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Intro to Search Engine Optimization

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Search engines are one of the primary ways that Internet users find Web sites. That's why a Web site with good search engine listings may see a dramatic increase in traffic.

Everyone wants those good listings. Unfortunately, many Web sites appear poorly in search engine rankings or may not be listed at all because they fail to consider how search engines work.

In particular, submitting to search engines (as covered in the Essentials section) is only part of the challenge of getting good search engine positioning. It's also important to prepare a Web site through "search engine optimization."

Search engine optimization means ensuring that your Web pages are accessible to search engines and are focused in ways that help improve the chances they will be found.

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This next section provides information, techniques and a good grounding in the basics of search engine optimization. By using this information where appropriate, you may tap into visitors who previously missed your site.

The guide is not a primer on ways to trick or "spam" the search engines. In fact, there are not any "search engine secrets" that will guarantee a top listing. But there are a number of small changes you can make to your site that can sometimes produce big results.

Let's go forward and first explore the two major ways search engines get their listings; then you will see how search engine optimization can especially help with crawler-based search engines.

Next: How Search Engines Work
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