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Mrinalini Sugosh (Mrina)
Mrinalini Sugosh (Mrina)

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Introduction to SEO

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The goal of SEO is to create a strategy that will increase your rankings position in search engine results. The higher the ranking, the more organic traffic to your site, which ultimately leads to more business for you!

Why is SEO so important?

SEO is the key to increased conversion and confidence in your brand. Higher search ranking placement equates to more organic visitors. Search engine organic traffic – visitors who come to your site through clicking a result in a search engine – is key to many businesses for three reasons:

  1. Qualitative – Increased chance that visitors turn into customers.
  2. Trustable – Higher confidence in your brand or mission.
  3. Low-Cost – Aside from the time and effort spent, having good SEO practices that result in higher search engine ranking is free. There is no direct cost to appear in top organic search results positions.


Search engine optimization is different from Search Engine Marketing (SEM), where the content at the top of search results is 100% paid and distinguished from organic results with a Sponsored label.

Three Pillars of Optimization

The process of optimizing a website can be divided into three main pillars:

  1. Technical – Optimize your website for crawling and web performance.
  2. Creation – Create a content strategy to target specific keywords.
  3. Popularity – Boost your site's presence online so search engines know you are a trusted source. This is done through the use of backlinks – third-party sites that link back to your site.

The SEO discipline is broad and has many facets, but as a web developer, the first step is to understand how you can make your web app SEO-ready with some best practices.

SEO and Search Systems

Search Systems are what you typically refer to as Search Engines (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.). They are massively complex systems that tackle some of the biggest challenges in tech history.

Search Systems have four main responsibilities:

  1. Crawling – the process of going through the Web and parsing the content in all websites. This is a massive task as there are over 430 million domains available.
  2. Indexing – finding places to store all of the data gathered during the crawling stage so it can be accessed.
  3. Rendering – executing any resources on the page such as JavaScript that might enhance the features and enrich content on the site. This process doesn't happen for all pages that are crawled and sometimes it happens before the content is actually indexed. Rendering might happen after indexing if there are no available resources to perform the task at the time.
  4. Ranking – querying data to craft relevant results pages based on user input. This is where the different ranking criteria are applied in Search engines to give users the best answer to fulfill their intent.

What are Web Crawlers?

In order for your website to appear in search results, Google (as well as other search engines such as Bing, Yandex, Baidu, Naver, Yahoo or DuckDuckGo) use web crawlers to navigate the website to discover websites and its web pages.

Different search engines have different market shares in each country.

For this example let's take Google, the biggest search engine in most countries. That being said, you might want to check other search engines and their guidelines, especially if your target audiences are in China, Russia, Japan or South Korea.

While there are some differences when it comes to Ranking and Rendering, most search engines work in a very similar way when it comes to Crawling and Indexing.

Web crawlers are a type of bot that emulate users and navigate through links found on the websites to index the pages. Web crawlers identify themselves using custom user-agents. Google has several web crawlers, but the ones that are used more often are Googlebot Desktop and Googlebot Smartphone.

How does Googlebot work?

The journey the Googlebot makes to index webpages

A general overview of the process can be the following:

  1. Find URLs: Google sources URLs from many places, including Google Search Console, links between websites, or XML sitemaps.
  2. Add to Crawl Queue: These URLs are added to the Crawl Queue for the Googlebot to process. URLs in the Crawl Queue usually last seconds there, but it can be up to a few days depending on the case, especially if the pages need to be rendered, indexed, or – if the URL is already indexed – refreshed. The pages will then enter the Render Queue.
  3. HTTP Request: The crawler makes an HTTP request to get the headers and acts according to the returned status code:
    • 200 - it crawls and parses the HTML.
    • 30X - it follows the redirects.
    • 40X - it will note the error and not load the HTML
    • 50X - it may come back later to check if the status code has changed.
  4. Render Queue: The different services and components of the search system process the HTML and parse the content. If the page has some JavaScript client-side based content, the URLs might be added to a Render Queue. Render Queue is more costly for Google as it needs to use more resources to render JavaScript and therefore URLs rendered are a smaller percentage over the total pages out there on the internet. Some other search engines might not have the same rendering capacity as Google, and this is where as a web developer your rendering strategy can be important.
  5. Ready to be indexed: If all criteria are met, the pages may be eligible to be indexed and shown in search results.

Additional helpful readings:

Top comments (11)

frostalex147878 profile image
Frost Alex • Edited

Thanks a lot for article! SERanking's website audit tool is a game-changer for anyone looking to enhance their website's performance The in-depth analysis covers crucial aspects like SEO, usability, and technical issues. The clear and concise reports make it easy to identify and address problems, ultimately leading to improved search rankings and user experience.

mrinasugosh profile image
Mrinalini Sugosh (Mrina)

Thank you @frostalex147878 !

amirahmanning profile image
AmirahManning • Edited

Hey there! Great post about SEO - made total sense to me! I'm pretty new to this forum and still trying to learn the ropes, but I think I'm getting the hang of it! It's great that you went over why SEO is important and how it helps businesses grow - no doubt about it. But don't forget about PPC Pay Per Click as well! It's another great useful tool to invest in, especially when you're looking to increase visibility. Especially in the current climate, it's so important to know all the options that are out there to get those ducks in a row and make sure revenue doesn't suffer. Anyways, keep up the great posts! :)

mrinasugosh profile image
Mrinalini Sugosh (Mrina)

I will check it out! Thanks for the review :)

reytortugo profile image

Great read! Thanks for sharing your insights – really got me thinking

mrinasugosh profile image
Mrinalini Sugosh (Mrina)

Thank you!

ted_lee_2697 profile image
Ted Lee

Good introduction to many of the whitehat aspects of SEO!

mrinasugosh profile image
Mrinalini Sugosh (Mrina)

Thank you!

joejojijoe profile image
Joe • Edited

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Some key introductory SEO concepts include keyword research, on-page optimization (e.g. meta tags, content, site structure), and link building. As your site gains authority through quality content and ethical links, search engines will start to trust it more, leading to better rankings. For example, services like linksclerk can help build high-quality reddit backlinks. Overall, SEO takes time and effort, but done right, it can significantly grow organic traffic and visibility.

thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt ☕

Hello! Good post! But why adding #webmonetization tag?

georgexp97 profile image

When it comes to SEO, an important and effective aspect of advertising is the PPC campaign. However, you need to know how to effectively analyze data and prepare a report to know whether your campaign is actually effective. If you are looking for information on this topic, I recommend this post: