SEO until you know it is often perceived as something quite mystical. The truth is it’s not really. Let’s discuss the history of SEO a bit.
Up until 2000/2001, Yahoo ruled SEO. They weighted pages based on the onsite usage of keywords. Pages that used a keyword phrase the most came up at the top of search engines.
When Google came around, they did something quite magical which made it so keyword-stuffed spam pages didn’t ruel the search engine results pages (“SERPs”) and ultimately made the cream rise to the top. What they did was index all the links across the web from one page to another. This task was actually extremely complex. Imagine your webpage links to my webpage. Imagine your webpage has 5 links pointing to it (from other sites). Now imagine another webpage links to my webpage, and this webpage has 500 links pointing to it (again from other sites). Which link do you think would be better for me to get to point to my site? Your link or the one from the other guy that has 500 links pointing at it? Obviously the latter. Well, this was a big undertaking for google because the “web” of links from one site to another is ultimately endless. It’s not just a chain of 2 or 3 sites. It’s very many linked one after another. So Google wrote an algorithm to go for many degrees of separation and track the weightings of these links, each step of the way tracking how many links each page has and the corresponding weight those links have, and so on.
The next thing they did was track which keywords (and keyword phrases more specifically) were attached to these links. A link looks like this: <a href=”http://www.yoursite.com”>Click Here</a>. In that example, “Click Here” is called the “anchor text,” and by the way that HTML as a whole an “Anchor” element. So what google did is factor in the “anchor text” associated with each link to determine what keywords your site should rank for. They combined this information with the information previously described about link weighting to determine what pages should rank the highest for an endless combination of keyword phrases. And modern SEO was born, and your rankings are still very much based on these algorithms today.