This is a useful video if you have ever wondered about what exactly is search engine optimisation and how does it work?
Plain and simple, Search Engine Optimisation (commonly referred to as SEO) is the process of making improvements on and off your website, in order to gain more exposure in search engine results. And more exposure in search engine results will ultimately lead to more potential customers finding you for the right reasons and visiting your website.
In order to understand what improvements will affect search engine results, let's take a step back and understand the goal of the search engines themselves. At the heart of it all, search engines are just trying to find and understand all the content out there on the Internet, and then quickly deliver relevant and authoritative results based on any phrase that a user might be searching for.
First, let's talk about relevance. When a user searches for something like California hotels, search engines want to show a list of results that are relevant to the topic of California hotels. Search engines will analyse all of the web pages that they've ever visited and pick out the pages that they believe are the most relevant to California hotels. They determine this by evaluating lots of different factors, including how your content is written and implemented in code, as well as how other websites around the Internet are linking to you.
All of this data is then entered into a very big, very complex, and very proprietary algorithm. At the end of the day, and in a fraction of a second, a search engine is then able to rank and display all of those web pages in order of relevance to that phrase that the user just typed in, California Hotels. This is very important to understand, because search engines make a very clear distinction between content that's about California Hotels versus content relevant for other phrases, like California resorts, or a phrase like California beach holiday.
Search engines are able to understand quite a bit about semantic and thematic connections between words and concepts. Take another example: dog crates. A search engine knows that pages selling dog crates are extremely relevant to that search query, but it also knows that websites about pet carriers are also very relevant. It also knows that a website promoting things like pet food and dog toys might also be relevant to that search query, but perhaps less so.
The other factor that influences search engine exposure is Authority. In other words, out there on the largely lawless World Wide Web, where anyone can post anything, is your website a trusted place on the Internet that the search engines would want to show to their users? One very common way that search engines determine the authority of a web page or a domain is by evaluating what other websites think of you, and this can be measured through the links out there that are pointing to your website. You can think of a link as a vote on the Internet. A web page linking to your website is almost like saying, hey, I trust your content enough that I am wiling to reference your page and possibly even send traffic to your site.
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