Organic SEO Yesterday and Today

Organic SEO or search engine optimization has been called a “talent” by some. It is the process of optimizing a website or webpage in order to take advantage of what we know about the search engines.

Of course, nobody knows everything about them. The way that they rank websites and pages changes according to some strange algorithm that no one seems to understand. But, we do know some things.

We know that when a web visitor types in a word or phrase into the search box, a list of websites that include that word or phrase will come up. These days, there are often millions of results. Years ago, there was a little less competition.

In order to get an “edge” on the competition, without actually paying for outside or internet advertising, we learn what phrases people are searching for. There are several different ways to do the keyword research. One is

Let’s say that you sell leashes for dogs and you have a website, but you aren’t attracting much business. You can go to and type in “dogs”.

That, along with a list of related phrases, would pop up in about a minute. After a bit of research, you might end up with a list of ten phrase sets, all related to dogs and their leashes. You would use that list to start using search engine SEO to improve your website’s page ranking.

In order to do that, you would write copy that includes the ten phrases. You could include all ten on one page or include 10 pages, each containing one of the phrases. If the phrases are included a number of times, you increase your chances of getting a higher page ranking, hopefully near the top of the list, ahead of the other million companies that sell dog leashes.

That was basically all that was necessary for organic search engine SEO until recently. Over the years, the search engines have “learned” to identify spam sites. If your website has no real content, but includes the same key phrase dozens of times, it will be identified as spam and will not rank high with the engines.

So, you can’t go overboard with the keywords any more and your website must contain some real content. Really large websites, like Wikipedia, get some of the highest rankings per page, because they are considered “expert” sites by the engines.

Many small business people take advantage of the rankings earned by older sites with lots of pages, such as, by publishing articles related to the products that they sell. The articles adhere to the old and new search engine SEO guidelines, by including the key phrase several times, but not nearly enough to qualify as spam. So, now you know the basics, but we continue to learn, as time goes by.