Search Engine Optimization for Dummies
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In layman’s terms, Search Engine Optimization, or SEO as it is colloquially referred to, is, according to Red Evolution, any “activity that attempts to improve search engine rankings.”
Now, the two important words here are RELEVANT and AUTHORITATIVE. Google (I’m sure you’ve heard of that), as a search engine, along with Yahoo and Bing, ranks its search results. So all of those links that come up when you look up “funny cat videos” are actually waging a battle to see who will be at the top of your search. And those two words are the deciding factors for who comes out on top.
Let’s break it down more. Relevance is determined based on how closely the keyword the user types into the search bar corresponds to the content the website holds. When you type in “Elon Musk” into the search bar, everything related to him, Tesla, and SpaceX will pop up first (ranked of course by other means), and then websites where he’s been mentioned, related websites but in other languages since your are most probably using the English version of Google. Next comes whether or not your website is authoritative. Authoritative means that other websites reference your website, that they cite you, essentially lending you more credibility. And whether or not they reference you is dependent on a variety of factors like content, design, and usability. If you provide bad content that is disorganized, completely not user friendly, and looks old, then your website will not be ranked as high as it could be.
Oh and one more thing: SEO is completely free, unlike SEM (these are the advertisements that come up on Google). So now do you understand why Wikipedia pops up first in virtually every search entry?