Navigating SEO Basics
November 2, 2010
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is one of those tools necessary for anyone wanting to develop an extensive online personality, though it proves to be both a gift and a curse to beginners. While it is excellent for providing feedback on readership and response to content, it is easy to get lost in the numbers and overwhelmed by the process.
To understand SEO requires a more in depth understanding of how the internet functions, something that the general public has a habit of skimming over. Furthermore, simple, easy-to-use information on the functionality of the internet and search engines is few and far between. Search “SEO Basics” online and you’ll get plenty of hits, but most are lengthy, poorly formatted and difficult to read. Often they assume beginners understand the jargon, completely defeating the purpose of the term “basics”.
The best resource I can recommend wholeheartedly is SEOmoz’s Beginners Guide to SEO. It’s buried beneath pro-tools and paid services, but it is by far the most detailed, easy to understand, and engaging free resources on understanding how SEO works. Starting with the basic concepts behind search engines, it starts with a solid foundation of information before ever discussing the optimization. It mentions keywords in ways that make them easy to understand for the general user. Overall, it is successful in decoding the maze of information and recommendations that is SEO. For example, the first chapter discusses “crawling”:
Imagine the World Wide Web as a network of stops in a big city subway system. Each stop is its own unique document (usually a web page, but sometimes a PDF, JPG or other file). The search engines need a way to “crawl” the entire city and find all the stops along the way, so they use the best path available – links.
The tutorial also includes an interesting take on how people interact with search engines, broadening the general interpretation of why SEO is important. They touch on usability and experience in regards to the necessity of search engines. The graphics, graphs and other visual aids in the 10 chapters make it all the more engaging. Plus, you can download the tutorial as a PDF.
If you’re looking for an in-depth tutorial on beginner SEO and why it is important, take some time to read through (and/or download) this educational tool. You will be a better-informed web-user for it, regardless of skill level or interest.