I’ve been reading a few more SEO blogs lately. I like to be part of the community
on these sites, and I usually make a point to create a profile and become part of the discussion. Some subject matters can be found in abundance online, and one that gets more than its fair share of
coverage is that of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. For anyone who doesn’t know what SEO is, it’s basically the practice of “optimizing” websites so that they rank as well as possible in search engines like
Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft’s Live Search.
SEO is usually broken down into three different types: white hat, grey had and black hat SEO. These terms refer to the tactics Search Engine
Optimizers use in order to better their rankings. White hats engage in Google-approved, above-board tactics. Black hats aren’t concerned with abiding by the rules and often employ tactics that the search engines
consider to be wrong. Grey hats play in both areas, using whatever tactics they feel are needed at any one time.
Internet marketing and SEO are different in that SEO focuses mainly on obtaining and building the number of links a website has. Internet marketing
often focuses more on traditional advertising, yet the ads appear online. Many SEO firms do a bit of both, however, and the link-building side of the industry has been of particular interest to me lately.
I don’t suppose that a lot of web users know exactly how search engines rank the websites they see when they search for something. Before I had
much experience online, I didn’t think about it too much either. I imagine that most people just assume that Google somehow knows which sites are the most relevant. On learning that rankings were largely
based upon the number of inlinks to a site, I gained a new perspective on what I see when I search for a particular item.
I honestly think that it would be good for the general public to develop a better understanding of the way search works, especially given the fact that
people look for some highly important information online, such as information about political figures and medical issues. Learning about search could help people make more informed decisions and help them
interpret what they see on Google’s results page.