In the world of online marketing, SEO, or search engine optimization, has become a bit of a buzzword. Simply put, SEO refers to the measures taken to increase a website’s search engine rankings, and therefore its visibility to the general public. The SEO industry has skyrocketed in recent years, as businesses have begun to direct much of their marketing to the internet. Here, we will look at the state of the SEO industry, examining the reasons for its success and the ways that it has seeped into the daily life of the average internet user.

It is quite impossible to treat the topic of SEO without discussing Google, the search engine giant that receives between 65 and 70 percent of all search engine traffic. Incorporated in 1998 by two PhD students at Stanford University, Google quickly ascended the ranks to become the world’s most popular search engine. A first page ranking on Google is a hot commodity in the world of online marketing, especially considering that the first organic search result to appear is chosen by 42 percent of search engine users. Noting this trend, Google created a choice of buttons on its homepage. One, labeled Search, took users to a list of sites ranked by Google’s PageRank algorithm. The other, labeled I’m Feeling Lucky, immediately took users to the first site to appear on the list. Incidentally, Google’s first tweet read I’m Feeling Lucky translated into binary code.

The PageRank algorithm, originally kept on 4 10GB hard drives in a LEGO brick storage case, looks at a variety of information to determine search engine rankings. SEO and internet marketing are designed to play into the PageRank algorithm, yielding higher search engine rankings for optimized sites. Because webmasters have learned how to manipulate internet data in order to rank higher in search engines, SEO blogs that review SEO news and developments have gained significant popularity in the world of online marketing.

SEO blogs may have originally contained information only about factors like keyword density which were abused by webmasters in the early days of SEO. Unscrupulous webmasters would positively stuff keywords onto pages making them rank highly in search engines, but making them difficult for users to navigate and find useful. Today, SEO has come to mean so much more, and SEO blogs are more likely to include information on the importance of content, blogging, and social media.

As social media has gained popularity among internet users, it has also become a valuable marketing tool. The vast majority of internet users over the age of fourteen will research products online before making purchases, and many will then use social media for more follow up information. Seo marketing has extended to the social media arena, making use of demographic directed advertising.

As the SEO industry continues to grow, it is likely that SEO blogs will provide a quality barometer for its measurement. Bloggers are likely not only to chronicle new developments but to provide tips for those interested in optimizing for search engine rankings.

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