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What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?


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SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines. All major search engines such asGoogleYahoo and Bing have such results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved, as it is with paid search ads.

Start With A Movie!

New to SEO? Why not take three minutes and watch our video introduction to search engine optimization? It’ll quickly cover the basics:

Search Engine Land worked with Common Craft to produce the video, and they have many more great explainer videos like this in the Common Craft video library, so check that out!

More Advice For Newbies

For more basic but also in-depth advice, our Periodic Table Of SEO Ranking Factors, shown below, introduces you to all the key concepts you need to know:

You can click on the table to view a larger version of it. You can download a copy to print for easy reference!

Search Engine Land’s Guide To SEO

As a companion to the table, Search Engine Land’s Guide To SEO explains the ranking factors in more depth, in a tutorial providing tips and advice on implementing them. Links to the entire guide are shown below (start at the beginning, and each page will take you to the next):

TIP: If you’re a Search Engine Land member, the Search Engine Land Guide To SEO is available as a downloadable eBook. It’s just one of many benefits you get. Not a member? Consider signing-up!

More Guides & Books

Another excellent guide is Google’s “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.” This is a free PDF download that covers basic tips that Google provides to its own employees on how to get listed. You’ll find it here.

Also well worth checking out is SEOmoz’s “Beginner’s Guide To SEO,” which you’ll find here, and the SEO Success Pyramid from Small Business Search Marketing.

There are also a variety of print books you might consider. Here’s our review of some newer books: A Roundup Of Best SEO Books.

SEO Resources From Around The Web

There are a number of blogs and forums that focus heavily on SEO topics, including: aimClearBlogstormBruce Clay BlogDavid NaylorEric WardFire Horse TrailHigh Rankings ForumJohn AndrewsMatt CuttsMichael GrayMikkel deMib SvendsenNine By BlueOutspoken MediaSearch CowboysSearch Engine GuideSearch Engine JournalSearch Engine LandSearch Engine WatchSebastian’s PamphletsSEOmozSEOoptimizeSEO By The SeaSEO BookSEO CopywritingSEO GadgetStone TempleThe Link SpielWebProNews and WebmasterWorld.

Looking for an easy-to-scan compilation of SEO news? Check out Alltop. For compilations of the best articles on search engine optimization in a given year, visit The Semmys.

At Search Engine Roundtable, you’ll discover a regular compilation of important discussions happening on a variety of search marketing forums. For definitions about terms like SEO and other technological issues, check out Webopedia.

Don’t forget to take our free SearchCap newsletter! SearchCap provides a recap of all the day’s SEO-related news from sources all over the web.

Search Engine Land Columns

Search Engine Land has a variety of columns that cover SEO issues mainly from an in-the-trenches perspective:

The SEO Library is an area within Search Engine Land that provides a collection of all stories we’ve written on the topic of SEO. We also have sub-categories, including:

Also see our related Link Building category and these sub-categories:

In addition to covering SEO generally, Search Engine Land also has search engine optimization areas specifically for each of the major search engines:

Also within our library is the How To: SEO section, which is devoted to practical tips and tactics about search engine optimization.

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