What is SEO?

At a starting level, SEO means Search Engine Optimisation. Basic SEO is how search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! create the list of sites that are shown when someone types a word or phrase into the search bar. For instance, type in ‘computer’ and the user will be presented with all sorts of websites describing what computers are, selling computers and components, listing uses for computers etc.

The search engine makes a determination as to a) what sites are relevant for the word(s) the user has typed in and b) in what order to list them. This determination is worked out by a hugely involved and complicated algorithm written into the search engine itself. So for the word ‘computer’, the search engine will first look at all the sites which it considers relevant to computers and then display them in an order that it will calculate, based on a series of things.

Having a company's website be relevant to lots of words or phrases and making it as high up the list of displayed sites as is possible can be worth huge amounts of money in terms of increased site traffic and by extension increased custom. How websites and companies try to make themselves more relevant and higher up the search listings is by optimising their sites for the search engines; hence, Search Engine Optimisation – SEO.

Googles PageRank technology

plays an important role in how online stores show up in search results. Understanding how this ranking system works will help ecommerce merchants improve their search engine optimization (SEO) and potentially increase website traffic.

PageRank is a proprietary mathematical formula (algorithm) that Google uses to calculate the importance of a particular web page/URL based on incoming links. The PageRank algorithm assigns each web page a numeric value. That value is a particular URLs PageRank.

The underlying assumption is that links are analogous to votes for a pages importance. The more votes a page has, the more important it is. Whats more, votes from important pages/URLs have more weight than votes from unimportant ones.

In this Ecommerce Know-How, I will (1) discuss why PageRank is important and (2) provide an explanation of how to use a simplified PageRank calculation to make sound SEO decisions about internal linking. In all, this article should give you a foundational understanding of this ranking system. And in future installments of Ecommerce Know-How, we will build on this fundamental PageRank information and apply it to SEO techniques like bot herding or siloing

The Importance of PageRank

PageRank is one of many factors that determines where your web page appears in search result ranking, but if all other factors are equal, PageRank can have significant impact on your Google rankings.

Using PageRank, we are able to order search results so that more important and central Web pages are given preference. In experiments, this turns out to provide higher quality search results to users, wrote Googles founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin (along with Rajeev Motwani and Terry Winograd) in their January 29, 1998 paper, The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web.

In spite of this paper and the complex calculations it included, Googles exact recipe for ranking web pages is not public information. But there is enough data available to make some educated guesses and assumptions about the PageRank algorithm and a search engines basic procedures.

Our search assumption goes like this: Jack starts a search for the phrase golf clubs. Google first seeks relevant pages that include content matching Jacks query. Once Google has located the relevant pages, it ranks those pages based on importancethat is PageRank. The first page/URL listed on the Google results page had the most PageRank out of all the pages that were relevant to Jacks search query. The last page/URL listed had the least.

Good content that matches a search query determines whether a given web page/URL will be included in Googles results. But PageRank determines the order relevant pages are shown in.

PageRank is important then because it will determine if your site shows up first or last when a potential customers looks for your keywords

Googles Search Procedures

  1. A Google user submits a search query.
  2. Google searches all of the pages/URLs it has indexed for relevant content.
  3. Google sorts the relevant pages/URLs based on PageRank scores.
  4. Google displays a results page, placing those pages/URLs with the most PageRank (assumed importance) first

What Is The Real Meaning Behind SEO?

One of the first steps to SEO is to brainstorm and research the keywords potential visitors use to find what you have to offer.

Getting higher rankings for your targeted keywords is often cited as the main reason for online success. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a virtual no brainer when it comes to the long term marketing of your website. People involved in online ventures are aware that Search Engine Optimization is essential for improving website traffic.

The major benefits of SEO are increased site traffic, brand awareness, and sales. SEO is essential to every website on the Internet.

SEO is a uniformed process of several methods that are important for search engine listings. Unless you are a specialist in SEO you should consider consulting with a reputable company. Search engine marketing company is a common term today. However getting top 10 Google rankings is not rocket science. We need to apply search engine optimization effectively on our website. Link Building is considered by many people to be one of the most useful and effective Search Engine Optimisation technique

Part of a good optimisation campaign includes building links from other websites into yours. Listen carefully here is the secret, if you are not getting backlinks then you are not doing SEO, you are completely missing the boat. It's useless to compete with others, if you have no method to get backlinks.

You need one way links and links by doing link exchanges and other methods that exist to get backlinks. Depending on financial invest in your business you choose which method to use. For example, article creation and submission is more expensive than doing link exchanges but it is better.

Link exchanges are great, you can get them free and get many of them. So they too are very useful and great way to build the amount of backlinks. If you have more backlinks than the website that is number one position for your keyword, than most probably you will outrank them. It's how it works.

You can hire someone to get backlinks. You may not know but marketers invest money on these things. They are that important. If you have just started with little investment maybe, first grasp the concept of SEO, and if you want to hire someone from the start, then give him a less complicated task like submitting your articles to article directories. Or better still creating articles, because there are software that you can personally use to submit to article directories.

These are often semi automated, but still effective. Time is money so use of automated tools really help.

After successfully optimising your site, check back and make sure your rankings are being maintained. Once you get some rankings, you gain experience and you find it easier to manage more campaigns and optimize your website for more than one keyword at once. Or for some highly completive keyword.

SEO is all about getting website traffic from the search engines, but dominating the top rankings for your chosen keywords


Why show pagerank as N/A?

They only update "toolbar" PageRank every 3-4 months or so. The last update was in May, so there should be another one around August/September sometime.

"Toolbar" PageRank is the number that shows on your Google Toolbar and other publicly accessible tools. This is different from your actual PageRank which is used internally by Google. PR is always changing, they just don't update the public numbers all the time.

The Page Rank Chart

Here is a chart that approximately shows how many links are needed to achieve a certain PR from pages with a particular PR. This chart assumes 50 out bound links on each page, 85% of the median PR is passed to the next page and the log scale magic number is 5.5.

From the chart you can see that if you want to achieve a PR of 5 you need 18 PR5 pages linking to you, 3 PR6's or just one PR7. This of course is just an approximation. If the page has 30 links instead of 50, more PR would be passed and less links are needed to achieve the same PR.

PR that you see on the Google toolbar is a function of the actual value so it can be viewed on a scale from 0-10. Magic Number^PR (from toolbar)=Full PR value. A magic number of 5.5 is a well excepted value and is thought to vary with each PR update, but is generally thought to stay in the range of 5.25 to 6.0.

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