How Does SEO Work?

SEO is essentially a way to get “organic” listings in SERPS (search engine results pages). When someone uses a search engine website such as Google, Yahoo, or Ask.com, the search engine returns results for that search term in order of relevance. Search engines determine relevance based on a number of factors. The point of SEO is to optimize your website to give as many cues as possible to search engines so that they consider your site relevant to its users.

SEO is different from paid search ads. Though ads do appear in search results, those spaces aren’t considered organic.

In SEO circles you hear a lot about on-page and off-page SEO. When you modify your website for optimization reasons, this is on-page SEO. Any SEO you do outside of your website is off-page. You should use a combination of on-page and off-page techniques, since search engines use both to rank the relevance of your website. Shareable content can instantly be shared from the same web page with things like social share buttons and an “email this” option. This is because when people share your content across the web, search engines use the links back to your website, called back links, as indication of your website’s relevance.

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