Search Engine Optimization
Teach yourself how to do it for FREE!
History of Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ):
I've been doing this website since the internet became popular in 1997. If there is anyone who knows about SEO, it is I! Firstly, I would like to give you a very interesting history of SEO, and at the end, you'll see how it is done today! Okay? And this is all free of charge! However, if you feel like donating to the cause, please click on the donate button in the left menu bar.
(1) Alphabetical Order
When I started this website in 1997, search engines listed websites alphabetically, so to get to the top, people were naming their websites like "AAA something". I was going to do that, then search engines changed their way of doing things.
Then, search engines decided that the proper thing to do was put the websites that got the most hits (visits) at the top and others in order by number of hits. So, what people did was start visiting their own websites hundreds (possibly thousands) of times per day. I started doing that, but it wasn't long before search engines caught on to what was going on, and again changed their protocols. After that, in order to get to the top of search engine listings, you had to have "unique viewers". So, websites that had the highest number of unique viewers were placed at the top and listed in order thusly. So, as a result, webmasters were going around to different computers and visiting their own websites. They also contacted all their friends and asked them to visit their websites.
After a while, search engines caught on, and decided to try a different approach (to make things fair). The new approach was based upon the number of links you had on your site. Broken links did not count. In fact, I think that at some point broken links disqualified websites until they fixed the broken links. Search engine engineers programmed their webbots to "crawl" the web looking for links and broken links. So, webmasters started putting hundreds of random links on their websites. I did too.
Search engine engineers decided that that was quite a ludicrous idea (and it is), and they changed the protocols again. After that, it was decided that the links have to be reciprocal in order to count. That means I link to your website and you link to mine. At that time webmasters were emailing other webmasters and setting up tons of reciprocal links. I did too.
Then search engines got smart. They decided to listen to their users. Users wanted CONTENT! So, search engine engineers programmed their bots to search for "keywords." The websites that had the most number of the "keyword" on their page were highest in the listings. So, webmasters started putting the keywords over and over and over again on their websites (hundreds, perhaps thousands of times). They were usually invisible, like white words on a white background. You couldn't see them, but they were there, and the webbots could "see" them.
Search engine engineers were not pleased, because they had been fooled again. Users were not necessarily going to the websites with the best content for their searched word. So, naturally, they changed things up again. The keywords had to appear within context. They couldn't be repeated over and over again. In fact, I'm pretty sure that such websites were disqualified from being in the listings. That was better, but still some webmasters found ways to trick the bots.
(5) Complex Algorithms
That's when search engines started using complex algorithms to decided which websites should appear at the top. They look at many different factors when deciding which site should appear at the top of the listings. They look at: name, keywords, content, and links.
Firstly, search engines look at the name ("title") of the website (as listed in the meta-tag, and if you don't know what that is, I'll teach you later). For instance, if someone searches for "Leon's Planet," my website is the first on the list, because there is no other website by that name. [There used to be one other website by that name, but it has gone out of business].
- Keywords in Meta-tags
Secondly, search engines look at the key words listed in the meta-tags;
....and then the bots confirm that the key words actually exist on the page within context. They count the words. So, excellent content is important!
However, even if you have done all of the above, you will not necessarily appear high in the rankings (unless your website is the only website on the web with that particular content). Sometimes I appear high, because I have completely original content. Let's say someone searches for shamans eating mushrooms in Mongolia, my site will be at or close to the top, but how many people want to know about that? I mean really?
So, after you've done all of the above, you have to get people visiting and linking to your website. Why does Wikipedia usually appear at the top? Because that's the website that most people link to.
If you do a search like this: "phonics spelling rules audio", my site will be number one. Why? Because people have liked my Phonics page and have linked to it. It helps to have something that nobody else has. There are thousands, maybe millions of websites about phonics, but my website has audio. If you leave the word "audio" out, my site will not be anywhere near the top.
The number of links you have on your website is worthless, however, the way to get people linking to your website is by offering reciprocal links. I DO reciprocal links, but your website's content must match the content on my website or be related in some way. If your website is totally different, you have to pay for ads on my site.
What are "meta tags"? [ This is a tutorial for setting meta tags. ]
tags are in
the html (programming language). If you want to set meta tags, go into
your html and do like this:
<title>Insert your title here!</title>
<meta name="Description" content="Insert your description here.!">
<meta name="Keywords" content="Insert your keywords here, separated by commas">
Here are the meta
tags for this page:
<title>Do yourown search engine optimization!</title>
<meta name="Description" content="This page teaches you how to do your own search engine optimization free of charge!">
<meta name="Keywords" content="SEO, S.E.O., search, engine, optimization, free, tutorial, learn, online, history">