Small Business SEO; what is it? If you don’t know that’s okay, Small Business doesn’t pay too much attention to the importance of search engine optimization.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Google. And, in turn, you’ve also heard of Yahoo!, Bing, Ask.com, and probably tons of other search engines that are extremely useful when it comes to scouring the world wide web for information.
Search engines are simple enough to use: you type in a word or phrase, hit the ‘go!’ button, and a few seconds later, you have thousands of relevant links to choose from for your topic of choice. But have you ever wondered how all those links made it onto those pages? Well, in simplified terms, they do exactly as their name implies. They search and that means Search Engine Optimization.
Google and the other search engines all run by using programs to search out the same words and phrases on websites that you type into their query boxes. But there are thousands of sites, so that begs another question (don’t worry, this one isn’t about living beneath rocks): how does it decide what sites are most relevant to the search?
There are several ways that this happens, but the one I’m going to talk about is Small Business SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Again, the technique is based around doing as the name implies; optimizing websites for being found in search engines. Basically, when Google searches your site, it checks to see how many times a word or phrase appears on the pages and the pages directly linked to that one, and if it shows up often enough, the ranking of your site in the search engine gets bumped closer to the top.
What is the point of this? Well, imagine that you’re looking for a particular cooking recipe. You type in ‘chicken noodle soup recipe,’ click ‘search,’ and the first thing that pops up is… ‘The painless recipe for stuffing noodles into chickens with soup.’ Or something equally useless (be creative!) when it comes to showing you how to make chicken noodle soup.
It has all the keywords (‘chicken’ ‘noodle’ ‘soup’ and ‘recipe’), so as far as that search is concerned, it’s exactly what you’re looking for. Except that it isn’t, of course.
SEO is the technique that basically guards against that. If websites weren’t optimized for search engines, then there would be no way to tell what was a ‘relevant’ link from the trash that might show up. By carefully manipulating the content of websites to reflect exactly what they’re about, it keeps sites like Google and Yahoo! useful and it makes searching for sites easier.
It probably also keeps curious people from using soup to stuff poor, defenseless chickens with noodles, as well.