The Basics Of SEO Some FA Qs

Search engine optimization (SEO) is​ a​ foreign field to​ a​ lot of​ people. Rarely does a​ day go by when I don't get asked a​ few questions on​ the​ subject. So I've decided to​ post this FAQ article in​ the​ hopes that it​ will help people understand the​ basics,​ and make them a​ little more comfortable with the​ whole domain.

Q: Why are search engines important to​ me?

A: 85% of​ all website traffic is​ driven by search engines. the​ only online activity more popular than search is​ email. 79.2% of​ US users don't go to​ page 2 of​ search results. 42% of​ users click on​ the​ no.1 result. For the​ under-40 age-group,​ the​ Internet will become the​ most used media in​ the​ next 2-3 years.

Q: How do search engines decide on​ their rankings?

A: IMPORTANT: you​ cannot pay a​ search engine in​ return for a​ high ranking in​ the​ natural results. you​ can only get a​ high ranking if​ your content is​ seen as​ relevant by the​ search engines.
Search engines identify relevant content for their search results by sending out ‘spiders’ or​ ‘robots’ which ‘crawl’ (analyze) your site and ‘index’ (record) its details. Complex algorithms are then employed to​ determine whether your site is​ useful and should be included in​ the​ search engine’s search results.

Q: Can't I just pay for a​ high ranking?

A: No. the​ biggest concern for search engine companies like Google and Yahoo is​ finding content that will bring them more traffic (and thus more advertising revenue). in​ other words,​ their results must be relevant. Relevant results makes for a​ good search engine; irrelevant results makes for a​ short-lived search engine.

Most search engines these days return two types of​ results whenever you​ click Search:

 Natural/Organic – the​ ‘real’ search results. the​ results that most users are looking for and which take up most of​ the​ window. For most searches,​ the​ search engine displays a​ long list of​ links to​ sites with content which is​ related to​ the​ word you​ searched for. These results are ranked according to​ how relevant and important they are.
 Paid – Pure advertising. This is​ how the​ search engines make their money. Advertisers pay the​ search engines to​ display their ad whenever someone searches for a​ word which is​ related to​ their product or​ service. These ads look similar to​ the​ natural search results,​ but are normally labeled “Sponsored Links”,​ and normally take up a​ smaller portion of​ the​ window.

Q: How do I get a​ high ranking?

A: There are four main steps:
Step 1 - Use the​ right words on​ your website
Step 2 - Get lots of​ relevant sites to​ link to​ yours
Step 3 - Use the​ right words in​ those links
Step 4 - Have lots of​ content on​ your site & add more regularly

Q: What is​ search engine optimization (SEO)?

A: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is​ the​ art of​ creating a​ website which is​ search engine-friendly. This means:
 using the​ right words in​ your copy
 using the​ right words in​ your HTML code
 structuring your site properly
 designing your site properly

For more information on​ these 4 elements,​ download our free 'SEO Secrets' eBook from

Many people use SEO to​ also describe the​ other ingredient in​ a​ high ranking,​ 'Link Popularity'.

Q: What is​ link popularity?

A: Think of​ the​ search engines as​ a​ big election. All the​ websites in​ the​ world are candidates. the​ links to​ your website are votes. the​ more votes (links) a​ candidate (website) has,​ the​ more important it​ is,​ and the​ higher its ranking. Link popularity is​ all about how many links you​ have,​ and how you​ can get more.
Links to​ your site tell the​ search engines how important your site is. They assume that if​ it’s important enough for a​ lot of​ other sites to​ link to,​ it’s important enough for them to​ display at​ the​ top of​ the​ rankings. Links are the​ single most important factor in​ ranking. Generally speaking,​ the​ more links you​ have to​ your site from other sites,​ the​ better your ranking.

Q: Are some links better than others?

A: Yes! the​ ideal kind of​ links are those that:
 come from relevant sites (sites which use the​ same keywords);
 come from important sites (have a​ high ranking);
 include your keyword as​ part of​ the​ visible link text;
 include varying link text (not the​ same link text each time); and
 come from a​ page that links to​ few other sites.

When a​ search engine sees a​ link which satisfies most or​ all of​ these conditions,​ it​ says,​ “Hey,​ this site must be credible and important,​ because others in​ the​ same industry are pointing to​ it.”

Q: How do I get lots of​ links back to​ my site?

A: There are many possible ways to​ generate links. Some are dubious (like auto-generation software,​ and sites set up by webmasters simply to​ host links to​ their other sites) and I won’t be discussing them here. Others,​ like those discussed below,​ are legitimate.
 Add your site to​ DMOZ & Yahoo Directories (and other free directories)
 Check where your competitors’ links are coming from
 Article PR - Write and submit articles for Internet publication
 Swap links
 Partner websites
 Pay for links

For more information on​ these methods,​ download our free 'SEO Secrets' eBook from

Q: What do you​ think is​ the​ best way to​ get lots of​ links?

