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The SEO Series – Week 1: Understanding Those 3 Letters

SEO. Search Engine Optimization. I’m sure you’ve heard those 3 letters before. It seems like everyone is talking about it. But what does it actually mean? Why does SEO matter to you and is it really that complicated? This week we’ll cover the basics of search engine optimization.

Search Engine Optimization is defined as the process of affecting the visibility of a website in popular search engines through un-paid or “organic” search results.

Organic

What’s an organic search result? Organic or natural search results are websites that Google thinks are relevant to a user whenever he/she types something into the search bar. Organic listings don’t cost the website owner anything. It’s much like getting an editorial versus buying an ad in your local newspaper. It is Google’s way of doing what it was designed to do—connect searchers to a website that has contains the information they are looking for.

Google has developed a complicated algorithm that changes almost every day. The purpose of that algorithm is to look at all of the millions of websites in existence and then decide which ones best match what a searcher is looking for. Google then will return a list of those websites in the order from most relevant to least.

So how does Google decide what websites are relevant? Well no one knows the exact specifics of the algorithm for sure, but we have figured out several things that impact website rankings. Using these things we can “optimize” a website to have the best chance of being returned when users type in specific words. These specific words are called “keywords”.

So in a nutshell, SEO is the process of making Google favor your website for certain keywords by doing certain things.

Next week we’ll go over some of the factors that contribute to your SEO.

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