Let’s lay out a foundation for SEO by teaching you how pages are indexed in Google. When you publish an article, Google “spiders” (automated software) go into each article and scans the page for “keywords”. These spiders are analyzing everything about that page to determine where to index that page within the billions of pages in the Google search engine. For example, if you go to www.Google.com and search under the keyword phrase “personal development”, you will notice 171,000,000 pages are indexed in Google.
Google will rank a page (article) based on over 200 sets of criteria which can include design elements, programming style, etc. Since Google is scanning your content, you can see the value of trying to give Google as much “help” as possible.
SEO is all about suggesting to Google where to index your content in their search engine. If we want to be indexed under the keyword phrase “personal development” then we need to repeat that keyword phrase very often in our article, thus telling Google this article relates to personal development. Google has the power to place you anywhere it wants. All we can do it optimize our article to suggest to Google where we should be indexed.
If you try to get indexed on the 1st page of search results for the phrase “personal development”, consider that you are competing with entire websites that have dozens of pages which collectively try and rank (or get indexed highly) for that phrase. It would be nearly impossible for one article to compete with that website. It will be much easier to rank well for a “long-tailed keyword phrase”. Instead of personal development (a broad phrase), a long-tailed version would be “personal development techniques for young children”.
The more specific your keyword phrase, the more likely you will rank highly on Google’s search engine for that phrase. The higher you rank (the best spot is page 1 in the top 5 results), the more people will click on your article. The more people that click on your article, the more exposure you get, etc. This will be really fun for you once you’ve optimized a few articles and have seen results!
** A preview from my upcoming SEO Report due to be released Summer 2011.