Tavis Explains Search Engine Optimization / SEO

Following up my last post about the “Smartest Guy On The Web” experiment, some people have emailed me and asked what exactly is SEO or search engine optimization – in simple terms.

In a nutshell, it’s basically the process of selecting the most appropriate targeted keyword(s) and keyword phrases related to your product, service, article, promotional offer, etc etc and ensuring that this particular phrase is going to actually appear in the search results when someone searches for your stuff. There’s absolutely no point in having the prettiest/coolest/most colorful/(insert appropriate adjective here) website in the world if nobody is ever going to find you.

**SEO News Flash !**

Looks like Phil Henderson has pretty much revealed EVERYTHING I’ve talked about in their Stupidly Simple SEO search engine optimization guide.

Check it out here: Stupidly Simple SEO

SEO basically involves fine tuning or optimizing the content of your site along with the HTML and “Meta Tags” and also involves an appropriate link building process. The more links to your website from other external sources, the more likely it is your site is relevant or these other sources wouldn’t be linking to you (pretty logical isn’t it?) The most popular search engines are obviously Google, Yahoo, MSN Search and AOL and there are a ton of other 2nd tier search engines as well (7search, searchfeed, enhance, kanoodle, pageseeker, search123 to name a few). Every search engine guards their methods and ranking algorithms very closely in order to get credit for finding the most valuable search-results and to deter spam pages or automatically generated sites from clogging those results. A search engine may use hundreds of different factors when ranking their search listings where the factors themselves and the weight each carries are constantly being changed. Algorithms can differ so widely between search engines that a webpage that ranks #1 in a particular search engine could rank #200 in another search engine. I have no idea where my smartest guy on the web post ranks on some of the other search results, but since you probably never even heard of those 2nd tier search engines I mentioned, I’m not really worried about ranking on them – Google is the mother of all search engines anyway so that’s what I focus on. New sites don’t need to be “submitted” to search engines in order to be listed. A simple back link from a well established site will get the search engines to visit the new site and begin to spider or index its contents. It can take a few days to even weeks from the referring of a link from such an established site for all the main search engine spiders to commence visiting and indexing the new site. In my example, it took about 6 hours because the sites from which I was linked from are VERY highly trafficked and have a high degree of authority. The higher the authority of the site you are getting a link from, the more weight that link carries, and the quicker you’ll get indexed.

If all this doesn’t make any sense at all and you have no ideas what the best keywords are to target for your particular website, there are TONS of 3rd party companies out there who can help you out – me included. Search engine marketing and promotion companies, will look at the plan for your site and make recommendations to increase your search engine ranking and website traffic. If you wish, they will also provide ongoing consultation and reporting to monitor your website and make recommendations for editing and improvements to keep your site traffic flow and your search engine ranking high. Normally your search engine optimization experts work with your web designer to build an integrated plan right away so that all aspects of design are considered at the same time.

What is important though, is never believe ANYONE that can guarantee you a 1st position listing by paying them – the search engines aren’t influenced by the almighty dollar. Listing for certain keywords that are highly competitive could take YEARS depending on the competing results. At the time of my experiment, there were roughly a little over 120,000 competing results for the term “smartest guy on the web”, and since I have a few tricks up my sleeve (translation, I’ve studied the Google webmaster guidelines and taken many years off of my life by testing, experimenting and generally DOING this stuff and learning along the way), I was able to get a #1 listing probably within 6 hours… not too shabby.

Stay tuned for more insight from my “Web’s Smartest Guy” experiment…

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