Website Development and Marketing
Asisness Search Engine Basics

Asisness Search Engine Optimizing
There are no tricks to optimizing a web site to do well in the search engines. No special methods are used to achieve it. All that is involved is knowledge, experience and hard work. That is very simple to say but very time consuming for the average web designer or site owner. What you need to know is how a search engine works and what they look for to rank your site. Then you provide it to the search engine .

How Search Engines Work
Search engines visit web pages using a program called a "crawler" or "spider"; which reads all of the content on a page. They then condense the information found into a database of Web pages content that it has already collected. They also collect all the Web pages that link to your site, for use in determining your site's popularity. This is why others linking to your Web site plays a role in gaining good position. Then the engines use a mathematical formula to determine your site's relevance for a given search term. The more relevant your site, the higher the engines position your site in the search results.

Major Factors for Determining Relevance
Primarily the title, page copy and link text are the most significant "on page"; factors on the site pages for determining rankings. Incoming links to a web site are the most significant "off page"; factors that help determine ranking. However, the off page factors are not nearly as important as the on page factors. Frankly, no matter how popular your web site is, your site will not show up for a competitive search term if the on page factors of title, page copy and link text are not strong enough.

Methods of Determining Relevance
One way of determining relevance is with keyword frequency, which means how often a keyword appears on the page. This was the earliest method for determining ranking. This led eventually to Web sites that contained excessively repetitious keywords to gain a higher listing. Excessive repetition of keywords will no longer help gain higher listing. In fact, it is detrimental to gaining a good ranking, and may even cause you to be completely banned from an engine.

Keyword Weight is a simple method of determining relevance that simply measures the number of words on a page against the number of keywords. Word Proximity is the method that takes into consideration where the keywords are located on the page.

The most recent method is link popularity. This method takes advantage of the linking structure of the Internet to determine which Web sites are most recommended by others. Though engines differ, most of them use some or all of these methods.

What Search Engines Want
All search engines want the same thing: well built and well written web pages. Professional writers do not use the same words or phrases repetitively. That is why repeating keywords on a page does not work. Quality copy also is focused on a specific topic and the topic can be found spread throughout the page, not just in the beginning or the end. The searcher wants useful, quality content, so that is what the engine provides them. What a search engine wants on your site is quality content that is useful to their client the searcher.

What Search Engines Do Not Want
Primarily, an engine does not want meta tags stuffed with keywords. All meta tags except for the title tags are virtually useless. For the most part, the searcher cannot see them so engine ignores them. In addition, engines have long lists of things they dislike. If you are refused a listing or are doing poorly in a search, it is quite likely that you have given them something they do not want.