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What is Search Engine Positioning?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Search engine positioning can be defined in two ways. First it may occasionally describe the place in which your website will fall in search engine page rankings, although this may be more accurately termed rank or search engine position. Second, it can refer to the numerous ways in which programmers can improve position of their page in rankings, which may also be called search engine optimization (SEO). SEO tends to be the more common title.

When a page is listed in a search engine, it will naturally get more traffic if it is one of the first pages listed on a search engine return page (SERP). Some companies charge money to be listed among the first few returns and others list by organic results. Rank helps determine how far up the list any given page is, and each search engine has its own ranking criteria, which determines the position of pages.

More generally, search engine positioning is the specific act of designing a page to improve its ranking with a search engine. This is a complex process because of the different standards applied to rank by each individual search engine. Due to its complexity some companies offer search engine positioning services to help redesign websites to improve their rankings. It isn’t always necessary to hire a company to improve search engine positioning. There are many tips that may be employed in order to increase rank.

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First among these tips is using repetition of keywords that are likely to be searched by people interested in the subject of a website. Along with keyword repetition, programmers create title tags with high use keywords, and page description meta-tags. Some search engines ignore tags, but others still use them as a means of indexing pages.

Quality of pages can’t be ignored, and although web crawlers may initially rank pages, actual people at search engine companies can review pages too. Pages should be well written, contain interesting material and be organized well. Using a page for each highly searchable keyword is one way to improve search engine positioning. Pages also need to be free of most things that would generate complaints like pornography or profanity in excess,

One of the big determining factors in page rank is inbound links. These are other independent websites that link to a webpage. Part of quality search engine positioning means increasing inbound links to a website, preferably from pages with high ranking. Many people seek out links from related sites that are not on exactly the same topic. A site on general dentistry, for instance, might want to have inbound links from oral surgery and orthodontistry sites.

A few other things that are useful in search engine positioning include regular site updates. Blogs are good for this purpose. Broken links to other sites should be removed immediately, and sites in general should be kept in good repair and not ignored. Ranking on search engines is usually regularly updated, so it helps to keep a site in perfect working order.

Some people don’t have time to perform regular updates or keep pages free of broken links, and after a site has been programmed it isn’t ranked as high as people would like. For this reason, some people hire programmers to perform regular site maintenance as part of search engine positioning. When business depends on high traffic to a site, hiring an expert to improve search engine positioning and maintain high rankings can be well worth it.

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