June 17th, 2008

You have the hosting, you have the site, and then you may want to have the traffic. One of the biggest question webmasters complain about is how to get their websites listed in all the biggest and best search engines and drive more traffic to their websites.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, plays a key role in driving traffic to websites. Much has been written on the topic of search engine optimization for webmasters, but i will give you a few basic steps about SEO.

When a user searches something on a search engine, Google, for example, the search result are displayed on Google’s results pages.

According to Google, the three key processes in delivering search results to users are: crawling (Does Google know about your site? Can I find it? ), indexing (Can Google index your site) and serving (Does your site have good and useful content that is relevant to the user’s search?).

1. Crawling: The process Googlebot (aka. a robot, bot, or spider) discovers new and updated pages to be added to the Google index is called crawling. Google may look at a number of factors when crawling a site.
Tips: Large volume, fast rate of change can make crawling websites very difficult. Googlebot can only download a certain web pages within a given time. Websites that are too large or update too frequently will not be downloaded completely (Comparatively speaking. Search Engines uses an algorithmic process to determine how many pages to fetch from the websites). Try to keep your website compact in structure and regular in post frequency. Do not change your frequency (by either suddenly upping your frequency drastically or disappearing completely)

2. Indexing: Googlebot processes each of the pages it crawls to compile a massive index of all the words it sees and their location on each page. Information including key content tags and attributes are also processed.

Tips: The content of your website will play an important role in search engine indexing. The title text of your posts will appear on search engine result pages. Header tags containing keywords tell search engines what your page is about. Keywords are also import webpage content. Use attracting titles and hot keywords for your posts, they can influence your website’s ranking and will help the users find the required information.

Optimizing 404 Error Page is also part of search engine optimization, which will also promote the process of indexing.. A clever webmaster can display some useful information rather than “Page Not Found” on an Error 404 page.

3. Serving results: After receiving a query from the user, the machines begins to search the index for matching pages and return results they believe are the most relevant to the user. Relevancy is determined by over 200 factors.

Tips: One of the 200+ factors that commonly known by webmasters is the PageRank for a given page. PageRank is a trademark of Google that measures the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages.

You can comment on other blogs and enter your website URL in the corresponding fields in the blog comment form, participate in online forums and leave your blog link as your forum signature, and exchange links with other blogs, to promote your blog and possibly raise your PageRank. At the same time Google will exclude link spamming and fraudulent links they deem while ranking result pages.

Google’s search engine will also analyze the content of a web page, including the whole words, fonts, branches and the exact locations of the words, and then return the most relevant result for the users.
Google’s Webmaster Guidelines list some best practices that can help you avoid common pitfalls and improve your site’s ranking.

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