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About SEO – Search Engine Optimization

SEO What's It All About

SEO 101

SEO Helps Your Site Get Located On Search Engines

SEO is an abbreviation for “Search Engine Optimization” and it’s all about getting your website found on the search engines. The search engines are what’s behind those screens that you see like Google, and Bing, MSN, Yahoo!, AOL, and and several others. Facebook and YouTube are actually considered search engines, too, because we use them everyday to find interesting things on the web. Some shopping sites like Amazon and Etsy have their own internal search engines to help customers find items to purchase. If you own a business website, you need to position your website where you clients or customers can find it.

A Brief History of SEO

In the early years of the Internet, a website could be positioned well, that is very high in the search engines, by placing “key search terms”, also known as “keywords” prominently throughout individual web pages. The search engines developed rules that actually helped website owners what was considered good search engine optimization techniques so a website could achieve a higher placement in the “Search engine ranking pages” or “SERPs.” The search engines also wanted links throughout the website to contain keywords. Links coming into the website were considered better if, they too, contained keywords. The early years of search engine optimization were based primarily on “quantity” keywords within a site and links coming to a site from other websites. There were lots of other rules dealing with the structure of websites, like Meta Tags and page Title Tags, but the main emphasis was on those keywords and links.

SEO Gone Wrong . . . The Black Hats

Many unscrupulous website owners and SEO firms would perform what came to be known as “keyword stuffing” by placing huge numbers of keywords on web pages then duplicating massive numbers of web pages within a web site. Once this technique became banned, they would hide the keywords by making the words the same color as the page background. This unethical approach was the beginning of what is now called “Blackhat SEO.” Many companies offered to sell or “rent” links to website owners. By doing this a site could get thousands of links from many other sites very rapidly.

A brief caveat . . . We don’t do Black Hat SEO at Portland Pro SEO. We provide “White Hat SEO”, highly ethical services at

Search Engines Change The Rules

As search engines improved their ability to find what searchers wanted, they also improved their capacity to eliminate bad web pages. They tightened rules on what they called “spam.” Spam is basically any attempt to manipulate the search engines to gain a higher ranking. The search engine rules improved dramatically in reducing bad content spam, which was one of the key elements of black hat techniques. Additionally, as the early 2010’s began, search engines, particularly Google, placed considerable emphasis on social media, or “Web 2.0” linking. With the increasing popularity first of MySpace, then Facebook, and then more socially active sites, Google rewarded people who were active in the social sites who created links back to their own web properties. There didn’t seem to be much logic behind it, other than “web participation,” but it became a necessary factor in the SEO world.

Then . . . The Panda Purge

In February, 2011, Google rolled out a new Algorithm, that was nicknamed “Panda.” Panda aimed squarely at eliminating poor quality very thin site and placing favor on sites with much more depth of content and those that updated content regularly. Hundreds of thousands of websites disappeared overnight as a result of the Panda Penalty. Websites that had Number One rankings in the Google SERPs were obliterated. Many of these sites never recovered. The SEO for these sites was poor and many of the SEO service companies lost all their clients immediately.

NOTE: We have been performing SEO since the late 1990’s. We have NEVER had a single Google penalty!!!!! In fact we were unaware of this new algorithm, as were many SEOs, because we were totally unaffected by it. Only after Google admitted the algorithm update some months later did we become fully aware of its consequences.

Panda was the first of three major algorithm updates from Google occurring in the last three years. Each of these has had significant impact on website ranking strategies.

Penguin Attacks Link Building

In April, 2012, Google introduced the Penguin algorithm designed to locate and downgrade sites using black hat techniques utilized in link building. The black hat approach of “link scheming” was, and still is, the main target of Penguin. The targeted strategies included thin sites with poor content designed for the purpose of linking back to a main site, buying links, commenting spammy links, trading links, and creating links on sites developed simply developed as link farms.

The Penguin algorithm basically can track links from one site far far back several web sites. It is extremely punitive! If you own a website, YOU are responsible for each and every link to your site. SEOs and webmasters alike were stunned (and still are). The source of the links, as well as anchor content, and the number of links (volume) are all the responsibility of the site owner. Many sites suffered huge loss of rankings, immediately as a result of Penguin. Many sites disappeared from the SERPs. Google was forced to set up a review structure so site owners could regain their previous status. Google now supplies a new Meta Tag called “Disavow” so unwanted links can be discarded. Some SEOs now specialize in helping site owners regain their previous rankings from penalties.

As a result of the Penguin algorithm, many professional SEOs are no longer in business. It is estimated that there are approximately 30% fewer SEO businesses today then there were in 2012.


Search engine optimization, SEO, continues to provide valuable strategies and techniques for websites by aiding sites rank high on the organic search engine result pages. Search engines themselves recognize and acknowledge SEO; they might not advocate for SEO, but they do respect and even participate in SEO training seminars. Search engine companies conduct webinars and send their employees to conferences to meet with SEO professionals to discuss the best practices for SEO.

At Portland Pro SEO, we adhere to the Best Practices possible for SEO. We follow the guidelines published by Google. We make every effort to make certain our clients get the best possible White Hat SEO.

You may find us by using: SEO Portland, search engine optimization Portland, Portland SEO company,, Portland SEO expert, Portland SEO professional, Portland SEO services, Portland SEO company, Portland SEO consultant

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