Search Engine Optimization

As you’ve seen, you have an exhaustive range of options for getting the word out
about your site. You can share your posts, publicize them, use email notifications,
and tweet the heck out of everything. All these techniques share something in common—
each one is a type of social networking, where you use connections to people
you already know to reach out just a bit further.
There’s another way to get people to your site, but it’s more difficult and less fun.
You can try to attract complete strangers when they run a web search for content
related to your site. To perform this trick, you need to understand search engine
optimization (SEO), which is the sometimes cryptic art of getting web search engines
like Google to notice you.
The goal is to make your site appear in a highly ranked position for certain searches.
For example, if your WordPress site covers dog breeding, you’d like web searchers
to find your site when they type dog breeding into Google. The challenge is that
for any given search, your site competes with millions of others that share the same
search keywords. If Google prefers those sites, your site will be pushed farther down
in the search results, until even the most enthusiastic searcher won’t spot you. And
if searchers can’t find you on Google, you lose a valuable way to attract fresh faces
to your site.
Next, you’ll learn a bit more about how search engines like Google work, and you’ll
consider how you can help your site rise up the rankings of a web search.
NOTE In the following sections, you spend a fair bit of time learning about Google. Although Google isn’t
the only search engine on the block, it’s far and away the most popular, with a staggering 80 percent (or more)
of worldwide web-search traffic. For that reason, it makes sense to consider Google first, even though most of the
search engine optimization techniques you’ll see in this chapter apply to all the major search engines, including
Bing, Yahoo, and even Baidu, the kingpin of web search in China.

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Search Engine Optimization

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