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Search Engine Optimization: Science or Art?

Author: Emran Rashid

A beginner's guide to understanding the fundamentals of search engine optimization

Contrary to what you have read, legitimate companies do exist and have proven methods to bring your webpage to a higher ranking on search engines like Google and Bing.

So what's their secret? If you are like me you are one of many who are trying to find this top secret manual on search engine optimization in order to emulate what these companies do. The truth is no such manual exists. With the amount of research I've done, and with the amount of knowledge and experience that I possess, if this manual existed I would have already found it. And even if it didn't exist and the knowledge was out there, I would have created it.

There is no ‘how to' manual on search engine optimization yet companies exist that bring about high search engine rankings. What gives?

The reason why there is no ‘how to' manual on search engine optimization is because a complete SEO manual, if properly written, would be just too darn complicated. You are probably wondering why your website is positioned on the 57th page of Google for a certain keyword and your friend's website is positioned on the 8th page of Google for the same keyword? Is it because Google took a look at your friend's page and liked it better than yours? Not exactly. There is no way that Google can manually look at each and every new page and determine which websites it likes better than others. It would take a massive Google staff to undergo something like that. Google uses what we SEO guys refer to as ‘spiders' or ‘crawlers' that does this for them. The spiders automatically take in information such as ‘meta tags' and the number of external links that are pointing to your website to determine how established and popular your website is and position it accordingly in their search engine.

Why doesn't Google or other search engines give us their criteria so we can all optimize our website and live happily ever after?

1. Google uses extremely complex algorithms to take in all of the relevant search engine information to determine the positioning of your website. These algorithms are so complex that even Google employees wouldn't be able to tell you the whole formula if they wanted to.

2. Even if Google did know the whole formula, they wouldn't let it out because they would prefer an internet where the most established and most popular websites are ranked the highest, according to their own algorithms. Although if done properly, search engine optimization is completely ‘white hat' and legal, it is a way of manipulating a system that Google has taken years to come up with.

3. Much like the internet itself, the algorithms that determine website positioning are always changing. Google is constantly tweaking their algorithms to accommodate new factors that affect SERPs on the web.

How do Search Engine Optimizers do it then?

Search engine experts, therefore, manipulate your website (and other websites) to comply with all of the known search engine criteria to rank your website. How do we experts figure out the known criteria? Much like a science experiment, search engine optimizers come up with a hypothesis and test it. If we determine that a sample of 100 websites that use h1 tags rank higher 30% more often than another sample of 100 websites that do not use h1 tags, we conclude that h1 tags helps to optimize your website. The more experienced we become in search engine optimization, the better we are at coming up with these hypotheses.

Search Engine Optimization: Science or Art?

The truth is that search engine optimization is both a science and an art. We don't know enough about it to systematize it to the point where we can call it an exact science. Consequently, there is no ‘how to' manual on search engine optimization. However, the scientific method is used to prove which criteria search engines use to determine website ranking at a given point in time.

Like other forms of art such as fashion and music, SEO ‘experts' are constantly adjusting with the times. We play with different techniques and constantly adjust to the way people are finding their products, services and interests online. For this reason, SEO optimizers are also considered artists because they must think outside the box when trying out the best SEO techniques.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/internet-marketing-articles/

About the Author

Emran Rashid


Search Engine Optimization, Online Marketing. Web marketing companies

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