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SEO Overview

Make Your Online Presence Visible

In the beginning, an internet user had to either know your site’s web address and type it in, or the user had to find it in a directory, in order to be able to find and view your site. Fortunately these days we have search engines that bridge the gap and help us find sites that match our interests.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a major form of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), involves making improvements to your website internal and external elements to have it perform better in the search engines’ natural search results. Also called organic search results, these are the results shown in the main body of the results page the search engines provide when you type your search term into the text box for the search engine and hit “Enter”.

Natural or Organic Search Results are found in the main body of the results page.

SEO is one of the most important elements of online marketing for companies because:

  1. Between 60 and 80% of internet users select and click on results from this part of the results page, depending on the search engine cited. (Sources, iProspect Search Engine User Attitudes Survey, March 2008; Mr. Stuart Little, Google, Dec 2007)
  2. Companies big and small can be found based on relevancy and authority on a searched term, rather than based on the size of their advertising budget.
  3. There is no cost for each click by a user.

User's Choice of Search Engine

Search Engines to Target for SEO

It truly helps to know what search engines your audience is using to find what they are looking for. A professional SEO firm such as Progresso Consulting LLC understands what the major search engines are looking for, and works to improve the authority and relevance of your site as perceived by the search engines.

The way search engines look at and evaluate your site is through the use of automated reading technology, often called spiders or robots. They “read” the source code of your site, look at over 200 elements therein, evaluate the inbound links from other sites, and create numerical values for your site in reference to relevant search terms and keywords on your site. This process has become much more complex and involved than in the late 1990s when search engines were just getting started, and SEO techniques have evolved to keep up with the changes in the search engines.

As most readers of our information are from the U.S., we’re pleased to provide more specific information on U.S. users. 64% of U.S. searchers use Google, and select what they want from Google search results.

Top Global Search Engine Providers

Data for December 2008

Top 10 Global Search Provider Market Share

Search Engine Total Market Share
Google - Global 81.26%
Yahoo - Global 10.43%
MSN - Global 2.96%
AOL - Global 1.96%
Microsoft Live Search 1.59%
Ask - Global 0.96%
AltaVista - Global 0.08%
Excite - Global 0.03%
All the Web - Global 0.01%
Lycos - Global 0.01%
Source: Net Applications

U.S. Search Provider Market Share

Data for November 2008

Top 10 U.S. Search Providers, Ranked by Searches
Provider Searches (000) YOY Growth Share of Searches
Google Search 5,177,158 21.7% 64.1%
Yahoo! Search 1,299,306 -1.4% 16.1%
MSN/Windows Live Search 733,460 -16.7% -16.7%
AOL Search 344,465 3.6% 4.3%
Ask.com Search 184,059 -6.0% 2.3%
My Web Search 71,113 -18.3% 0.9%
Comcast Search 40,645 3.5% 0.5%
AT&T Worldnet Search 25,351 -13.3% 0.3
NexTag Search 22,308 -19.5% 0.3%
Dogpile.com Search 17,121 -6.5% 0.2%
All Searches 8,075,564 9.6% 100.0%

This provides an introduction to the framework of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as it may relate to your web site. On the following pages are insights for small and large companies. Please contact us for more specific information and to engage us to help improve your web site’s performance and bottom line results.

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