Search engine optimization is a class of interrelated techniques that serve to increase the positioning of a web site in the search results of the major internet search engines. Since most users find the information that they need via the major search engines such as those provided by Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL, the rank of the internet site in the search engine results is a very important factor in determining how many web surfers will find and view the page.

There are a number of techniques that can be employed when using search engine optimization. One of the primary ways that web masters use search engine optimization is to increase the number and placement of key words on the web site that customers are likely to use when searching for goods and services offered by the web site. Many search engines index a page based on key word phrases and oftentimes add value if the key word appears within a certain concentration range. The caveat here is that many search engines will lower the web page ranking if the keyword appears too many times since this is perceived as an attempt to fool the search engine. Keyword search engine optimization uses not only keyword concentration but also keyword placement. Many search engines place higher emphasis on key word phrases that are placed in web page titles and HTML header tags.

Another method of SEO is to increase the number of links to the web site being optimized. Most search engine companies design their algorithms with the assumption that a page that is highly linked to is more likely to offer quality content then one that has no links to it. Many web masters took advantage of this assumption by using link exchange programs to increase the number of links to their site. For this reason, many search engines now devalue two way links in favor of one way links. This means that a major goal of modern search engine optimization is the creation and maintenance of one way links.

Since one of the main goals of the search engine optimization specialist is to increase the number of one way links, a number of methods have been developed to accomplish this goal. One great way to create one way links is to provide testimonials on web sites. These testimonials will often feature a link to the testimonial provider’s web site. Another way to create one way links is to make postings on internet message boards and include the web page URL in the signature line.

Search engine optimization is a vital component of any internet marketing strategy. By positioning a web page to rank highly in search engine results, it is possible to increase the number of visitors to the web site.

Dustin Cannon