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Search Engine Optimization Basics

Each search engine has a different set of rules which determine where a site falls in their search engine rankings. However, there are a few search engine optimization basics which are important whether you’re optimizing for Google, Yahoo! or MSN.

Like spiders, search engines are constantly crawling the web to find new content, however, like mentioned before, not all search engines are alike. Search engines are like different types of spiders, and although each species share similar characteristics, they also have slightly different ways of accomplishing tasks.

Given the similarities and differences of each search engine’s operation, a search term that might appear in top 3 results for Google, may reside on the second page of search results for Yahoo and third page for MSN.

Despite these differences, there are some basic search engine optimization foundations which apply to the 'big three' search engines. The major sensitivities are: relevance, word ordering and proximity, content freshness, and in and outbound links.

Relevance refers to how targeted a webpage’s content is to the overall site and subject area of the search. Word ordering and proximity are the frequency, order and placement of each keyword and keyword derivative in a page’s structure. Content freshness is how often content is updated, tweaked or added to maintain relevancy. Finally, in and outbound links pertain to how many links are pointing towards other sites and visa versa. Like a popularity contest, the more credible and on-topic sites link to your site, the more relevancy it will have in its subject area.

Therefore, if you would like to get one step closer to appearing in the top search results for the major search engines, think of freshness, relevancy, popularity and proximity as your guideposts for basic search engine positioning.

By Trish McCloy, writing for Stand Marketing, a Vancouver Internet Marketing Company. For more information on SEO basics, check out our list of SEO services.


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