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Is Search Engine Optimization Optimizing Itself?

Jul 3, 2008
When I started doing search engine optimization, the term had not even been defined. Before intuitive search engine spiders employed filters with AI (artificial intelligence like prowess), the semantic web and phrase based information retrieval were only concepts in the minds of fledgling engineers.

Now, the reality is, SEO (an acronym for search engine optimization) is the culmination of testing, analysis and conclusion through heuristic trial and error.

Instead of gibberish, thats to search engines like Google, you can find relevant sites on any topic by just adding a few keywords in a search query. This is not magic, just layers of layers of theory, programming time and intention from some of the brightest minds to deliver such a simple solution to those in need of information on a topic.

The good news is, through assessing the variables through a battery of tests, certain components to the ranking algorithm leave traces and trails behind that reveal insights to the form and function they serve.

As a result, SEO's involved in search engine optimization are able to align content from existing or new pages in a site to have greater appeal to the functions of the algorithm, as a result the target pages rank higher than unoptimized content (which can be nebulous, off topic or not structured properly to reach maximum impact).

For example, aside from content, which is the first aspect of optimization, chronology plays a major role in who, what and why a site ranks in the top 10. Timing is one of the more advanced techniques in SEO, using geriocracy (the component that assesses seniority of content)one can elevate fresh content indefinitely through leveraging it with authority links from established (top 10 ranking content).

Although many search engine results gain immunity from being grandfathered into certain results (since they made the cut when the 1.0 version of the algorithm was intact). From time to time search engines assess the gap between the old and the new content, shake things up a bit and restructure their index to provide the most relevant result.

If you understand this, even through a group of search results may seem beyond the horizon or out of reach to your existing scope of relevance, you can in fact chip away systematically to achieve a high ranking position (particularly if the results at the top have their guard down).

The reason being, quality is the crowning achievement or relevance. If you have 100 pages on a topic and your competition only has 10 and the quality of information on your pages has greater depth, more reach, additional uplinks to other sources, such a wikipedia, [dot]govs (government sites), or edu's (schools or institutions of knowledge), then your content will secure a higher relevance score.

Relevance score is what determines who remains in the top 1000 searches and where they land when the query is done fetching results from the bin (the storage cloud containing every update from your and well as thousands of domains on the topic).

Your quality score impacts the relevance factor, the thoroughness of the content, the link popularity and collective value others attribute to the page "folksonomy" (how others see your content).

If the page in question still measures up (based all existing semantically related sites in the niche, then the site or page in question maintain visibility in the search engines first top 3 pages. To make it to the top 10, it's more about refinement and finesse for more competitive terms, for less competitive terms it is like plucking the low hanging fruit and accruing top 10 after top 10 to make your traffic more robust as a result.

Competition is always present, if there is demand attached to the query and keywords (which is nearly always the case), then you can rest assured that until you reach the summit of the keywords a gradual decline of ranking is natural.

After your page and site gain enough internal link weight (relevance through interlinking your pages and context using modifiers and keywords) then it can defend itself from fluctuations that are constantly assessing each search result.

This constant flux known as the "Everflux" or "Google Dance" is responsible for ensuring that the content indexed in search engines still holds weight and relevance in the present tense.

Understanding how this component of the algorithm functions, what it looks for (trust, age, authority, link popularity, etc.) is one of the most important components of search engine optimization.

Without understanding why functions exist, you are just using a shot in the dark approach to optimization. On the contrary, through due diligence and a penchant for research, you can uncover traces and trails of raw data based on the top 5 competitors in the top ranking results.

Trails like the age of their site, when it was registered and where, the age of the page that ranks well, how many internal links the page has from your site, how many supporting pages the site has on the topic and numerous, who links to the page, the site and with what keywords? and through assessing various other tactics you can reconstruct an SEO campaign.

While many of the traces are valid, calculating authority (a by product of dozens of key factors) is not as easy.

Authority sites are sites that have proven their worth as a resource for that niche and have the ability to serve as hubs or thought leaders that can shape the industry (or at least how search engines gather the data about that industry).

Although this is another topic entirely, relevance is the first step, building authority (instead of just links) is the next crucial stage in maturing your site into a veritable resource that is "the go-to" site for anything related to the topic on your pages.

SEO and search engine marketing are only a means to an end, the fact is, the online experience still boils down to subjective emotion about a topic. So, if your content fails to hit the mark, it doesn't matter how you drive traffic, the back button is always there in the event that your content misses the mark. So, SEO is great, but make sure you have something worth saying before you go invest in bringing the crux of the web to bare on your site.
About the Author
Jeffrey L. Smith is an seasoned search engine optimization expert and founder of SEO Design Solutions SEO Company. Jeffrey has been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings fresh optimization methods and search engine optimization services to businesses seeking organic search engine placement.
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