Posted on February 23, 2010 by Jennifer Pointer

What is SEO?


In Part 1, we discussed that "SEO" (Search Engine Optimization) is the process whereby we get our  websites, research, stories, and names to the front page of the search engines.  In Building Page Rank from Scratch, we began to talk about ways to get your name to the front page of the search engines.  But most of the time, your potential readers/customers are not going to be looking for you by name. Instead, they are going to be entering keywords (search terms)  into the search boxes of the search engines - keywords that relate to their needs and interests.  It is your job to make sure they find you when they enter those keywords.  Following are three quick and easy ways to begin to do that.


Include your Keywords in your Post Titles


Title rank higher on your "sitemap," so when at all possible, be sure to include your keywords in your post or article titles. 


 Strategically Use Anchor Text


When you are providing hyperlinks to other posts and articles within your own site, and to other blogs, try to make sure the highlighted text is a keyword.  For example, if I wanted to link back to my post from a couple of weeks ago about Google Buzz, it would be better for me to link it this way: Find out what the Buzz is about,  rather than this way: Find out what's new.  Both link back to the same post, but the one that includes my keyword "Buzz" is more likely to be read by the search engines as a popular keyword.


Build Page Rank


You'll want to being to build page rank, by encouraging other websites and bloggers to link to you - ideally, blogs and websites which have a higher page rank than you do.  If you're curious about your page rank, or that of another blog or website, use this "page-rank checker."  Here's how Google explains Page Rank:


PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.”


Know that your page rank score is in some ways a moving goal post.  Google is constantly updating its secret and very complex algorithm to prevent bloggers and webmasters from "gaming," its system. 


Tomorow, we will continue to talk about building page rank through SMO (social media optimization).


Jennifer PointerJennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.

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