SEO (Search Engine Optimisations) refers to a set of practices applied to a website in order to render it more optimal for data-logging in Search Engine databases. This results in a website appearing more prominently in the Search Engine Results Pages (or SERP's). Over the past few years, SEO has become a huge part of the Online Marketing and Web-design industries, as businesses seek to become more competitive in the online market.
With the advent of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising, there are now 2 main streams of web traffic to consider; 1. Free 'Organic' search results through web content. and 2. Paid-Ad search results through a campaign linked to your website. For optimum results, participation in both SEO streams is required.
Are there special "tricks" to getting a higher Google ranking?
The worlds most popular search engine, Google, owns the Page-Rank® algorithm (developed at Stanford University by Larry Page), so Web optimisers tend to look most closely at Google for clues on how to best optimise. Many tricks have been tried, but Google's commitment to effective search-provision has successfully preserved a fairly level playing field for all website owners. Tricks are risky, because the search providers are aware, and any websites found using them are often excluded altogether.
In keeping with Google's claimed philosophy of making all information available to all people, the content of any website is the most important aspect in terms of gaining more prominence within SERPs. Basically, the more a website is viewed following a relevant search, the higher it will rank. A high ranking website will generally list before a low ranking site, using the same keywords. But if Page-Rank® was the only method of determining where websites appear in SERP's, then the internet would quickly polarise and new sites would barely stand a chance of discovery. To counter this effect, Search Engines place high importance on the content relevance within the site.
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