A: Article PR. Write helpful articles and let other webmasters publish them for free in​ exchange for a​ link in​ the​ byline. With article PR,​ you​ don't have to​ pay for the​ link,​ you​ determine the​ content of​ the​ page containing the​ link,​ you​ determine the​ link text,​ and the​ link is​ more or​ less permanent. a​ single article can be reprinted hundreds of​ times,​ and each time is​ another link back to​ your site!
For more information,​ read or​ visit

Q: How do I write a​ good article PR piece?

A: See

Q: How do I get a​ high ranking using free reprint content?

A: See

Q: How long does it​ take to​ get a​ high search engine ranking?

A: a​ long time! It’s impossible to​ say how much time you’ll need to​ spend generating links,​ but you​ can be sure it’ll be a​ while no matter which method of​ link generation you​ use. you​ just have to​ keep at​ it​ until you​ have achieved a​ high ranking. Even then,​ you’ll still need to​ dedicate some ongoing time to​ the​ task,​ otherwise your ranking will drop.

Q: What is​ the​ Google Sandbox,​ and is​ it​ real?

A: the​ Google Sandbox theory suggest that whenever Google detects a​ new website,​ it​ withholds its rightful ranking for a​ period while it​ determines whether your site is​ a​ genuine,​ credible,​ long term site. it​ does this to​ discourage the​ creation of​ SPAM websites (sites which serve no useful purpose other than to​ boost the​ ranking of​ some other site).

There is​ a​ lot of​ anecdotal evidence supporting the​ theory,​ but there is​ also a​ lot discounting it. No one has categorically proven its existence.

Q: What is​ the​ Google Dampening Link Filter,​ and is​ it​ real?

A: the​ Google Dampening Link Filter theory suggests that if​ Google detects a​ sudden increase (i.e. many hundreds or​ thousands) in​ the​ number of​ links back to​ your site,​ it​ may sandbox them for a​ period (or in​ fact penalize you​ by lowering your ranking or​ blacklisting your site altogether).

There is​ a​ lot of​ anecdotal evidence supporting the​ theory,​ but there is​ also a​ lot discounting it. No one has categorically proven its existence.

Q: What SEO companies should I be wary of?

A: Be wary of​ SEO companies that promise or​ guarantee results in​ a​ given timeframe,​ especially if​ they won't expand on​ their methods for generating links back to​ your site.

Q: What tools can you​ recommend?

A: There are many very useful tools to​ help with your SEO. the​ following are just selection. All tools are free unless otherwise indicated.
 Backlink checker -
 Backlinks by IP address -
 Link Popularity Tool -
 Number of​ links required to​ rank -
 Google Alert -
 Google Sitemaps -
 Google Sitemap Generator -
 Google Toolbar -
 Indexed Pages -
 Keyword Analysis (Nichebot) -
 Keyword Analysis (Overture) -
 Keyword Analysis (WordTracker - Paid) -
 Keyword Difficulty -
 Keyword Identifier -
 Keyword Density Measurement (Simple) -
 Keyword Density Measurement (Complex) -
 Plagiarized Copy Search -
 Traffic Rank -
 Search Engine Rank -
 SEO Report -
 Top 10 sites for a​ keyword by no of​ backlinks and age -
 Top 10 sites for a​ keyword -
 Spider Simulator -

Q: I'm confused about all the​ terms used in​ SEO,​ can you​ help?

A: See

Q: What is​ keyword analysis?

A: the​ first thing you​ need to​ do when you​ begin chasing a​ good search engine ranking is​ decide which words you​ want to​ rank well for. This is​ called performing a​ keyword analysis. Keyword analysis involves a​ bit of​ research and a​ good knowledge of​ your business and the​ benefits you​ offer your customers.
For more information,​ download our free 'SEO Secrets' eBook from

Q: Do I need to​ submit my site to​ the​ search engines?

A: Theoretically,​ no. But I wouldn't risk not doing it​ - especially as​ it's free. as​ soon as​ you​ register your domain name,​ submit it​ to​ Google! Even if​ you​ haven’t built your site,​ or​ thought about your content,​ submit your domain name to​ Google. in​ fact,​ even if​ you​ haven’t fully articulated your business plan and marketing plan,​ submit your domain name to​ Google.

For more information,​ download our free 'SEO Secrets' eBook from

Q: Should I submit my site to​ the​ search engines more than once?

A: No need. Although some of​ the​ search engines allow you​ to​ do this,​ there's really no need.

Q: What are directories and should I submit my site to​ them?

A: Directories are websites (or web pages) which simply list lots of​ website and give a​ quick description of​ the​ website. Some are free and some require you​ to​ pay for a​ listing. Free directories are useful because you​ get a​ free link. However,​ the​ links aren't worth that much. Paid directories can be good if​ they're relevant,​ but they can cost a​ lot in​ the​ long term,​ so choose wisely.

One essential directories for any website is​ the​ DMOZ Open Directory Project.

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