Today when someone needs to find information about a product, service or simply to gain information where do they go? According to comScore data statistics for the end of 2013 the highest percentage of searchers turn to Google. Nearly 67 percent of searches were performed on a Google site. The second highest number of searches were performed through a Microsoft site, you would know Bing as that search engine, with just a little over 18 percent. So, now we know where people look for the information they need, but how do the search engines know which information to show in the search results?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the name of the practice of helping web pages, and websites, be discovered by the search robots and to be listed in the search results by the search index process. Someone searching for ice cream, for example, does not want to see stories about just ice or just cream. Understanding how search engines look for, verify, index, and publish this data is the first step in understanding SEO.

Search engines use automated applications called “robots” to find every page published to the internet if they can. They do this through constantly and consistently following links from page to page. Since the web is growing so fast this job is never finished. The robots are controlled programs and they are instructed to look at sites with higher value, first. This value, from Google’s view, is based on something call the Page Rank. The higher the Page Rank the more likely the site is to be trusted by the search engines and the searchers. Page Rank is not something which can easily be tricked because of the increasing abilities of the search algorithm. A search algorithm is a secret list of rules which gives positive value to certain content and practices and a negative value to others.

There are many techniques in SEO and developing a strategy begins with learning what the algorithms like to see, how to increase Page Rank, and understanding how the search index is categorized so that the specific site and pages are presented at the top of the search results. Knowing all of this is the beginning. The fact of it is good, solid, trustworthy, accurate, and share-worthy content is what is required. Couple good content with acceptable and preferred methods of presenting it, including how it is formatted in HTML, and you are on your way to understanding SEO and competing in the game.