Understanding Organic Search Engine Optimization 101

by Eric Peterson (February 6, 2012) ericpetersongalleries.com

The other day, I received an email from someone wanting to try and sell their search engine optimization (SEO) services to my clients.  I normally ignore these solicitations, but this time, for some reason I responded.

I responded by thanking them for their offer, but my clients weren’t in need of their services.  I explained that I build quality websites that are search engine optimized through every stage of development.  I explained that my sites have very good rankings in the search engines. (I also looked over their website and offered my assistance)

This person responded back, trying to tell me that page optimization is a thing of the past, and that without somebody like them submitting their site every month, my clients were probably getting no traffic.  He also stated that since they sold nothing on their website, they didn’t need traffic.

I conceded that there was indeed a market out there for his services.  But that’s only because there are so many bad sites out there.

SEO in Very Simple Terms...

In very simple terms, search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, and others send out little robots and spiders to crawl websites, looking for information that would be relevant in search results.  When the spider or robot find this relevant information, they report back to the search engine.  Think of this information as “food”.

This “food” consists of quality page titles, page descriptions, and keywords.  These are also known as metadata.  All this information needs to be relevant to the page’s actual content (the stuff that people actually see when they visit the website).  If all these bits of “food” are plentiful and quality, they go further into the content of the page.  There are certain ways to create and format these things, but we’ll talk about that another time.

If a website is built with these considerations in mind, you really need only submit the site once, just to let the search engines know that the website is out there.  The search engine sends out it’s robots and spiders to crawl the site to find that their “food’ is plentiful and of good quality.  They send back the results and return for more.  They return over and over again, just because the “food” is good. 

Submission NOT Optimization

Now, these SEO companies are able to make their money, just because there are so many bad websites out there that offer no “food” for the search engine’s spiders and robots.  Many of these companies really don’t sell search engine optimization, but search engine submission.

They need to resubmit these websites monthly.  Basically, they tell the search engine that the site is there, and they tell the search engine what’s contained on the website.  The little spiders and robots visit the site to be sure that it’s there, but there is no “food”.  No relevant information for them to send back to the search engine.  Do they go back?  No.  Just because there’s nothing there to feed upon.

Because there’s no “food” for these search spiders and robots, these outside SEO companies need to resubmit the site over and over.  They basically try and trick the spiders and robots into thinking that there might actually be something there to feed upon.

So, in the end, website owners have a couple options… build a quality website from the start, and probably pay a little more up front.  Or, go on the cheap, then pay some company monthly for the life of the website.

One last little editorial...  

In reference to the gentleman’s claim that they didn’t need traffic, because they didn’t sell anything on their website.

Everyone who has a website is trying to sell something.  It may be a physical product, it may be a service, or it might be to disseminate information.  Sometimes it’s not to actually sell a product, but promote your business and build credibility.  In absolutely every case, there is a reason this website is out there...  to reach an audience.  Otherwise, why would anyone take the time and expense of having a website?  

This gentleman that I referred to earlier was selling a service.  I looked up their website to see how credible they were.  I would have thought that a company marketing search engine optimization for websites would have a search engine optimized website.