The formal definition of Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The process of refining your website using both on-page and off-page practices so that it will be indexed and ranked successfully by search engines.

What is SEO?

Search engines have two major functions: crawling and building an index, and providing search users with a ranked list of the websites they’ve determined are the most relevant.  Put simply SEO is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.It is  the art and science of publishing and marketing information that ranks well in search engines like Google, Yahoo! Search etc…

Why SEO?

It is important to understand how people think to make understanding what people are searching for online, the answers they are seeking, the words they’re using, and the type of content they wish to consume. This is important once you gain traction in the search results the incremental costs of gaining additional exposure helps to grow your brand.

To understand SEO it is important to understand SERP Search Engine Results Page. A SERP is the web page that a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo!, returns that lists the results of a user’s search. A SERP is divided into core sections. At the top you’ll always find paid listings.

Key terminology

Organic versus Paid Listings:

Listings that are displayed on the first page of search engines yield the highest search traffic which in turn leads to more clicks. 

Organic search results are the Web page listings that most closely match the user’s search query based on relevance. Also called “natural” search results, ranking high in the organic results is what SEO is all about.

Paid results are basically advertisements — the Web site owners have paid to have their Web pages display for certain keywords, so these listings show up when someone runs a search query containing those keywords.

Keyword research Keywords are single words or whole phrases of a particular SEO importance for a given page or website. Keyword research is a critical component for SEO because when used correctly it provides a road map for both the design and execution of building websites and developing content. Keywords are usually broken up and grouped based on the number of words within the query phrases. 

Black hat SEO is the name for all SEO practices that are known for being manipulative or unethical, and in the long run can hurt your website, or even get it banned from search engines.

Backlinks: Backlink is simply a link placed on someone else’s website that points back to your site. Backlinks are one of the most important factors for SEO. Getting a lot of backlinks with relevant anchor texts is the shortest way of improving your search engine rankings.

Further reading:

http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html

https://searchenginewatch.com/google-pagerank-algorithm-explained

https://searchengineland.com/guide/seo

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