Internet Marketing: 101
Figuring out how to push your site to the top of the search results is akin to a race to the top of the mountain in the technological age. There are many rules to follow and many pitfalls to avoid. The survival of a blog or internet business often depends on getting there first and staying there. What is less clear is how exactly to get there, how to make sure that the mysterious search algorithms decide to hoist you up by the shoulders and place your site at the summit.
The journey to the top begins with a word: a keyword. When people search for a keyword, the search algorithms have a process by which they determine which sites are the most suitable matches. They try and determine, in other words, whether this or that site is relevant to what you were looking for. Choosing the keywords to emphasize requires careful research. Some keywords are so formatted that the amount of money required to make any headway is awful, while other keywords are so niche that getting to the number one search result for that keyword is illegally to make your site any money. There are several keyword research tools out there to help you make these kinds of determinations.
If you are trying to market your brand-new monkey disintegrator, for example, you want to put the keyword (monkey disintegrator) into the title tag, which is one of the most important places as far as search engine optimization is concerned. The title of each result is the first thing a user sees when performing a search, so it is also the first impression you are giving to the searcher. Other good places to put the keyword, assuming you have just exploded onto the monkey disintegrator market, are in the URL, in headings, at the beginning of a document, in anchor text and sprinkled liberally through the document itself. Search engines also look for how closely the keywords are to one another, so keyword density becomes another important factor in search engine optimization.
How your site is linked is another important item for search engines. If you are linked to a lot of other sites, and many other sites are linked to yours, the engines assume your site is an important hub of information on the subject. It is called the Internet for a reason, and this is it. The shape of the whole system depends on sites sending out threads to other sites. Those with the most threads are considered integral to that part of the network. If everyone is coming to you looking for information on monkey disintegrators, the search engines figure you are the go-to site for that topic. And up you go, to the top of the search results heap. This so-called link authority is, in general, more important than placement of keywords on the page and other keyword tricks.
There are other old tricks, too, like font size and formatting (big bold words are deemed more important). While these can certainly help, a person can get lost on the mountain trying to figure out all the tricks. The most important thing is having good, original content, and making people want to find you and link to you. That is the big secret to getting to the top of the search results. If you do create something good, others lift you right to the peak with their links.