Search Engine Optimization

Essentially, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) determines how website behaviors impact search engine results. When certain words and phrases are searched knowing SEO will help improve your sites ranking in the search results. For businesses that don’t want to pay for their sites to appear first (paid results) using SEO will boost the site visibility in organic or unpaid results. This post will discuss the theory behind SEO and then recommend different strategies to improve a site’s optimization or its visibility.

According to Michael Martinez, president of a web marketing and consulting company, SEO has four laws:

  1. For every searchable ecosystem, there are three sets of arbitrary criteria that determine the outcome of any search operation.
  2. The result of any search function is determined by the inseparable union of the three perspectives.
  3. Search engines seek or tend towards optimum use.
  4. A search ecosystem transits through states of diminishing conflict towards perfect agreement.

At first these laws seem like a bunch of nonsense, but essentially what you need to know is that there are three perspectives to what Martinez calls the “Searchable Web Ecosystem”. Any of the three members or perspectives, Publishers, Indexers, and Searchers, can influence the content, quality, and outcome of search engine results.

We can master SEO by understanding the algorithm search engines use to sort through all of the different webpages that exist. The algorithm focuses on five different aspects of websites: words, title, links, words in links, and reputation. The algorithm analyzes the words and title of your site and connects with similar search queries. Search engines use the official title or the coded title of your page and not the public title. Links help with optimization by driving traffic to your site because they usually exist as a recommendation. Search engines notice when other sites have links to your page so the more links you have to your page the higher your ranking. The algorithm also uses words in links to connect pages with search queries. For example, linking the word “Pittsburgh” on a website will contribute to the site appearing when a search query includes that word. A site with a good reputation will have a higher ranking. To have a good reputation a site needs new and engaging content regularly.

Social media is essential to improving a sites SEO because it functions to promote content. In her article for HootSuite, Kristina Cisnero describes five ways that social media contributes to optimization:

  1. Search engines use Twitter stats to organize sites. For example, Google uses content from Twitter that generated a lot of traction when indexing all of the new content that appears hourly online.
  2. Just as links to your site that appear on other sites improves your SEO do does social sharing. Every time someone shares a link to your site, they contribute to your sites SEO.
  3. You can boost your authority and establish credibility for your site with a strong social media presence.
  4. Although no one really uses Google+ (check out the infographic to the right), Google loves people who do. Spend some time improving your Google+ page and Google will reward you. fvg
  5. Search engines don’t just focus on keywords on websites anymore. Google is looking at the content you share instead of the number of keywords you can include into a post.

And here’s a fun infographic with tips for improving SEO in 2015:


Raechelle Landers


4 thoughts on “Search Engine Optimization

  1. Raechelle,

    I really enjoyed your post. You took a very complicated topic and created a simple, well written piece about search engine optimization. I especially liked your comments about the importance of social media to keep a page relevant. You mentioned Twitter stats influencing search engine content. Does this occur for other social media platforms? If a company posts on Pinterest or Instagram more frequently than Twitter, will the same results occur? Social media being crucial to search engine optimization further emphasizes the need for current and consistent social media in a professional setting.


    • Raechelle,

      First of all I’m glad you were able to figure out the blog, sorry I couldn’t be of more help! SEO is definitely the key to the success for many up and coming businesses, and knowing what it is and how to use it, is a huge selling point. I am hoping to land a job as a recruiter after college, and was recently introduced to a new kind of SEO for sourcing candidates on LinkedIn, called boolean searching. In case anyone is interested I’ll share the details below, since it ties in nicely with our conversation from last week in class.

      Just like SEO improves a websites . Boolean searches rely on specific modifiers to help you find results more closely related to the types of profiles you need to find. You can build search strings in the Keywords, Title, Name and Company fields during an advanced search. The modifiers you can include in *LinkedIn Recruiter are quotes, parenthesis, AND, OR, and NOT. *LinkedIn Recruiter is a special function of Linked’In solely designed for company recruiters to contact potential candidates and manage a pipeline of talent. If anyone is interested in learning more about this let me know!

      -Sarah Cinski


    • Hey Raechelle!

      I think that SEO is really interesting, good choice!
      I would like to know more about how Google shows preference to Google + users. Are they using it as a type of bribe to get more people and companies to use their network?

      -Rachel Butch


  2. In the loud, crowded world of the Internet, it won’t be long until mastery of SEO is no longer a convenient skill to know — it’ll be absolutely vital to the success of a web page.

    I think that the note about using Google+ (“Although no one really uses Google+ (check out the infographic to the right), Google loves people who do. Spend some time improving your Google+ page and Google will reward you.”) can be used in conjunction with ideas about net neutrality. Although this is obviously a loose example of the term, the idea that such a powerful search engine like Google could show obvious favoritism to its own networks is both fascinating and scary for businesses. It’s especially interesting considering that Google stayed noticeably silent about net neutrality for such a long time before finally issuing a statement: “No Internet access provider should block or degrade Internet traffic, nor should they sell ‘fast lanes’ that prioritize particular Internet services over others.” Although web pages are clearly not Internet service providers, it’s still a worthwhile comparison (considering the struggle for companies to prioritize their pages)!

    Here’s the link:

    -Jess Hair


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