Article first published as Feeling Stuck in the Tangled SEO Web? on Technorati.
As a relative latecomer to most things internet, I still don’t manage the firmest grasp on the subject of SEO (search engine optimization). Yes, everyone knows it has to do with how website owners can assist the search engines like Google/Yahoo/Bing to find their sites, and yes, SEO is important for driving traffic. So it seems this would be a pretty clear-cut thing to do, like making sure the phone book lists your business in both the white and yellow pages.
Being a DIY type, I do what everyone does and input search terms to study the subject. Turns out the more I research SEO; the more I realize this entity is not so clear-cut. There are many variables that go into how the search engines work and what factors of your website they determine to be important. In no particular order, a partial list of the factors search engines look for are: keywords and metatag info, quality and quantity of links that point to your site, page content and that of neighboring pages, size in data of your site, duration in months/years that the site has been around, and much more. In fact, Google claims to use over 200 variables in their page ranking algorithm. (Reminds me of how the NFL quarterback rating is determined, and even though nobody claims to understand it completely, we all know that a 107% rating is a lot better than 83%.)
Fortunately there are simple things everyone can do to make their sites more revealing to the indexing spiders who work incessantly for the search engines. Namely metatag data can be added to web pages, and URL’s can be directly submitted to Google, Yahoo and Bing since the largest three internet search engines should be the best places to start. Click on those hyperlinks to go directly to their departments for submitting sites. For submitting metatag details, either check with your site designer or follow the tutorials for places like WordPress, Blogger and with site-building programs like Dreamweaver and FrontPage.
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