Search Engine Optimization SEO The Art Of Networking

Wikipedia defines the​ World Wide Web (“Web”) as​ “a system of​ interlinked,​ hypertext documents that runs over the​ Internet. With a​ Web browser,​ a​ user views Web pages that may contain text,​ images,​ and other multimedia and navigates between them using hyperlinks.” the​ Web has only been around since 1990,​ and yet,​ it​ already counts trillions of​ Web pages.

With so much information and the​ number of​ Web surfers increasing on​ a​ daily basis,​ the​ challenge of​ directing users to​ the​ appropriate source of​ information is​ becoming increasingly complex. That role belongs to​ search engines such as​ Google,​ Yahoo,​ and MSN who are competing fiercely in​ order to​ come up with the​ best and most accurate search results. Search engines act as​ “filters” in​ differentiating between the​ relevant and the​ irrelevant. Yet,​ how do they know what is​ “relevant” and what is​ “irrelevant” or​ “less relevant”?

They rely on​ whatever is​ found on​ a​ Web page and they rely on​ links that direct to​ a​ specific Web page. Whatever is​ found on​ a​ Web page can easily be manipulated,​ but what is​ found on​ another person’s Web page is​ harder to​ control. That leads us to​ the​ intrinsic nature of​ the​ Web,​ which is​ a​ network of​ “interconnected” Web pages. the​ connectedness of​ Web pages is​ complicated by the​ fact that webmasters,​ the​ creators of​ the​ Web pages,​ have their own agenda,​ which often conflicts with the​ objectives of​ Web surfers. Webmasters want to​ increase their websites’ exposure (which would translate into increased traffic),​ whereas Web surfers want to​ find information that is​ the​ most relevant to​ them. it​ is​ in​ this type of​ environment that search engines come into play in​ trying to​ act as​ arbitrators.

How do they do that? They evaluate the​ quality,​ relevancy,​ and weight of​ each incoming link in​ order to​ assign a​ value to​ it. the​ whole idea is​ based on​ the​ “democratic” nature of​ the​ Web. Why is​ it​ necessary for search engines to​ “assign a​ value” to​ incoming links (or,​ in​ other words,​ why aren’t all links of​ equal value)? Because search engines recognize the​ fact that “corruption” exists within the​ system and assigning a​ value to​ incoming links is​ a​ way to​ fight that corruption. the​ corruption comes mainly from webmasters that are trying to​ bend the​ rules in​ their favour in​ order to​ achieve higher rankings.

In this kind of​ environment,​ how to​ maximize a​ website’s exposure while respecting generally accepted guidelines of​ website development and promotion? By networking with other websites and making the​ case for votes. Sounds like an​ election? it​ is! Except that this election does not take place every four years,​ but every minute of​ every day,​ with no end in​ sight. the​ never-ending election it​ is​ called.

There are two facets to​ networking: (1) expanding a​ network and (2) strengthening a​ network. Expanding a​ network means to​ have the​ most exposure as​ possible while strengthening a​ network means getting votes. Other webmasters might know about a​ certain site,​ but they are under no obligation to​ link to​ that site. in​ that regard,​ the​ easy way to​ win a​ vote is​ to​ provide some incentives to​ other sites,​ meaning paying them a​ fee to​ add a​ link on​ their site (“sponsored link”) or​ reciprocating with a​ link back. the​ problem with this approach is​ that it​ costs money,​ is​ time consuming,​ and might only trigger a​ “vote” coming from a​ “link exchange” page,​ which is​ of​ poor quality. a​ more difficult approach to​ networking is​ to​ create “partnerships” with other websites where each side would benefit or​ creating quality content that would warrant inbound links.

This latter approach to​ networking has the​ advantage of​ (1) creating links that are more contextual,​ meaning that they will also have more value for search engines; (2) costing nothing because they are given out of​ free will; and (3) meeting accepted guidelines of​ proper website development.

This is​ where the​ two aspects of​ search engine optimization connect. On-page and off-page optimization go hand in​ hand because quality content is​ key to​ successful and sustainable networking. This is​ also where webmasters and Web users connect as​ quality content is​ also what most people are looking for when they search the​ Web.

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