hyper Text Markup Language) elements used to provide data to facilitate the understanding of the contents of a web page.
These are found within the section of web pages. In a sense, meta tags are codes. Cleaning up codes in a website help speed up the load time of a web page and improve the code-to-text ratio. Search engines recognize the codes of a web page and have to find the keywords in the text among all of that code. If there is too much code but not enough text, then a web page can be considered less relevant to a keyword. In effect, less relevance to keywords means lower search engine results for a web page.
The techniques mentioned above are just some ways that SEO experts practice. There are other factors in a website’s design that could be played around and improved to boost up its ranking in search engine results pages. The bottom line is, whatever technique is used, an SEO’s main concern is to improve volume of web traffic and site rankings by making it ‘search engine friendly’.