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decision makers, decision, management, magazine, books, articles, research, business

Issue No:03/07/3

Search Engines are the most commonly used tools to lookup information on the Internet. Users try to find the best web pages that match their search criteria, whereas the search engines use their inbuilt intelligence to display sites that best meet the criteria. With Search Engine logic being proprietary knowledge, businesses are employing a diverse set of optimization tools and technologies to appear as top search results.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is described as a process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engines using organic search results.

Better ranking and placement on the search results is the final objective of any business interested in search engine marketing. In a fierce competition, simply adding META tags and search engine submissions would not seek first-page results. Proper search optimization requires knowing the keywords and criterion used by competitors and customers, along with a good knowledge of Search Engine Optimization mechanisms like link popularity.

Search Optimization Process Overview
Figure 1: Search Optimization Process Overview
Link Popularity
Link popularity is factored into search engine algorithms like Google's Page Rank technology. Search engines use link popularity to determine if a site is popular based on links that point to that site or any page in that site from other websites. Due to the increasing emphasis on link popularity, improving the number and quality of inbound and outbound links can help a business improve search engine rankings.
Quality Links

Quality links have a high content relevancy between connecting websites. Anchor text is used to concisely and correctly describe the content relevancy of a link, and help determine if it's a quality link. Anchor text needs to be meaningful and relevant both with regard to internal and external links to your site.

Businesses can benefit from understanding the basics of establishing good links. Ability to determine if others have linking to your site is invaluable information and knowing if the search engines know about those links, can result in improved search result rankings. Content and quality of a site linking to yours and the other sites can determine link popularity level as well, so businesses may need to establish more quality links or get rid of badly placed link.

Using design code in association with hyper reference tag to inform search engines that a link need not be followed or counted can emphasize understanding of good links. Furthermore, it can inform the search engines that a link could be more appropriate for additional information, but may not be completely relevant to your site. The search engines reward apparent attempts to design site for users.

Back Links

Determining back links, also known as inbound links can help a website determine if another sites have links that link to them. Knowledge of back links can help decide if more quality links should be established.

A website needs to research into areas that are related to their business or services. Awareness of your external environment i.e. customers, competitors and knowledge of inbound and outbound links is required in establishing quality links. If other sites have pertinent information to your site then it's advisable to want to establish a connection with them to have a link from their site to yours.

Link Partners

Establishing a link partner can also form a quality link partner. Link partners are created by having reciprocal links between your website and others who have completely relevant content. Having a link partner, however, requires an ongoing effort to ensure that the link partner exists, and continues to be content and keyword relevant to yours.

Most importantly, the search engines need to be aware of the established quality links on website. All pages of a website and those referring to you need to be indexed by submitting pages that contain your reference to the search engines. Submission of pages on a regular basis can help a website improve link popularity, and result in top search results.

SEO Implementation Life Cycle
Figure 2: SEO Implementation Life Cycle
Web site link popularity can be measured by the number of times a particular site or page is linked to. Internet users can find a particular website and/or link if it contains meaningful and exclusive information.

A market or business can determine various different ways to develop your site into a “link magnet”. Keeping sites and links focused, knowing who is paying attention to you, and whom you want attention from can help you gain popularity if you have quality links.

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