All this information about search engines has one purpose — to show you how they work, so that you can put them to work for you. Throughout this book, you’ll find various strategies for optimising your web site so it appears high in search engine rankings when relevant searches are performed. But this requires that you know how to put search engines to work for you.
Search engine optimisation is essentially the science of designing your web site to maximise your search engine rankings. This means that all of the elements of your web site are created with the goal of obtaining high search engine rankings.
Those elements include:
- Entry and exit pages
- Page titles
- Site content
- Web site structure
In addition to these elements, however, you also have to consider things like keywords, links, HTML, and meta-tagging. Even after you have all the elements of your page optimised for search-engine friendliness, there are other things to consider.
For example, you can have all the right design elements included in your web pages and still have a relatively low search engine ranking. Factors such as advertising campaigns and update frequencies also affect your SEO efforts.
All of this means that you should understand that the concept of search engine optimisation is not based on any single element. Instead, search engine optimisation is based on a vast number of elements and strategies. And it’s an ongoing process that doesn’t end once your web site is live.
SEO is a living, breathing concept of maximising the traffic that your web site generates, and because it is, that means that it’s a constantly moving target. If you’ve ever played a game of Whack-a-Mole, you can understand how difficult search engine optimisation is to nail. In the game, a little mole pops up out of a hole. Your job is to whack the mole on the top of the head before it disappears back down the hole and appears in another.
Search engine optimisation is much the same concept. Search engines are constantly changing, so the methods and strategies used to achieve high search engine rankings must also change. As soon as that little mole pops up in one hole, he disappears and then reappears in another.
It’s a frustrating game, but given enough time and concentration, you can become very good at it.