In today's rapidly changing and evolving web industry, every aspect is being viewed from a material angle and is thought to be a money generating area of Internet marketing. Among these aspects, web traffic is a stand alone matter and, since recently, it has been overlooked due to the rather poor development of the web itself. Webmasters have realized its enormous potential and have tried different methods to optimize the results to the fullest; by far the most effective has proven to be a process known as SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO), considered by many to be a subset of search engine marketing, is a term used to portray the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engines, usually in organic or algorithmic search results. Many site holders and consultants engaging in SEO try to follow qualified visitors to a site, and the quality of visitor traffic can be measured by how often a visitor using a specific keyword phrase leads to a desired conversion action, such as making a purchase, viewing or downloading a certain page, requesting further information, signing up for a newsletter, or taking some other specific action.
Creating web pages with SEO in mind does not automatically mean creating substance more encouraging to algorithms than human visitors. Some SEO efforts may involve optimizing a site's coding, presentation, and structure, without making very obvious changes to human visitors, such as incorporating a clear hierarchical structure to a site, and avoiding or fixing problems that might keep search engine indexing programs from entirely spidering a site. Additional, more perceptible efforts, involve including unique content on pages that can be easily indexed and extracted from those pages by search engines while also appealing to human visitors.
At first, all a webmaster needed to do was submit a page, to the various engines which would send a spider to "crawl" that page, extract links to other pages from it, and return information found on the page to be indexed. The procedure involves a search engine spider downloading a page and stocking it up on the search engine's own server, where a second program, known as an indexer, extracts various information about the page, such as the terms it contains and where these are positioned, as well as any weight for precise words, and any and all links the page contains, which are then placed into a scheduler for crawling at a later time.
SEO, as a marketing strategy, can often generate a very good return. However, as the search engines are not paid for the traffic they send from organic search, the algorithms used can and do change; there are no assurances of success, either in the short or long term. Increased visitors is equivalent to amplified foot traffic in retail advertising. Increased traffic may be damaging to success if the site is not ready to handle the traffic or visitors are generally displeased with what they find. In either case increased traffic does not promise increased sales or success. While attempting to meet the guidelines posted by search engines can help build a solid foundation for success on the web, such efforts are only a start. Further efforts have to be made in order to keep and improve the whole system of functions and processes that SEO creates.
In addition, while SEO can be considered an independent marketing approach, it is often considered (in the view of industry experts) to be a single part of a greater whole. Marketing through other methods, such as viral, pay-per-click, new media marketing and other related ways is by no means irrelevant, and indeed, can be critical to maintaining a sturdy search engine rank. In conclusion, SEO is a must for each self-respecting site and every webmaster must integrate this method into his websites for it offers great advantages in the long run, and most importantly, it helps to improve the marketing segment of the Internet for everybody.