This is the first post in a series on search engine optimization (SEO). I will be looking at key SEO factors identified by the SEOmoz.org consulting group and pitting them against Magnolia CMS, a Web content management system.
This series should be interesting to online marketers, people employing web communications, and anyone looking to increase their site rank. Download all posts in a single PDF.
What is SEO?
The purpose of SEO is to enhance the volume and quality of traffic directed to a website via search engine results. Search engines aim to provide users with the most relevant results, while webmasters attempt to tweak their sites in order to move it up in the rankings and attract profitable, organic traffic. SEO began in the early 1990s, and quickly degenerated into a tug of war between search engines and webmasters. For each new weighting factor introduced by the engines, crafty webmasters invented means to circumvent it. As a result, many undeserving sites achieved high rank at the expense of great sites providing valuable information. The Web became cluttered with content designed to satisfy the engines as opposed to users.
Today, SEO is practiced in a more cooperative environment in which search engines provide advice to webmasters. The engines will probably never fully disclose the algorithms that drive their crawlers, but the fundamentals of SEO are firmly established.
Google is the dominant player, with more than 80% of the search market, followed by Bing, Yahoo, AOL and Ask, according to the findings of statowl.com:
Coming up next
In subsequent posts I will cover the following SEO best practices:
- W3C compliant code
- Restricting crawler access
- Search-engine friendly URLs
- Shallow site architecture
- HTML links
- Preventing broken links
- Categorizing content
- Redirecting traffic
- Optimizing images
- Managing multi-language and multi-regional sites
- Keywords in page titles and meta elements
- Link popularity