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Search Engine Optimization Basics
All search engines that crawl and examine a website use secret formulas to rank pages and websites, but they do look for some basic things. If you can optimize your website then search engines may rank them higher. Search engine optimization is important, more than it ever was because of the millions of websites and pages each sifts through. If you have the basics in place, you will have a better placement when research results occur.
For basics, what you write does matter. It is all about content, recent and fresh content that is related to your website. Do the pages contain keywords that search engines look for when crawling, is the reader willing to stay on the page longer than a few seconds? Have you found what the best keywords are by using Google? Make sure your content is meaningful and useful to others but related to your website page. Add photos, videos to enhance the visit and to make the reader stay longer. The use of podcasts also adds value to the website and reader.
Make sure your website\page use Meta tags that tell the engine what it is about, make sure HTML tags use keywords in them (the same applies to HTML headers and sub-headers). Also, make sure your website is structured and organized and be careful not to overuse keywords because if you do, the engine may give it a lower score. Make sure your site loads quickly and that any URL's in them contain a keyword, if possible. One should not use keywords more than 10 times on a page as a general rule.
Search engines like outside links to your page or website but the links must be real and not fake ones. Search engines can detect these and if a site has too many, a red flag tells the engine to verify that the links are valid. If a site has been around for sometime, it scores higher and the site should identify itself and its authors.
Having social media like Twitter or Facebook link to the website is valuable, especially if many link to it or recommend it. Ironically, the country, city and how many visitors go to your site also play in a search engine's ranking of your site.
Spamming or ripping off content from other sites will reduce your overall ranking in search engine results, which is something you do not want. Likewise, buying links to improve your search engine ranking is frowned upon.
Of course, some of this requires the website owner to read the HTML code and make the necessary changes or have someone do it for you.