The process of choosing targeted keyword phrases related to a site, and ensuring that the site places well when those keyword phrases are part of a Web search.


There is much confusion about search engine optimization (SEO) and its relation to search engine spamming. Generally, legitimate search engine optimization adds to the user experience, while search engine spamming takes away from the user experience, although there is much gray area between the clear-cut examples on either side.

Optimization involves making pages readable to search engines and emphasizing key topics related to your content. Basic optimization may involve nothing more than ensuring that a site does not unnecessarily become part of the invisible Web (the portion of the Web not accessible through Web search engines). Advanced optimization may include significant research into every element of page design, site structure, and off-the-page criteria.

Before pages can be optimized, research must be done to determine which keywords to target. This involves finding relevant keywords, determining their popularity, assessing the amount of competition, and deciding which keywords can be best supported with quality content.

Pricing Models Include:
one-time flat fee
monthly fixed fee
revenue sharing

see also: SEO Tools

Related Terms

keyword research, link popularity, meta tags, pay per click search engine, search engine, search engine spam, search engine submission, top 10

view all terms in the SEO glossary or all terms in the Digital Marketing glossary


Director of SEO

SEO Manager

SEO Analyst

SEO Strategist

SEO Specialist


Search Engine Land

Search Engine Watch

Tools > SEO Services & Tools

Education > SEO Courses (online)


SEO Agency Tools Price Comparison 2015 (February 14, 2015)

The Viability of Search Engine Traffic: Proof in Numbers
ClickZ (February 14, 2001)

Outsourcing Versus Staying In-house
ClickZ (February 7, 2001)

Search Results: More Valuable Than Ad Placements?
ClickZ (November 22, 2000)

Search Engine Optimization Firm Sold For $95 Million
Search Engine Watch (September 4, 2000)

What to Look for in a Search Engine Optimization Specialist
ClickZ (April 4, 2000)

Search Engine Targeting
ClickZ (February 15, 2000)

Search Engine Tips For The Millennium
ClickZ (December 21, 1999)