Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you are a Web Design or Digital Marketing student, please bookmark the following and stay abreast of these areas from this point forward:  and Google’s Search Engine Starter Guide

Also,  be aware of the SEO submenu items on the history of SEO and SEO tips.


SEO includes using words the users will use to find your site (taxonomies, colloquialisms, etc.) and understanding the search engine’s Page Rank algorithms.

To understand the importance of SEO, consider that someone in California or India or Armenia is not typing in into the browser location bar unless you are Amazon or eBay. These individuals are finding you through search and it has been found SEO is 8 times more successful than the more expensive Pay Per Click as introduced on SEO page. To further illustrate the importance of SEO consider that research has found that 90% of Web users do not look beyond the first page of search results. 

Closely related to SEO is Landing Page Optimization (see submenu). Once customers get to your site you must keep them therefore you must have optimal landing pages (e.g. Landing Page Optimization) and note that search can land users on many different pages within your Web site. With this basis you need clear navigation and value statements throughout your Website.   This can be best accomplished with a consistent grid based layout (see Abstract Web Design) but note I am not using the word “Frames”. Think of the websites you visit and use the most — chances are they are clean, professional, and easy to navigate. This is no coincidence: the human mind takes just a millisecond to make a definitive decision as to a site’s credibility, and this initial judgment is based entirely on aesthetics which means a good web design is critical for retaining visitors. Also note it has been shown that 80% – 90% of users will leave the site if they do not find directions/navigation to what they are looking for on the front page.


Search Engine Optimization(SE) vs Pay Per Click (PPC)

First, why we focus on SEO rather than PPC from In a nutshell, PPC expires the minute we stop paying to be promoted in the search engine rankings.  Also for affordability organizations typically only pay to be promoted in their area so PPC has absolutely no effect outside established PPC boundaries.  Lastly PPC will have little or no effect if you don’t have informative snippets and poor Landing Page Optimization.


Page Rank (from Wikpedia)

PageRank is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank websites in their search engine results. PageRank was named after Larry Page,[1] one of the founders of Google. PageRank is a way of measuring the importance of website pages. According to Google:

PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.[2]

Here is a nice graphical description from zippycart.


 Relatively Comprehensive Crash Course in SEO (1 hour)


SEO Terms

retrieved March 10, 2013 from:



SEO: Search engine optimization

The art and science of publishing information and marketing in a manner that helps search engines to determine if your site is relevant to search queries.

SEO Copywriting

Writing and formatting copy in a way that will help make the documents appear relevant to a wide array of relevant search queries.


Search engines also like to outsource their relevancy issues by calling low quality search results spam. Also junk mail.

Landing Page

The page on which a visitor arrives after clicking on a link or advertisement.


A citation from one web document to another web document or another position in the same document.Most major search engines consider links as a vote of trust.

Link Baiting

The art of targeting, creating, and formatting information that provokes the target audience to point high quality links at your site. Many link baiting techniques are targeted at social media and bloggers.

Link Building

The process of building high quality linkage data that search engines will evaluate to trust your website is authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy.

Page Rank

A logarithmic scale based on link equity which estimates the importance of web documents.Since Page Rank is widely bartered, Google’s relevancy algorithms had to move away from relying on Page Rank and place more emphasis on trusted links via algorithms such as Trust.


The world’s leading search engine in terms of reach. Google pioneered search by analyzing linkage data via Page Rank.

Home Page

The main page on your website, which is largely responsible for helping develop your brand and setting up the navigational schemes that will be used to help users and search engines navigate your website.

Spider (Web Crawler)

Search engine crawlers which search or “spider” the web for pages to include in the index.

Google Bot

Google’s search engine spider.Google has a shared crawl cache between their various spiders, including vertical search spiders and spiders associated with ad targeting.

Fresh Content

Content which is dynamic in nature and gives people a reason to keep paying attention to your website.
Many SEOs talk up fresh content, but fresh content does not generally mean re-editing old content. It more often refers to creating new content.

Dynamic Content

Content which changes over time or uses a dynamic language (such as PHP) to help render the page.In the past search engines were less aggressive at indexing dynamic content than they currently are.

Editorial Link

Search engines count links as votes of quality. They primarily want to count editorial links that were earned over links that were bought or bartered.Using an algorithm similar to TrustRank, some search engines may place more trust on well known sites with strong editorial guidelines.


Attribute used to prevent a link from passing link authority. Commonly used on sites with user generated content, like in blog comments, to prevent spam and random links.


Some social networks or search systems may take site age, page age, user account age, and related historical data into account when determining how much to trust that person, website, or document.


Software which allows you to track your page views, user paths, and conversion statistics based upon interpreting your log files or through including a JavaScript tracking code on your site.

Meta Description

The meta description tag is typically a sentence or two of content which describes the content of the page.

Trust Rank

Search relevancy algorithm which places additional weighting on links from trusted websites (seeds) that are controlled by major corporations, educational institutions, or governmental institutions.

Keyword Research

The process of discovering relevant keywords and keyword phrases to focus your SEO and online marketing campaigns.

Search Engine

A tool or device used to find relevant information. Search engines consist of a spider, index, relevancy algorithms and search results.



More SEO Resources

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