In This Chapter
PageRank and the art
mong web developers, those who practice Search Engine
Optimization (SEO) are most closely compared to used-
car salesmen. And no wonder: There are many misunder-
standings about this sector and plenty of money to be made.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies have taken advantage of peo-
ple’s naïveté — as well as weaknesses in search engines — to
artificially boost the popularity of some websites.
You won’t find that kind of talk here. SEO is a legitimate and
powerful tool for increasing the likelihood of your website being
found. With the millions of sites out there, you need every advan-
tage you can get. In this chapter, you explore not only ways to
improve your site’s visibility online but also ways in which you
can bring in more traffic.
The Dominance of Google
There can be no doubt about it: When it comes to search engines,
Google is the king. According to comScore’s 2008 Digital Year in
Review, Google ended with 63.5% of the search market. But even
more telling, Google represented 90% of all the growth in search
during 2008. Put another way: Google is already huge and still
growing faster than anyone else.
Google’s PageRank technology is no doubt a large part of its suc-
cess. This is an algorithm that parses all the web pages out there to
find relevant pages in fractions of a second. This can’t be over-
stated: Those pages are almost always the ones that are closest to
what you want. This high degree of relevance is what makes
Google so powerful. It’s also the nut that your website has to crack.
So, when I talk about SEO, I’m almost always going to mean Google
Optimization because that’s where most of your traffic is coming
from. Despite that, much of what I discuss here will help you with
other search engines.
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