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What Is Search Engine Optimization - and Why Do I Care?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art and science of purposefully, actively improving a site’s chances of being found in searches. In other words, SEO helps sites get found. Unlike brick-and-mortar businesses, there is no street to walk or drive down and no sign to see along the road to let people know a Web site exists. So how do people find anything online? They search for it in search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and others.

There are literally hundreds of millions of sites on the Web, meaning that the vast majority of searches return thousands or millions of results. While a person might go to page three or four to find exactly what they are looking for, it’s a rare occasion that someone will scan all the way to page 25, 50, or 100. SEO optimizes sites so they appear closer to the beginning of relevant searches.

Don’t the Search Engine Folks Care that You’re Manipulating Results?

Google, which currently holds the largest share of the search engine market, actually has guides on how to optimize Web sites so they show up in searches. A site that is optimized to appear in searches relevant to its content actually helps Google (and other search engines) serve its users better. A non-optimized site could be extremely relevant to a user’s search, but without SEO it would still never appear.

Search engines have built in safeguards to make it hard for sites to manipulate results in unethical ways. While sites used to be able to rank for just about anything if they included enough keywords in their meta tags, those days are long-since passed. Search engines now use complex algorithms which make it very difficult for a site to rank for something not relevant to the site’s content.

There is such a thing as “black hat” SEO, referring to SEO practices which exploit loopholes in search engines. Such practices include hijacking existing Web sites which are already high-ranking, spamming, and other strategies seen as getting ranking without having good content. While these methods may work for a short time, they invariably result in a site eventually getting banned from Google and going through a lengthy process just to be re-included at all. At FindYourSearch, we only engage in white hat practices to rank our clients' websites, resulting in rankings that stand up to the test of time.

So What Exactly Do You Folks Do?

There are many elements to SEO, and they are constantly in flux as search engines change and improve their algorithms. The first thing SEO does is make sure a site is readable by the search engine “spiders” that come across it. Things like frames, poorly constructed navigation, excessive use of Flash or pages requiring a log-in to see, all make a site harder or even impossible for spiders to interpret. Once the basic structure of the site is addressed, content is optimized for certain key phrases or groups of phrases which have been carefully researched to produce maximum returns. Finally, promotion begins in order to build quality references from other sites, a critical factor in search engine algorithms. Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook are often employed here to gain exposure for the site, as are press releases and other forms of new media.

Sounds Good. Where Do I Sign Up?

Head over to and we’ll give you a free SEO consultation. FindYourSearch currently occupies over six million first page placements, and we can put your site among them!

SEO Basics


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