Search Engine Optimization Demystified

Nothing has captured the imagination of companies doing business on the Internet in the past five years more than search engine technology. Consumers have also embraced this technology because it lets them navigate the vast amounts of data available on the Internet. Companies such as Google, Yahoo and MSN have created wildly popular and extremely valuable online empires simply by providing relevant links to online information.

Independent car rental companies generally grasp the importance of their Web site's pages ranking high in search engines for keywords related to car rental in the cities where they operate. What's not as widely understood is how to accomplish this.

The major search engine companies are Google, Yahoo, and MSN. As of May 2004, Google had 36.8% of all search referrals, Yahoo 26.6%, MSN 14.5% and all others combined for 21.1 %, according to Websidestory. Computer Industry Almanac projects that 1.07 billion people will be online in 2005, and these computer users are expected to produce more than 325 million queries per day.

How Search Engines Work

The term search engine is often used to describe a wide variety of search services. The most common are search crawlers, human-powered directories, and pay-per-click search engines. While Yahoo introduced its own crawler-based engine in 2004, the company's success was built upon its human-powered directory. As in most top directories like and, Yahoo uses editors to review sites and post them to appropriate directories. Some directories are free, while others like Yahoo have a listing/review fee.

Pay-per-click search engines like Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions supply links to sites that have had site owners bid on keywords related to their products or services. With search engine optimization for crawler-based engines, you need to understand the main components of a crawler-based system.

CONTINUED:  Search Engine Optimization Demystified
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