A beautiful designed website is not enough. At least not if you are depending on a Search Engine to identify you as a source when someone institutes a search on a keyword or phrase. For a non-business site you may not care about Search Engine results. However, for a business site it can be the difference between success and failure. Following is a brief discussion on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The Search Engines, and there are thousands of them, all have algorithms they use to give a particular web page a value of importance. This is called Page Rank (PR). The algorithms are all different and the content of them are secret. Search Engines use Robots, sometimes called Bots, Spiders or Web Crawlers, and their only duty is to crawl all the sites on the Internet and log information into a data base about each website they visit.
The information is gathered not only from the displayed website pages, but also from the head section of the source code in your website. The “head” section is not displayed on your site’s pages, but does contain information in the form of “meta tags”, about your website and its development. The Search Engines then use their algorithms to give an importance factor on the data gathered and the result is your PR. To see an example of source code, right click on the white border of this page and then click on “View Source”. You will notice that only the code after the “<body” tag is visible on this page.
SEO is a necessary subject of study in designing successful websites. At this time, Google and their web crawler (called GoogleBot) processes about 83% of the searches of the billions of websites on the Internet, with all the other engines no higher than about 7%. So, the question, “What affects Google’s opinion of a website?” is the basis of our design tactics. Everyone is sure the following elements are of importance in terms of high PR, not necessarily in the order listed.