SEO-upgrades: Home Page

What is Organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

Ben Norman, author of Getting Noticed on Google says:

Organic Search Engine Optimization, or Organic SEO as it is commonly called, is the process of optimizing your website to appear higher in search engine's natural listings.

Jerri L. Ledford, author of SEO: Search Engine Optimization Bible says:

The definitions of Organic SEO vary a little, depending on whom you talk to. Some SEO experts think it’s all about optimizing the content of your web site to catch the attention of the crawlers and spiders that index sites. Others think it’s the number of quality links you can generate on your site. But in truth, organic SEO is a combination of those and other elements, such as site tagging, that will naturally place your web site in search engine rankings. How high in those rankings depends on how well you design your site. defines SEO as:

SEO is the science of improving your website’s visibility in search engines for specific keywords and phrases. As a result of a successful SEO effort, there will be a very noticeable increase in traffic to your site as well as intangible benefit that comes from branding when your site shows up for top terms. Approach to Organic SEO

Build great web pages. is focused on making web site improvements to ensure the semantics of the web site's content can be readily recognized. Clarity of semantics equally assists search engine crawlers indexing your web site and your web site users. Well structure content will be accurately indexed by the search engines and improve the user experience for visitors. Over time, improvements made to the structure of a site's content and the alignment of the keywords appearing naturally in each web page's content, to what web users are searching, should rewarded a site with better organic search results. That is, well structured content translates into a higher placement in the Search engine results page since Google and the search engines are more likely to give preference to what they can understand and what they can therefore accurately match to web search requests. In short, a great web page has an excellent chance of making it to rising to the first page of a search engine result.

Search engine optimization is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site's user experience and performance in organic search results. You're likely already familiar with many of the topics in this guide, because they're essential ingredients for any webpage, but you may not be making the most out of them.

[source: p. 1 of 33 of Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, version 1.1, November 2008.]

Purchase of links, Google Adwords, and other Pay per Click programs are outside of's scope. Link purchase is a violation of Google terms of service:

If you believe the site is engaged in buying or selling links that pass PageRank, please tell us about it. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google's webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results.

[Source: Report spam, paid links, malware, and other problems to Google, viewed July 2009.]

Pay per click programs are an expense that would be best spent after organic SEO upgrades have been completed so that your spend achieves maximum value.

Focusing on Fundamentals First is the Right SEO Starting Place

The SEO-upgrades philosophy is about getting the fundamentals right: keyword SEO, aligning content with keyword SEO, using the power of XHTML tags to emphasize content semantics, using links to clarify semantics, using case studies to establish a data driven decision baseline, monitoring traffic integrity and following a well defined implementation plan.

The Google search algorithms are never disclosed and are subject to continuous revision. Therefore gaming the Google algorithms to achieve a better results page placement, with today's equivalent of past failed black hat SEO tricks such as keyword stuffing, hidden text and link farm tricks, is likely to end in failure, sooner or later. However, it is hard to imagine Google ever switching to an algorithm that ignores content semantics or which penalizes a site for making content too semantically clear.

Consider the following published July 13, 2009:

The Google Shuffle?
(Has Your Website Recently Sunk to "Davy Google Jones Jr's Locker"?)
By Jonathan Anthony & Kyle Krenbrink (c) 2009

Webmasters and SEO gurus have been scratching their heads for a few weeks now trying to figure out what has been happening to Google's SERP rankings. After scouring blogs and forums for the last few days, it would seem that there is no real consensus. In fact, it seems that no one is willing to even speculate much as to what is happening. To date there has not been any official word from Google. We all know that Google does not announce their algorithm updates, much to the chagrin of webmasters everywhere.

[source: SitePro News e-mail, July 13, 2009]

Any SEO upgrades made to trick the Google search algorithms are at risk of failing with the next Google algorithm update. And if not the next algorithm update then one of the hundreds of future updates. The words of Google's Larry Page make it very clear that Google will not stop until their search algorithms understand web pages at an equivalent level to that of a subject matter expert reading the page. Google probably wants to push their algorithms pass winning a Turing test in a competition with the world smartest web librarian.

Expect Google search algorithms to change. Never settle for the best
"The perfect search engine," says Google co-founder Larry Page, "would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want."

[source: Google Corporate Information: Our Philosophy, viewed July 2009.]

Focusing on the web page fundamentals required to make a highly usable web page is therefore a sound SEO investment and a winning long term strategy. By focusing on a clear and logical presentation of your web site's original content, you are working with Google since the Google algorithms are constantly being tuned to find semantic meaning to meet their ultimate goal of returning exactly what Google searchers want.

Organic SEO Upgrade Steps

Organic SEO changes are completed on a web page by web page basis and should be focused on achieving well defined goals for your web site. Each web page needs to be designed as a part supporting the overall theme of the site. For each web page you need to consider details such as those outlined below while at the same time articulating a well defined set of goals for your SEO upgrades. Plan SEO upgrades at the web page level.

Per Web Page Upgrades

Each of the above upgrades, done correctly, will assist Google and the other search engines in building a more accurate semantic picture of your web site's content, which will in turn improve the placement of your web page in a search engine result.

Per Web Site Upgrades

A complete SEO upgrade also requires a web site level review. Review your web site as a whole.

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